Pfadfinderei are an international design bureau that work on a variety of visual productions: from
club nights to major events, all using the latest multimedia design technology. So far their big
live events have included the SONAR festival and the opening of the flagship Louis Vitton store
playing a live video set for Pharell Williams. “Pfadfinderei offer a work range that crosses the borders
between functional design demands and advanced multimedia art,” says the company’s Tobias
Goetz. “Finding and visualizing paths was the approach that led to the name ‘Pfadfinderei’ (which
means pathfinders/boy scouts)”.
The company started in Berlin as “a vector orientated print design bureau” but soon expanded
into the fully-blown multimedia design house that it is today. Pfadfinderei have several areas of
expertise but focus on the live visualization of music. The design of multimedia room installations
has been Pfadfinderei’s biggest passion.“We started as VJs in various Berlin clubs”, says Goetz.
“Nowadays we plan, create and perform visual installations on an international level. Pfadfinderei
functions as a collective of individual characters united by a similar approach to aesthetics, style and
The company obviously embrace technology as Tobias explains… “Back in the late nineties we used
the Apple Pismo with video out. The next big step was the ability of laptops to perform video in native
resolution. This was followed by the technical ability to work on video content in real time and to be
able to create personalized applications for the live context”.
However, he is keen to point out that technology is not the be all and end all… “Most importantly
it is crucial to realise that ideas are not based on technology, but technology is based on ideas”.
“Our long fingernails got stuck between the keys of our laptops, so we felt a change was necessary”,
jokes Goetz about Pfadfinderei’s choice of a Lemur controller. But he soon reveals other good
points offered by the Lemur: “Strong look, bright appearance, more freedom on stage”, he states
So how does Goetz and his team use the Lemur in practice?
“We use the Lemur mainly for performance”, reveals Goetz. “We will use it for upcoming recording
sessions similar to the ‘Labland’ DVD [an inspiring DVD with music from Modeselektor] as it can serve
as a good replacement for the traditional video mixer”.
And what have the company got left ambition wise?
“We want to entertain, to distort, to please, to create, to travel, to enjoy and to influence the time we’re