Graphics, music, Dadaism and IT

Is there a place in IT for an artistic spirit? Of course there is! And if that seems doubtful to anyone reading this, we’re about to prove that it’s true… so read on!
Today, Insights has the pleasure of introducing Adam Kołkowski, a UX designer at MakoLab and a passionate creator of electronic music and DJ in his personal life. In 2016, Dadaism led him to become a born-again connoisseur of its realm of the arts!
So how did IT make its way into his world? All is revealed in our conversation with him!

You joined us relatively recently. How are you getting on at MakoLab?

Right… it was in September this year. And to be completely honest, I seriously recommend working at MakoLab to everyone! My friends are surprised because I’m the one who launches into talking about my new job and I sing its praises as loud as I can! The team’s great and we really do get on. Another thing that’s excellent is that MakoLab still isn’t a massive corporation where the individual gets lost in the crowd, but, at the same time, it’s not a tiny start-up where you sometimes need three pairs of hands just to keep all the balls in the air.

Could you tell us something about the road that took you into UX design? How did it start?

I don’t have a university background in the field. For a variety of reasons, life meant that I went straight from school to work. At the time, graphics was something I did as a hobby. Eventually, I wound up at an advertising agency and during the years that I worked there, I touched on every branch of graphics, one by one; digital, print, animation, you name it… The moment came when I realised that I now knew a lot in that sphere and I wanted to try my hand at something new. It was six or so years ago that I started getting interested in what this thing they call UX actually is. I watched conferences on YouTube, went to a few in person and slowly began to smuggle the knowledge I was acquiring into my work. Then I got a job with TomTom and gained my first automotive-related experience, which is standing me in very good stead now, when I’m working with a MakoLab client from that sector.

In your introductory note for our newsletter, you wrote about your interest in music and, particularly, in making music and collecting it.

Yes. I collect vinyls and CDs, but I recently commanded myself to take a break, because it’s highly addictive! I came to the conclusion that it’s a hobby that consumes a lot of money, while the albums actually just lie there doing nothing. Still, I try to buy records of music that can, in fact, be ‘used’… for instance, if someone comes round to my place, I put something on and we listen to it, no strings attached. I do try to avoid music that you can only listen to through headphones, for example. There are around four hundred albums in my collection.
There’s a question I often hear; why buy albums when everything’s available from streaming sites? Nowadays, buying a record is more a way of doing something for the artist. You have a sense of supporting them. The artists see that and they appreciate it… and that makes it worthwhile.

So, what kind of music do you make?

Electronic. Me and the boys have our line-up… Ruchy 1. We’ve known each other for years, we have parties and organise events together, they’re the community I’ve surrounded myself with since the dawn of time! Now we’ve formalised things. We hold events in Łódź and sometimes we manage to arrange them elsewhere. Right now, that’s my only hobby and I’m seriously involved in it. We have our own record company, Ruchy 47, and we release ourselves! It’s easier that way. My own approach to it is fairly impulsive. I create something, post it and forget that I’ve planned a premiere. Because when you post something on a streaming site and you do it for free, you have to plan that release earlier and set a date in the future for the premiere. My stage name is Dj Dying. It was inspired by another artist’s stage name… DJ Boring. My main inspiration is British music.

In your introductory note, you also mentioned that you’re currently delving into Dadaism and Surrealism. Do you paint? Or is it more about exploring art galleries? Or something else entirely?

I used to create collages and installations and I sometimes still manage to get myself up and doing. In 2016, I read Hans Richter’s, Dadaism, translated into Polish by Krystyna Janicka. Hans Richter was active in the movement, so his book has an element of fictionalisation and is partly about his life. What I’ve been saying ever since is that I was born again in 2016!
My present experience is about studying pictures in Google Graphics. I have books… albums… featuring a range of artists. Gorgio de Chirico is my personal number one. Mind you, it’s definitely easier to boot up Google and then I sit and I look. That’s Dadaism in itself!

What Adam has to say is proof positive that there’s room for everyone in the IT world. Don’t let yourself be deluded by a conviction that you’ll find nothing for you here if you don’t have the ‘right’ educational background or knowledge. Above all, do what excites you and be open to what’s new and unfamiliar… and maybe your path will find you, just like UX design found Adam!

translation by Caryl Swift
1 Ruchy translates as Moves / Movements - ed.

9th December 2022
5 min. read

Kamila Braszak

Employer Branding Specialist


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