11 Oct 2021

Spotlight on: DGTL light designer Bob Roijen

In our 'Spotlight On' series, we are turning the light to different artists close to our hearts. From photographers to designers and musicians: it's all about the artists behind our brand. This time, we are talking to Bob Roijen (35), who is a Dutch leading production designer at DGTL. 


From his Amsterdam based studio 'RAITO' he collaborates with DGTL. Bob is - together with the DGTL team - responsible for the look, feel and experience of the dance areas. He creates this for all global DGTL editions in the broadest sense, including spatial design, lighting and video content. How does the light and stage design of a festival come to life? We asked Bob.


Q. Can you introduce yourself and explain what you do exactly?

My role variates a lot. It goes from drawing to transforming the team's ideas into reality with a technical production company. But my role also includes collaborating with artists and overviewing the whole project and directing contrast between the areas by searching and creating the right atmosphere. This atmosphere must be a perfect fit with the crowd, line-up, the brand's identity and the entire environment. 


In short: DGTL and RAITO both focus on the whole process of bringing a visual identity come to life. From a simple idea to a more clear concept, to the final design and eventually, the execution of how you will experience your time at DGTL.



Q. How did you become a light and stage designer? 

In my early years I developed an interest in the lighting and entertainment I saw at concerts such as 'Depeche Mode' and big-scale events from ID&T. Later on, this interest switched to other progressive clubs in the electronic music scene such as 'NOW & WOW' and 'Club 11'. 


For years I've worked in clubs and I've visited countless concerts. Searching for all the ins and outs in the entertainment industry, made my interest in architecture, lighting, spatial and lighting design grow more and more. A few of my big inspirations are scenography artists Paul Normandale and Hans Hoff. 


I began developing myself into more of a directors position, creating a unique and complete experience. I look at how a person enters a space, how they move around in this environment and how, for example, the colors and intensitiy of this space make an impact. 


Q. How important is light during a festival?

Spatial and lighting design becomes more important due to the growth of brands and events worldwide. By defining your scenography in spatial and light design, a festival shows their identity. Our role is to make the visitor's experience number one priority and keep them triggered, engaged, inspired and connected. We want the crowd and artists to experience a certain emotion, which we make possible by stage and light design.


Q. Can you tell us more about your working process?

Often, I draw inspiration from daily life situations. An example: on a misty day I'm in a car ride and I see the street lights flicker while I'm driving fast. A simple experience like this can trigger me to create a new lighting and spatial experience. 


Most of the times it's a natural mix of input that drives me to transform an idea into something physical. All of our designs have one this in comming, though: the volumetric feeling and atmosphere that you are enclosed with the space and music is most important. 


Q. Without giving away too much, what can we expect from the light show during DGTL ADE 2021? 

We are very excited to present two new concepts at DGTL ADE. For Area 1 we created an immersive 4D light installation. It's based on the speed of light with nearly 1km high definition LED lines, that are positioned in a volumetric composition under the low ceiling of the former skaterink at the NDSM loods. You can expect an experience that is full of energetic lighting, precicely synched with the music by Carly Eijlander and with the beautiful video performance from a variation of artists such as Rene van Dijk, Deframe an Studio Rewind. 


For Area 2, we created a different concept. It's an architectural roof-shaped object that we have turned into a kinetic club video installation by using and positioning fixtured that have endless movement possibilities.  



Q. What can we expect from you in the near future?


Being closely involved with the future of DGTL, you can expect that our work will become more and more innovative. We'll increase the use of lighting, material choices, high-end control and future design. I'm excited about the developments and collaborations with designers and researchers from different fiels to push the design even more forward. And of course, I'm most excited to see everyone again and enjoy the DGTL feeling and music worldwide. 


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