Author Archive

Monypolo – A Theater Game in an Empty Supermarket

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What the fuck is this thing called capitalism? And why it is actually messing up all our lives instead of making them better? As simple as these questions seem at first, as complex are their answers. To take a look at one aspect that is going completely wrong with capitalism let’s reflect one moment about the Berlin start-up bubble.

Our beloved Berlin is a fertile ground for start-ups of all kinds. Low rents and many smart international people as potential employees are great resources to start your company. With the right investors, you can literally create any kind of business in this town. But as genius some start-up concepts can be, as stupid and absolutely useless to humanity the others are.

With their new theater game Monypolo the collective Prinzip Gonzo is reflecting about all the absurd aspects of hyper-capitalism and über-entrepreneurialism. With 60 other players you create a fictional career and play for success inside an abandoned supermarket at Kudamm. Between luxury boutiques and high street brands you enter a desolate mall to find a giant playground for adults waiting for you to be explored. More about our experience, the dates and some photos of the exciting game after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 20th, 2016
in Theater

Berlin from every Angle – A 360° Video with Notes of Berlin

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No other city has so much diversity like Berlin. From the chic and decadent Charlottenburg West to the rough Neukölln South, the boho Friedrichshain East and the wild Wedding North the city is a wild S-Bahn ride through extreme contrasts.

But we are not the only ones who heart the opposites and contradictions of this beautiful city.  Since several years, Joab from Notes of Berlin hunts for the funniest notes or analog messages hanging around town. We know each other for a while and share frequently our thoughts on work and blogging. But until now we never had the chance to work on a joined project even though we are both part of Blogfabrik.

The S-Bahn Berlin asked if they could feature both of us while exploring our favorite spots in Berlin. As part of their #Washastduvor project several bloggers and storytellers were asked to show their personal side of Berlin. On their website you can explore all kinds of useful Berlin-related articles. We used this project as an opportunity not only to have a crazy experience with the new film technology of 360° videos but also to dive into some serious conversations about urban development and how the city should change from our perspective. The final results will go online tomorrow on our Facebook page. But after the jump, you can already watch one short excerpt of the movie.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 15th, 2016
in Friedrichshain, Videos

The Playfulness of Berlin

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It does not take a lot of imagination to think of Berlin as a giant playground. In times of Pokemon Go and other augmented reality games, the street-running movement and immersive theater experiences, everything – and everybody – seems ready to play.

But I don’t think that the origin of Berlin playfulness is based on technology, fitness or even cultural trends. I remember vividly how years ago I met on a subway ride a young dude that outed himself as a philosophy professor. (The combination of young dude and philosophy professor was a surprise at that time. Nowadays I am not as easily surprised ;-) ) He told me that he is part of a creative project called invisible playground. In this project, he told me they tried to research and examine how a daily portion of playfulness can affect your overall happiness.

But invisible playground is not the only creative project  celebrating the idea of a playful city. The Berlin-based artist duo 44Flavours have already left their footmark in the local creative scene. Experimenting with all kind of art forms, from murals to posters, and painting to sculpture, the two friends Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle,  have worked together since they were students. Their success formula is a vibrant combination of teamwork and creative chaos. For the  #LiveThere exhibition by Airbnb they created an interactive playground where you can tell your personal Berlin story. There you can listen to murmuring teapots, talk to enchanted mirrors and have fun with all kinds of everyday objects transformed into a creative installation. The idea behind this project is to share different stories about Berlin and to emphasize how with a spark of  creative inventiveness and playfulness every trip to Berlin can become a one of a kind experience.

Inspired by that idea, I thought of how we could be more active in experiencing our city as a playful place. I started thinking about the rules and I realized that the games you decide to play on your personal urban playground don’t have to follow any rules or even the norms of standard morality. Between lust and pain is the instinct to play. Therefore I dove deeply into my own imagination and created a set of Berlin-specific mind games. Follow my colorful, funny but sometimes also sensual and dark inspirations to transform your everyday life in Berlin into a crazy game-like experience.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 14th, 2016
in City Guide, Design, Photos

10 Secret Tricks to Become a Real Berliner

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illustrations: Sophia Halamoda

After how many years can you say that you are a real Berliner? Five? Maybe ten? Or maybe 20? Some people even say that only the people who were born here have the right to be called “real“ Berliners. But what about if you were born in Berlin but left at the age of 10 and never came back? Would you be a real Berliner then?

I would like this nonsense about real Berliners and not real Berliners to stop once and for all. Most of the people now living in Berlin came from elsewhere and might even leave and go somewhere else after a couple of years. The Berliner-DNA is not defined by your birth certificate, your current Geo-Tag or the length of time you have spent in this city. As kitschy as its sounds, being a Berliner is a matter of your heart.

But sometimes listening to your heart is not as easy as it sounds on paper. To give you some help in discovering the (not so) secret essence of this lovable city, we joined forces with our favorite cartoon artist Sophia Halamoda. As a creative contribution of the #LiveThere exhibition by Airbnb opening tomorrow until Sunday, we created a semi-serious guide to how to become a real Berliner. Go and discover after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 13th, 2016
in Stories

Win Tickets: Grimes Concert at Hilton Berlin

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Even if Berlin may not be well-known as a city for celebrating luxury and extravaganza, sometimes a little bit of exclusive pleasure is just the thing to melt the stress of the week away from your shoulders in an instant. Maybe you have dreamt about it, but never dared to do it: to spend a night in a world-class hotel in your hometown with a close friend or loved one. It could be just the right guilty pleasure to help you break out of your daily routine. And what could make this experience even better? How about an exclusive concert by one of your favourite musicians in the intimate atmosphere of the hotel?

You can officially stop dreaming and try your luck today. Together with Hilton and the HHonors rewards programme, we are giving away a one-night stay at Hilton Berlin and 2 tickets for the exclusive Grimes Concert on Tuesday 19th July 2016. This concert is part of the internationally renowned Hilton Concert Series. The 2016 Hilton Concert Series offers unique experiences that money just can’t buy – tickets are exclusively available to HHonors members: international travellers and luxury connoisseurs.

Find out how to win this incredible experience and additional info about the unique benefits offered to Hilton HHonors members after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 8th, 2016
in Entertainment, Music

Magic Ramadan – On a Flying Carpet through Berlin

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Growing up in East Germany, shortly after the fall of the wall, there was not a lot of ethnic diversity around me. Many people I met in my daily life thought I would be Turkish or Arab because that were the only “dark” foreigners that they knew from TV. Once I remember an older lady stopping me in the streets saying that I looked like I just jumped out of an Arabic fairy tale and she meant it all seriously. As a kid, I did not know how to answer to this kind of comments.

It was only years later when I moved to Berlin that I realized how free I felt all of a sudden in a city where nobody was stopping me in the streets to ask which fairy tale I just came from. The city was full of colorful unicorns and sparkling birds of paradise wandering around without restrictions, that I suddenly had the feeling of belonging and acceptance.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 4th, 2016
in Videos

Black Mountain – Sven Marquardt and Peaches in Artistic Short Film

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How can an artist be totally underground (whatever this means) and internationally famous at the same time? What might seem like a contradiction in Los Angeles, London, New York and Paris, is totally possible in Berlin. It is not unusual to meet pop star Peaches eating a snack at Kotti or stumble upon the world’s most famous doorman Sven Marquardt in a small gallery at an opening of an exhibition. So far, all these underground stars have been working in different fields. Of course, some of them have collaborated already, but the project I am about to present to you is more than that.

Initiated by the Audi Zeitgeist Project, dedicated to support experimental art and creative disciplines of all genres, an alliance of exceptional artists from Berlin has come together for a creative masterpiece called Black Mountain. In this experimental short film the artist collective „Like a wild beast fur“, composer Moritz von Oswald and Artistic Director Jan Engel reinterpreted Richard Wagners Opera Parsifal. On the 3rd of July you can watch the whole short film will be released online on Audi-City starring famous Volskbühne actors like Alexander Scheer, Volker Spengler and Jasna Fritzi Bauer and famous performers like VER.u.s.c.h.k.a., Peaches, Sven Marquardt and many more.

This contemporary take on the opera is revitalizing the traditional piece, setting it inside a dark Berlin techno club. Apart from the movie, which you can watch online on the web page of Audi-City, there will be an immersive exhibition open to the public at Gallery Ebensperger from the 6.7. to 24.7. There you can walk through the installation of Hauke Odendahl, which offers a deep immersive experience into the concept of the art piece. During the shooting of the film, one of our favourite Berlin photographers, Florian Kolmer, took individual portraits of the actors and performers. The installation and the portraits can be visited Wednesday to Saturday from 14-20h.

Check out the trailer and some preview pictures of the exhibition after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 1st, 2016
in Art, Movies

Exclusive Studio Visit with Michael Michalsky

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For the collaboration between Spanish sparkling wine brand Freixenet and Michael Michalsky, we were invited to visit the studio and working space of the famous Berlin-based designer.

Sitting around in comfortable couches (also designed by him) we were introduced to his newest collaboration with the Cava brand. Freixenet is a family-run business rooted near Barcelona. One of its best selling products, the Carta Nevada, that is now celebrating its 75th anniversary. For the occasion Michael Michalsky was commissioned to redesign the bottle of their anniversary edition: A slick and modern look for a classic brand. If you want to know more about this collaboration, read on after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on June 24th, 2016
in Fashion, Party

Design in Berlin: Samsung AddWash Store brings the Future to our Homes

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The future is not as complicated and overly technological and dehumanized as predicted in all the sci-fi movies we used to watch as kids in the 90s. On the contrary: the technological innovations of our daily lives are user-centered, human-friendly and resourceful. You can observe how the future becomes a glimpse more simple every day. At least if you follow the vision of high-tech design brand Samsung.

On the occasion of the launch of their newest home product, the Samsung AddWash, the brand just opened a pop-up shop with a unique concept in Berlin. From outside the Samsung AddWash store looks like the fanciest laundromat in town. But on display is not just any washing machine. The Samsung AddWash is redefining the design and functions of your usual laundry with innovative features, like an extra door where you can add on products during the cleaning process. With a Smart Home-App you can also always check the status of your laundry.

The exclusive pop-up concept store was curated in cooperation with iGNANT, and will feature products from acclaimed design brands like Lyon Beton, a French studio that specializes in the design and production of concrete furniture, the interior design studio 10119DESIGN, who create a crazy mix between 20th century furniture icons and young design from Berlin, and Italian bath design studio Boffi. We are super curious to see what the teams of Samsung and put together and look forward to get in touch with this special home design revolution. More impressions of the shop and the opening times after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on June 24th, 2016
in Prenzlauer Berg, Shops

10 Things a Perfect Bar in Berlin Needs

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photo: Natalia Kepesz

At a certain point, you know the difference between sitting at a Späti, at a Kneipe next door and at a nice bar. All three of these places demand a certain willingness to let go of your everyday routine but in a slightly different way. The Späti-night will first seduce you with being totally unpretentious and only a short term affair, a temporary solution. But after spending all night there, you know how your head will hurt like it was hit by a „Bierbank“  the morning after. The adventure to a Kneipe is a more serious challenge. The funny Kneipenlady you’ve heard rumors about will get all of your attention with all her dirty secrets, but while you are there, sitting at the counter, you realize that you are trapped like in the rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland. You can’t escape as long as her shift or your finances end.

Last but not least, entering a fine bar is a nightlife pleasure of a special kind. A bar and its bartenders are a place of illusions and fantasies. And where fantasies and nightlife meet for a drink, I want to be there too (just to write down my experiences for this blog of course… ;-) )

Therefore I was more than happy to represent the digital media world as a judge at the World Class Competition 2016 in Berlin. Hosted by the Diageo Group the event took place in several locations in Berlin. 17 Bartenders from all over Germany competed with each other for one spot to go to Miami to the World Class Global Final competition. I had the pleasure to not only observe their skills from up close but also to taste some of the most fantastic drinks in my entire life. Being the judge of the hospitality challenge, I had to pretend to be a guest at a bar for a whole day and try out drinks from all 17 different bartenders. What sounds like a funny theater play was quite the intense job where a lot of accuracy of observation was required. But as each of the bartenders made their appearances in front of my judging seat, I had to wonder:

What are the special ingredients that make a bar a place of such magic and enchantment? My deep insights from this dive into the bartender world in a not-so-serious listical after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on June 23rd, 2016
in Stories