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Thank you, Martine and Symen!

Thank you!

A lot of work goes into a book: writing, editing, design, printing, etc. At the end of the project, the authors typically get all the attention, but I think it’s equally important to highlight the work of the designers that sculpt the abstract text of the book into a more meaningful experience for our readers.

I want to take this opportunity to thank and praise the work of Martine Eyzenga and Symen Veenstra, who put in countless hours to make Knowmad Society great.

martine Martine is a graphic artist and information designer. Her creative work is featured in the core designs of the PICNIC Festival, Project Dreamschool, and Operation Education social innovation platforms. In this project, she worked on the layout and visual design of the book. Her approach reflected the book’s philosophy that it is a work that is still in process, and that the book should not be regarded as a sacred tome. Each chapter was given an individual design, reflecting that each contributing author is providing their own perspectives. And, Martine included lovingly, hand-drawn invitations to write within the book, tear out pages, and transform the volume into something that is more meaningful for the reader.

symen Symen, who goes by “Enkeling,” is an Amsterdam-based visual artist. His work is focused on illustration, typography, and portraiture. His hand-drawn work on the book’s cover echoes the various paths we take in our knowmadic lives, which converge into Knowmad Society. Given complete creative autonomy, I am blown away by how he interpreted and expressed his vision of Knowmad Society as word art.

It is very rare that an education book receives this much love and attention from its designers, and I am grateful to have worked with Martine and Symen on this project. Thank you both for making the book beautiful!

Matching learning to the real world: Forget the box!

I met up with Ali Hossaini in Amsterdam and Noordwijk earlier this month. In this short interview we made, Ali states that “to think out of the box, you have to start out of the box, and we’re not letting people leave it right now in the current educational institutions.” He advocates for approaches to learning that are collaborative and reflective of real world problem solving that allow people to become experts on the fly (and not just in business, but also in art, academia, etc.). The development of creative thinking, he argues, is one thing that Western educational institutions could develop as their competitive advantage.

Ali does a lot. Read his bio posted at ArtLab.