I had no idea what to expect from the OFFF in TLV. It wasn’t my first time in Israel, but definitely a conference of this kind. After a few stressful weeks in Germany, the time has arrived and I was finally there - at the Museum of Art in TLV. The Design Kids hosts Noa Nizzani and Linoy Josef gave me a warm welcome – lovely girls. By the way there were cool OFFF goodies at the registration too, I’m lovin’ the socks!
Inside was a great atmosphere, friendly faces from around the world. In addition to the two main halls, which were surprisingly large, there were other smaller attractions and competitions. Especially to mention the Funzone area outside, whose name says it all. There you could enjoy the exciting talks on the fresh air, chat, eat, drink, listen to the chilly dj-sounds or search for a treasure from the various pop-up shops. Including Stolen Goods, Adi Ayali, Triggers and Prettimess and others – check them out, they offer a lot of great stuff! And don’t forget the refreshing OFFF ice cream for free.
Since I didn’t want to miss anything, I assembled my schedule beforehand, even though I had difficulties to decide on the talks. So I had tight days ahead of me, but that allowed me to listen to many interesting and all humorful designers.
Some haven’t only impressed me with their great work, but also with their great personality. For example Firma, a TLV based studio, which talked about collecting and connecting the dots and that everything is connected, every little step in our lives and the ability to turn something that seemed negative in the beginning into something positive afterall. Or Jonah Sterling from Microsoft, who in the beginning gave shitty advices for free, that turned out to be proven, but critical, advices from his loved grandmother: “Do it well, if you wanna do it often.”
To satisfy my inner nerd, I took a few notes for each talk. Newgold aka Alessandro Novelli had clearly the funniest ones: “hand drawn weird animated stuff”, “bad choices make good stories”, “used to be a huge dick”. – but damn the guy was charismatic.
Allesandro went to a monastery to find his true self and was asked the question he raised to us: “What would you do if you only had seven days to live?” Personally I wouldn’t go into monastery to find my answer, but Allesandro brought this experience closer to himself.
My absolute OFFF highlight was Futura from Mexico. Delightful, honest and down to earth – just real, the true outsider of the outsiders. He spoke mainly about roots, comfort zones, failures and our anonymity and interchangeability. The Quote: “What is the most Mexican thing I could do? – stealing of course. So we've stolen Mickey mouse and did a Mexican version.“ stuck with me.
To summarize my exciting conference days my conclusion would be: It does not matter who we are. The path and the experiences we gather over time define our personality. We've got it to find our path, no matter how long and tough it will be. The customer isn’t always king, but the content you’re communicating.
I’d like to thank The Design Kids and all the other lovely people who made my trip to Tel Aviv and to the OFF Fest possible. You are great!