London, United Kingdom - 24.06.2016

Experimenting in a digital universe

An interview with London-based creative team DVTK

DVTK is a creative team, which consists of David Broner and Kim Boutin. Both combine their fields of expertise to create digital experiments. They met in 2008 in art school where they worked on personal projects together. Motivated by the same ambitions, their fruitful collaborations led to the creation of DVTK.

For Nightingale’s Open Days, the skilled duo developed an experimental virtual expo. Kim tells us all about her passion for the digital sphere: “The Internet was the only place where I could put everything in a new shape.” 

DVTK, that’s an intriguing name. What does it stand for?

Boutin: That’s pretty simple. Basically when you say David & Kim in French and you take all the consonants, you get ‘DVDTKM’. That’s what we used to call ourselves when we were students. But no one was able to say that properly (laughs). So we got rid of a few letters and now it is DVTK. 

You and David have been working together for a while now. What is the coolest project you did so far?

I think that would be OKgrl (a glossy online world for teenagers, editor’s note). David and I are originally French, but we operate from London. OKgrl, a platform for teenagers, is the first project we entirely created in London. The challenge was to make the platform relevant to that specific teenage audience, since teens are used to the digital more than to paper magazines. So, I really liked working on this one. 

Indeed, OKgrl is a very cool project. What is it that attracts David and you to the digital life?

For us, for me actually, the digital has always been obvious. I started making websites when I was pretty young. I think I was only twelve years old. At that time I was doing many different things, like drawing and making photos. The Internet was the only place where I could put everything in a new shape. Now, via the Internet, David and I can collaborate with different people like designers, stylists, fashion people and artists. The Internet is accessible for everyone. We are really interested in creating new kinds of interactions and to create stories in a digital way. 

And what about real life? Is that still a source of inspiration to you?

You know, the digital really enables us to create shapes. I think it is quite similar to someone who paints or makes sculptures. We use 3D as a tool to make these new shapes. Basically I think we like the fact that we can create emotion and that we can engage with users on the Internet with our surprising contents. We had the idea that all websites tended to look the same, so we decided that it would be interesting to do something completely different. The emotions we create online are inspired by real life. By bringing that to the digital, you can make someone understand something via the Internet. You can really create a relationship with other users. 

You designed an impressive virtual expo for Nightingale’s open days. How was that experience?

This was an interesting project, since Nightingale delivered the content that is exhibited in the virtual gallery. It is the same as when you create a scenography for a museum: you start with the content and then you try to find a form that highlights that content. We are really interested in creating virtual extensions for proper physical spaces, so this was a fun project to do. 

Kim Boutin:
“The Internet was the only place where I could put everything in a new shape”