I graduated from university in 1992 and Berlin at the time was a good place for architects and musicians; but it was a desert for designers. However, Berlin is becoming more interesting in terms of design; nowadays it’s a great place to be for designers.
Mobility, traffic, and housing. Housing has been a global problem but only recently became one for Berlin. With housing and living there is a lot of things going on around the world. At some point, your generation will be looking at everything from the view of sustainability; I see it already as a kind of new religion.
The more you grow as a company, the more you have to be part of a system. There’s less freedom in the work you do when working with big companies. They don't finance designers to be experimental.
For the Hemp Chair we made, we worked with BASF and experimented with this new technology. We created this monobloc chair from hemp fibers which is a natural and sustainable composite material.
I would work more on cultural products, to get more connected to museum exhibitions, experiment with new materials and experimental housing projects. I would invest in my own ideas.
In the 1970’s, during the oil crisis, there was a realization that technology was not the only solution for the future and that there weren’t endless resources. I think there has always been a certain awareness for sustainability but recently it has been growing rapidly. Transforming the process is always difficult. I think old-fashioned companies will fall behind while the newer ones will grow fast. I’m sure everyone has to adapt to sustainability in order to not stay old-school and go bankrupt.
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.