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Follow up to Synetgies 4 - Sun display: Interview with Jonas Burki
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Follow up to Synetgies 4 - Sun display: Interview with Jonas Burki
The prototype presented at Synetgies 4 in 2007, has now lead to the foundation of a new company headed by Jonas Burki. I took the opportunity to ask some general questions to the founder and former Synetgies speaker. Enjoy reading some new facts about the history of a display that uses nothing but sunlight or light from other tertiary sources as its source of light.

Andreas Brenner: Can you briefly summarize the history of SUN_D again? How and when did you come up with the idea?
Jonas Burki: The idea of SUN_D was born at the beginning of my diploma year in late 2006 being a graduating student at Institute HyperWerk at the Academy of Art and Design of the University of Applied Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). Each student had to phrase his core question about what he/she will research for the degree. Thus my question was: how can we display information utilizing light and shade by means of mechanical manipulation.
After I had phrased three concrete Ideas and built a functioning prototype for each, I applied for the NEXT IDEA Art and Technology Grant of ARS Electronica and luckily I won the tendered 4 months scholarship at Ars Electronica Futurelab. Futurelab provided human and financial resources as well as their knowledge to implement my concept and develop a system which then was presented at the international Ars Electronica Festival in Linz in September 2007.

A.B.: When was the first time that you realized the economic potential of your ďarts projectĒ?
J.B.: During my time at the institute I have always dreamed to come up with a diploma idea which will have enough commercial potential in order to be continued after finishing studies. But it was at the Ars Electronica Festival when I first realized that there may be a real economic potential. Although Iím still doubting from time to time, the feedback from coaches and partners has been way better than I expected so far. So I keep meeting people and one thing follows the other.

A.B.: What are the most important headlines we are going to read about SUN_D in the near and mid-run future?
J.B.: I donít think my project will generate huge headlines, but I hope to give people an input and to change their way of thinking. The combination of existing things bears a lot of potential, that you donít have to re-invent the wheel to create something new. Just take two existing things and combine them to one.

A.B.: Looking back, did the participation in the Synetgies event create any value for you?
J.B.: I enjoy meeting creative people in general. I definitely met them in my first Synetgies visit. I was surprised about how open and uncomplicated the group was. After my presentation some came up with new ideas and their feedback was very useful. Itís always great to talk with competent people which are new to my project.

A.B.: Thank you very much for briefly answering the questions. Anything youíd like to add?
J.B.: I would like to thank Synetgies for the valuable contacts I was able to get through this network. But let me add one thing: An idea is an idea only if other people know about it. Until then you have no plan whether itís worth to invest your time. Donít be afraid that your idea might be stolen by mean people. Just spread your message and youíll find what you have been searching for.

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