Maia Kjendle

Communication Designer
Melbourne, Austrailia
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Hello, I am Maia Kjendle, a communication design (Hons) student, in my third year studying at Swinburne, and currently living in Melbourne, Australia. I am learning to turn down the volume of Chromophobia. I am recovering from the perils of perfectionism. And am very much struggling with the perpetual con􀃖ict of being too future focused. Storytelling and narrative development is de􀃕nitely an exercise I take seriously it is the ground works for a successful idea. I often explore the relationship between dualities and opposites, for example between static and kinetic, type and image, line and curves. Because for elements to harmoniously coexist I believe contrast is required. I am here driven by instinct, or impulse, or maybe both. I am utilising this fear of uncertainty as motivation to ultimately train myself into understanding that where I want to be in the future begins with decisions made in the present. My priority is to constantly evolve my practice by learning through knowledge and also learning by doing. By questioning what is, and challenging what could be.

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Work Experience
LittleBig Marketing
Aug 2017 – Nov 2017
Jul 2018 – Present
Aug 2017 – Nov 2017
Swinburne University of Technology
Publication Design, Exhibition Design, Brand and Identity, Creative Direction
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You should select me because

I have an innate curiosity and willingness to embrace the unknowable, and unexpected, and to go with its flow. I am shifting my perspective towards focusing on the now. The tangibility of the now, will become an artefact to reflect on, to understand and to grow from, much like the reflexive process that design serves.Travel is an extension of the work I do. Its a learning curve to appreciate the art of language, translation and communication through such mediums where culture is present (art, design, architecture, food, landscapes etc.). Since a young age the accessibility and possibility of travel has been present and influential. I have always had a strong pull and desire to explore and venture to far or near places. Travelling for me is invaluable, it has played a vital role in shaping my perspectives, and definitely will continue to remain highly pertinent.My toolkit of skills would be comparable to most in the same position of a third year communication design student. However, I have discovered my interest in kinetics, and methodically crafting an experience utilising motion through a self-taught exploration into After Effects. What sets me apart, and is a notable quality is my dedication and drive, where I am often (especially in transcripts) referred to as ‘sharp’ and ‘diligent’. I may not be the most fully equiped and experienced candidate, but my hunger to become an asset in the design world speaks louder. This appetite is a stimulating engine where I strive ambitiously towards “what could be” instead of settling for answers that are within reach and under control.

1. Why are you interested in wgi?

It has come to my attention that its time for me to invest in my career, and to see that there are a wealth of creative opportunities that await literally and figuratively at my finger tips. (As I am typing this response). Astounded by the sheer velocity of risks I will endure gives me hope, gives me stamina and ultimately gives me this sense of creative fuel, I so desperately thrive off. The creative space is ever changing, And that is why I feel as though I need to surpass comfort and opt for a change in location and context. Not sure what I am looking for as of yet, but a change of pace is likely to inspire my creative output.

2. What are you looking to gain from an experience such as WGI?

I am now committed in shaping my future by asking “why not?”. The limitations are imposed solely by my ability to carve boundaries and judgments of standards, age, and skill. However for evolution to occur needs the willingness to seek, and to learn from those with a wealth of experience in the design sphere. Instead of seeing the potential of fail (where you say no) as a weakness, I have decided to see it as my intensity of courage. So why not at least aim high, ask, and give it a go because I have nothing to lose, and more to gain.

3. What would be your goals after completing WGI if you were selected?

Ultimately, the goal is to develop my own design signature, design language and design legacy. Design is an enigma, it is mysterious and ever-changing. And through this extroadinary process of oppurtunity I will have the ability to first hand observe how others deal with and interpret design through their lens. All offering alternate visions and theories. I would fuel and fill a "design dictionary" with a resounding wealth of collated knowledge. This will serve as an instrument to deliver more meaningful work. It is difficult to reduce my future endeavours to a brief response. Ideally it requires an exchange of thoughts, or a conversation. Perhaps its because I’m a real meet-up-in-person person. There is nothing like it. Nothing compares. And I believe that is what is missing. As we all get caught up in the exhilirating pace of life and the black hole of social media, we seem to lose touch with our inherit desire for face to face communication. There needs to more avaliable and accessible spaces to chat about design theories, or purely just about how "design" is influencing young aspiring designers. Part 1. {A creative exchange of thoughts in creative temporary exhibits.} I would ideally like to launch these events in different spaces as a way to gather like minded individuals to express, share and have an open conversation about different design based topics. Part 2. There is something so alluring about having a multi-hyphenated existence. However there is a seasonality and varied spectrum of emotional disruption that becomes involved in this lack of security. You can’t belong. It is in a way an un-belonging. Not belonging to one sector in the field, but dappling and collaborating in all. With the aim not to be described and defined as a single entity but to be multi-faceted. From this compounding nature and pace of consuming and creating and thinking, we seek outlets to release. A sort of escapism, where you don’t have to sync back into the mode of “the designer”. Escapism in its form is the tendency to seek distraction and relief from your current reality, by seeking or engaging in a transcending experience from external sources eg: whether thats through travelling to be submerged in a different environment or culture, or listening to music or through sex, or scrolling through social media etc. It’s a time of complete stand still, where you detach from your responsibilities, or agendas, or future focuses. So I think it is about recreating this rapid and intense short lived experience translated in a virtual medium and space. Where you can feel this sense and quality of escapism. To refuel for the next creative encounter. {A collaboration and set up of sporadic exhibitions, that interact with materiality, typography, sounds and space all interpreting the message of "escapism".} From the engagement of contacts and connections collected from this opportunity of WGI would definitely improve the possibilities of these projects coming into fruition.

4. How did you hear about wgi?

A direct message from a fellow colleague on Instagram. The wonders of social media, and the convenience of communication. I was recommended to apply, received the link and the words “Maia, just imagine if”.

5. Share an example of a time you were most motivated and a time you were most demotivated.

Demotivation: an empty void of discomfort. The last instance when this feeling became a distraction and lead to quite an intense creative standstill for a week or so, arose from my inability to shut down, metpahorically and physically. Back to back loss of sleep, stuck in this condition of dissatisfaction, and a compounding pressure to in a sense "keep up with the zeitgeist". I was paralysed in confusion, of what I wanted to be, and where I wanted to be. I wrote down in my notebook "change of pace, change of space". I have recognised I have this natural instinct to brood about refinement and execution. But from this blind spot exposure I consciously implement ways to avoid it, and realistically cannot be bothered dealing with that internal tug of war. Hectic chaos, sometimes you just need to design something that has no purpose, for the sake of release. It is often during this process of creative output that I seem to generate the most natural and instinctual motivation to create. The most recent example of this spark of stimulus, was when I crafted my personal publication "Design Dialogue" A publication that disregards the physicality of a traditional book. Chapter one is based around this very existence where "the mediator for change is discomfort". The book breaks the conventionality of legbility, as each page is laser printed on perspex sheets. My whole thought process was formulated as a result of my endeavour to communicate my internal chatter. It is a visual expression of my thinking that is entirely and utterly relevant to my current design practice.

6. In your opinion, what creates a great culture at a company?

1. A constant dialect. 2. An activation of dialogue. 3. A creative exchange of thoughts. 4. A laboratory of experimentation and exploration. 5. A cross-platform to think creatively and critically. 6. A thirst for critic. 7. An intimate collaboration rooted in interaction.

7. What brands and companies do you admire and why?

Meiré und Meiré. Oh, Mike Meiré. An innovative legend in the design community. Reimagining the future. The latitude of his studios conceptual thinking is quite frankly the epitome of something admirable. You could say I borderline have an infatuation with his mind. His projects flirt with the interwoven notion of how we can use and perceive a particular design to alter our current views. Pure brilliance. Meiré und Meiré is broadening the boundaries of digital potential. Virgil Abloh. A multi hyphenate artist. At the apex of the fashion world he is significant beyond the scope, infiltrating designer mannerisms into his work. Pulsing with themes of collaboration, he constructs heavily conceptual projects that parallel with his own views, values and attitudes. The nuances of his aesthetic, holds merit across his many platforms, in a way he is stamping himself on everything he creates. A true testament to his ambition.

8. What do you do to stay sharp and improve your craft?

My design approach is either intellectual and considered or totally spontaneous and impulsive. I don’t think you can develop a strict regime where you can choose either or, it is ultimately dependent on your situational context and current mindset. I take frequent breaks to experiment with absolutely no goal, and no outcome. Where I can let loose, and be inventive. I take objects and play. Look at the everyday and reshape it, look at the familiar and reimagine it, look at the mundane and reinvent it. The most important part of these exercises is to reserve any judgement, and just choose to see something as just its form not its purpose. I do not collect and do not think of anything as sacred. It is all stuff, just objects, just thoughts, just words that are meaningful but will be meaningless. This mindset has had the most powerful impact in ensuring nothing becomes stagnant. I now embrace this fertile zone of "temporary", and designing for the temporary, which incessantly evolves my practice.

9. What’s your favorite quote?

"I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste." - Marcel Duchamp We tend to render ourselves down to a medley of things in accordance to our likes and dislikes. Which ultimately saturates and predicts the outcomes of our designs. Where it becomes almost impossible to resist, escape, or criticise. This control destroys creative freedom. For the expanse of my own personal design practice, I like to every now and again adopt the role of the observer to expose myself and my design 'safe guards' to question, reflect and then reinterpret.

10. If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

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