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My future is now

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I’ve taken shape from 20 years of exploring ideas and creating authentic design experiences and solutions across industries. A wealth of experience gives me the edge that’s well appreciated by a growing international community of clients and industry specialists, whose invaluable and continuous involvement keeps me moving forward.

Technology is my love language and beauty my inspiration. With curiosity and passion leading me forward, I chase the horizon to surpass expectations at every occasion.

Shifting my focus seamlessly from one industry to the next, I am as agile as I am authentic, and never cease to be inspired. My experience in design and technology spans from collaborations with cultural institutions, artists, luxury brands and international fashion houses, to high-end commissions for the automotive, telecommunications, food and beverage industries and beyond.

From multidisciplinary experiences within opera productions, to 360-degree soft-edge projection mapping and responsive data works, my in-house team of multi-talents covers every aspect of the vision’s demands. From the initial concept to the technical execution and supervision, every project is nurtured to completion, realising visions from their conceptual seeds through to their definitive details. My past projects my future and my future is now.

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Team Interview

Behind the scenes at FFV, a team of talented professionals has been carefully curated over the past 20 years to create the dynamic design organism that FFV is today. Grown from side-line projects in the Berlin music scene of the 1990s, FFV was founded in 1999 by Leigh Sachwitz. Today Leigh still runs the creative side of flora&faunavisions, and together with her managing partner Daniel Karthausen, the studio continues to grow organically and has become a multitalented organism of limitless creative potential.

Drawn in from around the corner and across the globe, the FFV team is naturally and perpetually one step ahead of the trend, relying on the latest technology to realise diverse, international experiences and projects. Each studio member offers unique insights and inspiration, constantly refreshing the FFV organism as it evolves parallel to the Berlin art, tech and music scenes.

Leigh, take us back to the early days of flora&faunavisions.

Leigh: I came to Berlin on the 1st of November 1993 on a one-way ticket, with one suitcase and a thousand pounds. I was looking for adventure and very quickly got involved in the underground techno and house music scene in East Berlin. There was a huge amount of space available so pretty soon, I was setting up temporary events in warehouse and factory spaces with a group of people I found really quickly. I started working with light, projections and super8 films because it was interesting to me and it was clear that there was potential for these kinds of artistic events. Soon people were asking me to design these kinds of events for them.

At this time, you weren’t a company yet, right? So how did it happen that flora&faunavisions was created?

Leigh: The real transition to becoming an actual company came from an invitation for myself and a friend to create a three-day festival at the Volksbühne, which is a big theatre in the former East part of Berlin. I curated and designed the event, "Jugendmusikfestspiele" which involved numerous music/visual artists, and, out of this event, flora&faunavisions was born. I founded the company in August 1999.

12 years later, in 2011, you brought Daniel Karthausen onto your team…

Leigh: I had known Daniel before and my husband Andreas had said that we should really work together, but we were both so busy that we never managed to meet. Once we did meet, we had a fifteen-minute interview whilst eating ice cream and three days later he joined the company! Hey Daniel, what do you have to say?

Daniel: Yes, exactly. I’ve been working for flora&faunavisions for 8 years and for the past two years, Leigh and I have been leading the studio together and we really complement each other well thanks to our differing character traits. I am the more realistic one who ensures the studio productions run smoothly and come in on budget and on time.

Leigh: When we started working together, it just got better and better and better. It was a totally logical decision for Daniel to join the management of flora&faunavisions, because of his talents - he has a very different set of talents to mine, and he’s also totally different in character to me, and that’s really beneficial to the whole organism and the way we function.

Leigh, you’re an architect by training - we’ll get back to that later. Daniel, tell me, what’s your background?

Daniel: Well, not architecture. I studied communication sciences and worked parallel in the communication department in brand management for a very large firm, managing their brand presence.

I can see how that could complement Leigh’s creative abundance. It must be great to work with such a diverse team on projects. Tell me, what do you appreciate most about working at flora&faunavisions?

Daniel: Well, what I appreciate about flora&faunavisions is that there are projects where I can bring a lot of my personality into the project, and I also appreciate the extreme breadth of projects that we realise.

Who else on the team has been here as long as you have?

Daniel: Kirsten has been working with Leigh for even longer.

Kirsten, am I right that you’ve been a part of the flora&faunavisions organism for the second-longest after Leigh? You must have so many great memories. What are your thoughts on flora&faunavisions?

Kirsten: Actually Sebastian joined the company in 2008, I joined flora&faunavisions jut after him, over 11 years ago. What makes flora&faunavisions exceptional is that there is absolute passion in every project that’s visible from the outside, and once you’re on the inside you realise that it really is true and this passion manifests as this crazy love that goes into every last detail. I don’t think there’s another place where such a high level of creativity is combined with innovation, new technologies and all kinds of new things, and it’s all because of the people who make up flora&faunavisions.

I can imagine that you must have seen many projects come to life. Can you think of the most suspenseful moment that you have experienced through your work with flora&faunavisions?

Kirsten: Last year in autumn we opened the Mercedes Benz Platz in Berlin. It was a very large scale installation with many different media. This included a massive 360° video projection on the buildings around the square that was synchronised with video content on permanently installed columns in the square. The stadium lights, water fountain, light show and fireworks, were all synchronised to create one immersive emotional experience for the public. The square is huge, it’s about 250m long, and the installation was really incredible. The challenge was that we couldn’t test the show in advance, because it’s a public square being built during the production process, and at one specific moment there were all these different technologies that had to work together. There was a lot of suspense before it started and it was extremely exciting to see it all take place.

I have a rather philosophical question for you: where do ideas come from and what are they made of?

Kirsten: That is a really exciting question and since I often work on developing concepts, I can honestly say that I haven’t figured out yet where my ideas come from. You busy yourself with the theme - the project, the brief, the client, and then you have to somehow let it develop from one idea to the next and then the possibility arises, that an idea will suddenly show itself. Sometimes it happens quickly and the right idea shows up right away, but other times it may take half a day and still, you’re unsure. Sometimes it helps to stop and to do something else and then there’s an unexpected spark.

Do you know what ideas are made of?

Kirsten: Ideas are definitely very individualistic and related to the specific person who had the idea. I really like that. It never happens that two people come up with the same idea, but what they’re made of I don’t know, perhaps out of light - light and love.

That’s beautiful. I also know from my experience that the trickiest part of this process is transforming the idea into something visible and tactile and for that, a whole new set of tools is required. I’ll head over to the designers. Hey Sebastian hi Toni, hi Lukas, hi Marco. You’re all motion graphics designers at flora&faunavisions, which in my mind means that your work is to create really exciting video and sound content for others to enjoy. What an exciting reality! Would you tell me what flora&faunavisions is to you?

Sebastian: I’ve been working with flora&faunavisions for 13 years and I have really enjoyed how every project takes on a different angle, that every project is a challenge that demands a specific team and a specific approach. I enjoy the challenge and also the necessity for new perspectives that come with every project.

Toni: For me, flora&faunavisions is a special second family, a unique collective, a bubble, or a huddle of people I appreciate and that I like and I look up to. flora&faunavisions gives me space and time to express my ideas and give them shape, to concentrate and focus on finding solutions and to be a part of a team.

Lukas: It’s about diversity, because what flora&faunavisions does is multilayered. At the same time, as Toni said, flora&faunavisions is a family and I’ve felt that way since I started here.

Your work is very much an expression of the latest available technology. Tell me more.

Sebastian: Technology has changed dramatically. I’m constantly trying to stay on top of technology. That’s also encouraged amongst us at flora&faunavisions. When I started, we made videos that we wouldn’t show anywhere or to anyone now. In our work, there are constantly demands for new things to be created. Very often we push technology to the extremes and that’s exciting, but also frustrating.

Lukas: I would like to introduce more procedural tools like Houdini so that we can create more complex, interactive 3D experiences. I would also like to play around with real-time interactive gaming engines, like Unreal Engine, or Unity. That would be interesting to do.

It must be incredible to see your work live after having spent weeks at a computer screen developing it. Can you share some of your experiences with us?

Toni: Oh yes! One of the first projects that really impressed me was for Audemars Piquet in Kraftwerk. I learnt a lot at that time because I was still a junior. It was truly impressive to see the video-mapping live! Last year I worked on the design of the GQ award again for the 4th time. As part of the project scope, I created the key visuals and it was a crazy experience to enter the Berlin Opera and to see the pattern I had designed all over. That was great.

How about travelling for work? Your projects are often realised in cities other than Berlin.

Lukas: Travelling for work and being on location means that I can make changes on-site, it’s super nice. I have to plan it well though since I have 2 dogs at home.

Has it every happened that a project didn’t work out?

Sebastian: It has never happened that at the moment when something had to be done, it hasn’t. It’s part of the job to check that everything works as it should and it’s always thrilling to see the finished work.

And Milena, you have joined the Design team more recently, how has your experience been designing for projects at flora&faunavisions?

Milena: I'm really stoked to be part of this super creative team. It’s a place of sharing ideas, knowledge and creativity. The team is open minded and it’s an honour to be part of a crew that is pushing the limits within creativity and technology further with every new project. Designing for projects at flora&faunavisions is a feast - it’s a place to create visuals on a high aesthetical level. I’m super grateful to have arrived here at the flora&faunavisions family.

Thanks, Milena! Ben, you’re now doing an internship with the designers. Could you tell me what your favourite thing about flora&faunavisions is?

Ben: What I like most about flora&faunavisions is that everyone loves to be here and to work on awesome projects in a team with a positive attitude. I like seeing how everyone is motivated and ambitious. It’s a place to find inspiration and to be both demanded and promoted. Everyone here is a unique part of an organism.

Q: I’ll head over to the creative producers to find out more about the process of how projects meet their locations and their audiences. I was speaking to Daniel and Kirsten earlier about how ideas are formed and brought into being and it seems that your work is to accompany ideas through their materialisation process, so to speak, and also to pull the strings behind the scenes to arrange the location, set up, meet everyone involved and liaise with the client. That’s a lot!

Patrick: True! But here is where the fun part starts - bringing our ideas to life. First of all, I think you need to have that certain amount of passion for - let's call it classy project management - and here it's all about teamwork. Keeping the strings together internally and being very close to the clients’ needs and wishes is quite often a rollercoaster ride - but I truly like it. You never know what can happen within a day. And as creative producers, it's even more diverse for us as we are always part of creative and conceptual processes.

I can see how it’s important to work closely. It’s also a lot more economical in terms of creative energy and liaising. In the end, creative projects are made up of thousands of tiny tasks performed in more or less in synchronicity by many people and these all need to be orchestrated in a harmonious way, which is essentially what you as creative producers do.

Ekaterina: Absolutely, every project is a mixture of different elements that come together, and in the end, you create something together - this togetherness is important in every work and is what allows you to recognize the best solutions. As a creative producer, it’s important not only to lead a project but also to work collaboratively, in order to work effectively and to satisfy all involved - whether it’s the client or our own team. One of the core tasks for a creative producer is to put together a good team feeling and to coordinate everything well in order to take everyone to the finish line.

Can you share with us how it feels when a project really works out?

Ekaterina: It feels really amazing when all the small details come together in a project and you sense that all your hard work has paid off. When you see the final show or exhibition, it’s a very strong feeling of satisfaction - that’s how I would describe it. It’s actually a simple question for me to answer!

That’s a lot of passion, Ekaterina. Daria, you’re very new at flora&faunavisions, having recently joined the creative production team. Could you tell me what you’ve enjoyed most so far at flora&faunavisions?

Daria: I’ve loved working on the concept and developing ideas for a new project which brings together a lot of my interests and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Every project at ffv is exciting in its own way - there’s always an interdisciplinary approach brought together by a close-knit team of creatives, and I’m really happy to be a part of it!

Patrick, essentially, what would you say flora&faunavisions is to you?

Patrick: To me, ffv means a melting pot of inspiration. People from many different backgrounds and disciplines working together to create, and the output is amazing and even sometimes overwhelming to see. They are always looking and digging into future technologies and are constantly open minded for the challenge of brand building experiences for today and tomorrow. And at the same working with renowned directors for operas and theater production and creating big time stage visuals is a fascinating balancing act in my eyes.

Thank you. That was really inspiring! Leigh, sounds like you have created a fantastic team.

Leigh: The team at flora&faunavisions is an ongoing project and one that we collectively undertake with as much love, care and dedication as every one of our other projects. Together, we bring out the best in each of us to produce memorable experiences to the best of our combined abilities. I would say the flora&faunavisions team is our most successful project to date.

Selected Publications

PAGE Magazine 09.19

Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise at The Shed, New York

EVENTDESIGN Jahrbuch 2019/2020 | avedition

Mercedes Benz Platz Opening Ceremony
INSIDEOUT @ Dubai Art Week
Creating New Dimensions – MIELE @ Fuorisalone 2018
Ethihad Airways 15 Year Anniversary @ Louvre, Abu Dhabi

EVENTDESIGN Jahrbuch 2018/2019 | avedition

Olympus Perspective Playground 2018
Maybelline | Hot Trends Exhibition

CANVAS MAGAZINE 2018

INSIDEOUT @ Dubai Art Week

Telekom Electronic Beats | Yearbook 2016

Electronic Beats Exhibition

Mondo*arc – August/September 2015 | Mondiale Publishing Ltd

INSIDEOUT | Art Installation by Leigh Sachwitz

Frame #106 – Sep/Oct 2015 | Frame Publishers

INSIDEOUT | Art Installation by Leigh Sachwitz

LIQUID SPACES – Scenography, Installations and Spatial Experiences | gestalten

Photography Playground 2014
Photography Playground 2013

EVENTDESIGN Jahrbuch 2015/2016 | avedition

Photography Playground 2014

EVENTDESIGN Jahrbuch 2013/2014 | avedition

Cable Congress Party
Opening of the AMAG RETAIL Autohaus Zürich

EVENTDESIGN JAHRBUCH 2011/2012 | avedition

ePostbrief Launch
Hilfiger Denim LOUD

EVENTDESIGN JAHRBUCH 2010/2011 | avedition

PORSCHE NIGHT

STAGING SPACE – Scenic Interiors and Spatial Experience | gestalten

IFA 2009 Opening Gala

HAPPENING – Design for Events | FRAME Birkhäuser

Project FOX, Volkswagen

Selected Clients