One of the many facets of Berlin that people really love and cherish is the rough, urban and industrial style of the city. It’s something that Berlin has in common with places like Brooklyn or South East London. But combined with Berlin’s history, the division, the Soviet influence of the East, it developed a quite particular style that sets it apart from the other cities. Raw brick walls and concrete, factory lamps and Edison light bulbs, this is pretty much an aesthetic you will see all over the world. But Berlin adds old GDR relics, remains of the Soviet military, and remnants of old industries that were specific to Germany. The outcome is a unique mix of history, design, and patina that feels specific to Berlin.
In our newest guide, we want to introduce you to 3 shops that have specialized in industrial vintage design, all of which combine common aesthetics with more particular ones. We love all three of these shops as they capture so much an essential part of the style of Berlin. Enjoy!
With Reference Berlin the fashion scene got a new highlight that we have long been waiting for. While the regular Fashion Week is performing a dying swan dance for the last couple of seasons, it is independent events like this that give us life.
Reference Berlin has certainly decided to go a different path. That becomes obvious when you notice how little “actual fashion” was presented at what was dubbed a 24h festival for creativity. It was a bold statement in itself and also a refreshing effort to create something different that feels more in line with our current mindset during a time of so many changes in the industry.
photos: Vismante Ruzgaite.
We got a chance to meet Jessie Keane who makes ceramic fine arts – for your kitchen, plants and… private parts.
Jessie is laying on the floor of our photo studio. Coming in for a normal interview, spotlights and cameras were probably not what the 27-year-old expected from this otherwise ordinary Thursday night. But we couldn’t resist photographing the charming artist with her kinky creations.
“Oh god, I’m dressed way too casually for this,” she replies when we ask her to step into the spotlight. Keeping things casual, yet a little unusual is exactly what we were looking for. In the end, Jessie is not selling your usual ceramics.
photos: Guen Douglas.
Berliners are known to have a certain affinity for tattoos. Luckily for us, the city attracts some of the world’s most amazing tattoo artists whose designs truly transcend the visuals. One particular artist whose works are especially brilliant – bold, beautifully executed, and abounding in cultural references, is definitely Guen Douglas from the Taiko Gallery studio. We had a little chat with Guen to find out more about her background, style, and some inspirations behind her designs. Read on!
The Berlin transit map is probably one of the very first images a newcomer in the city gets familiar with. For a variety of reasons – the most obvious one being that it’s the ultimate guide when you’re coming back from a night out and your phone dies. But did you ever question the design of the map? Were your tired eyes ever lost along the rigid straight lines? Well, the bright minds behind the New Berlin Rapid Transit Route Map project thought the current official map needed some updating – read on to find out what they came up with!
artwork: Julian Glander.
This May, from the 8th till the 12th, the Pictoplasma Berlin Festival celebrates unconventional contemporary characters for the 15th time in a row. Pictoplasma is the world’s leading platform for contemporary character design and art. The project encourages the discussion and development of new illustrations down to animation, game to interactive design graphic arts. Thematically, this year’s festival focuses on the current hype surrounding the interaction with digital media and critical questions whether such an interaction is beneficial for both sides – human and computer.
Interior design platform MADE.com has a heart for young designers – just like we do! With their TalentLAB program, they offer their platform for upcoming product designers to present their amazing ideas. Designers from all over the world can submit their products and MADE.com will curate the best products into little collections of furniture and home accessories. People can then pledge for their favorite designs with a small deposit in a way similar to crowd-funding which secures them a special early bird price. Those products that reach their pledge goal will actually get produced by MADE.com. For those who pledged for one product that did not reach its goal, they will get a refund.
In their Berlin showroom, MADE.com is showcasing some of the TalentLAB designs that will get produced so that everyone gets a chance to get a preview of the final product. A current highlight of the latest collection titled “Ready-to-Work” is the glamorous copper Lumo Table Lamp by Emma Norlén from Hanau. Her design was actually the first one that reached its pledge goal in the new collection. Others that made it are for example a really cool side bench by Gaetano Avitabile from Italy, a beautiful brass watering can by Aaron Colfer from the UK, and a cute storage shelf by Ateliers Bah from France.
Can you imagine the city of Berlin without office buildings? Everybody working remotely, only having their weekly or monthly meetings at a cafe or somewhere else? This would bring the city lots of more spaces for living and more spaces for culture and creativity. Not so bad in the end, huh?
Thinking about the future, not as an obstacle but rather a variety of opportunities is the task of the upcoming speculative laboratory “The Workhouse” by design brand USM in collaboration with UNstudio.
For a period of six weeks, the innovative furniture company will create a post-work utopia in which work and life merge together. For the opening weekend on June 2nd, there will be a small conference starting the laboratory. If you want to go, it’s your lucky day since we are raffling off 2×2 tickets. Find out how below.
When you think of Berlin souvenirs you probably think of plastic TV towers and tacky T-shirts. None of these things really capture the spirit of the city as we see it, and I’m sure none of you would be interested in any of those.
The Italian label Palomar came up with a new design souvenir titled City Icons that really took us by surprise. They completely rethought the concept of a city snow globe, creating a series of contemporary objects that highlight an architectural icon of the city that is not your typical tourist sight. The series that was designed by Paolo Dell’Elce and curator by Marco Sammicheli includes sleek black snow globes of cities such as Paris, London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Barcelona and of course also Berlin. But instead of the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben or the Sagrada Familia you will see the minimalistic shapes of buildings that are maybe not on mainstream tourist’s itineraries but are nonetheless iconic for the respective cities.
The spirits are even higher than usual among our team today. We are absolutely thrilled to launch a series that is a complete novelty in our over 10 years of blogging. For the first time ever, we’re introducing iHeartBerlin-themed real life products – titled IHB/IRL. The first edition is a colorful sheet of 13 cute stickers created by our talented in-house designer Berk Karaoglu with images you might recall from some of our editorials. The batch is limited, so get ’em while they’re hot!
Over the years, we’ve seen that you heart Berlin just as much as we do, so we’ve tried to figure out an outlet for that love to spread outside of the Internet too. IHB/IRL is a chance for you to have the iHeartBerlin vibe visibly present in your day to day hustle – that’s why we chose to go with stickers for the first edition.