Karsten Siepp, class of 2007 (M.A)

Karsten at the alumni day 2010

It’s been three years since my graduation and now, the night before the first Alumni Day, I finally get around to post on the blog…

I graduated in 2007 as the first MA Media Production and focussed on digital media.

I had been working for about three years for TV and web/desktop beforehand, but somehow found this quite unfulfilling and really wanted to extend my horizon. This is especially why I chose Lincoln. Despite a prominent practical module, the course offered quite a few diverse theoretical modules such as media law/ethics, critical approaches to the media, media and the public sphere etc. etc.

It was the texts in the theoretical modules that really sparked my creativity and inspired me the most. Reading through many abstract and philosophical ideas made me see things in a very different light and showed me new approaches to interpreting the briefs for the practical projects.

I even sneaked into a few seminars of the Media and Cultural Studies MA course, which also were very interesting and full of useful knowledge if you wanted to dig a bit deeper.

What also showed me new way of producing websites/games was talking to people such as Andy McKay who is an expert in theatre and film, as they challenged my digital approaches to the briefs with an analogue concept of audience/artefact interaction that re-defined the ways I was thinking about my projects . And this was basically the best thing.

Of course you learn some new practical stuff as you go along, but the things I took away were an ability to think out of the box more easily and the key to a great source of inspiration for practical projects: media theory. Honestly, that might sound boring, but as soon as you try to digest what these people write about the effect and role of the media etc. you will recognise completely new concepts for your own work.

So yeah, that was back then. I am currently working as a Senior Digital Designer/Developer in London and have won a couple of awards for my projects in the past two years.

This is always quite a nice thing, as you get some recognition and props beyond the client’s feedback and is always a good thing to have on your CV. However, the nicest bit of official recognition I received lately was being published in the latest Webdesign Index (Vol 9) on p. 156 with my MA project from 2007! This publication showcases 1002 of the best and most trendsetting websites in 2009-2010 from all around the world, so it is even cooler to have made in with a three-year-old project. Ahead of the time or what?

Also, when I started my digital media education in 2001, I was presented this book by my tutor as THE book of reference and inspiration. Being in there myself now is a great feeling and I think I owe a good deal to that inspiring and challenging MA course I took in Lincoln in 2006…