Top 5 Highlights from OFFF by Night Antwerp

OFFF by Night is a branch event of the OFFF Festival Barcelona, which was held in Antwerp on September 22–24. The conference featured speakers from all over Europe, the USA, and Australia.

The venue was a former railway shed converted into a huge modern event site. The inner space was divided into two main zones. The first one was the market area. It had huge containers with flashing LED screens installed everywhere. Local farmers market Marta provided several pop-up street food shops. Also, there was a cozy Q&A section, an exhibition corner, and a big Adobe stand. In the surrounding space organisers located a dozen of old-school pinball machines, tennis tables and a Jenga XL game. Separated by a tall curtain, there was the second section–the main stage. It had a huge screen and more than a thousand chairs to accommodate designers.

We have reached the place taking an awesome journey through Berlin and Amsterdam, also visiting Ghent and Brussels. We’ve been to an amazing exhibition at Stedelijk called Dream Out Loud–Designing for Tomorrow’s Demands and Experimental Jetset’s WordThings in TimeSpace at Riot in Ghent. These two featured wonderful pieces of design by world’s best designers and studios, which are a huge inspiration to us.

Chapps Team in front of Bundestag, Berlin

Our team at Chapps attended every lecture during three days of the OFFF by Night festival. We highlighted five speakers, who were the most interesting to us. We are pleased to share some of their key points.


Marc Kremers

Marc Kremers (http://marckremers.com/) is a digital creative director from London. Marc told us about his professional shift from making content to creating content systems. A good example of this is his recent project Vvatch (http://vvatch.tv). It is basically a sequence of YouTube videos organised into channels. The whole interface is just four keyboard arrows to navigate channels and skip videos. This is also a representation of Marc’s statement “Choice is overrated”.

Michael Spoljaric

Spoljaric / Hort collaboration

Michael Spoljaric is a creative director working with Nike. (It is a funny observation of ours that Nike was present almost in every keynote during the event.) Michael talked about his professional path and years with Nike.

Hort

Hort is a legendary Berlin-based studio organised as a ‘creative playground’. A keynote by its founder Eike König was our favourite.

He was best in engaging the audience and as the matter of fact had the coolest tattoos. Eike told about the history of Hort and the way this studio of 12 people is run and organised.

Who the fuck cares about graphic design? Relationship matters!

Building relationships is the top goal for Eike with both clients and inside the studio. He cares not about creating the most beautiful poster but for being a strong team and having fun.

Close to the end of the keynote there was a loud music playing and Eike performing slight dance movements. He also showed a vast amount of work in a fast-changing series of slides with this commentary: ‘Oh, I forgot, maybe I should show you work that has never been approved, or my big fails, or other?! Who cares?’

Zeitguised

Zeitguised is a collective of artists from Berlin, who create synthetic realities. They have powerful and fresh-looking imagery defining today’s visual culture.

Lernert & Sander

Lernert & Sander is a creative duo of artists and filmmakers from Amsterdam. Guys gave a pretty amusing talk on forgiveness. The keynote consisted of duo’s work each accompanied by corresponding plagiarism. Between the projects quotes on forgiveness were displayed.

The whole performance was finished by taking a selfie with an audience of more than a thousand people, which was then sent as a part of ‘forgiveness’ letter to all the plagiarists.


Our overall impressions are very positive. The key message most of the speakers were delivering was ‘have fun’. Also, some trends were about getting away from your computer and doing things with hands. We were also shown a couple of examples to define contemporary digital aesthetics by artists such as Zeitguised, Marc Kremers, Man vs. Machine, More & More and The Mill.

Chapps team has been charged with inspiration for months to come. The only thing we would like to be there is a more inviting atmosphere for meeting new people. Here in Odessa & Kiev Chapps organises a series of design events (http://chapps.team/events/), where informal speaking is in the core. But despite that OFFF by Night was a well-organised event we are very pleased with.


Written by Alex Goluk. Images: artists’ websites and www.offfbynight.be

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