Mint Foundry is our brand new graduate scheme. This first year tasks four makers for three months with the brief:
Make something connected to the Internet that doesn't live on a screen.
When we first started talking about a grad scheme, there was what seemed like an obvious route to follow: Find people with Mint skills and get them to help out on projects. This felt unsatisfactory for a couple of reasons:
- It was likely that our graduates would end up doing lots of tiny jobs, rather than getting their teeth into something substantial.
- We worried about simply bringing graduates in and teaching them the Mint way. Who is to say we can't learn from them?
With that in mind, Foundry was born. We looked for people who don’t really do what we do, to work on something we don’t know much about: physical computing.
We hope this exploration will create a mutual learning environment. We teach the graduates how to think about online interactions. The graduates teach us to be better makers.
The four graduates are…
We met Ben at the Goldsmiths Degree Show, demonstrating a home-made rotomold. We liked the reason he made it: to explore the blurring lines of producer and consumer as domestic manufacturing becomes a reality.
Chris is also from Goldsmiths and did his second year placement with us last summer. Chris is fascinated about networks, collaboration and our relationship with technology, which led to experiments like letting Google tell him what to do for an entire day and creating a ‘human printer’. Both in tune with Foundry’s ethos.
We came across Genis’ work at New Blood. Genis is originally from Catalonia and studied near Barcelona but did his final year at Northampton, focusing on print. We loved his Philographics project, rendering complex philosophical concepts in simple graphics.
Tim studied Product Design at Duncan of Jordanstone, University of Dundee. We met Tim’s final project before we met him, as it followed us around New Designers. Don-8r is a ‘coin fueled robot emphasising the playful and engaging support of charities’. His exploration of nudging human behaviour via interactive physical products made him a great fit for Foundry.
Unfortunately we didn’t manage to convince any of the girls we interviewed to join, making an all-male group. We’ll have to do better next year.
Here’s to an exciting 12 weeks…