photo: Neil H / CC
When I travel in foreign continents and get asked where i am from my answer is often: “I am from Europe”. I never really thought about what this means until last week. It’s not that I don’t want to say that I am from Germany (because whoever asked me is probably going to demand a more precise answer anyway and I will give it). It’s not a lack of national pride, it’s more a sense of international unity within my own continent. I am happy to be German, but I am proud to be from Europe. Being born and raised in an isolated country like the GDR the sense of freedom after the reunification was amazing.
I grew into an adult benefitting from the bond that the European countries had formed with one another after being in conflict for centuries. For me this became the status quo. I could travel, study, live and work in all of the other countries without problems, so many of my class mates actually did, going to France or the UK after school. When a part of the countries even started to share one currency it became even more united. Going to Madrid or to Rome over the weekend to visit friends or just have a good time, this no longer felt like taking a vacation in a foreign country, it felt like something else…
photo: Eylül Aslan
Berlin might be a disaster when it comes to airports but at least we have an overabundance of low-cost-airlines to choose from. And while hundreds of people come to Berlin to get their rocks off every weekend, I prefer to travel and, as some of you might remember my column on the terrible truth about the German man, I have reason enough.
photos: Alicia Kassebohm
Exploring new cities has always been a pleasure for us. We come back with a bag full of new inspiration, ideas and urban concepts that we might want to see also in our beloved hometown. Last week Alicia Kassebohm and I had the great pleasure to travel to Milan to visit the prominent Milan Design Week invited by the Belgium Design initiative: Belgium is Design. Like last year we visited The Salone del Mobile which is the biggest fair for contemporary design products and the Fuorisalone (outside Salone) the uncountable mass of side-events happening all around the city. In over 5 districts of Milan the complete neighborhood is transformed into a walkable showroom where young and upcoming designers and small manufactures present their products. This brings not only a lot of creativity to the neighborhoods but also involves the inhabitants in what is usually a very elitist topic: design. This kind of urban participation is something I really miss in all the fairs and big events happening in Berlin. So this would be something I could really imagine in a Berlin of the future. After the jump you find our favorite impressions sorted out by districts, a little art museum adventure we had and the best pieces from the exhibition of our partners from the Belgium Design Initiative.
photos: Keith Telfeyan
On the scenic Spree riverbank at Hauptbahnhof’s Washingtonplatz sits a pavilion by the tourism board of Mexico. The installation highlights the many wonders of this country – its cuisine, its heritage and its natural beauty. The pavilion’s dome features the latest in flashy, interactive technology – I wore an Occulus Rift VR headset for the first time.
Mexico is indeed an awesome travel destination. I visited in December – it was the perfect warm getaway from the Berlin cold. I went to the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea, home to Playa del Carmen and Tulum of the Riviera Maya.
We love to travel with a cultural agenda. Visiting Venice for the Art Biennale or Milan for Design Week was so inspiring and we love to look back at the photos we collected there. Art and design events are a wonderful bridge to get to know a new city and I always try to visit creative spaces, galleries or museums when I travel to a new city to get in contact with the creative local scene.
In the beginning of October I had the chance to discover a new town in my repertoire of creative hotspots: Liege. The third biggest city in Belgium (after Brussels which is known for politics and Antwerp which is known for fashion) is the so called “Latin” city of the country. They had a big wave of South European migration in the 60s that made the city quite connected with Italy. While visiting the Reciprocity Design Triennale I could almost physically feel this connection because I was always surrounded by Italians. This year’s edition had a main focus on design with a social impact. Bringing designers and citizens together in the process of public service innovation was one of the most focused topics in the exhibitions we saw. This was really inspiring for me as somebody who works with Berlin, because I love to learn more about how creative ideas can be a positive factor in the social development of a city.
What impressed me the most about the Reciprocity were the stunning locations they choose for their different exhibitions. From an old school theater with murals from the 20s, a church turned into a museum and a monumental swimming pool which is now a space for public events. Our friend and Blogfabrik colleague Eylül Aslan joined us for this trip. Discover her unique photographic impressions and some more insights and pictures from Liege after the jump.
When I first visited South Tyrol a few years ago I immediately fell in love with this beautiful and unique region in the North of Italy. I have been back now two more times to discover it more and each time made my affection for it even bigger.
It’s not just the picturesque look of the region with its luscious green valleys surrounded by a stunning panorama of mountains. It’s more than that. It’s the friendliness and openness of the people, the mix of modern and traditional culture, the food, the air – just everything seems like straight from a picture postcard.
To give you a bit of a better idea, what exactly fascinates me so much about it and why you need to visit there as well I put together a list of 7 reasons why South Tyrol is so awesome. Enjoy after the jump.
photos: Marlen Mueller & Thomas Adler
Who needs a little time out from everyday life to do… well, how about nothing? Having some time to breath, slow down and letting your thoughts wander? No Whatsapp, no Facebook, no deadlines, no worrying.
We all deserve a little Time-Out every now and then and now that it’s summer here in Berlin there’s no better way to do this than grabbing a blanket with your favorite person (and/or pet) and heading out into the wilderness with your tent and some home-made sandwiches. It doesn’t matter if you are a newbie or a pro, whether you stay a full week somewhere in the South of France or take a day hike to a park in Berlin. The important thing here is to unplug from the daily stress.
Take inspiration from Berlin-based photographers Marlen Mueller and Thomas Adler who document their camping ventures on their blog Urban Tenting. Read more about it after the jump.
I truly love Berlin! But sometimes you have to let go of what you love and venture off to somewhere far far away. When I do leave I tend to go to other big cities. This time though fate took me to what can only be described as the opposite of a city: Saint Lucia.
The tiny island in the Caribbean is by far the most remote spot I have ever visited on this planet and a great mind-clearing trip. Not only did I manage to cleanse my mind of all responsibilities at home, but I got my perspectives in order and returned with a new found passion for this gorgeous Berlin.
Head on after the jump to read all about my Saint Lucia Shenanigans…
photo: Michele Ursino
We’ve all seen them, out in the streets of Berlin, in our offices, they’re in the clubs, in all the cafes. They’ve penetrated our circle of friends, maybe we are even becoming one of them ourselves? I’m talking about one of the ugly results of the Social Media Age: Smartphone Zombies. They walk in the streets without checking the traffic, they sit silently across from each other in restaurants, whole hordes of them in the subway, and all of them constantly gazing into the screen of their smartphones as if they were staring through a magical looking glass into another dimension, one that seems to be significantly more exciting than the world that surrounds them.
How often do you use your smartphone? Is it the first thing you grad when you wake up, and the last thing you see before you fall asleep? How often do you check your new likes, your incoming Whatsapp messages or eMails? How often do you upload new photos on Facebook and Instagram? Maybe you are becoming a Smartphone Zombie yourself and you haven’t even realized it yet? Maybe no-one tells you because all your friends are already infected and this behavior has become a state of normalcy for all of you?
If you think the symptoms are recognizable than maybe it’s time you take action before it’s too late. We’ve compiled a list of 7 steps that will help you to avoid becoming a Smartphone Zombie. You can work your way through our list of steps and depending how early you begin to fail our recommendations the more serious your infection seems to be. Here are our 7 steps on how to avoid becoming a Smartphone Zombie…
We have to admit that we are a little late with our trend review of the best of the Milan Design Week. But better late than never right? Not only did we have a great experience at the Airbnb House Warming exhibition, but were also impressed by other places with intriguing and remarkably intelligent design installations. Check out the 5 highlights we found after the jump that includes a couple of designs from here that were shown at the Berlin Design Selection showroom that’s currently traveling around Europe to several design events.