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Creativity Don’t Hide / Creativity / Pop Academy Mannheim / Kurt Weidemann / Creativity World Forum / Schwäbisch Gmünd / Eunique


CLUSTERS & MORE CREATIVE CLASS

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BUSINESS BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG


CLUSTERS & MORE CREATIVE CLASS

Hide When one thinks of innovative design, eccentric fashion and spectacular 3D animation the putative strongholds of creativity Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Munich come to mind first. But Baden-Württemberg’s creative minds are nationally and internationally successful. A report. TEXT: Inka Ziegenhagen PHOTOGRAPHY: Monica Menez FASHION: Blutsgeschwister

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2 degrees centigrade. Great weather! Achim Mende enters the tourist information centre in dreamy Überlingen — suntanned, casual wear, a sparkle in his eyes. It is his 44th birthday today. How is it that he gives interviews on his birthday? Because the sun is not shining today. It is raining.

Teaching the Camera how to Fly

For many years the creative class in Baden-Württemberg did not dare to face national competitors. 22

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This year Mende has been out and about in Baden-Württemberg for 120 days. Often his working day starts at 3 o’clock in the morning. Achim Mende is a photographer. Not an ordinary one, though. Mende’s camera can fly. Carried by a 18 cubic metre helium balloon, it gets so close up that it would allow Mende to count the tiles on the roof of Villa Reitzenstein. When Mende takes pictures of Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz it does not take long before he is surrounded by passers-by casting curious looks. His futuristic high-tech equipment makes one think of “Starship Enterprise” Lieutenant Geordi La Forge rather than a professional photographer. Mende looks through a minute camera with an integrated lens hovering up to 300 metres above him. Data are sent via radio to his cyber glasses, and using remote control Mende orientates his high-resolution digital cameras: they can turn, tilt, zoom in on the object they focus on and change height. The Überlingen resident has inherited his passion for unusual perspectives and for astro-photography: the contagious inclination handed down from his father, a precision engineer who worked as a board mechanic for the air force. As a boy Mende already looked up towards the sky. He got his first camera when he was twelve. Later, using a 20 centimetre Newton telescope, he built his own observatory on the roof of his parents’ garage so that he could take photos of the sky. This is where he learnt to cope with a lack of light and very long exposure times. Later on he worked for Siemens electronics. An apprenticeship as photographer followed. But Mende got bored with classical studio photography. He wanted to get out, had a thirst for adventure. He was drawn towards the South Seas, the Sa-


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Achim Mende has a passion for unusual perspectives. Therefore he taught his camera how to fly C Achim Mende

hara, the Arctic. He wanted to travel, to take photographs of foreign countries, and, above all, he wanted to teach his camera how to fly. When he was 16 he traveled to Marocco with an Interrail railway pass, one year later to South Africa, always accompanied by his camera and his hang-glider. He has his driving licence forwarded to him. Later on he is to take photographs from a helicopter, and he is the first person to cross the Channel with a motorised hang-glider, an accomplishment that makes it into the Guinness Book of Records. Still Mende is not entirely satisfied with his “flying tripods”. “Too noisy, too tall, too expensive and too inflexible,” is how Mende summarises his initial flight attempts. “It is true that an ultralight airplane, for example, is very quiet and hardly interferes with its surroundings. For take-off and landing though a lot of space is required and one just does not get close enough. And I can’t very well land in front of the Mercedes-Benz Museum.” The inspiration did not come to him until he was looking into gas balloons for advertising in the air. “A helium balloon is like a huge tripod over 100 metres above you, it is wonderful to manoeuvre; it allows me to move through crowds of people and over hill and dale” Mende explains, with a sparkle in his eyes. By now, enthusiasm for his pictures has become widespread: the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of State as well as publisher Hubert Burda are among his clients. Leading architect Sir Norman Forster has commissioned photographs. However, Mende’s focus remains on Baden-Württemberg. This year he has been out and about in the ‘Ländle’ for 120 days on behalf of BadenWürttemberg’s tourism marketing. The unique language of his photographs has had a decisive impact on the portrayal of Baden-Württemberg in the media. What drives a creative mind like Mende? He wanted to do break new ground and experience how people would react to his ideas. He has got a vision and he is curious, “curious to see what things that we pass everyday look like from above.” And he wanted to create a unique selling proposition.

Carried by a balloon, the camera gets so close that Mende could count the tiles of Villa Reitzenstein C Achim Mende

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As much as Mende’s CV might appear as an exemplary model for creativity it was an arduous path, too. In order to realise his dream he has given up all other previous professional activities. Development costs of more than 100,000 euros accumulated over a period of two years. “Most people clasped their hands in despair. No one was able to visualise that this could work or that anybody would need it.” Often he had to overcome obstacles, but he never deviated from his initial idea. A lack of support was one factor which kept him going: “When things are going too well, you run the risk of having it too cosy and becoming lazy. Willpower, faith and perseverance is what counts — well, virtues of Baden-Württemberg that is.”

Significance of the Creative Industries Achim Mende is one of almost 400,000 people working in the creative industries in Baden-Württemberg. This means that one in seven members of the working population earns his or her living in the areas architecture, design, marketing, advertising, print, radio or internet. In 2004 a total turnover of 50 million euros was achieved, equivalent to nine per cent of the state’s gross domestic product. Thomas Hundt, deputy director of bwcon — Baden-Württemberg’s technology and innovation agency — reveals an open secret when he declares “we are as big as mechanical en-

“Many locals do not see, how beautiful the country is.” So Mende made a photo CD (www.kameraballon.de) C Achim Mende

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gineering”. Only that the public hardly notices. Looking at a larger timeframe, the sector’s 49,000 companies performed even better: between 1995 and 2004 its added value increased by an annual average of five percent — which is twice the figure of the overall economy. It is not just the sector’s economic performance which is frequently underestimated. Many people working in the field have a wrong idea of Baden-Württemberg as a creative location. Whereas internationally the state’s agencies and publishers enjoy an excellent reputation, domestically the state’s creative image still lags behind the supposed strongholds of creativity like Berlin, Hamburg and Düsseldorf. A prophet is without honour in his own country. › BUSINESS BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG

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Unknown products don‘t sell. “We were given an early reality check”, recalls Christina Haneberg (left) C Inka Ziegenhagen

Karin Ziegler is chief designer and one of the founders of the fashion label Blutsgeschwister C Inka Ziegenhagen

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› “People tend to forget that many well known creative minds are from BadenWürttemberg,” is how Christina Haneberg puts things right. Haneberg is the commercial manager of the Stuttgart fashion label Blutsgeschwister. “It’s in people’s genes. We grow up with a “Tüftler” mentality, puzzling over tricky problems until they are solved. And whoever has fought his or her way through around here is likely to make it in the rest of the country and internationally. A bit of fighting spirit is part of it.”

Frill Edgings Flirting with Tigerskin Fighting spirit is what they have displayed, both Blutsgeschwister founders Christina Haneberg and Karin Ziegler as well as Achim Mende. Since its inception in 2001, the fashion label has successfully occupied a market niche: with playful and unconventional collections. Flower power meadows camouflage meets bold polka dots. Frill edgings flirting with wild tigerskins. Blutsgeschwister know how to satisfy their target group’s desires for individuality, authenticity and originality. Their trousers tell stories and make life a little more colourful. And this is what customers, most of them between 18 and 35 years old, honour. The tills are ringing. Neo-hippies with a thirst for life feeding fashion-conscious piggy banks. 24

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Supporting young talents: The Film Academy ranks first in the creative ranking of “Focus” magazine C Filmakademie

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This has not always been the case. Their first collection was to be sold via internet and retail sales. “But if nobody knows you, you don’t sell. We were given an early reality check,” is how Christina Haneberg explains their decision to sell the brand via retail sales. On the side, the label revived a tried and tested sales method: the Tupperware concept. Blutsgeschwister call it Showroom Shopping. Partying atmosphere meets shopping fun. Financing turned out to be difficult, too. Most banks and funding bodies are very sceptical when it comes to the fashion business. The scepticism is not entirely unfounded: roughly 30 percent of the sector’s firms go bankrupt. “Fashion is a very emotional business. A lot depends on moods and trends which makes it practically impossible to predict chances for success. But when you need to cover running costs like rent and you’ve got to fight for every 5,000 euros overdraft, then there is hardly any time left for what is essential — creative work.” They made it all the same. In 2006, with 27 employees, the firm attained a total turnover of 2.5 million euros. Compared to 2004 this signifies a substantial increase of 56 percent. There are now Blutsgeschwister flagship stores in Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and Metzingen. Natives of Baden-Württemberg may well inherit “Tüftler” genes, yet the Blutsgeschwister manager sighs in a low voice

“but…” What is still missing in BadenWürttemberg is a subculture scene. Art, creativity and subculture go together, they are mutually conditional. Creative minds don’t just express themselves in their work, their creativity translates into their lives. This is why many of them just use the region to make their first creative steps; later they move on to other cities where, for example, they can rent cheap warehouse space and hip locations serving as temporary location for off the wall fashion shows.

Bourgeois, Down-to-earth and Lucrative This brings us back to the region’s image problem — and above all to its causes. A survey conducted in 2007 reveals why Stuttgart cannot and should not be like Berlin. The qualitative survey was carried out by the agency “überNormalNull GmbH Kunst Bauen Stadtentwicklung”. How a creative scene develops and what sort of “character” it has is determined by its structural conditions. In Berlin, Leipzig and Cologne there are many industrial estates which have been left unexploited and which have, little by little, been occupied by street art artists and other creative minds. This is where once unsuccessful attempts were made to put GDR companies back on an even keel and where Rhenish miners stood facing blast furnaces. This is where now trends are born.


CLUSTERS & MORE CREATIVE CLASS

In Southern Germany the situation is different: here creative minds closely cooperate with local medium-sized companies that are part of an international network. According to the study, “Swabians have always been renowned for their inventive genius and for their engineers brooding over tricky problems. In Baden-Württemberg creativity is more bourgeois, more down-to-earth and less spectacular, but one can earn money with it.” Daimler, Festo, Liebherr & Co. make sure that the tills of local agencies and publishing houses are ringing. The economic potential alone is not sufficient though, underlines Christina Haneberg, citing an example from the fashion business: “Many small fashion companies in Berlin are still stuck with a certain “Hinterhofmentalität”, an identity linked to nonconformist backyard activities. Individuality at all costs. Of course by setting up and running Blutsgeschwister we also wanted to realise our potential — but we wanted to earn money in the process, too. Well, this is another Swabian virtue.”

More Than a Little Learning The creative industries’ competitive edge is partly based on the state’s universities, noteworthy for their quality and the sheer number of them. In 2006 the region’s 70 universities and technical colleges invested 2.4 billion euros in student education and training. This amounts to an increase of 113 million euros or five percent compared to 2005. A contribution which is notable, nationwide. These investments also have an impact on the creative industries in BadenWürttemberg. The Focus magazine’s “Kreativ-Ranking” which is published at regular intervals shows the universities and academies of Baden-Württemberg at the top of the spectrum. The ranking “product design” awarded the top three places to the University for Design in Schwäbisch Gmünd, the University of Pforzheim and the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design; these were followed by Karlsruhe, ranking fifth. Students studying communication at ›

Looking for talents: A new creative class is being educated to create the future of design and fashion

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Prof. Thomas Schadt, director of the Film Academy, encourages his students to think global C Filmakademie

Students of the Film Academy in the kitchen of famous executive producer and director Roland Emmerich C Filmakademie

“Germany’s ‘superstars’ would likely fail our entrance exam”, says Udo Dahmen, director of the Popakademie C Popakademie

› the State Academy of Art and Design or at the private Merzakademie may proudly acknowledge that their institutions are among the three German top universities in the field. The Stuttgart-based Media University is the only European university to cover all areas of the media: printing technology, design, electronic media, business management, advertising, library and information management, publishing. The university was founded in 2001. Starting with the summer term 2008 the institution will additionally offer a German-Chinese course in packaging technology taught in cooperation with the Technical University in Xian.

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Workshops in Los Angeles, a selected group of students is given the opportunity to gain first-hand insights into the secrets of the Hollywood studio system. The Los Angeles Workshop as well as many other projects supporting creativity depend on the state’s financial help and on numerous support programmes. For ten years now the Film Academy itself has been financed with on average ten million euros per annum by the state of Baden-Württemberg. The MFG Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg tries to promote and develop the areas IT, media and film:

Direct Link: Ludwigsburg — Hollywood “Get out of the biotope and think big”, demands, along similar lines, Prof. Albrecht Ade, founding director of the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg. The Film Academy, founded in 1991, has in no time turned into a hotbed for the film industry’s rising generations. In 2003 the Art Directors Club für Deutschland (ADC) designated the Academy the most creative university in its advertising category; the “Focus KreativRanking” also awarded a top grade: first for “TV, film and video”. Excellent technical equipment and training geared towards specific practical issues are not necessarily a guarantee for graduates to get a foot into the door in the cut-throat film business. Initiative is what is needed and nowadays also intercultural competency. Many film and TV productions are hardly feasible without foreign financial support. “Experience has shown that it takes years to learn the rules by which international partners and clients cooperate and play. And more often than not, one learns them the hard way,” is how Professor Thomas Schadt, director of the Film Academy, summarises the situation. The state-accredited university has reacted to the need to cooperate on an intercultural level: every year students are sent to Lódz, Havanna, Paris and Toronto. Furthermore, within the framework of the Hollywood

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Hollywood attitudes are no longer a stranger to Stuttgart: internationally orientated customers enjoy being hip


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every year 15 million euros are on average made available for grants, projects aiming at technology transfer and for awards.

Pop star, B.A., a Six-term-course? Mannheim is the music industry’s secret pop capital in the region. The city of Mannheim, the federal state and the European Union support young musicians, producers, sound technicians, trying to ease their way into the professional music business: Musikpark Mannheim, which by now has all its spaces taken, and the state-run university Popakademie Baden-Württem-

berg are two projects serving this purpose. At its inception in 2003, serious doubts very voiced: … becoming a pop star in six terms? Udo Dahmen who directs the state-run institution has then and now responded with composure. The point is not to train classical pop stars like they may be known from radio and TV. Students should receive solid education and training to prevent that their talents will be soon on sale for 1.99 euros in the bargain bin — which is what tends to happen nowadays to most stars and starlets who have undergone fast breeding. Such training includes sound

knowledge about music rights as well as about business management. “Germany’s so-called superstars would likely fail our entrance examination.” Dahmen himself used to play the drums for Deutschrock Combo band Rufus Zuphall und Kraan, later he joined Sting. He often felt that he would have liked to have academic training as a basis for his career in music. “You learn faster, access to information is easier.” Today, 146 young people study the courses music business and pop music design at the Academy which was founded following the example of Ludwigsburg Film Academy. ›

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A Swabian company at Hannover Messe 2007 not as sponsor of canapés, but as instrument maker C Festo

Greg Lynn’s “RoboLiving” at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein C Thomas Dix

The exhibitions of the Vitra Design Museum have played a major role in the global popularisation of design C Thomas Dix

› Hanna Schraffenberger feels passionate about music, too. The 23-year-old woman studies tone and interactive media at Stuttgart Media University. She is one of the winners of a Karl-Steinbuch grant. With her project “Interactive real-time application for free improvised music” she goes beyond restricted thinking and combines information technology, media and art in her music performance.

Programmed Coincidental Music “Each space has a very particular sound which is influenced by the size of the room, by its architecture and the materials which were used”, explains Hanna Schraffenberger. Software programmes with echoes reminding of sounds in churches or large spaces are nothing new. This, however, is not the point. She does not want her computer to modify sounds, but to turn into an instrument itself, becoming a partner a musician improvises with. The computer is able to intelligently respond to the musician’s playing. This is how entirely new, experimental compositions come about, varying with each performance. Coincidence as an artist. This aleatory approach is not new in the history of music. Mozart’s musical dice game (“Musikalisches Würfelspiel”) also uses coincidence, asking the listener to create waltz rhythms by throwing two dice. What is innovative is Schraffenberger’s approach is the combination of existing with new technology thereby developing new concepts. Creative concepts.

A Pneumatic Concert Change of location: Hanover, April 2007. 2,000 heads of companies, leading figures and representatives of the press have been invited to the opening ceremony of the Hannover Messe 2007. A concert is taking place on stage. A concert is nothing unusual for an industrial fair. This concert is. Four string instruments and one drum are playing “Fast Blue Air” by the composer Elena Kats-Chernin. No musicians to be seen though. Even more unusual is the fact that a Swabian mechanical engineer28

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ing company should be behind the concert — and this time round not as a sponsor of canapés and champagne. What is it that electrical positioning systems, pneumatic drives and valve terminals have in common with a contemporary concert? Quite simply: air. Like most suppliers of capital goods Festo, too, has experienced certain difficulties to make itself noticed — not by customers and suppliers but by the (wo)man in the street. Not everybody gets excited about industrial and process automation right away. Air is neither visible nor tangible. But what you can do with air in movement, that is visible, or, rather audible, at Hannover Messe. Equipped with pneumatic components and a programmable logic

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controller (PLC), the drum and the four string instruments do sound like real instruments. Each string instrument has 21 microcylinders imitating the movements of the musician’s hand, pitches vary as strings are shortened. For the drum microcylinders move various drum sticks and brushes. The programme for the music to be played is saved as midi files. The sound machines are then controlled by the PLC, the strings are made to vibrate by pneumatics and the sound is being amplified electronically. That’s it. There was no customer for this project. But a lot of applause and a bonus for the company image. And this must have been music to the ears of the company managers as employers. In the face of an estimated 20,000 vacancies for engineers, and that just in the Southwest, financial incentives and moderate working hours alone don’t quite do the trick.

Innovate or Perish Revolutionary technologies and rising technical standards lead to increased technical leeway and thus also the need to innovate. Innovate or perish, that is today’s motto. In all sectors. Seminar organisers have long identified this need and try to transform the increasing demand into hard cash. The market has become complex and confusing. The quality of offerings is often dubious — most seminar organis- ›


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Glass workshop at Boisbuchet organised by the famous Corning Museum of Glass, New York C Vitra Design Museum

Creativity workshops at a magical place. Early morning at the old chateau at Boisbuchet C Vitra Design Museum

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› ers content themselves with a quick grab into the usual bag of tricks. Brainpuzzle, brainwriting 635, free association, déjà vu technique — for seminar participants this at least sounds profesional. But can one learn and teach creativity? “Creativity and team building workshops are very sensitive experiences and there is never any guarantee of how they will work out. Though there are ways to avoid disasters, there are very few means to ensure success”, answers Pippo Lionni, partner of the French design agency Ldesign and workshop instructor at the Vitra Design Museum. Being forced by the boss to be creative, theory-loaded approaches and the fact that participants usually stew in their own juices — these factors work against free thinking as well as trial and error.

Creativity Workshop at Boisbuchet Alexander von Vegesack, director of the famous Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, is familiar with this problem and has reacted. He founded a workshop programme, which now takes place at the the Domaine Boisbuchet. The old country estate Domaine Boisbuchet is located in the Poitou-Charente region in west central France and has evolved over the years to become an international centre for designers, architects and artists creating projects and exchanging ideas. The grounds extend across 150 hectares. The beautiful land30

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“Diamonds are made from shit, tons of shit. Experiment and throw most of it away”, advises Pippo Lionni C Vitra Design Museum

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scape with a lake and a park created in the 19th century, a chateau, barns and dependances with a rustic charm does not only result in the domaine’s magical ambience but also brings the participants far away from everyday obligations and allows full concentration on the appointed exercises. During the summer, Boisbuchet offers many design workshops for international students, professional designers and those interested in working with renowned artists, like Jaime Hayon (Ecole nationale Supérieur d`Art de Limoges), Paul Haigh (Corning Museum of Glass, New York) and Sigga Heimis (Ikea). The seminars are not about the final product but about the process. They deal with experimentation of techniques, of materials, of imagination. The programme is complemented by lectures and discussions, in the evening. Pippo Lionni, who lectured at this year’s workshop ‘How to design a designer’, sums up with a little smile: “You can do and be many things in your life. But you have to do them totally, to take them to the limit. This is can not be imagined, it must be done — it is about action, experimentation and critisism. Diamonds are made from shit, tons of shit. Experiment and throw most of it away.” The impressive results of that way of being creative can be seen everywhere on Boisbuchet’s grounds: designer chairs made of stones and chicken wire, bamboo houses,

glass art — all created by workshop participants. Creativity without boundaries. For several years now, the Vitra Design Museum together with Boisbuchet has been offering a special service for companies and associations. On their behalf, the design museum organises workshops for employees, business partners, customers and job applicants in Boisbuchet. The companies can make use of the programmes and infrastructure for training measures, talent scounting, incentives, marketing events and think tanks and take a role in fostering and developing young talents. This year’s participants of Faurecia’s workshop at Boisbuchet said: “It was an amazing and incredible experience for all of us and exceeded our expectations and objectives in all aspects. We totally lived the design with historic references and a contemporary concept; the mixture provoked emotions and questions.”

More Than Colourful Paintings Creativity is more than colourful paintings and strange design. A creative mind is someone who thinks and acts in new interdisciplinary ways. That is not only true of fashion designers and filmmakers, but also of mechanical engineers and marketing professionals. In a digitalised and networked world, creative thinking is not an add-on, but a must. This has been obvious in Baden-Württemberg for a long time. 8


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Teaching & Talents Pop Academy

The

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Hits

Sounds of Mannheim Good pop music is born on the streets. At least according to the hip music press. In Mannheim one can only laugh about such a statement. With Germany`s first Pop Academy they want to prove it wrong.

The post-industrial kids of Mannheim are trying to find their way into the glamorous niche of pop music — they study it.

Text & Photo Inka Ziegenhagen

Those were cheerful days. Germany’s first pop school was to come to Baden-Württemberg, Mannheim, to be more precise. Politicians held witty, impressive speeches, everybody was in high spirits. Erwin Teufel was awarded the Bavarian rock music award “Pick Up” for his commitment. And during the formal opening ceremony one of the very big names in the German music business, then CEO of Universal, Tim Renner, broke the ground. Those who were intrigued and searched the web for information on the Academy ended up on the site of a private — Stuttgart-based — music initiative. This was regrettable but did in no way cast a cloud over the prevailing buoyant mood. Pop was and is business, and now there was a place to study it. This was back in 2003. This year the Pop Academy celebrates its fifth anniversary. Congratulations from the editors! By now the first four generations of students have bachelor degrees in pop music and pop business in their pockets. The mood in the music business though is no longer that rosy. Large

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record companies complain about plummeting sales due to pirate copies, everybody has to cut costs. The bubbly mood has lost its bubbles. Bad times for young musical talents in Mannheim? Does the pop B.A. guarantee a job? And is pop star a profession that can be taught and learned? Currently there are around 200 students going through a 3-year-course at Hafenstraße 33 in Mannheim. Those who want to become singers, songwriters, instrumentalists or producers study pop music design. The remaining 80 students want to work as event and label managers, marketing experts, artist developers and community managers on the utilization side and follow the music business course. The two managers of the Academy know both areas very well. For years, Prof. Udo Dahmen used to play the drums for Sting, Nina Hagen and Gianna Nannini. Prof. Hubert Wandjo's c.v. looks similarly impressive. He used to hold managerial positions in large record companies like Sony Music Germany and Columbia. For Warner

Music Germany he managed East-West Records GmbH while, as a sideline, teaching at the Baltic Business School in Sweden. The two of them share tasks. Dahmen is in charge of the creative side and is also director of studies for the music students while Wandjo is responsible for the business side and manages the business course. “Art and marketing simply go together,” explains Dahmen. And this applies above all to the students. For the basic study period Mannheim has introduced a series of lectures, the socalled theme course. Each term students have to attend two of these courses, one of them focussing on the artistic part, the other one on business. They are for both music and business students.

The Sixty-Four-ThousandDollar-Question Three years are a relatively short period of training, hence there is no beating about the bush in Mannheim. The first theme ›


Teaching & Talents Pop Academy

Edgar Berger lectures on the future of pop business. Jan-Simon is a man of action. He takes matters into his own hands

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Teaching & Talents Pop Academy

Waiting for Edgar Berger. Students benefit from the Academy’s first-class contacts

700 young talents apply every year to study at Germany's first Pop Academy. 630 are rejected

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Baseline, verse and then the bridge. This is not a place for Dieter Bohlen style run-ofthe-mill songs

› course is called “How to produce a hit” and asks the crucial question in the highly competitive music business right from the start: so how do you produce a hit? Udo Dahmen laughs. “Well, actually there is no magic formula for the perfect hit, but we do know the tools to do so.” The theme courses are set up as a series of lectures. For three weeks, various experts from the music business work with the students on different aspects of a topic, covering the entire process of song production. They start out with the idea about a song, going on to writing the lyrics, composing the music until the CD is produced and available in the shops.

Just a Normal School? Today it is media expert Stefan Weinacht who lectures on the music press in Germany. What then does a lecture at the Pop Academy look like? Well, it actually is no different from lectures at other universities. The lecturer uses powerpoint presentations to explain the typology of communication interactions, students paying more or less attention and in the end students will have to prove their knowledge by sitting an exam. “Applying knowledge alone is not enough. Students have to master technical terms and definitions, too. Otherwise points get deducted.” After a lot of theoretical explanations and a brief admonishment Weinacht tells some stories of life out there — Germany's first university for popular music does emphasize that its courses are practice-oriented. For the musical offspring tips from people who have gained practical experiences, like dealings with the music press, are worth their weight in gold. By German standards the way people at the Pop Academy interact with each other is somewhat unusually casual. Lecturers, professors, staff and students all use first names when talking to each other. “We use first names for visiting lecturers, too. They just have to get used to it,” explains first-year student Bruce Klöti grinning. Being a student at the Pop Academy is a full-time job. Bruce has got little time for anything else — right now a rehearsal with the band is on

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Teaching & Talents Pop Academy

You have to see the region as a whole. Travelling “ from Mannheim to Heidelberg does not take you any longer than a trip from Hamburg-Eppendorf to Reeperbahn.” Prof. Udo Dahmen, Creative Director of the Pop Academy, is taking a firm stance: Subculture in the Mannheim region should not be underestimated

the agenda. In Mannheim playing in a band is not just an activity that is nice to have, but compulsory, at least for most pop music students. At the start of every term, songwriters present their songs in public, during a band exchange forum in front of the plenum. Musicians and songwriters connect in line with musical tastes and set up bands accordingly. “Sometimes constellations last two years, in some cases just two weeks,” explains Dahmen. “When the band is complete rehearsals start. After three weeks the first band coaching with a lecturer is due. And at the end of the half-year term at the latest, things start getting serious. During a 20-minute live concert the young musicians will have to show what they have learned in terms of composition and performance. And the concerts get graded, just like other, theoretical subjects. Does this mean that you have to have produced a hit in order to get a good grade? Udo Dahmen counters with ease “ My favourite slogan is: the avantgarde of today is going to be the mainstream of tomorrow. That is, pieces that today appeal to a small group on the alternative scene might become a success on a very large scale tomorrow.”

Not Run-of-the-Mill This is the bass player’s first rehearsal with the band. Last week it was another musician who was giving the base line, but he has dropped out. The drummer makes the sound check, Bruce explains to the newcomer what he has to play. The sound equipment is playing up and screeches, time to get handkerchiefs or earplugs out. “Base line, verse, then bridge, okay?” Bridge? “Ya,” explains Bruce, “we don’t want to produce Dieter Bohlen style runof-the-mill songs. Bridge means a varying interlude that adds suspense to the song.” Bruce was eight years old when he started to learn classical guitar. For a long time the Swiss student did not really want to risk the step towards the professional music business. Too uncertain, nothing proper, no perspectives. At the conservatories in neighbouring Switzerland choices are restricted

to classical music and jazz. On top of that selection processes are rigorous. There are private schools, but they put a price on the easy entry. Becoming a sound technician might have been an alternative for Bruce. But when he applied for an apprenticeship they did not want to take him — because he was too good. “When the manager listened to my recordings he just said that he

thought I would be wasting my talents just doing the controls”, remembers Bruce. The sound technician did help him though — by telling him about the Pop Academy in Germany. The Pop Academy receives as many as 700 applications every year. The lucky candiates that are accepted need to possess a university entrance qualification and have › Business Baden-Württemberg

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Teaching & Talents Pop Academy

It’s not the music industry “ which is in crisis though —

it's a crisis of sound carriers.

Prof. Hubert Wandjo, Business Director of the Pop Academy, about the current work

› to have at least two years of practical experience. No chickenfeed. So those who want to become pop musicians in three years actually need to have done excellent groundwork before they are allowed to start. Mannheim puts the finishing touches and provides the necessary know-how to earn the bucks in the music business, an industry that has been hit hard by the record crisis. Because this is what it is about. No later than three years on the young professionals will get to the point where they will have to pay the rent with their music. And this can be “damned hard”. Udo Dahmen is able to tell a thing or two about that. This is why they want to prepare students as well as possible for the challenges that lie ahead. The Pop Academy does not see itself as a hit factory. "Its aim is to provide solid education and training", explains Hubert Wandjo. The students are being taught the musical trade. And they can make a living 52

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off that, they just have to know how. And this what the two managers and their lecturers want to teach to Bruce and his fellow students, and not just by giving out anecdotes from life out there in the music business. In Mannheim to be practice-oriented means mainly one thing: to make and commercially utilize music under real life conditions, for example during the international week of singing and songwriting which aims at developing students’ skills to write songs. An international team of lecturers supports them on the occasion. The tracks are not just produced so that students get practice. Compositions are ordered by real labels like EMI Music Publishing, so this is a chance for students to participate in international pitchings. Doing project team work, students of both courses create image concepts for their bands which are then marketed together

with lecturers and the school’s own booking agency. And by doing so they earn real money, too.

Networking the Mannheim Way The Mannheimer’s secret of success, for which they are known in the federal republic, consists in first-class contacts in the business arena. These contacts exist not only thanks to Dahmen and Wandjo, they go back to former Universal CEO Tim Renner and Xavier Naidoo, Mannheim’s most famous son. Both of them were convinced by the concept. Lecturers like Paul van Dyk, Smudo or Mousse T followed. What is more, a number of alumni now work with the big record companies, as A&R (Artist and Repertoire) managers they look after bands and soloists. One of their jobs in A&R is to act as musical talent scouts. And there, the obvious thing to do is to have a good look around where one started oneself,


Teaching & Talents Pop Academy

Bruce has not quite settled in yet. His day-to-day life is divided between dorm, Academy and pizzeria

No different from other schools: Mastering technical terms is part and parcel of the course

For most people music business seems to the big, wide world. But actually it is not like that

musically speaking. Sebastian Hornik, today Director of Corporate Communications at Sony BMG, also knows the Pop Academy from earlier days. As the Academy press officer he used to be in charge of PR at the school. He was back for a visit of the Academy in November and came accompanied by his recently appointed principal Edgar Berger, head of Sony BMG Deutschland, a Bertelsmann subsidiary.

“Make Good Use of it” Yet the best contacts are only as good as the use that is made of them. Most students know that. "You have to make a decision: You can just study here or you can make good use of it," explains Jan-Simon Wolff to first-year students. He is about to finish his studies and has seized the opportunities available.“ I knew that I’d have only three years, and that I would have to use them. This is a chance in a lifetime.” Jan-Simon studies music business and he is a real gogetter type. In the first term he set up an agency with a fellow student. To build the firm, the two served the obligatory internship in their own company. Unlike Bruce, Jan-Simon knew early on in his life that he wanted to work in the music business. He owes his bachelor degree to his mother who had read about the Pop Academy and encouraged him not to drop out of school. He did the two years of obligatory practical work at Emergenza, the largest newcomer festival worldwide. “I was involved in everything and basically had to do everything there, I was the boss of the roadie and the roadie at the same time.”

Those Days are Over The Mannheim experts may well know the tools for success, yet are good contacts and a practice-oriented concept good enough? After all, with sales plummeting, chances for a job in the sector are dwindling, too. Hubert Wandjo is relaxed and corrects “Sure, in the early days once you were famous you could make a couple of million euros with the CDs you sold. Those days are over. It is not the music industry which is in crisis though

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but it’s a crisis of sound carriers. It’s simply a billing problem.” And this problem could present the big chance for the Mannheim business students — provided they learn how to master the digital world. “Sooner or later the record companies will need staff who are digital natives.” And this is what pop students are trained to become. Mann­ heim does not only offer classical lectures on business management, seminars about audio branding and concert planning, the curriculum also includes artist development in the digital world.

My Baby Wants to Eat Your Pussy

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The c.v.s of the Academy’s former graduates prove the success of the ambitious concept. At Four Music Michi Stockum is looking as A&R for talents, Marc Awounou records the new Rosenstolz album while Alex Grube goes on tour with Sara Brightman. And then there is, of course, the band, one of the Academy’s showpieces. The name alone is sensational enough. With their songs ranging between radical romantic and glam rock “My Baby Wants to Eat your Pussy” have been successful in various contests. Early on in their career — they began 4 years ago — the band played as a support for well-known artists like Jethro Tull and Söhne Mannheims. Later quite a number of gigs, some of them abroad, added themselves. In 2007 alone, the band gave nearly 60 concerts, winning many fans and also

an otherwise serious music press with their with idiosyncratic, strident and forceful shows. Udo Lindenberg, arguably the most famous fan of the band, summarizes: “This band is magic, it just never stops to surprise.” It is not just on the musical side where the band with the striking name stands out on a musical scene which is otherwise characterized by a pronounced lack of ideas. The band also offers a firework of media effects, and they also have their own radio and TV stations. Each and every TV spot, music clip, jingle or animation, everything is produced by the band themselves: glamorous, unconventional, shrill, trashy, funny and fast. Simply pop. Ah and yes: the band › produces a magazine, too.

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Teaching & Talents Pop Academy

“You can just study here, or you can make good use of it”, explains Jan-Simon to first-year student Bruce

Udo Dahmen and press officer Matthias Krebs eyeing up the new building

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Being booked for a canapé buffet reception is also part of the pop business

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open-minded, not restricted in their thinking. Through RegioNet, for example, the Academy wants to build a pop culture in all of Baden-Württemberg; the initiative is supported by various partners like the PopNetz Karlsruhe and Popbüro Region Stuttgart. Thanks to MU:ZONE Europe pop students are able to take part in exchange programmes with other pop music schools abroad.

Sounds of Mannheim 03

› But things aren’t always as hot and trendy as that. They are certainly not when one of the Mannheim bands are booked for a canapé buffet reception. “That is also part of the pop business,” comments Beril of LaFuso. The band is under contract with the Academy-owned booking agency and benefits now after graduation from the school’s contacts. “The Pop Academy just seems to know practically everybody under the sun, and if you put your shoulder to the wheel and work you do get support.” This holds true not only for the students but also for bands outside the school. Projects such as the Bandpool, the Clubaward or the BASF SE-sponsored School of Rock also support and coach external bands and pupils. The Mannheimer are 54

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Pop music does not necessarily have to be born in the streets but can actually be learned within a professional environment. This is a fact that Mannheim lecturers and students have demonstrated to the critics. But why is Germany’s first and foremost pop academy located in a town with just about 300,000 inhabitants and a club scene one does not hear of very much at all? Udo Dahmen is from Hamburg and knows the merits of his native city. Yet for him Mannheim is no less attractive, it all depends on your vantage point: “Well, yes, the small clubs are still underrepresented. But then one has got to see the Rhine-Neckar region as a whole.” True urban city life alone, like in Berlin, is not sufficient. This is also what a recent survey on Germany’s most creative cities, realized by Roland Berger, shows. Berlin does have a pronounced subculture but lacks the necessary economic basis. Mann­

heim with its local companies, some of which are partners of the school, can in turn offer that. Besides, qualifying as a “Ziel-2Projekt”, it was possible to procure substantial funds from the European Union for the former harbour area of Jungbusch where the Pop Academy is located. It must also be said the Pop Academy owes its existence above all to the town of Mannheim. Unlike some of his colleagues elsewhere, Lord Mayor Dr. Peter Kurz does not need to be put in the picture about the names of local musicians, for these are being presented on the town’s official marketing website. And which other towns nominate a radio DJ and former music editor as their official representative for pop affairs, or have a song written for the 400th anniversary of the town? (Not too many.) As a matter of fact, to become the federal republic’s music capital is the declared aim of the town. To this purpose a plan has been worked out that is now setting a precedent. The “Mannheim Model” is a wholistic pop network that in its core consists of three elements, the Pop Academy, support by the municipality and the “Musikpark” that was opened in 2004. The “Musikpark” encompasses an area of 4,300 square metres on which one of the most modern digital recording studios, as well as seminar rooms and other studio areas are housed. Subsidized rent, individual advice, an attractive infrastructure and short distances to other companies in the building have convinced 40 companies from the music business to set up offices in the “Musikpark”. Close cooperation between the individual companies is another secret to success of the town of Mannheim. It is no coincidence that the “Musikpark” is situated in Hafenstraße — right next to the students’ hall of residence and in the immediate neighbourhood of the Pop Academy. And this is where recently, once again, it was time for champagne bubbles. The extension building was inaugurated, with a host of VIPs, witty speeches and, of course, background music. Good, solid pop music from Mannheim. 8


Teaching & Talents Pop Academy

How to Cope with the Crisis “Only some skills can be learned” High Level Visitor Within the Pop Academy’s event series Open House, Edgar Berger, CEO of Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Germany), lectured about how to manage current challenges.

Mr. Berger, why does the German music industry needs a Pop Academy?

The Mannheim Pop Academy is the only establishment of its kind in Germany that teaches popular music, both the creative and the business sides of it. The academy’s good reputation goes to show that the concept has been successfully received by the market. This year the Academy celebrates its fifth anniversary and it has been supported financially by the state of Baden-Württemberg since its inception — this proves the success of the Pop Academy. What are the experiences of the music industry with the graduates?

Over the past few months we have employed

Having graduated from the “ Pop Academy gives a good headstart,

graduates of the Pop Academy in the areas A&R (Artists & Repertoire). There are also students of the Academy who work with us as interns. As a matter of principle, they get a positive start with us — the fact that they come from the academy means to an extent an early round of applause. We know that all of them were thoroughly examined when they applied with the academy. Also all students have already worked for at least two years in the music business. This is one of the prerequisites to be accepted into the school. Yet none of this can provide the guarantee that the applicant gets a significant lead ahead of other applicants. Having graduated from the Pop Academy gives a good ›

but is no guarantee for future success.

Edgar Berger, CEO SONY BMG Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH

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Teaching & Talents Pop Academy

› headstart, but it is no guarantee for future success. From what backgrounds do applicants come who are not graduates of the Pop Academy? Is the share of people entering the business with a different professional background as big as people tend to assume?

As a matter of fact there are very few applicants coming from other areas, all of them have already worked in with music in some way or other, there are, for example DJs that have moved on to A&R or former producers. Sometimes people who love music apply, they get in via an internship and gradually develop in this direction. There simply is not one single solution to a career in the music business. Just look at my c.v. It is a business that lives by a learning-bydoing attitude. You have to be personally committed and, of course, love music. Let’s take a job in A&R. What sort of qualifications do you ask for from people who apply?

musicians have “Young got only one chance really: They have to convince their fans.” Edgar Berger, CEO SONY BMG Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH

Somebody who works in A&R needs to have an ear, as we put it. This ability is also a mark of distinction. They have got to be able to recognize what sort of music is going to become a hit. Apart from that they need to be able to assess artists correctly, i.e. the environment, the ability to write songs and, of course, the quality of live performances. For the musician the A&R person is the first contact. And good personal contact can become the decisive factor. All of this are skills that students cannot necessarily learn.

Right, only part of it can be learned. You need a certain talent to start with and openmindedness. You can sometimes train this, but these tend to be exceptions. What are the abilities and knowledge you ask for as a potential employer that students of pop music can acquire in Mannheim?

Experience is all-important. Working intensively with songs and artists means that one gains experience. Then there are internships, an exchange with professors and oth56

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er students and of course, practice-oriented projects. All of this are important elements. And these can definitely be acquired in Mannheim. Thinking about the big record companies, one is also made to think of big stars like Shakira and Celine Dion. Yet the Pop Academy does not see itself as a hit factory. What are the chances for students graduating with a degree in pop music design to be taken under contract with you?

When it comes to taking artists under contract, all that matters is how good and talented they are. We want to know how they differ from other musicians and whether they will be able to assert themselves on the market. It is irrelevant where they come from. I am sure that bands from the Pop Academy will continue to present themselves to our A&R people and that they will do well and make it through to our selection procedures. Where do you see the music business in three to five years? And how can young musicians earn money despite falling sales figures for CDs?

The digital market share will be significantly higher than it is today. We expect a market share of 30 to 40 percent in five year’s time. It seems to me that the business has a chance to grow again, for example through new business models. All of my colleagues, also in other record companies, are working hard at it. This year at Sony BMG sales figures will go up. So this shows that it is possible. But it is an arduous path. What can young musicians do to be successful?

They have got only one chance really: they have to convince their fans, and they can do that only by playing live music. Do you play in a band yourself?

(Berger laughing) My musical career is quite classical: guitar, recorder, piano. And I stopped when I was 17. Mr. Berger, thank you for the interview.


CLUSTERS & MORE HOMESTORY: KURT WEIDEMANN

Design guru Kurt Weidemann has influenced an entire generation of graphic designers and transformed the corporate identity of large companies. One of his most important customers, Edzard Reuter, the former CEO of DaimlerBenz AG devoted an entire chapter of his memoirs to his interaction with Kurt Weidemann. An excerpt. TEXT: Edzard Reuter

The Perennially Young Doyen Former DaimlerBenz CEO Edzard Reuter looks back on his cooperation with Kurt Weidemann Kurt Weidemann and I, became aquainted in the mid-80s in Stuttgart. I do not recall the actual occasion, or even the date. But I do remember that a man with an exceptional sympathetic, almost endearing, charisma stood before me, friendly and open, self-confident and — last but not least! — full of warmth and self-mockery. Ten years of intensive cooperation followed. It began with discussions for which I was in no way “responsible” if one adheres to the narrow interpretation of my duties as the company’s chief financial officer. To make a long story short, it concerned the image which the public primarily associated with Mercedes-Benz, the brand of our cars and commercial vehicles. Mind you: This had nothing to do with the “styling” of our products. On the one hand they were always shaped by the combination of conscious restraint concerning designs en vogue at the time, and on the other hand The two of us,

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the constant commitment to modern technology and the resulting necessity for clear functionality. Despite many individual doubts nobody wanted nor was allowed to question this tradition which had been highly successful over the years. This did not change the fact, that in my opinion the appearance of the company as such had reached a level of bland conservatism, so that in the long-term negative repercussions for our reputation had to be feared.

References Not Required References were thus not required, when we began, to exchange the first ideas about possible solutions for pertinent problems, which concerning Daimler-Benz seemed obvious to me. I neither intend nor am I able to describe the solutions in detail. They began with something that seems like a minor detail, that today has become selfevident, but back then caused heavy resistance: Spelling the company name Daimler-

Benz without the conventional hyphen, so to speak a symbol for the entry of modern ways of thinking into outmoded company structures. All these projects were crowned with a certainly highly unusual scheme. When our cooperation began, more than 50 different typefaces were used by DaimlerBenz. An immense number were to follow, when as a result of our strategic restructuring in the following years, we acquired other companies. If we intended to credibly implement both internally and externally the idea of an “integrated technology company”, we required a simplification. However, this was a challenge whose complexity only very few people can imagine in detail. In the end, it is one of Kurt Weidemann’s masterstrokes that he actually succeeded in developing such a consistent new typeface — and in fact in three versions — and implement its practical application. More than once criticism was ostensibly directed toward Kurt Weidemann, but was in fact also directed at myself. I was well aware of this, but admittedly my conviction changed little, that despite the associated shocks — and also many individual mistakes — the intended fundamental change in our corporate culture was unavoidable, if we wanted to successfully prepare the company for the new challenges of increasing global competition. Without Kurt Weidemann’s creative assistance and contribution this would never have been possible — even though a different path


CLUSTERS & MORE HOMESTORY: KURT WEIDEMANN

To this day, Kurt Weidemann is much in demand and continues to design new typefaces C Torben Jäger

Home of creativity: Kurt Weidemann‘s studio — a former signal tower at Stuttgart‘s west train station C Torben Jäger

Kurt Weidemann as he lives and breathes: Sitting in his backyard and enjoying a glass of dark beer C Torben Jäger

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was followed later.To this day the man continues to live and work in his “signal tower”: determined, consistent, good-humoured, sarcastic, dogged, imaginative and cunning. Of course he has his weaknesses, and always had: intolerant, impudent, cocky, smart-alecky, brash. “Learn to not hesitate to say something thas is understood just like it is meant”. “Someone who only does his work so that the board of directors approves usually does not make it intelligible for the addressee.” These may indeed be wisdoms that not every interlocutor or even customer may want to hear. And yet, they result in a unique personality. 8

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EDZARD REUTER MEMOIRS THE THIN RED LINE

In his extremely enjoyable memoirs “Der schmale Grat des Lebens” former DaimlerBenz CEO Edzard Reuter writes how he found in Kurt

Weidemann the partner for modernising the global corporation’s identity. Kurt Weidemann recently celebrated his 85th birthday. He remains active in his studio — a former signal tower at Stuttgart‘s west train station. Kurt Weidemann — a very productive and a very German life: A young soldier in Russia, five years of work as prisoner of war in a quarry, return from the Soviet Union and a new start with just 50 Reichsmarks

in his pockets, a three-year apprenticeship as type setter, followed by studies at the Stuttgarter Akademie and soon chair of the newly created department for information and graphic applications. Edzard Reuter, Der schmale Grat des Lebens — Begegnungen und Begebnisse Stuttgart: Hohenheim Verlag ISBN 978-3-89850-159-0 19,90 euros

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Clusters & Initiatives Creativity World Forum

High-class Event The Creativity World Forum is the major meeting for the global creative industries and regions. This year the forum will be held in Baden-Württemberg for the first time. The main speakers: Franz Fehrenbach, CEO Robert Bosch GmbH, Stuttgart Prof. Hartmut Esslinger, Founder frog design, San Francisco Prof. Dr. Dr. Karlheinz Brandenburg, Director Fraunhofer Institute for digital Media Technologies Prof. Doris Dörrie, Director and Producer, University of Television and Film Munich Esko Aho, Executive Vice President Nokia Corporation, Finland Prof. Tobias Wallisser, Chair in innovative spatial Structures and digital Design at Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design

Art Works Creativity meets Technology at the Creativity World Forum in Ludwigsburg

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30 November until Thursday, 3 December 2009 creative entrepreneurs, experts and decision-makers will be rubbing shoulders in Ludwigsburg to exchange ideas and develop international projects. On 30 November the curtain will be raised by representatives of the political scene. Core of the meeting will be a congress on 1 and 2 December. The Creativity World Forum will feature prominent participants from a wide range of creative sectors and regions and will include as speakers Nokia Executive Vice President Esko Aho, Bosch CEO Franz Fehrenbach, IBM (Germany) CEO Martin Jetter, Doris Dörrie and inventor of MP3 Karlheinz Brandenburg. Talks will be complemented by five parallel panels of multinational experts. The agenda focuses on strategies for location development, new

From Monday,


Clusters & Initiative Creativity World Forum

The Creativity World Forum generates ideas — this is where leading, “ creative experts from all over the world meet and reveal their secrets, how they develop ideas and how these are then turned into technology and business models.” Klaus Haasis, CEO of MFG Baden-Württemberg

approaches in the promotion of the creative industries and new business models: What makes cities and regions creative? What relevance do the creative industries have? What makes regions attractive to talents? Handwerk International, a partner of Enterprise Europe Network, will organize a cooperation exchange programme on both days. The creative arts, music, films and theatre performances, will no doubt contribute additional inspiration. On 3 December, a trip through the creative regions of Baden-Württemberg will conclude the forum when 150 participants will be given the opportunity to visit companies and organisations in the Stuttgart region, the Metropolitan Region Rhine-Neckar as well as in Technologie Region Karlsruhe. The

CWF is the annual meeting of Districts of Creativity, an international network of creative and innovative regions. Flanders, Baden-Württemberg, Rhône-Alpes and Nord-Pas de Calais, Lombardy, Catalonia, Scotland, Tampere, Oklahoma, Québec, Karnataka, Shanghai and Qingdao have been working together within this framework since 2004. The European Union supports the CWF 2009 as part of the CIP programme to promote competitiveness and innovation. The Creativity World Forum will be hosted by the Baden-Württemberg Government and organized by the Ministry of Economics and the MFG Baden-Württemberg mbH, the Public Innovation Agency for Information Technology and Media.

“The Forum is an opportunity for the State to present Baden-Württemberg as a region of innovation and as a location of the creative industries to a national and international audience of experts”, comments Ernst Pfister, the Baden-Württemberg Minister for Economics, who will be opening the Forum. 8 Contact MFG Baden-Württemberg mbH Public Innovation Agency for Information Technology and Media Kirsten Wissing Breitscheidstraße 4, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany Phone + 49 711 90715-320 wissing@mfg.de www.mfg-innovation.de www.cwf2009.de

Located in the heart of Europe, Baden-Württemberg boasts leading European clusters in ICT. Germany’s South-west is also a hotbed of creative hearts and minds across all sectors, be it music, film, art, design, architecture or publishing. For more than 13 years, MFG Baden-Württemberg has been increasingly successful in bringing together creative industries and the technology sector, connecting what belongs together: developers and producers, designers and engineers, visionaries and investors, universities and enterprises, business and policy-makers – because Innovation needs Networks.

About MFG Baden-Württemberg mbH MFG is among the leading Innovation Agencies in Europe, focussing on Information Technology, Software, Telecommunication and the Creative Industries. By networking the creative and the technology sectors, MFG strengthens Baden-Württemberg as a business location, supports cooperation in Europe and enhances collaboration in global value chains. MFG’s specific focus lies on users of information technology across all sectors and their buyer potential. With services certified according to the ISO 9001 standard and more than 100,000 technology relationships, MFG pioneers the systemic innovation management in the context of public private partnerships.

MFG Baden-Württemberg mbH Innovation Agency for ICT and Media Breitscheidstraße 4 70174 Stuttgart, Germany Phone +49 (0)711 90 715-300 info@mfg-innovation.de www.mfg-innovation.com Business Baden-Württemberg www.doit-online.de

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Clusters & Initiatives Design Cluster Schwäbisch Gmünd

Creative Place Some 150 offices of design, advertising and multimedia agencies, architects and other creative service providers are based in Schwäbisch Gmünd and turn the region into a hotbed of design competence and innovative potential. Text: Esad Fazlic

Finding Future Forms In Schwäbisch Gmünd, they have worked on design for 600 years now. For insiders it is the secret capital of creativity.

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Clusters & Initiative Design Cluster Schwäbisch Gmünd

Schwäbisch Gmünd design offices and students are regularly awarded with prizes C Nubert

is located in the region of East Württemberg in the heart of Southern Germany, some 50 kilometres from the state capital of Stuttgart. The city centre features historic buildings from eight centuries; its market place and the Münsterplatz count as being two of the most handsome spots in Southern Germany. One would not be surprised if the beautiful setting had provided inspiration for the town’s creative industry. For quite some time now the town has been considered Germany’s secret capital of design. Design offices with over a dozen of employees as well as lone creative freelancers have contributed to the development of Schwäbisch Gmünd into a sort of Silicon Valley of Design. A fair number of nationally and internationally renowned offices and agencies have received numerous awards for outstanding design; some of them are working for world-famous companies. 150 of these agencies and offices are located in the Schwäbisch Gmünd region; in total they number 240 in East Württemberg where they offer a very wide range of design-related services. One of the best-known is .molldesign, an agency that has been showered with over 100 international prizes, including, repeatedly, the much-coveted Good Design Award conferred by the Chicago Athenaeum. The list of design offices and advertising agencies also includes names like Henssler & Schultheiss or Eberle Brand Design. They, too, have been honoured with prizes such as the iF design award or the red dot design award. Nubert electronic, a reputable producer of speakers, has gained various sought-after design awards as well. Not least there are companies whose founders have learned the creative trade in Schwäbisch Gmünd and who are now putting their knowledge and experience to good local use. One example is the young, Heidenheim-based company GUBE, a specialist for the construction of innovative furniture. Awareness of the region’s excellence in design is reflected by the geographical origin of the sector’s clients. Only about 20 percent of the Gmünd design offices’ cus-

The reputable producer of speakers Nubert is wellknown for both top quality and impressive design C Nubert

Schwäbisch Gmünd

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tomers are located in the region itself, 70 percent of orders originate in other parts of Germany and ten percent of them are placed abroad, both in and outside Europe. The sector employs a total of approximately 1,700 artists and other employees who create a turnover of well over 100 million euros. A school for drawing for goldsmiths and silversmiths was founded in Schwäbisch Gmünd as early as 1776. As the name implies, at the time the institute focussed on the work with gold and silver. In 1972 the school became the Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd (HfG), the University of Design, a university of applied sciences. The University set into motion a development that has turned Schwäbisch Gmünd into the region with the highest per capita number of designers in Europe, as far as figures go. The University of Design’s best known graduate is no doubt Prof. Hartmut Esslinger, founder and CEO of frog design, one of the most noted companies for product design and digital media worldwide.

Design offices with over a dozen of employees as well as lone creative freelancers have contributed to the development of Schwäbisch Gmünd into a sort of Silicon Valley of Design.

All about Design At the University of Design it is all about design. The dynamic hotbed for design right in the heart of Baden-Württemberg is widely known and highly valued for its exemplary education and training. The most recent addition to the curriculum, in 2007, was the subject of Interaction

Design, complementing the courses Communication Design and Product Design. Interaction designers are called for when it comes to making increasingly inscrutable appliances, which we might be in day-today contact with, easier to understand. The designers act as mediators between the new technologies and the requirements of users. They develop and design digital tools and information systems like, for example, mobile services and media installations (such as for example, hands-on installations in museums) availing themselves of state-ofthe-art technology, material and methods in order to create the services of tomorrow. Three years from its inception, the course is almost fully booked, proving that there is much interest in Interaction Design. The bachelor degree course is complemented by two master programmes, Communication Planning and Design as well as Product › Planning and Design. Business Baden-Württemberg

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Clusters & Initiatives Design Cluster Schwäbisch Gmünd

The students of the University of Design benefit from the excellent reputation of the school C HfG

The fem institute has dedicated itself to the research of metals science and surface technology C fem

  The best-known graduate is clearly Prof. Hartmut Esslinger, founder and CEO of frog design C frog design

to lay the foundations for comprehensive wisdom. For this reason, the Gmünd Model does not only incorporate the tuition of general knowledge of design, studies and practical work based on scientific research and method work. It also includes the passing on of sound technical knowledge as well as themebased project work — an excellent basis for its graduates’ professional future.

International Competence

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A basic goal of the education at the University of Design is to not only teach mere technical knowledge but to lay the foundations for comprehensive wisdom.

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› Design has a Future Problems in the sector are not limited to technical issues nowadays. Today developments in society, science and technology and their impact on the environment have become tremendously complex; they call for an understanding of the interrelatedness of things, seeing an ever bigger picture, and they require appropriate action. The University of Design, therefore, aims at preparing and qualifying its students for a wide range of issues in interaction, communication and product design, to enable graduates to find innovative solutions to current and future challenges. In this context a basic goal of the education is to not only teach mere technical knowledge but

An optional term abroad is an important part of education and training at HfG. It tends to open up new perspectives, enriching the students’ own creative potential; this tends to result in better job prospects. About two thirds of the students take this opportunity, opened up by HfG’s dense international network and its close links with international exchange organisations. There are partnerships with 44 universities in Europe, the U.S., Canada, South America and Asia. Next to these international partnerships, another key to the University’s success lies with regional co-operations, with companies, institutions and on an academic level. Many a project work and final assignment has turned into a concept ready to be introduced on the market. Some of it has been recognized for its benefits in research and is being funded accordingly haptICS and hap- TECH are such projects that are supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); they have arisen from a co-operation between Daimler AG, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), Faurecia Interior Systems GmbH and Göbel Audio, to name some of the partners. Another research project is currently being realized in collaboration with the Design Research Lab of Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, Berlin. The University also relies on a very close co-operation with Paul Hartmann AG in Heidenheim and Oberkochen-based Carl Zeiss AG and there are strong links with the Schwäbisch Gmünd University of Education, Aalen University (HTW), Experimental-OR (“the operating room for the future”) at Tübingen University and the


The University of Design has a long history — its origins go back to the 18th century C HfG

The city’s market place is considered one of the most handsome spots in Southern Germany C Schwäbisch Gmünd

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Department of Health Care Informatics of the German Centre for Cancer Research DKFZ. The Institute for Applied Research that was inaugurated at the University of Design earlier this year is likely to provide new momentum. The quality of tuition at HfG is not least mirrored by the numerous awards and prizes its students have received. When course work and final-year assignments are presented at competitions, the Gmünd work is often found right at the top in the respective categories. In the past, prizes like the iF Concept Award, the Lucky Strike Junior Design Award, the Red Dot Award, Mia Seeger Prize, the Bavarian State Prize for Young Designers and the Adobe Design Achievement Award have gone to HfG students.

mentioned, used not only in jewellery but also in a number of other industries. This is owed to the metals’ characteristic qualities but also to the existence of a timehonoured establishment, the Institute for the Research of Precious Metals and Metallochemistry, fem, in Schwäbisch Gmünd. The independent and nonprofit Institute has dedicated itself to the research of metals science and surface technology since 1922. It focuses on the application of various surface technologies, electrochemistry/plating, anodization and finishing of light metal surfaces as well as plasma surface technology (PVD, PACVD). fem also has comprehensive facilities allowing the Institute to carry out in-depth examinations of material and coatings as well as materials testing. 8

Famous for Gold and Silver Schwäbisch Gmünd is, we have said it, famous for its gold and silver work. For some 600 years, gold and silver in particular have been made into jewellery and related objects. Over 50 workshops of goldsmiths and silversmiths as well as jewellery designers have their workshops in the town. Some 20 factories and manufacturers and numerous traders are also located in Gmünd. These numbers clearly show that the tradition continues — jewellery and related objects made from precious metals, especially gold and silver, still play an important part in the city today. Precious metals are, as

 sourcing_asia Procurement, Manufacturing and Cooperation [Magazine, 52 pages, German, € 15,00]  consulting.world From Ideas to Reality [Magazine, 52 pages, English, € 9,00]  auto.world In Cooperation with VDA [Magazine, 52 pages, English, € 12,00]  Business Baden-Württemberg Where Ideas work [Magazine, 90 pages, English, € 5,00]  Niedersachsen Global [Magazine, 68 pages, English, € 7,00]

More Information about the Design Cluster Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft mbH Region Ostwürttemberg (WiRO) Universitätspark 1 D-73525 Schwäbisch Gmünd Phone: +49 7171 92753-0 www.ostwuerttemberg.de Stadt Schwäbisch Gmünd Marktplatz 1, D-73525 Schwäbisch Gmünd Phone: +49 7171 603-0 www.schwaebisch-gmuend.de Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd (HfG) Rektor-Klaus-Straße 100 D-73525 Schwäbisch Gmünd Phone: +49 7171 602-600 www.hfg-gmuend.de

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Meeting Point Eunique

C Eunique

Creativity Connects

Eunique: European trade fair for applied arts & design A European Success Story In June, the international craft and design community met at Eunique in Karlsruhe. Eunique is the only trade fair in Continental Europe focusing exclusively on the area of applied arts & design.

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for Karlsruhe: 7,800 visitors attended the second Eunique, the European trade fair with an unrivalled selection of applied arts and design which was held in Karlsruhe from 11 to 13 June 2010. Over 400 top designers from 21 countries presented one-of-a-kind pieces and limitededition series in the fields of interior design, outdoors, fashion, jewellery and toys. Held for the second time in 2010, Eunique attracted almost twice as many exhibitors and 20 percent more visitors than attended its 2009 premiere in Karlsruhe. This made the second Eunique Europe’s largest show of unique arts and crafts.

A great success

“Eunique aims to establish an international meeting place for applied arts and design in Karlsruhe — and we have come a step closer to achieving this objective. True to our motto of ‘quality first’, we were able to present our visitors innovative and pioneering top designers and artists from Germany, Europe and beyond, emphasises Britta Wirtz, Spokesperson of the Management Board of Karlsruher Messe- und KongressGmbH (KMK). Bernd Roeter, President of the World Crafts Council-Europe, adds, “Eunique offers artists in the applied arts in Europe a very special platform where they can present


Meeting Point Eunique

Over 400 top designers from 21 countries presented their pieces at this year’s Eunique C Eunique

State of the art of arts, interior design, jewellery, fashion, toys and outdoor C Eunique

Eunique is on the way to become Europe’s leading trade fair for arts and design C Eunique

Eunique aims to “establish an international

meeting place for applied arts and design in Karlsruhe — and we have come a step closer to achieving this objective. The second Eunique certainly had an international flair.

Britta Wirtz, Spokeswoman of the Management of Karlsruher Messe- und Kongress-GmbH

themselves and their one-of-a-kind pieces in a pleasant atmosphere. At the same time, the extensive accompanying programme makes the exhibition an attractive meeting point for designers and artists from all over Europe. The major leap from 230 to 400 exhibitors underlines the importance of this trade fair within the crafts scene.”

Unique Objects with High Quality Whether furniture, home accessories or objets d’art made from ceramics, glass, metal or wood, whether unique handmade fashions, one-of-a-kind jewellery or toys — the objects that visitors could purchase at Eunique lived up to high artistic and quality standards. A review of the visitor surveys shows that visitors were even more pleased with the event this year than in 2009. One in two visitors, compared with one in four in 2009, rated the range of items on exhibit with the best possible score. And over 90 percent of the visitors were highly satisfied with the quality of the projects. Satisfaction is also demonstrated by the intention to return in 2011: eighty-three percent of the visitors plan to attend the next Eunique as well, compared with 68 percent at last year’s event.

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In addition, the survey showed that Eunique also appealed to an increasing number of international visitors. The percentage of attendees from outside Germany doubled in 2010, with an especially high number of visitors coming from France, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and the Scandinavian nations. Exhibitors were also pleased with how things went at the second Eunique trade fair. “It was an especially positive experience for me to participate in the fashion show held during the vernissage, because I was able to present my hat designs as well as sell pieces immediately”, says Stefanie Wesle of Atelier Autruche, who exhibited her work at the joint stand of Ateliers d’Art de France. Young artist Hiawatha Seiffert adds: “I finished my art degree in metalworking/design in January and exhibited in the young artist’s section at Eunique for the first time. I consider my participation a success because I was able to hold some useful conversations and forge contacts not only to gallery owners.”

Creativity “Made in Belgium” One of the highlights of Eunique 2010 was the presentation by partner country Belgium, a nation that is known around the world for its trend-setting art and design scene. Twenty-five Belgian artists attended Eunique and presented their latest designs in the fields of ceramics, interior design,

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jewellery and textiles. The special Belgian show was organised by Design Flanders and WCC-Belgique Francophone. One particular highlight occasioned by the partnership with Belgium was the successful European Prize for Applied Arts (EPAA) exhibition, which presented a selection of works by participating artists from the European Prize for Applied Arts show in Mons, Belgium. 8

More Information: Eunique 2011, 27 - 29 May 2011, Karlsruhe www.eu-nique.eu

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BBW_Creativity  

Baden-Württemberg has not to hide: Its creative class on the move.

BBW_Creativity  

Baden-Württemberg has not to hide: Its creative class on the move.

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