Digesting Design

Berlin: Graffiti, the Wall and Currywurst…

Posted in Everything Else, Exhibitions, Internships by Paul on July 30, 2008



I have just come back from Berlin for my summer holiday, so here’s a BIG post about some of the design related stuff I got up to in Germany. I headed on down to KW, Kunst-Werke – Institute of Contemporary Art on to check out Richard Serra, Ricarda Roggan and Albrecht Schafer’s installations captured by photography. Some interesting still lives by the artists.


I also managed to check out what seemed to be Berlin’s answer to the Tate Modern, BG or Berlinische Galerie located near ‘Checkpoint Charlie‘ (the American checkpoint of the wall). On exhibition there was Ronald de Bloeme’s “Piracy”; colourful and abstract pieces of work, Egmont Schaefer’s drawings and Herbert Tobias’ provocative photography. Outside the gallery was some great typography on the floor made out of road paint, and some students were filming outside – a very arty place.




OK so it’s not an exhibition as such, but as a huge fan, the Adidas Originals Shop off Torstrasse, in north Mitte (central Berlin) was a great place to go. With a range of limited edition trainers that I haven’t seen anywhere else yet and some great concepts and graphics throughout the store it was well worth a visit. I particularly liked the ‘design your own Superstars‘ section at the back of the store, where customers could flick through the computers and books to find their perfect colours/laces/trim/materials etc for their own personalised Superstar shoes.

I also managed to check out the Adidas “concept store” at no. 74 on Torstrasse also, where limited edition clothes and trainers were on sale. The store itself was designed by some Berlin based architects whose names I have now forgotton. No. 6, the London Adidas concept store is now also open so I will be checking that out at some point to compare whose better: Germany or England?



NO ART BUT FUN‘ are a nice design collective group I discovered in Berlin after being handed out a sticker ‘I “heart” NO ART BUT FUN‘ so check that out also.


Nearly done, but I also managed to come across ‘Platoon‘ whose Berlin “office” (it actually was converted freight containers) was outside my first hostel in north central Berlin. I talked to Marcello Dato there and the basic run down is that Platoon is not an agency, not a platform, but an organisation. Check them out for yourself and see what you think. Marcello asked me to send through some work to see if I could sort out some involvement with them so watch this space.


And of course I couldn’t go to Berlin without mentioning graffiti and the Berlin Wall. As the 2nd most tagged city behind New York, Berlin had graffiti EVERYWHERE, some bad, but some amazing. And the East Side Gallery which is the section of the Berlin Wall that remains in it’s untouched and untouristified state, had some dope stencils and graffiti on, apparently, artists were invited to do this during the 90s (I think), to decorate what was a harsh and gray canvas in both political and art senses. You can find all my photos from Berlin on my Flickr set here.


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