I started my professional career in 1989 at the Cologne-based broadcaster RTL Television, where I was responsible for on-air promotion for almost 12 years. After leaving RTL in 2001, I moved to Berlin and worked at Universal Music to develop new content formats in television, radio, and the internet. In 2006, I started my own business.
From 2009 to 2015, I was a member of the board of directors of CREATE BERLIN, an interdisciplinary network for the design- and creative industry that strongly believes in the important role of the creative industries in the city’s economic development. This work has given me a good overview of Berlin's creative industry. Then, in 2017, there was the tenth anniversary of Berlin's nomination as a City of Design by UNESCO. For me, this was the right time to summarize an overview in a book and then I published Berlin Design Digest together with Raban Ruddigkeit, a Designer from Berlin. A book with 100 international projects, products, and processes by Berlin agencies, design labs, public initiatives, networks, and universities which connect Berlin to the world.
We have only selected internationally relevant projects. For example, architectural projects that were realized outside of Germany or design products that can be purchased internationally. This book project could be realized because all agencies and production companies contributed financially to the book.
What is possible in Berlin today is based on the driving forces that took over the city immediately after the wall came down. East Berlin opened up an area with countless unexplored spaces. And the very good public transport system made it possible for everyone to explore the city quickly and cheaply. At that time, politics were still busy with other things. Fortunately. This freedom was certainly the most important driver that made possible the Berlin of today.
Design Thinking offers many very interesting approaches to trigger necessary change processes. In my work, however, I am always open to other mechanisms to remain flexible.
When I talk about building bridges, I mean first and foremost bringing the right people together. Often on an international level. This is important to constantly open up new perspectives. In this way, I can always learn a lot.
I don't know much about traditional education processes. For me, a good designer is about how he or she can question the world. How fine their antennae are. How brave they are to find surprising and future-oriented answers to life's challenges.
Below are some unique ways Berlin creatives are tackling the issues brought by the virus:
Locals have come together to collect emergency funding for at-risk nightlife workers in Berlin. The shutting down of nightclubs means these people are out of jobs, and this emergency funding helps mitigate the economic damage that COVID-19 is creating.