A Christmas Gift Guide for Berlin Fans

A Christmas Gift Guide for Berlin Fans

Without even realizing it, another year as almost flown by. Once again, Christmas is already upon us and besides the bitterness of not having achieved all the unrealistic goals we have established for us during the year, we have to face “the final year challenge”: searching and buying the perfect Christmas presents. Most of us consider it as a demanding task (because come on, let’s say the truth: most of us do not enjoy spending time searching for the perfect gift to buy in crowded shopping malls). However, we all have that old friend who really cares about receiving Christmas gifts and we all know that our mum is expecting a little present this year as well. Whether we like it or not, we are all going to Christmas shopping.

But what makes this treasure hunt difficult are always the same issues: “I do not know what to buy!”, “I am not feeling inspired”, “last year I bought my girlfriend a pair of secondhand gloves, I need something original this year!”. Don’t panic: we are here for you! We prepared an awesome gift list to help you find the most fantastic presents and souvenirs for your beloved ones, family members or Berlin fans and friends. Have a look, you will surely find something interesting and cool. Why are we sure that you are going to make a good impression? Because our present suggestions all have the cool Berlin style.

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These Berlin Girls are Redefining Waste-Free Design

These Berlin Girls are Redefining Waste-Free Design

photo: Andrej Russkovskij

The fashion industry is believed to be one of the most toxic businesses for our environment. Billions of clothes are produced every year and in the process, lots of chemicals and dirt gets thrown into our rivers and oceans. But the saddest part is: most of it will maybe only last one or two seasons before it gets thrown into the garbage bin, and a large portion of the produced clothes that was never sold will get destroyed without having ever been worn. This is the shocking truth that everybody knows but everybody also wants to ignore when it comes to their personal needs.

This is not the case for Hanna and Julia. The two Berlin-based designers and Yoga lovers saw an important opportunity in clothes waste to make a difference with an amazing idea: Why not use the strong fabric of old jeans to create new bags for your yoga mat?

With this concept, they created the brand Dzaino which is nowadays making more products beyond their signature yoga bags. For their crowdfunding campaign, they asked me and other Berlin-based people why sustainable local design is so important and why it’s worth supporting. I think the most important part of this projects is to show that in cities like Berlin alternative concepts of multinational brands are tested and can become a reality. A reality that we really need to save our planet. Check out their video and pics of the campaign below and support them here.

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City Icons – A Contemporary Souvenir of Berlin

City Icons – A Contemporary Souvenir of Berlin

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.

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iHeartBerlin’s Very First In-Real-Life Design Edition: Berlin Stickers

iHeartBerlin’s Very First In-Real-Life Design Edition: Berlin Stickers

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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.

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This Game Let’s you Play Tetris with Plattenbau Blocks

This Game Let’s you Play Tetris with Plattenbau Blocks

For me, as an art and design lover, any visual proposal that allows me to discover new ways to look or to see my environment is always exciting. It’s very inspiring to find different or unusual things that unravel in front of your eyes. When I think about architecture I automatically tend to picture either classic art history examples or really futuristic constructions with large windows, clean lines, and diaphanous spaces filled with carefully designed and placed furniture. But in reality, we can’t escape all the trashy and clumsy examples that frame our sight on our daily way to work or while we walk the streets of Berlin.

In the German language, there is even a word for those concrete blocks that make Berlin look like a grey Tetris game and it’s called: Plattenbau. If you heart Berlin as much as we do, you probably have already found The Hidden Beauty of the Plattenbau architecture, or you might even know the Cuckoo Blocks clocks, a really ingenious reinterpretation of this style of construction.

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The Talented Furniture Designers of Berlin

The Talented Furniture Designers of Berlin

photo: Neo/Craft

Germany is the country where the Bauhaus was born founded by Walter Gropius an outstanding  Berliner who, among his revolutionary legacy, coined the historic quote “Form follows function”. He looked for the union between use and aesthetics. Berlin has it all, (only if it was at the sea…) so it’s not surprising that you can find really amazing designers in Berlin. The crafts have always had that strong artisan character deeply rooted in the tradition of learning from those who mastered techniques and materials. Despite that, I personally will take the liberty to think of them as true artists. But regardless of how you address them, there’s certainly one thing we will agree on: what they do is simply amazing. Because they don’t just create stunning objects, they create objects that will help you bring meaning to spaces and to learn what it means to inhabit a space. And hopefully to be able to fill that place with unforgettable and meaningful memories. Here you have 7 of our favorite furniture and product designers that work to keep Berlin’s look cool and, always, unique.

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Sustainable Berlin: Amazing Zero Food Waste Projects for a Better Future

Sustainable Berlin: Amazing Zero Food Waste Projects for a Better Future

photo: Elaine Casap

Old habits die hard. Not that this is an excuse for avoiding change, but… they just do. When you, like most of us, grew up in this affluent society of ours, you are used to groceries always being available to you. That yoghurt in the back of the fridge, that you forgot when you went away for a few days… oh well, sheepishly throw it away, you can get a new one today. That take away food, that you didn’t end up eating in the end – bye, there’s the bin. Again, you bought 10 eggs and ended up eating 3? If you are recognizing yourself right now, this article is for you!

There is that indifference, in all of us. But if global food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases next to China and the USA. Unshaped fruit and vegetables, overproduced goods, portions at restaurants that are too large or expired groceries that are still fine to consume – all of it ends up in the bin, even though it is still perfectly fine to eat. Food waste is on of our biggest problems today and the fight against it should become habitual. This is why we are giving a shoutout to these awesome Berlin-based food projects that are taking a stand against it.

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The Best Berlin Apps that will Improve Your Berlin Experience

The Best Berlin Apps that will Improve Your Berlin Experience

photo: Le Buzz

When you think that you have done it all when you cannot decide what to do, or just want to have some different experiences this selection of Berlin Apps will help you no matter if you’re looking for a vegan restaurant or a ping-pong table. So you can discover yet another side of this kaleidoscopic city and make the most of your Berlin experience. Either if you are an Urberliner, you are studying or you are just here for your vacation. Check this list out and enjoy the city!

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What does the Taste of Chocolate Remind you of?

What does the Taste of Chocolate Remind you of?

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You know how different moments in combination with certain tastes can suddenly flood your mind with memories. Like how lemon cake reminds me of my birthdays as a child and sour candy of my yearly road trip to the baltic sea. So suddenly sweets become more than a just a little treat but develop into a well of memories and hidden associations to draw a smile from. This is what Milka wants to make its fans aware of with their new campaign.

The iconic chocolate brand invites its fans all over the world to take a bite and feel what the taste reminds them of sharing their experience on social media using the hashtag #milkaschmecktwie (Milka tastes like…). All Berlin-based Milka fans will be happy to hear, that there is a special chocolate event happening at the Mall of Berlin this weekend. Milka invites everyone to share their personal associations with the taste of their chocolate on the Wall of Inspiration, this Friday and Saturday. Feel free to stop by, take a photo at the installation or write your association on the back of a postcard to decorate the wall with! Of course, you can taste a piece of Milka chocolate before jotting down what its taste brings to mind.

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The BVG Teams up with Adidas for Iconic Subway Sneaker

The BVG Teams up with Adidas for Iconic Subway Sneaker

Like many Berlin fans I really love the pattern of the old subway seats from the BVG. It’s one of those things so iconic about Berlin, even though its such a simple design. I was quite excited when I saw the BVG has teamed up with Adidas to release its first own limited edition sneaker in celebration of its 90th birthday. How cool is that? And the shoe looks really amazing, too! I can’t wait to see it live.

The sneaker will come out on January 16 at the Adidas flagship store in Mitte and at Overkill in Kreuzberg in a limited edition of only 500. You can expect there to be quite the long line because the shoe also functions as year-long BVG ticket (valid in all BVG buses, trams, ferries and subways – not in the S-Bahn though!). With only 180 EUR this is quite the bargain!

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