Willem de Kooning Academy’s début at the ‘Biennale Internationale Design 2008’ in St. Étienne/France, represented by three current and freshly graduated students of the Master Media Design program at the Piet Zwart Institute, could hardly have been more successful. Surveying the exhibition of international design schools, the Jury of the Biennial found Linda Hilfling's work ‘Google Misspelling Generator’ to be outstanding. The Jury and awarded her as ‘Best Young Designer’ 2008.
Linda's ‘Google Misspelling Generator’ is a plug-in for the Firefox web browser that allows to circumvent the censorship of, among others, Google China.
Users who search a particular term also receive a clickable list of its most common misspellings in the Web. In most cases, political censorship filters do not catch those misspellings. In a Chinese Google image search result on ‘Tiananmen’, for example, one cannot see the tanks and military one would see on a Dutch or English Google page. But if the name of the square is misspelled, many of the censored images reappear.
Linda created this work as part of her Master studies in Media Design at the Piet Zwart Institute. It was supported with a project grant by Impakt Online. The work is included in the current exhibition ‘Speaking Out Loud’ (Nov 15, 2008 – January 24, 2009) at the Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst (Montevideo), Amsterdam.
Willem de Kooning Academy and her Piet Zwart Institute, both proud, warmly congratulate Linda Hilfling on this nice title. We hope to see more of you in the future!