Famed for their spectacular staging projects for the likes of Solomun + Pacha, Adidas and Diynamic, it’s safe to say flora&faunavisions are in demand. The studio’s founder, Leigh Sachwitz, moved from her native Glasgow to Berlin in 1993 and set about shaping her pioneering blend of visual arts and strong architectural principles to create a design studio with international reach. We caught up with her to find out what’s next.
How would you sum up what you guys create?
We create innovative design solutions that focus on stage design, space design and moving images.
How do things a bit differently?
I think that we are able to realise the client’s brief so that it is on point, without losing any creativity along the way. By doing this we are able to offer our clients something truly new, that’s designed from the heart.
What would you be doing if you hadn't moved to Berlin and set up flora&faunavisions? Do you have any other hidden talents?
I would be working with animals.
You guys work across a wide range of briefs and disciplines. Including music videos, product launches, branding and communications, stage and space design etc. Do you have a favourite discipline? Or one that you really love running wild with?
We love designing and directing big scale technical shows which only last for a moment. The moment we look to create is very emotional so that the memory is very present. The adrenaline of seeing all our hard work and details come together to create and orchestrate something like this is an amazing feeling.
With this in mind then, what’s your favourite kind of brief?
One where the client has seen our work and knows that they are looking for this approach no matter what the end design solution is.
The project has been super well-received by people from all over the globe, I think it’s because it’s so emotional, but also technical. It came about as an installation which had been in my mind for a while, it’s inspired by Glasgow rain and how it changes from drizzle to a full-blown storm within two minutes in Scotland. I wanted to create something poetic, inspired by the feeling of when the storm clears.
We are working on two new pieces which follow on from the technical ideas used in INSIDEOUT, but that are more interactive. I am interested in sharing the installation with visitors through programming.
What’s been the biggest creative challenge (either by yourself or as a team) you've had to tackle recently?
We have just completed the concept, design and full production of six shows for a Hologram stage on TUI cruises. It was an amazing challenge to work on the production and animation of these shows, and it was new technical land for us, so we were always researching, designing and developing at the same time. We were not 100% sure if the ideas would work out as planned until we really had the chance to pull the project together on-board the boat. That was exciting but also nerve racking.
After 18 years in the business it was great to work on a challenge where we had to solve a big problem and crack something new.
Any exciting upcoming projects you can talk to us about?
We are working on a project for a public park in Bali. That should be fun!
You guys have worked on some amazing projects in all number of different countries. What’s been your favourite and for what reason?
This year actually, working for the Sydney opera, Turandot. It was so wonderful to work with the team in Sydney on an outdoor stage which was floating in the Sydney Harbour. I was very impressed with that part of the world and with the Australians - they’re so nice! It made working on such a big project an absolute pleasure.
I also love the fact that so many people got to see the work, it was running for four weeks and reached 3500 people per night.
Has the location of any of your projects informed it’s direction?
Yes, on most. We work site specifically all the time.
When is your book, I am FFV, available and what should we expect to see in it?
It´s out this week. I hope it’s a great journey which shows the scope of work we’ve produced over the past four years.