Discover Germany | Issue 13 | April 2014

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Discover Germany | Design | Hidden Fortress

with the layers beneath and find 'true' content.” This quest for deep understanding and its end results are evident in the emotional impact of their designs. “We manage to do relevant design work and deliver authentic spaces, which touch visitors at their hearts, and communicate the values that each space is meant to communicate.” To Hidden Fortress, the work of a designer should be marked by those involved. Clients are encouraged to participate in order to experience firsthand the value and empowerment that comes from revealing a design's hidden potential. “This empowerment is central to experience design. If you feel serious about your work as a designer, you don't see yourself as a‘creativity worker bee’ for the industry, whose job is only to make boring products look more beautiful and therefore more consumable. Instead design, as it once was and should be, is the search for authentic desires and needs of the human being.”

May the Fortress be with you: unlocking hidden potential in experience design Taking their name from a Japanese cult-film, Hidden Fortress is a Berlin-based experience design team founded on friendship and mutual respect with over a decade worth of experience. TEXT: JAIME SCHWARTZ | PHOTOS: HIDDEN FORTRESS

“We sort of hand picked each other after years of working together and with other people and this results in one of our key strengths, our mixed experiences become more than the sum of their parts.” Their close working relationship opens up the design process to an atypical level of honesty and scrutiny. “The fact that we're long term friends is part of the reason why we are very good. We've developed a culture of discussing stuff, even controversial issues within the team, for the benefit of a project.” Whether it's building brand architecture or premium interiors, the team's interdisciplinary talents offer an edge in both design and

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business, combining expertise in experience design, interior architecture, product and concept design, digital rendering and handson construction with strategic management of branding and design effectiveness. Beginning by probing the underlying and essential components, Hidden Fortress establishes a way to re-connect to the rootsboth in a humanistic and design sense- of a project's and client's authentic needs. “We position ourselves deep within the message, the meaning and the values of a client and his or her project and work from there. We don't take anything as set, and reframe questions in order to get in touch

Top left: Buck and Breck, premium bar in Berlin. Photo: Katja Hiendlmayer Below: Absolut Bartender Art Machine, interactive installation on the BCB 2011. Photos: Katja Hiendlmayer Bottom: Plantage, office interior for an advertising agency in Berlin. Photo: Thomas Meyer