Manon Duethe: ROOF studio in Amsterdam.
Internship abroad [summer 2021] DSAA Design, Graphic design (school year 2019-2021)
February 2019, I started the adventure and I contacted Roof studio, a family business based in the Netherlands, who creates DIY 3D wall decorations. They validate my application. I will therefore be going to Amsterdam from June to August 2019 for a professional internship lasting 2 months. May 2019, postponement of this internship due to the global health situation. After 1 year of waiting, confinement, social pressure, academic pressure, constant work, a year without leisure, I expected a lot from this internship. The Netherlands has always been synonymous with freedom for me. Freedom to act, freedom to do, to think. And if even before the start of COVID the decision to emigrate was made, it now took on even more meaning for me.
Adventurer at heart, a little daring and perhaps a bit idealistic, I left on September 5, 2021 for a 20-hour bus trip without even having accommodation on site. Because yes, the life I have chosen here is an expensive life, in a city in the middle of a housing crisis. After two months of remote research, I had a total of 387 emails sent without a positive response. It was only after 1 month there that I found a shared accommodation, which at the moment I wish to leave due to far too many evenings which create too much fatigue for me.
My first weeks, to be honest, were marked by a traumatic state due to the language but also to this freedom. I arrived in a country where COVID is not the driving force in our lives and where nothing is impossible. In fact, COVID has no visible impact. A revealing example: the mask. I haven't worn a mask in 2 months. Because here no one wears a mask outside of public transport, and I take my bike, whether it is windy, rainy or possibly snowy. I have already cycled nearly 970 km. Freedom I tell you.
I thus participate in the creation of new models, going through all the design stages, namely research, prototyping, the implementation of new designs, packaging, photo retouching, product presentation, etc. .Every week, a large meeting is organized to present our progress to our bosses (and artistic directors) Romy Boesveldt and Ilya Yashkin as well as to Jantien Baas, independent artist and artistic advisor for the agency. So I have the chance to be able to show and express myself on my new projects.
Studio Roof is an agency that is very open to the international market. In the house, there is therefore a multiplicity of nationalities (French, Dutch, Italian, Russian, Polish...) and we mainly speak English. Every week, we also have a yoga teacher who teaches us for 1 hour. Completely new to this discipline, this course is full of surprises and new experiences for me! My life right now is the one I want to lead.
Amsterdam is a city on a human scale full of creative soul in a country with an open mind to the world. I am lucky to have joined Studio Roof which is a positive learning environment unlike any I have ever encountered. Thanks to the Erasmus+ program, I have the opportunity to stay 4 months in the Netherlands within this agency which allows me to train and give the best of me. Here I have the opportunity to fully express myself creatively, but also to finally learn to speak correctly in this language that terrified me.
Between us and you will no doubt have understood, I love (despite my housing problems) my life here and I plan to stay here or at least live an expatriate life. To be continued...
This internship was possible thanks to the financial support of Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.