Here at MAMDT we’re always looking for innovation around us and on the internet (which we always have around). We’re driven by the idea that the world is changing quickly and that there’s a new world waiting for us just a few years ahead. Because we are aware of our own position in the cycle of innovation (the front) we see it as our duty to report on the advancements and innovations in our region, the Eurogion.

The first interactive story that was chosen for publishing on limburger.nl is about some of these innovations. The project group of Lizzy Vroemen, Camiel de Hoen, Michelle Janssen and Dirkje Purnot delved into the matter of Brightlands: a local incubator for innovation. Brightlands is a collective term for three different campuses that are doing groundbreaking research in practically all fields of science.

brightlands_map_algemeen_tekening

The groups got their subjects assigned to them so there wasn’t really any choice for them but to cover the subject of Brightlands. When they started out with the project they had no idea where to begin, there were so many things to do and resources to explore that they felt a bit overwhelmed, which is kind of the point of the course. Students are being thrown head-first into a wealth of information and subsequently have to define their own storylines, while of course being guided by professionals.

The group decided to shed some light on the promises made by Brightlands. They asked themselves the question: is Brightlands really that sustainable? Interesting question. The way they were going to explain this was by hand-drawn stop-motion animation.

brightlands_stop_motion_tekening

Yes, that often beautiful but insanely time-consuming form of animation that is basically social suicide when on a deadline.

After the concept was done the team member that was responsible for the drawing, Lizzy, practically vanished off the face of the earth. She was nowhere to be found. Nowhere except for her room, where she was drawing day in and day out, night in and night out. Stop motion is hard work, something Lizzy would probably be able to confirm all too well by now.

brightlands_maastricht_health_campus

What’s interesting in the creation of this particular story is that the group has been stubborn and persistent in terms of what they wanted to achieve. After the first five weeks, when they got graded for their concept, their plans were shot down and they were criticized for them. The animations would simply take up too much time and it wasn’t a smart thing to do in the eyes of the teachers and journalists that guided them. Against all odds, the team decided to show some ‘cojones’ and just stick with their plan. A bold move.

In the end it must’ve been worth it, because their story came out as the best of the groups covering Brightlands. The team showed us that raising some metaphorical middle finger every once in a while can work out quite well. It goes without saying that it’s a slippery slope but when everything works out, we can imagine it must feel twice as good.

You can check out the stories right here (link in Dutch).