written by: Glenn van der Geugten
FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
Serbia, 1988 – Nenad Djordjevic was incredibly lucky to get his hands on a computer during his early teenage years. His very first case was one so basic that it couldn’t stand out in a line of three. He was fortunate to be able to get the parts needed to build a more advanced computer, and slowly his hobby grew into an obsession. Through many hours of hard work and sweat, the secrets of the PC were slowly revealed to him.
Every hardware upgrade inspired another mod. Better parts meant greater needs and grander desires. Each time he improved his system he wanted to improve his case as well, independently creating a variety of modifications and smart solutions for day to day nuisances.
A CHILD AT HEART
Nenad’s love for taking and part and reassembling computers goes all the way back to his childhood. As a creative, tech-savvy kid, he always loved taking things apart, and even more so successfully putting them back together. His passions for tinkering and building coupled with his unbridled creativity came to a head when he first learned about serious case modding.
Somewhere in the early 00’s, he stumbled upon the world of artistic PC modding. This experience completely changed his outlook on computers and what they should look like.
“I found out that computers don’t need to be an ugly box hidden away beneath a table. They should be a wonderful trophy that you proudly want to display on a pedestal instead!” he recalls.
FOR LOVE OF BUILDING
More than a decade later, Nessa has not stopped modding or improving. His talents has continued to grow and evolve, reaching new heights with his submission for the Case Mod World Series 2016. As soon as he heard there was a competition that would directly channel the talents of his very specific art form, he got his hands on a Cooler Master MasterCase 5 and started the long process to being recognized as a world class modder.
The goal of his entry was to utilize space past the levels of normal PC builders. He wanted to rearrange the interior of the case in order to use every nook and cranny to squeeze in as much hardware as possible and build a maximum power PC that sacrifices nothing in physical appearance. The design process was a difficult one, starting from scratch and building to something beautiful.
“This stage is usually really fuzzy and blurry” he reveals. “More and more information and ideas about the mod will grow as you spend more and more time measuring and working with the case. The case needed to look really advanced, as if it came right out of the factory.”
Nessa’s mod is about form in the pursuit of function. The idea was to make something that would impress viewers while still having practical applications as a high-end PC. He wanted it to have a look that would be symmetrical but not limited, powerful but not ugly, and aggressive but not unrealistic as a household PC. This led to his decision to rely heavily on factory building materials such as aluminum and acrylic. Not only do these materials have the aesthetic feel he was going for, but they are also convenient to work with and readily available in places like Serbia, where modding necessities can be hard to acquire.
His biggest obstacle as a modder may very well be that he lives in Serbia. Getting access to suitable tools and necessary components can be a challenge all on its own. And even if you do know how to find them, it’s still extremely difficult working with such a small average budget. Monthly incomes are often smaller than 300 Euro, making this mod, with a total budget of only 600 Euro (excluding hardware) all the more impressive. But money isn’t why he built this case and he wouldn’t allow it to be a factor to stop him either.
“For me, every moment is like this, I love working on builds, it fulfills me and genuinely makes me happy. It really was an amazing feeling waking up one morning and finding out that my work got noticed and made such a great impression in a great competition.”
In reference to the day he learned that his build won 3rd place in the Case Mod World Series ‘Tower Mod’ category.
“It’s not like I expected a certain type of reaction from anyone, and I have to admit that I was really surprised by the final look. I’m glad when people see my work and wish to have something like that in their own homes. Feedback like that shows me that my project isn’t just a project, but it also has a purpose by serving as a source of inspiration.”
BUILDING A BETTER A MACHINE
It’s easy to see the importance of ‘inspiration’ to Nessa. Being a professional photographer for a living, one can never have enough inspiration in order to express yourself aesthetically. He has successfully managed to transfer this work ethic into his desire to express himself into his modding as well. He even goes as far as to claim “Through PC modding, we’ve not only managed to get PCs to the next level in purely aesthetic ways, but also in terms of functionality”.
Aesthetic expression is an important part of Nessa’s life in and outside of the workshop. Working as a photographer when not modding, it should come as no surprise that inspiration is a key factor in everything he does. His eye for unique appearances and attention to detail have gained him success in both his work, and hobby as a PC modder. But he always makes sure to use his talents to create things that are both beautiful and practical. He makes the claim that “through PC modding, we’ve not only managed to get PCs to the next level in purely aesthetic ways, but also in terms of functionality”.