The idea and the decision to go for an internship to Russia was reached in the maintime of my study. About many years my interest in Russia growed from day to day. I read a lot of Russian literature (Dostojewsky, Tolstoy, Turgenyev, Puschkin) and saw a lot of old Russian movies (Tarkovskij, Eisenstein, Vertov). The preparation to get an invitation and to start the visa-apllication needed about 6 weeks. Thanks to the studio for the organisation and the help. In the end of August 2006 I was ready to start to a 5 month internship at Art. Lebedev Studio in Moscow.
What takes my interest to the Art. Lebedev Studio? So, the same as the interns before me, I read something about the Optimus-103 keyboard and I wanted to know more about this people who make this cool stuff. I was really amazed at my investigation, that there was a studio in Russia, that works so groundbreaking. So I decided to make a letter of application to get an internship. I felt very happy as I got the mail from the studio and they offered me a place as an intern.
In the dawn of 26th of August I arrived at Sherementyevo and I took a very expensive taxi to go to the Gazetny per. near the Kremlin. But there was a problem! No sign, no information about the studio in this street! I was wondering and thought „Hum, isn?t it so big I thought? Maybe I will find a small bureau with only 3 guys?“ But I asked the security guard in the entrance of number 5 with my rudimental Russian speaking and he told me, that the studio is right in this house. Puh! Okay, everthing was cool and I was waiting for some hours till the first official worker from the studio found me and took me to the 5th floor.
WOW! The studio was really overwhelming. A huge room which looks more than an old theater, peppered with countless desktops, sofas, boards full off old technic and a lot of people. A kitchen, shower, tabletennis, kicker and a good old Wandzeitung (East German word for a pionier wall newspaper). At the same day I get my own, brandnew, full equipped desktop, was introduced to the most important people and start to organise my stay in Moscow especially to get a registration and to find a room or flat. It was very hard to find a room or flat which is cheap and near to the studio. I needed nearly 2 weeks to find one. This 2 weeks I was sleeping in studio — there are many places and corners for sleeping.
My job started! In the studio work a lot of versatile people on a lot of different projects. The main projects I worked for in the 5 month were graphicdesign, interfacedesign and some tasks about flashanimation. For example I was creating a design for a screensaver of a big banking institution, a screendesign for their ATM. I liked the work and the task very much and I learned a lot from the people who worked with me on the same projects. To work in a great team with so different responsibilities was really new for me and it was a good experience. If I should describe the studio in one sentence I would say: „There is a place in Moscow where is a great selection of the most creative heads of Russia!“
The atmosphere in the studio was very good and I felt all the time at home. The people worked and sometimes lived together in a cloud of creativity, personality and a lot of high performance equipment. People there try to make their own way to solve problems, with a close view to the customers wishes, in completely NEW and OTHER way and merge all their ideas to a new product, website, book…. To the brand „Art. Lebedev“!
There were some outstanding things in the normal studio days which helped me a lot in my learning process. One of them was the weekly home-task (domashnye sadanye), a task that has to be solved from all designers in the studio. Every Tuesday evening, there was a big meeting on the Wandzeitung (;-)) and a discussion and analysis of all works. The second one was the Brain, an area in the intranet where you could share all of you ideas with other people from the studio and discuss about them. Very cool and very interesting…..
My daily works and tasks, with a great help from a lot of people, gave me a very close look to Russian creativity and market solutions in different areas of media and design. I think it was my best decision to go to Art. Lebedev and I feel now right prepared for my final diploma thesis in Germany.
I will miss Moscow and all the friendly, very helpful russian people. I came without prejudices but all what I found here was better than I expected. Its time to say „spassibo i doswidanya“!
Great THX to Tema, Timur, Ludwig, Anna, Wanja, Olesya, Kate, Tanya, Dima, Alexey, Andrey, Maxim, Tina, the french guy Bert and the 2 other germans Jonas and Atze (Martin)
Spassibo Bolschoye Michael