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Dream Interactive, a Budapest-based design company, has recently been voted one of the Top Ten agencies of Hungarian webdesign. As a netgeneration company, they have developed a new approach for helping clients entering the new media and utilizing it to suit their needs. In spring 2000, brought out Inertia, Hungary’s first webdesign focused infosite with daily updated news. At the moment, they are working hard to bring out 800*600, a graphic design album featuring the world’s leading designers. We spoke to Peter Hamza, one of Dream Interactive’s key figures.

First of all, tell us who you are, please.

We are 3 people: Peter Goergenyi, Zoltan Lehoczki, and Peter Hamza. Peter Goergenyi is the founder and director of development at Webdawgprojects, which is an on-line development agency, and co-editor of Inertia. He is the project manager of 800*600. Zoltan Lehoczki is the lead designer at Dream Interactive, and he is our advisor.
Finally, I’m the chief editor of Inertia. I’m also the art director of Dream Interactive, which is a full service web agency, and beside this i go to the University of Debrecen where I study computer science. I’m responsible for editing the book.

Tell us a little about Dream Interactive and Webdawgprojects.

Dream Interactive is a full service agency founded in 1997 by a group of young internet enthusiasts with strong marketing knowledge. Up to now it has existed as a virtual team, a so called “netbased agency”, because we lived at different parts of the country. We didn’t even have an office, and we kept in touch with each other over the net. It was quite comfortable, because we were still attending school and we could work whenever we had time or wanted to. We have realized a lot of successful projects with this setup. Currently there are 5 people in Dream Interactive, and most of them work in our new office in Budapest. It is still a small group, and our focus is still on quality, not mass production.

Webdawgprojects was founded in 2001, with a totally new aspect of handling on-line development business. It offers a very development orientated type of web consulting – they don’t build on-line marketing strategies or tell you what’s hype and what’s not. What they provide is that if you possess the right ideas and concepts, they are going to let you know what possibilites can be utilized from the present armament of web tech to convert theories into practice.

Design by Oliver Niemann

How did you get the idea of founding Inertia, the home of Hungarian webdesign?

It’s simple. I’m very interested in all kinds of design, especially web design, so i’ve always read K10K, Holodeck73, Shift and other design portals. There weren’t any Hungarian sites about web design at that time, so I thought I would make one. I started working on it at the end of 1999, and launched it in spring 2000. It seems that many people waited for a site like this because there was a strong community around it in no time. It is way different from any vertical portals, we just do it for fun, even though we’re totally serious about it. The site is constantly evolving as we get new ideas from the members of the community. Our latest addition to the site is the 1hr Contest section, where time after time people have to design something from a randomly selected photograph in 60 minutes. We would like to make these contests international in the future. Inertia is also totally independent and unpredictable. You never know what’s going to happen next.

Tell us a little more about the recent hungarian design scene, please.

The Hungarian scene is small and I think we are a bit behind the “western” competition, but this will change as we’re slowly catching up. Hungarian people are well known in all countries for their expertise, but the web industry is quite young here. There are no new media schools, and you literally can’t get into any fine arts schools, so you have to learn everything by yourself. Another disturbing problem is the low amount of internet connections in the country. This is because we have extremely high internet fees compared to the salaries. But fortunately it seems that the situation is improving, and we have some really talented artists in store! You’ll see them in the book. You can also find some Hungarian artist pages at our linksite, Narita.

In my opinion one of the best things in Inertia is that finally there’s a meeting point for the design scene, and the people who work in the web industry. Before the site, these people were scattered around the net, and you simply couldn’t find anybody. Now they finally have a place where they can discuss their problems and help each other. I’ve met a lot of interesting people, and i have a lot of new friends, thanks to the site. Inertia, despite the fact that it’s brutally pink and sometimes not very serious, also has educational value. We can learn a lot from the linked sites. If we want to improve our knowledge, we have to study the competition.

And now you’ve decided to bring out the design album 800*600. How did that start?

800*600 was started as a small personal project. We just wanted to do a small graphic design album with works of Hungarian designers and with some guest “stars” of the international design world, but after some great feedbacks on the idea we thought maybe we should think bigger and compile an international book. So we announced a call for entries for the book on some major design portals like Surfstation, K10K, etc…

Give us some more details, please.

800*600 is a unique, international compilation of full page artworks by some of the most talented graphic designers, illustrators and photographers of our time. We have invited these artists to compete and show the audience the wide range of trends and styles in visual culture in 2001. What’s common in these people is that they all publish their work on the web, which is a very dynamic, rapidly evolving place. Things disappear after a while and get replaced with new stuff all the time. If you want to look for graphic design from for example 3 years ago, you probably won’t find anything. So the basic idea behind this project is to somehow “archive” the current state of graphic design and visual culture in a book that you can hold in your hands for decades. It’s a bit similar to IMGSRC100 which was published by you, but – at the same time – it’s a totally different concept.

Design by Lorant Demeter

There must have been a lot of different creators applying, handing in a lot of different works?

We couldn’t believe our eyes: in about a months’ time we have received more than 400 pages of wonderful artworks from all over the world, and to our surprise most of them are from people and agencies that we have always highly respected… We have selected about 180 pages to be featured in the album, and right now we’re working on the layout. We would like to have the albums printed at the beginning of December so the people can get them before Xmas. There’s a preorder form on our page. There will only be a limited number of copies of the album, so if you don’t want to miss it, fill out the form as soon as possible.

Sounds like the thing to do! Last but not least, do you already have plans for future projects?

We are always full of ideas, but we hardly ever have the time to realize them. First of all, a dream would come true if we could finally put together the international version of Inertia, and we have several offline projects in store, but that’s a secret. Also, we have plans to make a series from 800*600 with a compilation every year or so, but of course this depends on the success of the first edition. I hope you will like the book!

Dream Interactive
Address: H-1021 Budapest Hovosvolgyi u-18, Hungary
Tel: +36-1398-0468
Fax: +36-1398-0467

Text: Timo Linsenmaier

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Ricky Powell