11 Awesome Queer Local Businesses That You Should Support

11 Awesome Queer Local Businesses That You Should Support

Supporting local businesses has always been a priority at iHeartBerlin, even more so when they are owned by queer folks. Naturally, this has become even more important in times of an ongoing global pandemic. That’s why we’re looking forward to joining the upcoming QUEER Market! There, you will be able to check out creative products from queer designers in a friendly environment implementing all the current safety and health precautions.

For this new guide, we’ve put together some of our favorite local queer businesses and labels. All of them will be part of the Queer Market on Sunday, July 26th, but there will be even more stands for you to explore on the day! iHeartBerlin will also be present with a booth and you’ll be able to get your hands on our books and other products.
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The Soothing Sound of Office Background Noise for Your Home Office

The Soothing Sound of Office Background Noise for Your Home Office

So, how do you enjoy your 4th week of home office so far? It’s awfully quiet, isn’t it? Who would have thought, that of all the things you would miss about going to work is the everyday ruffling and shuffling of your more or less annoying coworkers and the sound of your copy machine. But it’s true, at home it can be so quiet you’ll eventually hear the walls crack. What would you do to hear the totally fake laugh of Karen from accounting that she performs for you not-that-funny boss? Or the annoying passive-aggressive deep breaths by IT guy fixing someone else’s computer for the millionth time. Ah, what a joy a day in the office can be, you may think, slurping your coffee giving someone else the pleasure of typical office background noise.

But you don’t have to miss out on this any longer. Berlin creative agency The Kids came up with the perfect solution: An easy-to-use website that generates typical office background sounds on a loop. You can even specify the number of co-workers and activate certain objects such as a water dispenser and a ping-pong table. You can simply try it out yourself at imissmyoffice.eu and press the play button in the lower-left corner. You’ll never have to miss your own office ever again (at least not for lack of background noise).

Rathaus – A House for Rats

Rathaus – A House for Rats

I really love it when you guys send us the funny stuff you do in Berlin. There are so many cute and wild ideas and I’m glad that we can post some of them here. One of the recent submissions we received comes from Berlin-based design studio Mikesian. The guys had a really nice way to explain their project, so I wanna quote them:

“Rathaus. Rat. House. See what we did there? It might not be as silly as it sounds. The German word for town hall has its roots in ‘council’ and ‘house’. That got us thinking; in Berlin’s increasingly precarious housing situation, what if even the most forgotten members of society had somewhere to live? Even the ones with tails? So this is our leaving present to the city – our Rathauses. Houses for rats. We hope they make themselves at home.”

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Berlin’s Coolest Ceramic Labels & Pottery Studios

Berlin’s Coolest Ceramic Labels & Pottery Studios

photo: Jérémy Bellina. 

I already revealed my passion for plants the other week with my big plant guide. A side effect of it is my new-found interest in pottery, not only for its final result – beautiful ceramics – but also for the process of making it. If you hear pottery I would not blame you for not having something particularly cool in mind. But trust me, we found some really cool people in Berlin that do very unique and contemporary designs that you will love.

I also put my own crafty talents to the test and participated in a wheel throwing class at one of the studios from our guide. It was a really wonderful experience that I can warmly recommend to anyone looking for a new hobby (or a creative calling?).

But now without any further ado let me introduce you to Berlin’s coolest ceramic labels and pottery studios.

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A Berlin Guide to Urban Industrial Vintage Design

A Berlin Guide to Urban Industrial Vintage Design

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!

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Reference Berlin: A Creative Festival Challenging the Standards of the Fashion World

Reference Berlin: A Creative Festival Challenging the Standards of the Fashion World

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.

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Going In Deep & Hard: This Queer Artist Designs Porcelain Sex Toys

Going In Deep & Hard: This Queer Artist Designs Porcelain Sex Toys

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.

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Guen Douglas: The Berlin Tattoo Artist Bringing Sass & Sexiness Onto Your Skin

Guen Douglas: The Berlin Tattoo Artist Bringing Sass & Sexiness Onto Your Skin

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!

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A New Subway and Train Map for Berlin

A New Subway and Train Map for Berlin

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!

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The Crazy Characters Get Together Again for the Pictoplasma Berlin Festival

The Crazy Characters Get Together Again for the Pictoplasma Berlin Festival

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.

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