Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hugging Trees

Q: Introduce us to yourself and your company
This is Lukasz Knasiecki, partner and flash developer at Huncwot (

We are independent interactive studio based in western Poland working with rich Flash applications and interactive video mostly for culture / art / fashion world. In a meantime we are organizing a lot of gigs – improvised music concerts and 16mm experimental film screenings.

Q: Interactive Producers come from all walks of life, they are a hybrid of talents, tell us about your background and how you got interested in digital production?
I became computer addicted in the early 80s and started programming first Sinclair ZX-Spectrums as a kid. My first game was published as a program listing in 1987 in Bajtek – the only computer magazine in Poland at this time. Following years I was creating and publishing by my own multimedia CD-ROMs for MS-Dos and MS-Windows – sold dozens of thousands of them in the 90s in Poland. After finishing MA at Culture Studies in 1999 I opened small, avant-garde club and kept running it for 6 years, organizing concerts, exhibitions and film screenings. In early 2007, with Arek Romanski – a great graphics designer and animator - we started Huncwot – independent studio devoted to interactive design.

Q: How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?
Well, there is no choice. In my short life I used so many computer platforms (Spectrum, Atari, Amiga, Dos, Windows…) and languages (8 and 16-bit Aseembler, Basic, Pascal, Delphi, C++, PHP, Actionscript…) - so learning new technologies is just part of the game. And to be honest – programming Actionscript is a piece of cake comparing to coding in Assembler.

Anyway, the best thing to keep us motivated is trying to design each project completely different from the previous - in terms of aesthetics, navigation and user experience.

Q: What does your ideal client/project look like?
We are not a big studio so we choose our clients very carefully taking only jobs we are really interested in, as we don’t need to feed dozens of accounts and other staff. The only thing we expect from the client is to trust us – as we know our job and will never release anything which we won’t believe in for 100%.

As we mostly work with art/fashion world – people there are really open-minded and we had never any bigger problems with forcing our (sometimes completely crazy) ideas.

Q: How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?

Showing our previous work and some of our favourite sites always helps to introduce current technical possibilities to the client. Finally we always try to give more than they expect.

Q: What was the best project you have ever worked on?
A Commonwealth of Diverse Cultures ( was a special project for many reasons. There were many great designers involved in the project – logotype and all the prints were made by two of the best polish typography masters (Kuba Sowinski and Jacek Mrowczyk), short films and animations were made by Platige Image – for sure best polish animation studio – and after all – a man running the projects from such a big and noble institution as The National Library Of Poland – MikoĊ‚aj Baliszewski – was very creative and helpful. It’s always a joy if you can create something with important and not easy content in this quite shallow world of Internet.

Q: How many projects are you comfortable producing at one given time?
We try not to make more than 2 projects at one time but you know, it’s not so easy to keep it that way.

Q: What does your dream production team look like?
Professional and open-minded specialists inspired rather by history of art / culture and beauty of nature than current design trends. Good table tennis players are also welcome as we lately spend hours playing it in our studio.

Q: What is your vision of what the next phase of our industry is going to look like?
You mean Flash Player in 2020? No idea.

Q: Please share a snippet of wisdom that you would like to impart on our readers.
Go to the forest and hug a tree!

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