Rizon Parein, 3D designer and initiator of OFFF by Night
InterviewBy Thomas Dahm •
To start, why are you organizing OFFF by Night?
I’ve been going to OFFF for 11 years now. It’s not only about keynotes and being inspired, it’s also the community, the gathering I love.. meeting friends, colleagues, people that inspire you, all passionate peeps… having drinks, good food and fun. I’ve met so many people at OFFF from all over the world that became real good friends. Career wise it definitely had an impact too… this complete package I was very eager to share with the Belgian scene and on top of that doing it a bit different, I always felt that there was potential to do more with what is happening next to the stage, that’s why we introduced the nightmarket, a space filled with large screens, arcade games, ping pong tables, Jenga XL, food stalls, shops, a Q&A stage, etcetera all to encourage the social aspect of this gathering. It is all about having an exciting & memorable time!
Why did you choose to become part of the OFFF family?
I quit school when I was 17, I was a graffiti writer back then and thought I could make a living out of it, that didn’t work out and after a few years of doing all kind of labour jobs, I decided to become a graphic designer simply because I didn’t want to work for a boss again. I wanted to work from home and do something with very little financial risk. It was a very practical decision, I had no ambition to be someone in that industry. It was just an easy way to make a living. OFFF showed me curiosity and passion, it had a lot of similarities with the graffiti jams that I used to go to. It is all about individuals and crews breaking rules, doing their own thing and claiming new styles. I was hooked and I wanted to be part of it.
Have you always been a organizer? Was the journey to becoming a organizer one that started early?
I’ve always been someone who takes the initiative, in an impulsive way. It always has to be bigger and better for me.
OFFF by Night is a fresh interpretation of a 3-day conference. What’s the idea behind the night sessions?
I had a tough time finding the right location, I wanted a space where I could create an interesting space next to the academic room, at the end I stumbled upon this space. Initially I found it way too big and on top of that it has a roof made out of glass, which was technically too difficult / expensive to blind. The quality of the screens / projectors is very important to me, doing this with daylight was no option. So we used this disadvantage as an advantage and decided to do the festival at night.
How do you curate the program?
I just contacted my favorite animators, typographers, illustrators, even some of my heroes. And suddenly it all went really quickly and we had 20 names :)
What is the biggest challenge for OFFF by Night?
Managing and motivating the team behind it. As this is almost a non profit set-up. We’re with a bunch of passionate people but also needed to remain focused on the outcome.
What do you want your audience to take home after three nights of OFFF by Night?
I am sure it will make the Belgian designers proud, not only because OFFF has landed in Antwerp but also because it’s going to be an edition like no other… our ambition is to make it a unique experience, something you really don’t want to miss also for the peeps abroad. It’s gonna be a one time edition, but I definitely have the ambition to do another one, but not in Belgium, I would love to travel with the concept, “by Night". That is the only golden rule for now…
It will affect not only designers from Antwerp, every single person with some love for design, will be inspired and hungry to create new stuff… this is the fuel we need to cope with a year of revision rounds ;)
What are you most proud of or excited about if you look at the OFFF by Night program?
I’m incredibly proud of the line-up, never thought we’d get so many great names together in one place. What I thought would be the hardest part turned out the easiest. But what I am definitely most excited about is the total experience. I really want this festival to get stuck in your memory as thé coolest design festival you’ve ever been to. And not just for the line-up but for the entire experience, the food stalls, the market, the bookstands etc etc..
What’s the festival signature drink?
I really like natural wines, so I think it’s the first festival where you can get that ...haha...
Lastly, what is the design scene like in Antwerp?
I don’t think there’s a big difference from other places, I don’t think in physical borders anymore. All of our work is in the cloud anyway :)
OFFF by Night
22–24 September 2016
Tickets: € 55 — € 110
Mark Chalmers, Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, Lo Siento Barcelona, Marc Kremers, Michael Spoljaric, Serial Cut™, Zeitguised, Craig & Karl, Bart van de Wiele, Rosie Lee, Merijn Hos, Rizon Parein, Alex Trochut, More and More, Man vs Machine, Hort, Ugo Gattoni, Lefto & Kurt de Leijer, Mucho, Golden Wolf, Tyrsa, The Mill, Gemma O'Brien, Lernert & Sander.
Creative Network, Knack, Mirror Mirror, Farmboy, Pawel Nolbert, Frederik Heyman, Dries Otten, Cook and Herb, Cedric Engels, Toykyo, NDVR, Samy Ayachi, Tom Muller, Brecht Vandenbroucke, Marta, Fosbury & Sons, Stephanie Specht, Woestijnvis, Tom Galle, Tom Hautekiet, Why Not Associates.
In 2001, OFFF started as a post-digital culture festival in Barcelona. Over the past 15 years OFFF has established itself as a meeting place for international creatives, feeding the future. OFFF on Tour editions have taken the festival to Lisbon, Moscow, Mexico City and this year two new locations are added: First Antwerp and second is OFFF Milano, 27–29 October 2016.