Discover Germany, Issue 47, February 2017

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Issue 47 | February 2017












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Discover Germany  |  Contents

Contents FEBRUARY 2017

34 Photo: © ZDF/Richard Huebner

50 Photo: © Sven Posch

the EuroShop is also the EuroCIS. Find out what exhibitors this year’s fair has on offer.

COVER FEATURE 34 Valerie Niehaus Our writer Thomas Schroers speaks to the German actress Valerie Niehaus about her life in acting, the social project ON A WORD and much, much more.

SPECIAL THEMES 11 Swiss Design Highlights In this special theme, all eyes are on Switzerland’s great innovators and their enchanting products. Find out what Swiss designers have to offer. 16 Made in Germany The label ‘Made in Germany’ has long stood for the finest craftsmanship and the highest quality. Thus, we handpicked some of Germany’s best products and designers for this theme. 56 Exhibition Highlights 2017 470 exhibition centres, 6,250 museums with 112 million visitors each year: Germany is clearly a cultural hotspot. Explore what great exhibitions, museums and art centres the country has to offer in our special theme. 68 Top Educational Institutions Switzerland Switzerland offers great education, ranging from local Swiss schools, private schools and bilingual schools to international schools with a multilingual focus. Find out more about Switzerland’s best educational institutions. 76 EuroShop & EuroCIS 2017 The world’s number one retail trade fair EuroShop has been around for 50 years. It returns this year to celebrate past, present and future retail opportunities. Part of


85 Successful Enterprises On the business front, Germany and Switzerland are two countries that have a great deal to offer. Find out what exactly in our special themes on Switzerland’s and Germany’s successful enterprises.

Photo: © FlowerArt GmbH

ternational actor. Discover Germany asks him some questions about his inspiring life.


23Qm Stil’s Design Roundup On her well-known blog 23QM Stil, Ricarda Nieswandt blogs about interior design and more. She has been featured in Zeit Online and Brigitte amongst others and this month, she rounds up the most important interior design trends for us.

44 Adrenaline-fuelled Snow Experiences Forget about skiing! Our writer Emmie Collinge found some exciting new ways to experience snow on your next winter holiday. 47 Hotel of the Month The family-run boutique hotel La Casa in Tübingen is the perfect place to combine a well-earned wellness break with first-class cultural delights. No wonder the five-star luxury hotel is our hotel of the month. 48


Attraction of the Month If you want to gaze at some sharks, rays or exotic fish, you do not need to get your scuba licence and go to some far-flung place. Simply visit Vienna’s Haus des Meeres – Austria’s biggest aqua terra zoo. Star Interview: Pierre Kiwitt Brazil, Spain, Germany, France and more. Pierre Kiwitt is the embodiment of an in-

REGULARS & COLUMNS 10 Dedicated to Design This month’s design section boasts stylish looks for the gym and great products made out of wool to embellish your home. 40 Wine & Dine Find out what other culinary treats Austria has to offer except strudel, schnitzel and kaiserschmarrn. 65

Film Column This month, our columnist Sonja Irani reviews the hit TV series Deutschland 83. Find out what she thought about it.

76 Business Our business section is filled with top IT experts and great companies that seek to foster safety and protected working environments. Our columnist Gregor Kleinknecht further discusses Brexit’s latest developments. 108 Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in February. 114 Barbara Geier Column This month, our columnist Barbara Geier talks about the 50 most popular names in Germany in 2016.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  3

Dear Reader,

Discover Germany Issue 47, February 2017 Published 02.2017 ISSN 2051-7718 Published by Scan Magazine Ltd. Print Liquid Graphic Ltd. Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Nane Steinhoff Copy-Editor Isa Hemphrey Graphic Designer Mercedes Moulia Feature Writer Thomas Schroers Contributors Barbara Geier Cornelia Brelowski Dorina Reichhold Emmie Collinge Gregor Kleinknecht Ina Frank

Jessica Holzhausen Marilena Stracke Nadine Carstens Ricarda Nieswandt Silke Henkele Sonja Irani Veronika Fafienski Cover Photo © Bernd Brundert Sales & Key Account Managers Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Sophie Blecha Freya Plakolb Publisher: SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3YT United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0)870 933 0423 Fax: +44 (0)870 933 0421   Email: For further information please visit

Love it or hate it, February is the month of Valentine’s Day. Regardless of your plans, on 14 February an astounding 150 million Valentine’s cards are exchanged in the USA alone. Furthermore, according to statistics from Travelodge, Brits almost spend one billion pounds on Valentine’s gifts and experiences. Other statistics from Rakuten’s reveal that the average Brit spends around £119 on 14 February. This is also the global average. Germans, on the other hand, only spend around £59 per person. 31 per cent of Germans even said that they completely forgot about Valentine’s Day. Nobody can really say why this but it may be because the month of February coincides with a rather important event in Germany – Carnival season. This year, the ‘fifth season’, which is especially celebrated in Cologne, is held from 23 February until 1 March. When Germans are preparing their costumes and looking forward to partying and enjoying the parades and numerous events, it seems no wonder that there might not really be time to think about Valentine’s Day. If you’re not planning to get involved in Carnival or Valentine’s Day this year, we have other ideas on offer in this month’s issue. For example, our writer Emmie Collinge found new, adrenalinefuelled ways to experience snow. If you’re bored of skiing, but you don’t want to miss out on a nice winter holiday with plenty of snow, have a read of her feature to get inspired. Furthermore, our ‘Attraction of the Month’ is a must-see for all ocean enthusiasts. Austria’s Haus des Meeres is filled with all manner of sea creatures and much more and will not only delight young ones. Other topics covered in our February issue are great design ideas, German exhibition highlights for the culture fanatics out there, successful enterprises and much, much more. On top of that, our cover star is Valerie Niehaus this month – a successful German actress. Our writer Thomas Schroers spoke to her to find out more about her inspiring life. Sit back, relax and thanks for reading,

Nane Steinhoff, Editor

© All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Group – a trading name of Scan Magazine Ltd. This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles.

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Photo: © Karl Imfeld


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Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds You have probably made some New Year’s resolutions and we hope that you are still staying strong on them. Most people want to be a bit more active and it can be hard to uphold this wish after January is over. That is why we try to keep you motivated with this stylish athletic wear from the DACH region’s great designers. EDITOR’S PICKS  I  PRESS IMAGES

Yoga fans receive attention from the ‘adidas by Stella McCartney’ collection as can be seen from this chic outfit. As you can see, layering can also look stylish in the fitness studio. Tights £62.95, seamless tank top £59.95, shorts £34.95.

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Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

The collection ‘adidas by Stella McCartney’ is stylish and fashion forward. This high-performance gear is designed for your achievement, so what are you waiting for? Tights £79.95, shorts £54.95, top £79.95.

Whether for running, playing tennis or the gym - these sport shorts by BOGNER will keep you airy while looking absolutely stylish. £130.

Running shoes made in Germany. The German brand Lunge has specialised on manufacturing exceptional running shoes far off the mainstream. ‘Classic Run Fis’ £188.

The German company Gymwatch brought this awardwinning fitness tracker to the market that precisely measures both the motion and the strength expended in every exercise so that you get the maximum results from workouts. £128.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  7

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Blogger Design Roundup

8  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Blogger Design Roundup

Design trends for Autumn/Winter 2016/2017 The dark season has begun and with it, dark tones and natural materials move into our homes. Of course, light and candles will play a crucial role in the upcoming months as well as soft textiles to curl up with at home. It will get cosy – and the following trends stand at the top of the style agenda in Autumn/Winter 2016/2017. TEXT & PHOTOS: RICARDA NIESWANDT

Plants For a few years now, plants have experienced a revival and it is will still be an interior trend in Autumn/Winter 2016/2017. Monstera, calathea and especially succulents and cacti are in demand and turn homes into green oases. In winter, notably around Christmas, the Norfolk Island pine is also very popular. Not only does it look great on its own, it can also be decorated with small ornaments. Natural materials Wood and stone, marble and wool – these are fashionable this season. This is not only reflected in the materials, but also in colours and structures. Thus, it is no wonder that vintage furniture pieces are still very popular as they incorporate everything in the natural material trend. Old cases of wine, industrial tables or roller shutter cabinets are in high demand.

Something else will enjoy a revival – the rug. Especially in autumn and winter, it caters for cosiness and comfort under tables, in front of the sofa or next to the bed. Furthermore, the plant trend will be complemented by simple feathers in vintage vases and rattan furniture will also celebrate a major comeback. Dark wall paint We love to be at home in autumn and winter – and the trend clearly goes in the direction of dark colours – especially on the walls. For a long time, white was said to be the new black; now, warm and dark tones assert themselves in interior design. Those who are not brave enough to paint an entire room in a dark colour can test it out on only one wall first. Painting only half of the wall’s height also looks great and immediately gives a room a new look.

ABOUT RICARDA NIESWANDT On her blog 23QM Stil, Ricarda blogs about interior design, current trends, travel, lifestyle and more. She has been featured in Zeit Online, Brigitte and Schöner Wohnen amongst others, has brought BLOGST – a platform for German lifestyle bloggers – to life and also offers conferences and workshops for fellow bloggers.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  9

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design… It is still cold out, so we are dedicated to wool to keep us warm. But, of course, this page is not interested in the fashion of wool, but in other ideas that feature this material. Therefore, we have searched for five items of unique quality and style, all of which you can find below. BY: THOMAS SCHROERS


1. We can assure you, this chair came as a surprise to us, too. MYK Berlin designs the Pompon Chair No.1, which is manufactured by hand and made in Germany. Pompon is the name of the chair and, in total, 350 handmade, merino woollen pompons build the backrest and seating. It is a unique twist on the classic, vintage chair. 2. KNITULA, or The Knitted Tube Lamp, is as modern as lamps get. kollektiv PLUS ZWEI has specifically designed it to meet modern needs. Therefore it comes in an A4 envelope, including nine struts, two rings and one knitted tube. Easily put together it can be used in and outdoors. Apart from red, KNITULA is available in five further colours. 42 x 42 x 36 cm. £110. 3. Ever seen a clock with a woollen face? Now you have! This wonderfully creative piece is designed by Tobias Mittmann and is a one-of-a-kind idea and unique design object for every living environment. Available in various colours, you can customise the clock in your favourite style that is complementary to your taste. 25.5 x 25.5 cm. £60. 4. At its core, this one is a classic. Just a carpet, right? But the people at Tom Tailor know how to bring something interesting to it. Available in different sizes, the woven carpet uses geometric shapes and a stimulating colour mix of yellow and purple. £45.


3 4

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5. This trendy little bag will be a great addition to your everyday life. Showing one of many possibilities, the bag’s design combines tight wool fabric with leather, creating an exciting mix. Inside you will find a zipped department for small things. £34.


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Design Highlights

Photo: ©, Dominic Simpson


A country full of design innovators When thinking about Swiss design, you probably think about the Swiss army knife. However, there are far more products, design companies and great designers to discover. Find out what exquisite design products and innovations Switzerland has to offer in the following special theme. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: ©, Clary Sage College

Photo: ©, Clary Sage College

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  11

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Design Highlights

Art as visual enlightenment Art is sometimes an intangible concept rather than a tangible corpus of art. Karl Imfeld, Swiss sculptor and manufacturer of modern furniture, is most definitely a creator of palpable art. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: KARL IMFELD

Karl Imfeld always had a knack for arts. From very early on he was interested in a variety of materials and their various manners of refinement. He consequently became a trained sculptor and has been working as an independent artist since 1972. Imfeld opened his own studio in 1974 in Lungern (central Switzerland)

where today he himself is professionally training future sculptors. Karl Imfeld’s artistic development and mission “At the beginning of my artistic career, my oeuvre was primarily figurative,”reminisces Imfeld. “Yet after so and so many years

Main image: Solid table handmade from walnut wood (270x95x75). Bottom left: Two side tables/ stools made from maple and walnut wood (43x43x38). Bottom middle: Solid sideboard made from walnut wood (270x60x40); also available with glass sliding doors.

working as an artist, my style has become much more abstract. Today I find that I am mainly inspired by natural elements like wood, stone, water and by basic forms like circles, triangles, and squares,” concludes Imfeld. Karl Imfeld’s prefers working with walnut, maple and cherry tree wood, as well as natural stone, and he sees his oeuvre as a chance to touch people. “By way of my art, the materials I am using and the forms I am creating I want to challenge traditional ways of perception; moreover, I want to get close to people, touch them and make them aware of those things that are valuable and dear,” explains Imfeld on the intended mission of his art. New manners for creative output: imfeld cubi In that, Imfeld has found an entirely new way to get in contact with people as the described changed manner of artistic

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Design Highlights

output has also opened a new potential to artistically express himself: “Owing to a change of my artistic output, my artistic oeuvre has expanded and now also comprises the design and manufacture of state-of-the-art solid wood furniture,”says Imfeld. It is thus that Imfeld has founded the brand imfeld cubi, the exclusive distributor of high-quality, hand-crafted and artist-designed wooden furniture. “Furniture by imfeld cubi is aimed at individuals who are interested in beauty and in a challenging and enthralling living environment. It is a brand that stands for a modern and at the same time classic design. imfeld cubi furniture is solid, multifunctional, and employable in a variety of manners - as a side-table, shelf or even as a stool. By way of its multi-functionality, imfeld cubi invite the owner to experimentally explore all sorts of uses of one piece of furniture,” Imfeld describes furniture by imfeld cubi.

While in the past imfeld cubi’s product range has been entirely focused on modular wooden cubes, this is now changing: “In order to give my customers the opportunity to use their furniture even more creatively, to challenge its uses even more widely and to fashion their homes in even more riveting manners, I have extended imfeld cubi’s product range which now also comprises tables, chairs, as well as sideboards,” gloats Imfeld. The perspectives of 2017 “I am really looking to forward to 2017 and the challenges it has in store for me,” says Imfeld. “I am currently in the process of finalising an application for the Red Dot Design Award 2017. I am further organising a couple of exhibitions as well as a symposium for painters and sculptors, which I am very much looking forward to as it always pays out to converse with other artists. Moreover, some of my customers are waiting for the final touches on

a couple of art works they have entrusted me with and which they are looking forward to take home. A huge well system is also waiting for my final artistic touches,” Imfeld summarises the upcoming year. “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see,” once said Edgar Degas, the famous French impressionist. In that, Karl Imfeld’s works certainly fit Degas’ description of an artist’s oeuvre: Imfeld’s works will make you see the world from a different perspective. Below left: Sculpture in wood (100x100x80 cm) on a stone base (180x40x40 cm). Below middle: Two white cubis made from lime wood, processed with chainsaw. Below right: Karl Imfeld. Bottom left: Solid table for two made from walnut wood (75x88x75). Bottom right: King-size bed from Swiss stone pine and walnut wood (180x210) with moveable table and integrated LED light. The very particular smell of Swiss stone pine wood has a positive effect on the quality of sleep and recalls holidays in the Swiss canton Graubünden.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  13

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Design Highlights

The Kisten-Trolley®

The BlockBox®

Every little helps Swiss start-up everythings invents and develops high-quality furniture objects for everyday use. These not only look stylish, but also solve several sustainability, functionality and logistic problems at once. TEXT: SONJA IRANI  I  PHOTOS: EVERYTHINGS GMBH

“The problems that people face in everyday life are our biggest inspiration,” says Nicolas Haeberli, founder of everythings. “These days, there are many environmental, social and economic problems. everythings won’t be able to solve them all, but we believe that everyone can make a contribution.” For example, with everythings’ BlockBox® – a cleverly designed nine-piece lightweight shelf system made from sustainable materials, can be combined for many different uses and transported with ease thanks to being stored in a handy suitcase. “The suitcase weighs just 11 kilogrammes,” explains Haeberli, who is the inventor of the BlockBox®. “That’s super practical, for example if you move house. Furthermore, there is no complicated assembly because the parts can just be stacked into, above or next to each other. Thus, the BlockBox® can be any kind of furniture you want it to be: a sideboard, a wall unit, a book shelf 14  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

and much more.” Plus, the BlockBox® is made of almost 100 per cent kraft paper – a material that is both renewable and recyclable.“If you don’t want to use it anymore, the BlockBox® can be easily disposed as cardboard waste so that a new BlockBox® can be made from it,” says Haeberli. The other simple, but ground-breaking everythings invention is the so-called Kisten-Trolley®, or box trolley in English. “Before, there was the box and there was the trolley. At everythings, those two got married and created something completely new,” says Haeberli about the rolling boxes system, initially invented as a mobile kitchen. “The boxes are stacked upon each other and at the same time attached to the trolley. If needed, the user can easily unlock this attachment.” Made from renewable and recyclable wood and steel, the box trolley is strong and durable, can be easily repaired and customised according to specific needs.

The BlockBox®

Both the BlockBox® and the KistenTrolley® can be ordered via the company’s website or purchased from various retail outlets listed on the website. Since the Swiss company has a warehouse in Germany, European customers will receive their products from the EU. The BlockBox®

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Design Highlights

Visualising data: More than meets the eye Barbara Hahn and Christine Zimmermann are at the forefront of exploring how organisations can use visualisation techniques to communicate complex data and information. Their company, Switzerland-based Hahn+Zimmermann, focuses on communication design, information graphics and design research. Hahn+Zimmermann develops tailor-made information graphics, often uncovering new insights. TEXT: VERONIKA FAFIENSKI  I  PHOTOS: HAHN+ZIMMERMANN

Barbara Hahn and Christine Zimmermann believe that standard data visualisation tools, such as pie charts or bar graphs, are inadequate to communicate complex information. The graphic design experts specialise in developing tailor-made visual solutions, working closely with clientspecific content.

ter. “Our graphics can uncover information of which a client was unaware,” says Zimmermann.

a visual perspective poses a great opportunity for communication designers to uncover new methods of analysis and presentation,” says Zimmermann. For Hahn and Zimmermann, Berne has provided an excellent work environment. “We would like to further develop information graphics in Switzerland by working together with our clients - here we still see a great, unexploited potential.”

Since its foundation in 2008, Hahn+Zimmermann has become a leader in their field in Switzerland and internationally. “We advise our clients which information is suitable for visualisation and where we see untapped potential for visualisation,” Christine Zimmermann explains.

Hahn and Zimmermann are the authors of Of B and C – Data Visualization Beyond Pie Charts and Bar Graphs, which is based on their award-winning university thesis. “Very few communication designers have dealt with the subject of information graphics as much as we have,” says Zimmermann. “Since 2007, we conduct visual communication research projects and work on freelance art projects.” They also give lectures and provide workshops to universities and companies.

Hahn+Zimmermann develops graphics that present complex information using innovative forms. This can often result in gaining new insights about a subject mat-

The future of communication design will be driven by increased automation of data collection, according to Hahn+Zimmermann. “Processing large sets of data from

From top left: Information graphics for the Education Directorate of the Canton of Zurich. Illustrative information graphics about ‘Design Thinking’ published by Swisscom in Oops! Innovation is no coincidence. Information graphics on health for the business magazine brand eins. The research project, Visual analysis and mapping, aimed at developing methods to explore how concepts and spaces can be analysed using visualisation techniques.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  15

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Haribo. Photo: ©, ollierb


The history of ‘Made in Germany’ Despite widespread belief, the ‘Made in Germany’ label is not a German invention. Instead, it was an idea of Great Britain. Find out why on the next page and in the following special theme, we have handpicked some great products and innovative ideas Germany has brought forward recently. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: ©, Katharina Zimmermann

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Soap production by Klar Seifen. © Christiane Bach

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Zentis native fruits. © Zentis Gmbh & Co. KG

Rimowa electronic tag. © Rimowa GmbH

VW Bully. Photo: ©, Felix Meyer

Did you know that the ‘Made in Germany’ label is over 129 years old and that it was an invention of Great Britain? To be precise, Great Britain introduced the label in 1887 when it passed a law to force foreign companies to make the origins of their products clear. Apparently, several German companies had copied British products and Great Britain wanted to keep German products from gaining popularity in their country by labelling exactly where they come from. However, this clearly backfired as the ‘Made in Germany’ trademark is now probably the most famous and appreciated one all over the world. This came about as German products vastly improved by the end of the 19th century. They grew in popularity due to their meticulous attention to detail and high-quality workmanship. During the First and Second World War, Germany’s economy was obviously devastated and the reputation of German companies and their products sank to an all-time low. Today, the reputation for Germany’s well-made products has recovered and, especially in recent decades, companies take advantage of this. For example, Volkswagen shows its roots with the slogan ’Das Auto’ and Audi has ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ in their international advertising campaigns. In the following special theme, find out what other great products and innovative ideas Germany has brought forward lately.

Fuerstenberg Omnia. © Fuerstenberg GmbH

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  17

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany



FEILER PURE collection

The lightness of being Achieving the balance between luxury and lightness is no problem for FEILER, the world’s leading manufacturer of bathroom textiles made out of real, colour-woven FEILER chenille. The company with a long-standing tradition accomplished a small sensation in January: the family business presented itself with a completely revised brand identity and a new, restructured product range on the international Heimtextil trade fair. TEXT: ERNST FEILER GMBH, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: ERNST FEILER GMBH

In the future, all of FEILER’s designs will either be part of the PASSION or the PURE category. PASSION will comprise of the FEILER-typical, colourful designs, while PURE will present more progressive designs that orientate themselves towards contemporary interior design through restraint and a clear design language. In the limelight of the new features is the butterfly, a symbol for the real FEILER chenille. The real FEILER chenille is a worldwide speciality. It consists of 100 per cent cotton, has a velvety, soft surface and the pattern is identical on both sides. Furthermore, the double-sided, patterned fabric is manufactured in an extremely elaborate process. Thus, after the first weaving process, the chenille yarn is created with all required colour and pattern information. From this 18  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

yarn, the unique designs emerge in an astounding way from a second weaving process. The FEILER PURE collections comprise designs that orientate themselves towards modern interior design styles in the bathroom through elegant restraint and a clear design language. They stand for new design standards and present themselves in an unpretentious and modern way. The era of innovative FEILER designs begins with the PURE products, such as MIRAGE or ILLUSION, which are restrained, yet modern. MIRAGE is a true understatement: the products are made out of the finest terry and comprise a chenille border that graphically interprets the butterfly. The design is available as a shower or bath towel in white and misty grey.

ILLUSION places emphasis on confident accents. Made from real FEILER chenille, the design with colour accents is available in the trend colours pool, gorse, azalea, salmon and grey. With a bath towel, a makeup bag and a hand, shower, guest or soap towel, it offers the FEILER all-round package. A summer blanket with the ILLUSION pattern will also be available in the future. Unlike any other symbol, the butterfly celebrates FEILER chenille’s lightness and colourfulness. To emphasise this, the butterfly has been picked up in all new designs of 2017.


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Baden’s cult winemaker In the south-western corner of Germany, the world still seems to be intact. Picturesque villages nestle into a fascinating landscape and an almost Mediterranean climate pampers the Kaiserstuhl – ideal conditions for producing excellent wines. Thus, it seems no wonder that the award-winning wine estate Weingut Dr. Heger can be found here. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: BASCHI BENDER, COPYRIGHT: WEINGUT DR. HEGER

The Kaiserstuhl was formed from a now extinct volcano more than 16 million years ago. It left behind unique, fertile soils of weathered volcanic rock – perfect for viniculture. In 1935, Dr. Max Heger noticed this and founded the Weingut Dr. Heger here in Ihringen, Germany’s warmest spot. Now known far beyond the Kaiserstuhl, the Weingut Dr. Heger which is a member of the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates (VDP), has stood for matchless wine pleasures since. Today, Joachim Heger and his wife Silvia manage the wine estate in its third generation and continue their grandfather’s and father’s strict quality philosophy, while combining it with the most modern technology and a big portion of enthusiasm and determination. The name ‘Heger’ is inextricably linked with Ihringen’s Winklerberg, which combines three superlatives: extremely steep, extremely hot and extremely stony – a true ‘grand cru’ location that is one of Germa-

ny’s top wine-growing sites. “More terroir is just not possible,” smiles Joachim Heger. However, Heger has another prime location to offer: the Achkarrer Schlossberg. This makes Heger the Kaiserstuhl’s largest, private producer of steep vineyard sites. The sites’ unusual conditions produce distinctive wines with a unique sense of place, especially in their Spätburgunder, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder and Riesling. They also produce fine bottles of Silvaner, Chardonnay and Muskateller. Each wine is full of character, yet appeals in its elegance, finesse and complexity and presents a delicate, palpable minerality and subtle grace. The high quality is further supported by rigorous yield reduction, diligent manual harvesting and gentle processing in the cellar. It thus seems no wonder that the wines constantly win awards and that Hugh Johnson, a famous wine writer, praised the winery’s Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Noir.

Top left: Wine cellar with wooden barrels. Left: Joachim and Silvia Heger. Right: Sunset at the Winklerberg. Bottom: Horse Willi supports the Heger-Team with ploughing in order to counteract soil compactions.

In cooperation with leading terroir specialists and soil biologists, the Weingut Dr. Heger uses the most modern tactics to optimise the vineyard‘s sensitive ecosystem to preserve it for future generations. Thus, Joachim Heger and his dedicated team show that tradition and innovation can work hand in hand. In the meantime, to meet the growing demand for Heger’s exceptional wines, Joachim Heger founded Weinhaus Heger in 1986. The Fischer estate in Nimburg-Bottingen at the Eastern end of the Kaiserstuhl has also belonged to the Heger family since 1997. It contributes different grape varieties from a special terroir of calcareous clay and limestone to the portfolio. All in all, Joachim Heger has made the winery into what it is today: one of Baden’s best wineries with huge national and international successes.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  19

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Pipe smoking – a philosophy of life “If I cannot smoke in heaven, then I shall not go,” Mark Twain once remarked about his favourite pastime, pipe smoking. Whether an original pipe model from the VAUEN Pipe Manufacture in Nuremberg belonged to his collection, we do not know. However, pipe connoisseurs from all around the world cherish the handcrafted masterpieces from VAUEN. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV  |  PHOTOS: VAUEN


20  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

Pipe of the Year 2017.

The strike of the match, the sound, the flame, putting match to bowl. You do not inhale, but let it drift around your mouth; let it dissipate into the air. Pipe smoking has the lineage of millions of men and women. There are rumours that even the Queen Mother loved her occasional pipe. Doran, Auenland pipe.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

who put time aside for their passions. In our busy and hectic world, pipe smoking is the new trend among young and old. Handmade masterpieces Since 1848, the VAUEN Pipe Manufacture has been loved for their carefully crafted pipes and their innovative ideas. 160 years of experience and knowledge are applied during the manufacturing process. Every single one of the 60,000 pipes that leave VAUEN annually pass through 60 work stages, each conducted by hand. First-class briarwood, a high-quality raw material, is a basic prerequisite for a real VAUEN pipe. Only ten per cent of the briar root tubers dug out satisfy the high VAUEN standards and can be worked into pieces of wood that are suitable for pipe production. A secret recipe of VAUEN’s is the protective coating. In this way, the pipe-smoker can enjoy the pipe from the very first draught without having to endure the tiresome smoking in procedure. At the end of the process, the ‘genuineVAUEN’ is given its distinctive mark: a VAUEN stamp and model number. VAUEN Pipe Manufacture: Tradition meets innovation

Alexander Eckert, management director and partner at VAUEN Pipe Manufacture, is a passionate pipe smoker himself: “Pipe smoking is a conscious enjoyment. The whole ceremony of preparing your pipe, lighting up the tobacco and smoking is pure pleasure.” That is why pipe smokers are said to be special; they are considerate, communicative and individual characters

Throughout its long history, VAUEN has consistently realised trendsetting innovations. In 1921, VAUEN was one of the first manufacturers to introduce a paper filter for its pipes. VAUEN improved and developed the pipe filter further and, in 1934, presented a world novelty, the Dr. Perl junior activated charcoal filter. “Activated charcoal is an outstanding choice of material for filters,” explains Alexander Eckert. “My grandfather had the idea of constructing such a filter. When we introduced the filter to the market, the whole world laughed at us. They thought you do not need filters for smoking a pipe. But my grandfather did not give up and today, 95 per cent of the pipe smokers in Germany use a charcoal filter.”

on the mouthpiece. “English people have a more traditional taste when it comes to buying a pipe, whereas in Germany we can sell quite unique models which reflect the zeitgeist and the latest trends in fashion,” says Alexander Eckert. The PURISME Pipe by VAUEN was honoured with the IDA International Design Awards in 2012; a futuristic, light and slender-looking pipe with one amazing design detail: the unique ‘UpsideDown’ pipehead. On its head, the PURISME Pipe stands upright in perfect, safe balance wherever you set it down. However, the VAUEN model range offers the perfect masterpiece for every taste, smoking preference and pocket. Pipe lovers who are searching for something exclusive can have a look at the VAUEN ‘Handmade Collection’. Each of the pipes is unique and finished in the finest craftsmanship. Passionate pipe friends who like a long and cosy smoke will choose the model collection ‘Baron’, whereas people who prefer a quick smoke should choose a model of the ‘Quixx’ collection, which lasts for seven minutes. Want to smoke like a Hobbit? Then a pipe from the ‘Auenland – the Shire’ collection is the right thing for you. Sit down, fill your pipe and watch the sun go down in Auenland.

Quixx Q7.


Trendsetter in pipe design Selecting a pipe is a very personal matter. Each pipe is unique and there is endless variety. VAUEN produces around 400 different models. Special-quality pipes are given a distinguishing mark, a white spot Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  21

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Back to the roots: Authentic jeans by Blaumann German company Blaumann revives the original jeans and ignites the passion for this versatile garment. They are going back to the historic selvedge denim, back to producing in Germany and back to the jeans’ main strength: its timeless simplicity. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

Three years ago, Guido Wetzels and his two friends Christian Hampel and Peter Bättig, who were all working in the jeans industry, got together and embarked on a mission to bring their vision of the perfect jeans to life. “Authentic jeans, produced in Germany with mostly locally sourced materials and the historic selvedge denim,” Wetzels describes their initial goal. “Local, sustainable and of high quality, like in the good old days.” Today, that is exactly what the company Blaumann stands for. Their jeans are reminiscent of the original ones and almost carry the soul of a collector’s piece. Blaumann’s bestselling jeans are incidentally also their first design. These jeans made of solid 15-ounce denim without stretch element are a real rarity amongst its peers. 22  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

Several different shapes are available, but all designs follow the guiding principle of less is more. Greatest emphasis is placed on staying as close as possible to the original production process. Hence, the most important factors are quality, the selvedge raw denim made with the traditional and extremely rare shuttle looms, and using no industrial laundering. The jeans are a statement for honouring craftsmanship, and valuing quality over quantity. With several hundred thousand tonnes of textiles going to landfills every year, the trend towards sustainable clothing is growing steadily and Blaumann fits right in. Blaumann produces entirely in Germany and all the materials from buttons to yarn are made locally. Currently, only the denim is manufactured at the world’s best weav-

Left: Blaumann jeans. Photo: Markus Bronold Right: Blaumann shirt. Photo: Matthias Knust Bottom: Production site. Photo: Markus Bronold

ing company, Kuroki in Japan, but Wetzels and his partners are hoping to start producing denim in Germany this year. “Germany has never been home to big denim-weaving companies,” Wetzels explains. “So we teamed up with another company and bought two old-school looms from Asia to start producing small batches of denim. We are excited to see where it will take us.” The small idea of three friends to bring back authentic jeans has turned into a fruitful adventure, and this will certainly not be the last time we hear from the team behind Blaumann.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Christoph and Philipp Elwert.

The peppermint liqueur ‘Weisser Pfeffer’.

The Dry Gin ‘Goldberner’

Must-haves for spirit enthusiasts The Gebrüder Elwert spirit manufactory was founded by brothers Christoph and Philipp Elwert in 2013. Since then, they have produced an exquisite range of award-winning spirits that enchant people from all over the globe. TEXT: GEBRÜDER ELWERT, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: GEBRÜDER ELWERT

Back in the day, Christoph’s and Philipp’s father and mother, pharmacists in the third generation, developed the ‘Böhmenkircher Lebenselixier’ bitter in their own laboratory, according to an old recipe. Thus, the pharmacist’s craftsmanship and dealings with herbs and roots in order to manufacture healing mixtures were laid in the brothers’ cradles at an early age. While Philipp studied pharmaceutics and took over the parental pharmacy, Christoph studied business management. However, this rather different professional focus brought the two brothers back together in the end. The foundation stone for their idea was their father’s developed bitter which was already hugely popular and only needed a new marketing concept. Over the course of one year, the ‘Böhmenkircher Lebenselixier’ turned into the herb

elixir ‘GYLD’ and soon became purchasable all over Germany. In the meantime, the Gebrüder Elwert’s portfolio was broadened with the peppermint liqueur ‘Weisser Pfeffer’, as well as the Dry Gin ‘Goldberner’. Even though all products are quite different, some things unite them: all of them are manufactured solely with pharmaceutically tested substances, are bottled by hand and all comprise of the modern design of a traditional apothecary bottle. The success confirms the brothers. For example, the ISW awarded gold and the special award ‘Gin of the Year 2016’ to the ‘Goldberner Gin’. They were also nominated for the German Design Award in 2016 for their great bottle design, won the iF Design Award in 2015, as well as the Red Dot award for packaging design in 2014 and also were awarded the *EDAWARDS three times already.

Last but not least, the Gebrüder Elwert are currently on a worldwide promotion tour with the ‘Handmade in Germany’ initiative. Next stop will be Peking – thus, the Gebrüder Elwert products are a true musthave for all spirit enthusiasts.

The herb elixir ‘GYLD’.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  23

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Chocolate in the mixer.

The team.

Popcorn with chocolate.

Artisan popcorn made in Hamburg From the warm smell of a fresh batch to the crunchy texture of each bite: popcorn is as popular as ever. But Kate’s Popcorn has taken the tasty treat to a new level. Innovative flavours, quality produce and a great deal of passion, are part of this exquisite popcorn manufactory’s secret. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: KATE’S POPCORN

Kate’s Popcorn has its origin in a wonderful German-American love story. When Anna Katharina from Hamburg fell in love with her future husband from the US, she also fell in love with popcorn. Sometimes it is that simple. As her husband called her ‘Kate’, it was clear what the manufactory for handmade artisan popcorn should be called: Kate’s Popcorn. Today, Kate’s granddaughter and her family lead the successful company. The love for handmade popcorn and the drive for outstanding taste have been passed on over the generations. It is safe to say that Kate’s Popcorn can stand the test of time. Carefully sourced ingredients such as the organic gourmet corn from France, and strictly avoiding any additives or preserv24  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

atives, are common practice at this fine manufactory. The different flavours range from sweet to spicy and even reading the labels is mouth-watering. “Our bestsellers are White Chocolate With Vanilla, Honey Chilli, Caramel, and Cheddar Cheese,” reveals spokesperson Thomas Niederbremer with a smile. “My personal favourites are White Chocolate With Coconut, and Latte Macchiato.” Lovingly packaged in small bags to keep it fresh, the popcorn can be ordered online. There is also the very exciting option to customise not only the label for corporate events, but also the flavour itself. The team at Kate’s Popcorn are happy to take on any new challenge and will go out of their way to accommodate individual wishes. If that

is not enough already, popcorn enthusiasts can also visit the manufactory in Hamburg and watch the corn’s tasty journey. With such wonderful creations, it becomes a tough task to decide which flavour to try when each and every one of them sounds so outrageously delicious. If you have that odd friend who is not a popcorn fan, Kate’s Popcorn will certainly convert them to a devoted popcorn lover. But maybe it is best to keep it a secret and have the whole bag to yourself. Honey Chilli popcorn.

Latte Macchiato popcorn.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Water cube.

Plant pot in a special colour.

True sophistication lies in the simplicity of things Living in an urban area, some people might yearn for a small piece of ‘mother nature’. Offering this piece is the passion of gartensilber. TEXT: INA FRANK  |  PHOTOS: GARTENSILBER

Far away from cheap production and fast pace, gartensilber, by Egon and Marlene Schmid, manufactures special, handmade design objects in Erolzheim in Southern Germany – for 15 years. On a whim, Egon Schmid had developed the idea of producing planting pots made of steel. “I wanted to offer well-looking objects that make the plants look natural and that need only little effort to be maintained,” he explains. gartensilber’s design objects can not only be produced in standard, but also in individual sizes. They are individually expandable and suit one another. Besides, clients can choose their favourite colour for the objects. If one would like to get an impression first, one can visit gartensilber’s very own showroom. gartensilber’s planting pots perfectly attune to the fact that people’s tastes are different. Be it a cube, pillar, cuboid, pyramid, cone or cylinder – the planting pots by

gartensilber adjust to the available space on one’s terrace or balcony and are available in many colours. Who does not like spending an enjoyable evening outside with friends? However, if bad weather occurs, the cushions need to be securely stowed away, which is no problem with gartensilber’s storage objects. The cushion bank is made of aluminium, lined with velour and 100 per cent waterproof. The upholstery chest is certainly no less aesthetic and functional as the air can circulate through slots and an insulation hinders humidity from developing. Besides, the outside coating is completely non-fade and resistant. Flowing water can bring a vibrant atmosphere to one’s garden. gartensilber offers water cubes and waterfalls, which both convince with their timeless design and functionality. The water cube has casters

to easily move it to any place. Also, the waterfall can easily be put into operation. For its closed water circuit, just one power connection is needed. Finally, gartensilber keeps one’s garden away from undesirable glances. Sight protections can be combined with an ivy edge or used as a vertical garden. Quality and longevity in the age of mass consumption – gartensilber’s concept is more in demand than ever and invites everyone to pause for a moment and enjoy timeless design objects.

Cushion bank.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  25

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Nuts about nuts Nuts come in different kinds and, regardless whether they have been refined or whether they are eaten in their original form, they are always a tasty treat. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE

Based in the beautiful city of Hamburg, the Veldkamp family is a manufacturer of roasted nuts. Their product range, amongst others, comprises of an astonishing and exquisite surprise:“We were looking for a way to honour our ancestor Anna Veldkamp, who regularly gave free food to orphans here in Hamburg,” explains Tom Veldkamp, owner of the family-run business that was established more than 100 years ago. “So why not pay tribute to her golden heart by creating golden sweets?” asks Veldkamp. Therefore, the first roasted almond sprinkled with 22-carat gold leaf was finally introduced to customers in 2009. But Veldkamp has more in store than almonds with a precious twist: the company’s product range also includes roasted cashews, almonds (minus the golden touch), peanuts and Brazil nuts - all organic and all lovingly packed in pointed retro paper bags. 26  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

“In manufacturing our products, we are very much aware that an increasing number of customers suffer from food intolerances and hence consciously abstain from processing additional spices; which is why we mainly use organic products for the processing of our nuts,”says Veldkamp. So, for example, Veldkamp’s roasted golden almonds are primarily organic and environmentally conscious manufactured from almonds, cane sugar, Bourbon vanilla as well as cinnamon; plus a 22-carat golden sprinkle of course. When asked for his future plans, Veldkamp answers: “All our products are available from assorted chocolate stores in Spain, Austria and Germany who have specialised in organic products. We now have plans to extend our offer and add a product range that comprises of chocolate covered nuts. Moreover, we have only recently started a cooperation with Brotliebling in

Left: Organic products made by Mutter Veldkamp: Almonds 'Mumbai', Hamburger Golden Almonds, cashews with black sesame. Photo: © Björn Gantert Top right: Organic bread backing premix with organic roasted almonds by Mutter Veldkamp. Photo: © Brotliebling Above: Owner Tom Veldkamp and wife Petra on a visit to Mutterland Hamburg, one of the retailers of Mutter Veldkamp's products. Photo: © Tom Veldkamp Bottom: Mutter Veldkamp’s come in organic retro paper bags. Photo: © Stephan Chi

Berlin. They sell an exclusive bread baking premix that contains our roasted almonds. We are very proud of that cooperation and the bread is incredibly yummy!” gloats Veldkamp. If you want to know more about Veldkamp’s products or watch a couple of related videos, you can look them up on Facebook or visit their homepage. Those who are now yearning to taste Veldkamp’s delicious products or want to surprise their loved ones with the exquisite gift of gold-sprinkled sweets can easily do so as, thankfully, all of Veldkamp’s products are available online.


Austria’s design hot spot in Vienna The beginning of March marks the yearly return of the Wohnen & Interieur fair, Austria’s leading show for interior design, home decorations and furniture design. TEXT: REED EXHIBITIONS  I  PHOTOS: REED EXHIBITIONS / C. HUSAR

28  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Living and Interior Design Special, Austria

The annual event gathers some 500 national and international exhibitors in the Messe Wien Exhibitions and Congress Centre, where it is set on an overall hall space of more than 55,000 square metres. With the exhibition centre located in the centre of Austria’s capital Vienna – renowned for its majestic and imperial atmosphere, its delicate sweets, the Fiaker carriages and of course Mozart and Sissy – the stylish Wohnen & Interieur fair lures visitors by the thousands and with a much more modern approach than the traditional Viennese style. Setting design trends The show is known for setting design trends and the presentation of exhibitors is a look into the future of our homes and gardens. It boasts the latest colour trends, attractive shapes and materials, all beautifully made up into most amazing furniture, carpets – brightly coloured or even nude – chandeliers and other lighting ideas, marble floors, concrete kitchen, leather

chairs and bathrooms or kitchens made of carved stone. In 2017, the show will feature new technological amenities, such as smart home appliances, as well as wooden furniture, floors, doors exemplarily finished by experienced carpenters the country is famous for. The vast exhibition space is carefully grouped in four sensory worlds. These clearly reflect the exhibition layout and help visitors to find their way around, appealing to each of the senses. This unique concept, including many new features, the huge selection of fine interiors and gardening ideas and the sheer choice ensure that a visit to the show will be a very special experience.

For more information, visit or just stop by during 11-19 March, 2017 at the Messe Wien. Tickets are eight euros on the weekends and seven euros weekdays.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  29

Firing up your imagination Combining ingenious aesthetics with refined technical know-how, the Austrian Reitinger company find just the right angle for your personalised heat source.

elements of wood and fire, producing the effect of a close connection to nature, even inside your own home.


Quality, functionality and individuality are the three pillars that form their philosophy, resulting in creating innovative products at the highest technical level. Reitinger stoves support an individual living style close to nature and the elements. For managing director Reinhold Reitinger, “living spaces are open spaces, shaped by creativity”. Their made-to-measure solutions therefore take their clients’ creativity to heart and help forming the stage for a new life. From stove to heating system, from outdoor fireplace to grill, from central heating to pizza oven, each installation is carried out to match or create the desired spirit for the future surroundings. 30  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

The Bauhaus principle of “form follows function” is being applied with an utmost sensibility for aesthetics and the respective environment. With stone, glass and steel as the main elements, the stoves become sculptures and an aesthetic asset for any living space. Simple shapes, stripped down to the essential, meet highly effective materials, unobtrusively opening up space around every object to project the natural beauty of the warmly flickering flames. With the fire visible from up to three sides through fireproof glass panes, the wood stove automatically becomes an eye catcher, both in private homes and restaurants. The feeling of comfortable warmth is enhanced by the visible vicinity of the natural

In close collaboration with their clients, Reitinger strive to imply a fresh attitude towards life by creating a new living surrounding. They provide the structure and base for living areas that inspire and comfort at the same time. As designer and philanthropist, Reinhold Reitinger says: “We will provide the framework for a new life.” Offering complete solutions while leaving much space for inspiration, no concept is like another and far from any standardised production process. Reitinger look at an oven as a holistic heating concept with the plus of adding natural elegance to the surroundings. This goes for restaurants and hotel lobbies as well as your own living room. Beautiful

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Living and Interior Design Special, Austria

design solutions for beautiful homes are a good thing, even better if they are fitted to individual concepts and needs. Reitinger will find the solution to mirror their clients’ dreams, wishes and personal style and make it their priority to accompany them step by step in implementing these so that each home expresses the unique character of its inhabitants. With practical aspects like in-built storage solutions, the puristic design allows for example quick access to stocked wood without having to go outside. Whether single stove or heating system, it all starts with good planning. The Reitinger understanding of quality means high standards in every way, from consulting to planning, from material selection to budgeting, through to implementation and service. These standards are granted by a team of skilled professionals, technicians and trained consultants under the

guidance of a triple graduated master designer and organisational talent. Managing director Reinhold Reitinger lives and breathes his philosophy of creating perfect streamlined designs with a close-to-nature attitude. The element of fire is contained but also on free display in his cubic designs, resulting in an effective visual contrast both welcoming and easy to the eye and creating an atmosphere of levity and warmth at the same time. Following their motto of “any idea is only as good as its realisation”, the Reitinger team always stay close to the concept of fitting their products perfectly into the respective surroundings to match the clients’ lifestyle, literally not only in angle but also in ambiance. From indoor heating to outdoor fire place, from new projects to modernisation, the installation of each fireplace or heating system is looked after with great diligence and care. While

creating visual harmony, the highly technical expertise and quick and astute service makes Reitinger stove fittings an “allround package” which is hard to top. Reitinger envision the perfect home as the centre of life, a peaceful refuge and the expression of an individual style close to nature. They even help clients to implement their own perfect vision with a “planning-in-motion” service by using 3D animation software. From indoor heating to outdoor fire place, from new projects to modernisation, the company provide follow-up service for a lifetime. Backed by a highly skilled team and with the combination of perfect technical fitting and groundbreaking aesthetics, Reitinger stoves and heating systems leave nothing to be desired.

Reinhold Reitinger, designer and managing director.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  31

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Living and Interior Design Special, Austria

The ‘Carving Lipso’ pattern. Photo: ©

Walking on art The beauty and merits of natural wood mafi floors make the difference when it comes to effective usage of homegrown wood resources and a refined, sustainable production process, marked by innovative and boundary-breaching design. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

Laminate, parquet, lacquered or oiled? Solid wood plank, wide plank, Oxi oil or wax? Most people love wooden floors, but often find themselves overwhelmed by the terms and formulations preceding the pleasure to finally place their feet on them at home. CEO Friedrich Fillafer explains what makes a good plank, optimal surface treatment and, last not least, the importance of origin: “We strive to work in unison with nature. For our production process, we use domestic woods and natural oil finishes only. That way, ecological, nat32  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

ural wood floors are created, available in a multitude of hues, structures and finishes. The unifying aspect of all floor types is the sustainable production process. We stand responsible for the entire value-adding process, from log to plank.” Unlike many other suppliers or chains, the company only uses woods stemming exclusively from Central Europe, using it for a resource-saving production process, tailor made for each single client. Nature forms the base and production is done with more

skilled human power than machines, all within a production span of four days. Here are a few basic mafi facts: the natural oil surface, dried in the open air, ‘breathes’ and protects at the same time. It is even effective for long-term, high usage in hotels and restaurants. As opposed to lacquered or sealed surfaces, it can be restored locally with the help of a special soap and oil. The floors therefore do not need to be stripped, thus guaranteeing a long life as the material is not reduced in thickness. This is also a huge advantage for the use of wooden floors in kitchens and bathrooms. Because there is no lacquer layer, the wood contains its natural look and beauty and withstands stains and spots through applying a simple warm water and wood soap procedure.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Living and Interior Design Special, Austria

But the natural and resource-protecting refinement not only has economic merits; it is also warm to the touch and actually regulates the room climate. At mafi, the selection of harmonious hues is widespread – one glance at the website shows an amazing range of natural colours and patterns. Ideal for underfloor heating, the single planks have a cross-bonded core of spruce and the respective same kind of hardwood on the upper part and the bottom, guaranteeing a maximum in both flexibility and strength. Gap risk is reduced significantly and impressive dimensions up to five metres in length and 30 centimetres in width are possible, with optimal resource exploitation still a given. mafi tradition springs from almost one hundred years of experience. The Fillafer family founded their first sawmill in the Upper Austrian village of Schneegattern in 1919. After World War II, the family business specialised in wood ceilings, laying

the foundation for the characteristic mafi know-how. Since 1992, this expertise has come to effect in their natural wood floor production. With their symmetrical flooring technique and natural oil finishes, mafi simply but effectively revolutionised the parquet industry. The mafi customer base is formed by people with high-quality standards, looking for an innovative yet sustainable design product. The company’s respect for the rawest of all natural materials has been made an obvious priority, a fact that also leaves an impression with their customers. Their order-based, custom-made production is fully transparent and attracts more and more people who decide for a healthy living atmosphere and the aesthetic appeal of natural wood floors ‘Made in Austria’. Those looking for innovative solutions will most certainly make their find with mafi, as the range of hues and patterns is ever-growing.

For 2017, the mafi family business will stay on course in establishing their natural, long-lasting products on the market. They want to prove that sustainable product development with optimal use of resources can be combined with innovative design solutions. New designs such as their ‘Carving Lipso’ pattern impressively underline this claim. Design classics are continuously re-interpreted, for example with a broad plank herringbone parquet design. Last not least, the company strives to breach classic boundaries in emphasising that walls and ceilings can also benefit from high-quality mafi boards. “We feel that we are on the right way,” states Friedrich Fillafer. Indeed, with the combination of long-lasting quality with innovative design, mafi will continue to make their clients “walk on art”.

Photo: ©

Photo: ©

Photo: ©

Photo: © Mathias Lixl/

Photo: © Mathias Lixl/

Photo: © Mathias Lixl/

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  33

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Valerie Niehaus

Valerie Niehaus

Life in acting We have seen her in comedies, in dramas, in crime stories, maybe some of us were even lucky to catch her on stage. Valerie Niehaus has been acting for a while. In fact, she has been acting all her life, since she first started as a teenager. 8 February marks the return of her current television crime series The specialists on national television. Around Germany she is also known for co-founding the social project ON A WORD, which strives to create more community. Discover Germany spoke to Niehaus about all of the above and her life in acting. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

“Without a doubt, the most beautiful aspect about it [acting] is the playing itself – I’ve been doing it since I’ve come into this world.” When Valerie Niehaus describes her fascination with the art of acting one can immediately sense that she is deeply ingrained in her profession. Obviously, one might say, because Niehaus has literally been acting all her life and never had to take on a different profession. Born in 1974 in Emsdetten, Niehaus’ first acting experience happened when she was still in school and got a small part in the television drama Rote Erde. “It was a historical piece and within the stages at the Bavaria Studios. I dove into another time, a different world and finally also into the reality of another person, which was my character,” explains Niehaus. The experience during the shoot did it for her, as she caught the acting bug once and for all. The value of trust Although she was “not especially disciplined with setting my sights on training as an actor”, Niehaus always was a woman with a plan. At 20, she went to New York and ended up studying at the renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. “New York was an unbelievably great place, which of34  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

fered me, as a 20-year-old, so much, which I couldn’t have dreamed of. Every day had so many discoveries, that brought me closer to the world and acting.” The city itself was an educator, showing Niehaus the beauty and the horrors of human interaction and life in all its facets. Her teachers at the institute complemented her real-life experiences and provided her with a feeling of appreciation for the opportunities of life, for her work and the work of others.“My teachers were inviting, inspiring and demanding, which shaped me both professionally and privately. Even today there is one sentence from one of my teachers, which has an influence on my doing: ‘Trust, that it is there for you’.” In acting, this phrase helps her navigate her nerves and in life it nurtures a sense of relaxation. It is the ‘it’ of the sentence that makes it universally applicant, underlining the value of trust in all of life’s circumstances.

The specialists While Niehaus is clear about the value of trust, Dr. Katrin Stoll, her character in the crime series The specialists, might have a different assessment.“[She] is a loner, who

Photos: © Bernd Brundert

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Valerie Niehaus

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  35

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Valerie Niehaus

campaign fostering inspiration, communication, openness and togetherness by creating portraits of people highlighting a word of their choosing. The idea is “to bring to mind the virtue, which represents what we hold important. This representation in turn bears the opportunity to interchange among each other and get to know each other”.

Photos: © Steffi Henn (ON A WORD)

For her own portrait, Niehaus chose the word empathy. “Empathy creates connection. The silent cry of a human being moves me, because the gesture releases an emotional echo within me. This, I call empathy.” Niehaus also views the virtue of empathy as a necessary means to understanding one another. “With the help of empathy, the fate of others is as close to me as my own and, in this connection, I recognise my responsibilities and possibilities as a human being. Empathy is an attitude, inviting us to look inward to pursue a different path. [But] empathy is not easy, it takes an effort. At first, it’s not a means of simplifying, but without it finding common ground is impossible. I believe in empathy.” Across all genres

is closer to her work, than her colleagues,” says Niehaus. “She is a distinguished expert in forensics not least because of the traumatic experience of losing her brother at very young age. She is driven by her demons, but keeps it to herself, as she focuses her life and abilities on the corpses and their stories.” The specialists, which airs on German television channel ZDF, follow Stoll and a team of investigators, as they reopen cases based on new evidence. Every episode examines a new case in great detail and, 36  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

through their work, the team of specialists is often able to finally bring peace to the relatives of the victims. ON A WORD There is another project close to Niehaus’ heart. Like everybody else, in late 2014 she observed a push for right-wing populism in Germany. Immediately a need to counter this push grew inside of Niehaus. “I wanted to show my face, represent my stance openly.” Together with photographer Stefanie Henn and actress Christina Hecke, she developed ON A WORD, a

As an actress, Niehaus has worked in every possible genre. She adores this mix, creates the changes between comedies and dramas deliberately and tries to learn as much from her work as possible. Especially in pieces, that are based on historic stories or take place in historic settings, Niehaus finds understanding for her present. “Historical projects are able to give a lot already in their preparation. As a woman, for example, it is astonishing to understand the unfreedom of earlier times. Generally, one also gains a better understanding of one’s own time, when getting to know history and its developments.” For Niehaus, acting has a great deal to give and in her performances, she in turn gives a lot through acting. At the core of her work both on and off screens is the desire to put something of worth out into the world and to start a relationship with her audiences. She has been doing just that for a while now and there is a clear feeling that her engagement and effort will never get old.

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Valerie Niehaus

The spy. Photo: © ARD/Degato/ATF/Reiner Bajo

The specialists. Photo: © ZDF/Richard Huebner

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  37

Discover Germany  |  Interview  |  Konetik

Szabo. Photo: © Konetik Oberbaumbruecke. Photo: © Berlin Partner-Wuestenhagen

Fleet management with Konetik from Berlin Mobility has changed dramatically in recent years. Especially for companies, there is a great deal of potential for improvement and innovation. With his company Konetik, entrepreneur Balazs Szabo has developed a plug and play vehicle management product for companies with fleets enabling them to profit from this potential. Discover Germany spoke to Szabo about the origins of Konetik, its diverse potential and the company’s new location in Berlin. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

Let’s start out with the origins of Konetik. What is your personal background? What were initial thoughts and inspirations, which led to Konetik? Szabo: I am a serial entrepreneur. I have been working in the digital industry since when I was 19. I have a business and technical background and I also held positions related to start-up fundraising. After working on a few start-ups (and failing forward) I turned my interest to Internet of Things in 2014 and this is how I met my co-founder, Peter. Our third co-founder, product and design expert Gergö, joined 38  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

us soon after and together we created a vision that it would be amazing if we could make mobility and transportation smarter by leveraging the intelligence, derived from the data that can be gathered from vehicles themselves. We developed a prototype, secured financing from industry-shaping investors (such as Andras Ferencz, the CTO of Mobileye), validated and stepped into the B2B market to disrupt the fleet management practice with a smart fleet product for Small and Medium Enterprises. Now we are on the market with our product in countries such as the UK, Germany, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Take us through the functionality of Konetik. How does it improve decision makers’ daily work? Szabo: Cars are probably the most underutilised assets for companies. With Konetik, decision makers can understand how the company vehicles are being used. They can benefit from our automated logbook solution, insightful statistics about the fuel consumption, engine diagnostics and so forth. We deliver insights about client visits, time spent at a prospect to help improve customer satisfaction or sales results. With the knowledge gathered with Konetik, decision makers can further optimise or reorganise their fleet based on their real mobility needs. We can also take care of the shared cars within the company. Our goal is to make company mobility more efficient and safer while contributing to better business results for our customers. We further develop our product to make it smarter and smarter to help

Discover Germany  |  Interview  |  Konetik

companies going through the changing mobility landscape dominated by shared, electric and autonomous vehicles. How does one get started with Konetik? Szabo: We offer a monthly subscription service starting at 14 euros per month. Compared to the other solutions, there is no upfront investment for our clients in hardware. They don’t even have to pay expensive technicians to install a blackbox. Konetik provides a simple, plug and play product with a completely new digital experience for the fleet industry. Our customers love the product and they can try it themselves for free for one month to make sure that it is fully in line with their expectations. After starting out in Budapest, you have moved part of your operations via London to Berlin. What have been driving arguments and thoughts behind the choice for Berlin? Szabo: Right, we first moved to London with our headquarters, but when the Brexit vote happened we re-evaluated. We thought

about other options and quickly Berlin was one of the cities we considered. Berlin is a perfect place for digital companies like us, that are about to create value out of the changing mobility landscape. As opposed to other traditionally automotive industry ‘driven’ cities in Berlin the future is about sustainability and answering to real mobility needs (getting people and goods from A to B) and not about saving the disappearing status of the cars. This is the mindset from which huge mobility companies emerged such as HERE, GoEuro or the new generation of companies such as Door2Door, PlugSurfing or German Autolabs, which are shaping the mobility space. For us, besides the promise of the city itself and its vision towards mobility, it was also a strong argument that we found incredible business and product talent in Berlin and a supportive start-up environment.

Entrepreneurship Centre, where we also received an office for a year. It was a great soft landing opportunity to setup our presence. After that we got familiar with the scene and the Berlin Partner GmbH also helped us a lot to get the ball rolling and establish our German entity to lead the European expansion from here.

How did you manage the process of setting up business in Berlin with regard to finding the right team and location?

As we got a lot of support from mentors, fellow entrepreneurs and investors, we expect to pay it forward by growing Konetik and creating highly qualified jobs and a leading mobility management company.

Szabo: When we first came to Berlin, we got a lot of help through the European Pioneers accelerator and the German Tech

Which influences do you expect the city of Berlin to have on your company? What are your expectations for Konetik having moved to the city? Szabo: At Konetik, our aim is to help companies to reach better results by taking care of organising their mobility needs. We are proud to do that from Berlin as we already got a lot from the community, but we also aim to contribute by organising the Berlin Smart Mobility Meetup for instance.

Sony Center. Photo: © Berlin Partner Fritsch-Foto

Potsdamer Platz. Photo: © Berlin Partner Fritsch-Foto

Photo: © Konetik

East Side Gallery. Photo: © Berlin Partner Fritsch-Foto

Photo: © Konetik

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  39

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Taste of Austria

Sacher cake. Photo: ©, Jocelyn & Cathy

Photo: ©, Andrew Holmes

S P E C I A L T H E M E : TA S T E O F A U S T R I A

Enjoy Austria’s culinary side Austria has far more to offer than kaiserschmarrn, schnitzel, great coffee or strudel. To convince you, we handpicked some of the country’s best culinary exports so that you will know what to try on your next trip to Austria. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Cheese spaetzle. Photo: ©, Jens

40  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Taste of Austria


Main photo: The Haubenberger family. Bottom: The Haubiversum where visitors can look behind the scenes.

Baking with heart, soul and a sense for great ingredients Family tradition and regional heritage are important for the Lower Austrian bakery Haubis. Founded in 1902, it is still run by founder Anton Haubenberger’s ancestors and uses proven recipes for a wide range of bakery products. Locally sourced, organic flour and produce guarantees high quality and great taste. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: HAUBIS

Maybe one of the greatest smells in the world is when bread is removed from the oven, freshly baked, the crust crackling in the cold air. It is this freshness, the crisp crust and the softness inside that consumers want to taste in great bakery products. Quality ingredients, unique recipes and traditional craftsmanship are key factors for Haubis. Still holding the family tradition up, is one thing that makes Haubis so special and is something that has not changed for more than a century, even though the company has constantly grown. Today, in the fifth generation, Haubis has 800 employees and bakeries at six different locations in Austria and Italy. “Today it is no longer common that a company of this size is still family-owned and family-led,” says Stefan Scheuchelbauer, responsible for market-

ing at Haubis, about one factor that makes Haubis so unique. A good example for how the tradition affects the products is the classic ‘Petzenkirchner Bauernbrot’ (farmhouse bread) that is still baked after the original recipe. Haubis produces the whole range of bakery products: bread, bread roles, baguettes, snacks, Danish pastry or cakes. The company supplies gastronomy, restaurants, cafés and hotels mainly in Austria. For the best quality with minimum effort, Haubis products come in three different baking levels: frozen and pre-proven dough, frozen partly baked products that need to be baked to finish, and ‘thaw and serve’ products. While tradition plays an important role, Haubis also constantly develops new ideas for better bakery products, profiting from the owners’ and employees’ great experience.

Haubis supplies many high-class customers, for example the famous Grand Hotel in Vienna. This alone speaks for the products’ quality. Haubis only uses regionally produced and sourced ingredients to guarantee that only the best get into the various doughs. The wheat or rye for the flour for example is grown in the areas around the production facilities and in the Austrian Burgenland region. In doing this, Haubis also supports local farmers and farming traditions. Only a small part of Haubis’ products go into international exports, mainly to Italy where Haubis today has established a regional branch.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  41

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Taste of Austria Photo: © Nikola Milatovic

Photo: © Nikola Milatovic

Photo: © Nikola Milatovic

A fruitful experience SUSA S MUS, which is in fact Susanne Suppan’s pulp (the English word for ‘mus’), is a multifaceted adventure. People who taste her pulp will go on an exciting journey through Styrian fruits and for Suppan herself, running a one-woman enterprise after working as a lawyer for a long time was quite a change. After five years, she has established a wonderful brand, focused on providing a healthy product of the highest quality.

which inevitably leads to a one-of-a-kind, high-quality product and a pulp, that is as fresh and fruitful as it gets.


The question is not: why pulp? As it is pulp that can give your daily life a fruitful spark or make a delicious dish even more special, while providing you with essential vitamins. People love it in yoghurts, buttermilk and ice cream. Pancakes will flourish with it. Put it in Champagne and discover a whole new sparkle. Do not forget your main meals. Salad dressings, ragout and many more all taste different and exciting with pulp. For Susanne Suppan, the first ideas for SUSA S MUS manifested themselves when she was searching for a jam with less sugar and a more natural sweetness. She looked at the supermarket and at the local markets, but could not find what she was looking for. In the end, she developed a concept herself, leading to a pulp, that only includes a maximum of five per cent of cane sugar and fruits, which 42  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

are the essence of organic. “I wanted to only use fruits, without additives and of course only use the best of fruits,” explains Suppan. She finds those fruits in her friend’s gardens, in forests and collects them herself. Additionally, she is provided fruits by local Styrian orchardists. All the fruits are deseeded on the day of finding and subsequently flash frozen to preserve their fresh quality and taste. Pulp has been her passion project and initially Suppan took half a year of development and trying out different combinations to find the first pulp, with which she was satisfied. She is still doing that. Each year she is introducing new flavours to her assortment, that includes gooseberryapple, rhubarb-plum and many more. Apart from a little help by her partner, she is doing everything herself and this effort manifests in the result. It is a dedication,

The full assortment of pulps can be found and bought online.

Photo: © Christian Jungwirth

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Taste of Austria



Home of the perfect Pinot Noir Christoph Edelbauer’s winery in Austria’s Kamp Valley is small, but strong. This winery, where every single grape is harvested by hand, produces one of the best Pinot Noirs in the country. “Back to the roots” was the motto of wine grower Christoph Edelbauer when he returned to the family winery in 2003 after a string of internships abroad. At a time when modern technologies took over the wine-growing industry worldwide, Edelbauer’s vision was to once again establish a family-run winery of a small, manageable size. “Only in this way can I carry out every step of the cultivation myself and ensure that we do almost everything by hand,” he says. When it comes to his wines, Pinot Noir is Edelbauer’s favourite.“As a wine grower in the Kamp Valley, a large part of my vineyards is reserved for Grüner Veltliner and Riesling,” he says. “I do love these

wines, but my real passion is the Pinot Noir. It’s the perfect wine for this region because it hugely benefits from the very particular Kamp Valley climate, which gives our Pinot Noir its unique taste.” Edelbauer continues that it is very important for him to respect and preserve the quality of his vineyards for future generations. “Our commitment to 100 per cent sustainability is reflected in every part of our winery,” he says. “For example, the temperature in my cellar is regulated with earth air collectors. I also use screen prints rather than paper tags to label my bottles.”

Vineyard in Neuberg. Photo: © Katharina Griesbacher

The wine grower. Photo: © Katharina Griesbacher

Pinot Noir, Magnum. Photo: © Chris Rogel

What you See


is What is Next.


See you at CeBIT! 20 – 24 March 2017 Hannover ▪ Germany




AI Security

Global Event for Digital Business

Discover Germany  |  Travel Feature  |  Adrenaline-fuelled Snow Experiences

The longest sledge run in west Switzerland in La Tzoumaz, canton Valais. Photo: © Valais Wallis Promotion / Christian Perret

Off the skis and into the snow My first fall comes on the day’s first tight downhill corner and ends with an ungracious tumble into the deeper snow at the side of the trail. I am relieved to discover that snow is a very friendly landing pad and I shrug off the fall as nothing but a gentle bump. The guide, however, warns me to watch out for ice. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE

“People love fat biking here,” says fellow fat biker Phil Gale from high-end Swiss cycling apparel company ASSOS. “It really gives you the opportunity to experience the landscape in a unique way.” Cyclists have always aspired to break the mould and fat biking on snow has become the latest addiction. “It’s like when mountain biking first got big in the 1990s. It’s giving 44  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

a new lease of excitement to the industry. And it’s suitable for all abilities.” I raise my eyebrows. At first glance, the pristine Swiss scenery looks a bit daunting for a beginner, but as we keep pedalling along the steep side of the valley, cutting the gradient, our guide assures us that first-timers are welcomed and well catered

for in Switzerland, where they put meticulous care and attention into the winter sports’ provisions. Beyond just chairlifts, they also tend to networks of well-marked and nicely matted trails for all manner of skiing alternatives. Growing up in the UK, Switzerland is often seen as the preserve of neon-clad thrill seekers on the pursuit of fresh powder, helicopter runs and raucous après ski. But it is short sighted to assume that there are no more alternatives out there. In a bid to reclaim the ski season, Discover Germany has rounded up a selection of more unconventional winter sport breaks.

Discover Germany  |  Travel Feature  |  Adrenaline-fuelled Snow Experiences

Winter trail running

Snow golf

Not wholly dissimilar to trail running, the emerging discipline of the ‘winter trail’ is simply the white-carpeted branch of running. Winter trails are springing up across Switzerland, including the hugely popular Swiss Snow Walk and Run Arosa. But aside from the competitive element, running on snow in off-road running shoes (spikes optional) will certainly burn off the lingering excesses of the festive period, create a welcome endorphin rush and provide magnificent views as you traverse the landscape on foot. Many regions now create specific winter hiking trails with hard-packed snow that makes it easier to rake in the kilometres.

For something a little less fast-paced, energetic and extreme, then head to St Moritz for a good game of golf on the snow – although we would recommend not choosing a white ball. The key thing is to wrap up warmly and possess basic skills before teeing off.

pro and amateur fat bike riders alike. It is now its third year and has been officially recognised by cycling’s governing body, the UCI. We would suggest going one pedal stroke further than just being a tourist and signing up to satisfy your competitive spirit in what many see as Switzerland’s snowy Tour de France.

Fat biking


The current most en vogue winter sport, fat bikes are basically sturdy bikes with much fatter tires so that they can roll over obstacles with ease. E-Fat bikes are a growing phenomenon as well, which makes it suitable for all the family. Gstaad now hosts a four-day stage race aimed at

Do not rely on your tin tray here; the 2017 version of sledging is only done justice with the best equipment. Almost every ski station caters for speed-hungry sledgers, with everything from 100 metres to the Saastal Valley’s 11 kilometres, which takes the honours for the longest run in

Switzerland. get natural. Snowshoeing near the frozen Lake Davos, Grisons. Photo: © Switzerland Tourism

Fat biking. Photo: © Phil Gale

Fat biking. Photo: © Phil Gale

The icefield invites you to skate or play hockey, ice stock sport or curling. Photo: ©

Engadin Snow Golf Cup. Photo: © / Marc van Swoll

The Cresta Run 1914. Photo: ©

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  45

Discover Germany  |  Travel Feature  |  Adrenaline-fuelled Snow Experiences

Winter hiking on the frozen lake Silvaplana in the sunset; in the background, Piz da la Margna (3,159 metres). Photo: © ENGADIN St. Moritz, / Romano Salis

Switzerland. Away from the hubbub of the ski pistes, the scenic toboggan runs weave through pine forests and take a far less-trodden route back down to their respective towns. Curling Not just the preserve of the Scottish, try your hand at skimming large pieces of granite across the ice to get closest to the jack. Do not forget that one shoe needs to be studded and if you are a dab hand at sweeping kitchen floors then you will perhaps have the skills necessary to excel at the intricacies of this unique sport.

call in Switzerland have winter hiking trails specifically for providing a risk-free setting for apprehensive beginners. Many destinations also offer guided tours and hikes by moonlight. But the great thing about snowshoes is that you are not confined to designated trails. For those with the appetite for exploration, these are the ideal alternative to skis for traversing deep snow.

Cresta Run Take part in a piece of history with this natural skeleton toboggan run in St Moritz. Hand built each year, this has been an integral part of this iconic city’s winter sports scene since 1884. A precursor to skiing, this sport sees you reaching speeds that are just as hair-raising. So why not find out why the British aristocracy are so renowned for the development of this particular winter sport in Switzerland? Snowshoeing A great way to stay fit and get out into nature for the non-skier. The major ports of 46  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

The Cresta Run. Photo: © Engadin St Moritz

ENGADIN St. Moritz. Photo: © swiss-image. ch / Gian Andri Giovanoli

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Hotel of the Month, Germany


Main photo: La Casa’s spa. Photo: Momentum Photos Top left: Restaurant el Refugio. Photo: Fotografikatelier de Maddalena Above left: Comfortable room. Photo: Knauder Photografie Below right: Arabic bath and hamam. Photo: Momentum Photos Bottom right: Piano bar. Photo: Fotografikatelier de Maddalena

Mediterranean luxury made in Germany In a world that is dominated by big hotel chains, the family-run boutique hotel La Casa in southwest Germany’s Tübingen seems like a fresh breath of air. Here, hotel director Stefani Leuze explains why the five-star Mediterranean-style luxury hotel is the perfect place to combine a well-earned wellness break with first-class cultural delights. TEXT: SONJA IRANI  I  PHOTOS: HOTEL LA CASA

“The founders of our hotel used to live in Andalusia and travelled all over the world for work,” explains Leuze. “Their insights into lots of different cultures, customs and languages served as inspiration to open a Mediterranean-style hotel here in Germany.” The exotic materials gathered for the hotel from 14 different countries include Moroccan tadelakt, hand-made tiles and replicas of famous artworks. “This creates a very special atmosphere,” adds Leuze. “Our guests feel immediately at home here.” For example, in La Casa’s two wellness areas. These include a jetstream pool, a Finnish sauna, two rooftop terraces, an Arabic bath and hamam, a brine steam bath, a tepidarium and a cold-water pool with heated benches, where the guests will be served tea and Arabian pastries.

The hotel’s restaurant el Refugio complements the luxurious experience with gourmet dining delights. “Everything here is home-made – from bread and cakes to pasta and ice cream,” says Leuze.“Plus, we only use fresh, seasonal products.” Musical highlights include the live piano by pianist Reimer Treplin on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays as well as Andalusian Flamenco dancing. Plus, the annual performance by the Pasadena Roof Orchestra from London brings the swing and jazz atmosphere of the 1920s to Tübingen. “This is an event not to be missed,” emphasises Leuze. “There is no other concert hall worldwide where you will get closer to the artists than here in our hotel.”

our guests visit the nearby Hohenzollern Castle and Bebenhausen Abbey or explore the world-famous Black Forest,” illustrates the hotel-managing architect. “Those who like shopping, should check out Outletcity Metzingen. Plus, the beautiful Lake Constance region and Alsace in France are just a day trip away.”

Finally, there is much to see in and around the university town of Tübingen.“Many of Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  47

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Attraction of the Month, Austria

AT T R A C T I O N O F T H E M O N T H , A U S T R I A

Dive into the ocean and feel like Jacques Piccard Austria’s biggest aqua terra zoo, Haus des Meeres, is home to more than 10,000 animals from sharks to rays, exotic fish and reptiles. With the recently opened Atlantic tunnel, there is a new highlight that will make you feel like walking through the ocean.

below their feet. “One of our new residents is a nurse shark, which has a size of 70 centimetres, but it can reach a length of about two metres when it is fully grown,” Dr. Mitic explains.


Animals as ambassadors Have you ever dreamed about diving in the sea, discovering the fascinating underwater world of the ocean? In Vienna, visitors of the aqua terra zoo Haus des Meeres come very close to this experience. With its latest attraction, the Atlantic tunnel, they now have the chance to walk along a glass tunnel that is ten metres in length and runs through a giant aquarium with a capacity of half a million litres. Eagle rays, schools of horse mackerels, breams and nurse sharks are just some of the more than 1,000 Atlantic creatures you 48  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

can observe close-up. Visitors, surrounded by water, will immediately feel captivated by this fascinating atmosphere as it seems as if they are among the fish. “We are very proud of this this innovative acrylic glass tunnel which is, to our knowledge, unique in Europe and probably even worldwide,” says Dr. Michael Mitic, director of Haus des Meeres. As he explains, other aquariums usually have tunnels that are placed on the ground, but in the Atlantic tunnel visitors can also watch fish

Acquainting people with the animal world and conveying the importance of animal and environmental protection has been the main goal of Haus des Meeres ever since the private, non-profit organisation was established in 1957. “To our mind, the main duty of zoos is to let people build up a relationship to animals,” Dr. Mitic emphasises. “Especially today, in the digital age, it is important to have animals acting as ambassadors for their species: People might be able to quickly find pictures of certain animals on the internet, but it feels

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Attraction of the Month, Austria

completely different to actually see an animal right in front of you.” “Research is another aspect that is very important to us,” Dr. Mitic adds. Therefore, not only classes from schools, families and tourists are regular guests of Haus des Meeres, but also students who, for example, want to investigate the behaviour of white-faced sakis. By establishing Haus des Meeres 60 years ago, its founders, a group of university professors, wanted to build up a research centre specifically for the Mediterranean region. Starting with a couple of aquariums, the aqua terra zoo today houses more than 10,000 animals on an area of 5,000 square metres.“If you also count in all the ants, we probably have about a million residents in our aqua terra zoo,” Mitic adds laughing. With a length of about 70 metres, Haus des Meeres possibly offers the longest ants trail in the world. The aqua terra zoo is based in a high concrete tower that was built during World War II, but the building has apparently found a different, much brighter purpose.

On 11 floors, visitors can explore many additional attractions next to the Atlantic tunnel. One highlight is for example the shark tank which extends over two floors. Here, visitors can take a closer look at blacktip and whitetip sharks, a bamboo shark, and further fish species. Guests will also learn that sharks are certainly not as dangerous as they are often depicted. In fact, only very few kinds of sharks which do not eat plankton might attack humans. Tropical fish and crocodiles Another must-see is the reef with the sea surge, where countless tropical fish in every colour hurry around the coral reef. This attraction shows how many species live in coral reefs, but also how sensitive these eco systems are. The regular feedings of the piranhas, sharks, Sunda gharials (freshwater crocodiles) and other reptiles are particularly exciting to watch. In the crocodile park Krokipark, located in a glass addition, visitors not only have the chance to take a glimpse at the giant reptiles, they can

also make the acquaintance of the cheeky cotton-top tamarins that move about freely in the Krokipark, just like all of the colourful African birds that live here. Among them, the yellow-billed horn bill, which is often called ‘Flying banana’ in Africa, is one of the most popular residents of the Krokipark, as it is not unusual that these curious birds take a seat right next to a visitor. To make their visit perfect, guests can also go to the café and event venue Ocean Sky at the top of the tower. On an open-air terrace, they can take a break while enjoying a 360-degree view of Vienna. From left: The Atlantic tunnel is a new highlight of Haus des Meeres. Photo: © Daniel Zupanc Horse mackerels. Photo: © Daniel Zupanc Eagle rays are among the animals visitors can observe in the Atlantic tunnel. Photo: © Daniel Zupanc Hammerhead sharks. Photo: © Günther Hulla Cotton-top tamarins. Photo: © Günther Hulla A Gavialidae. Photo: © Rosanna Mangione A yellow-billed hornbill. Photo: © Günther Hulla Anemone fish. Photo: © Hans Novak

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  49

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Top Spa & Wellness Destination

Photo: © Sven Posch


Home at last:

Take a well-deserved break in the Austrian Alps Whether you are looking for a romantic couple’s getaway, a relaxing wellness break, an action-packed adventure trip or a fun-filled holiday for the whole family: Hotel Ebner’s Waldhof am See has it all. Located just 22 kilometres from the city of Salzburg in Austria’s stunning Salzkammergut region, the hotel offers a broad range of nature, wellness and sports activities. Thus, you can be sure to find something for everyone all year round.

iday,” says CEO Daniela Kari, responsible for marketing and finance within the family business.“Our guests’ constant positive feedback and the fact that we still manage to surprise them is our biggest motivator.”

“The region also has a longstanding reputation as a fantastic hiking area, which is best discovered with one of the regular hiking tours led by our fitness coach Conny,” adds the hotel manager. Along the way, you can rest at one of the many charming mountain hut restaurants, including the hotel’s own Waldhof Alm, and try some traditional Salzkammergut food.

Summer: A beach holiday with a difference

Winter, or WWW: Waldhof’s Winter Wonderland

“In the summertime, many of our guests explore the crystal-clear Lake Fuschl, which is located just a few steps from the hotel,” explains Kari. Activities include taking a boat trip on a traditional wood-

“Our winter activities include skiing, snow-shoe walks, curling, ice yachting, snow-tubing, snow-biking, ice skating, tobogganing, the new trend sport Nordic Cruising or horse-drawn sleigh rides,”says


Originally founded in 1958 as a small bed and breakfast, the family-run hotel has expanded massively during the last 40 years. Nowadays, the superior four-star hotel on the shores of Lake Fuschl offers the biggest private spa in the Salzkammergut region, a wide range of summer and winter activities, a nine-hole golf course, high-quality restaurants with traditional food from the region, an indoor gym and a huge adventure playground for the little ones. But this is not all. “There is so much to do here that many of our guests return for another hol50  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

en passenger boat, rowing a boat yourself, kayaking, cycling, walking, hiking or simply relaxing at the hotel’s private Lakeside beach garden.

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Top Spa & Wellness Destination

with its professional golf trainer Willi Marbler will help you find your swing and improve your game,” says Kari. “From the beginning of the golf season to the end of October, we offer introductory golf lessons for beginners and special training sessions to improve your handicap. Plus, in close proximity to the hotel you have a choice of 15 other golf courses.” A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a famous film location Thanks to the hotel’s proximity to Salzburg and the rich cultural heritage of the region, culture lovers will be spoilt for choice, too. Mozart´s hometown and UNESCO World Heritage Site Salzburg is always worth a visit, especially during the annual Salzburg Festival in the summer. Furthermore,

fans of the musical film The Sound of Music will recognise many of the beautiful backdrops, which are best to be explored on the dedicated film location tour that runs all year round starting in Salzburg. With so much to choose from already, what more is on the hotel’s agenda for 2017?“Like every year, it is our goal to help our guests have the most special time of their year,” says Kari. “That’s why we are constantly improving our services and facilities as far as both range and quality are concerned. Guests should be able to relax and unwind and yet be active. But above all, they should feel at ease here, just like they are ‘home at last’.”

Kari.“So whether you’re after action or relaxation, there is something for everyone.” After an active day in the snow, there is no better way to relax than in the hotel’s spacious and luxurious wellness area. With over 4,000 square metres of leisure and wellness facilities, the largest private spa in the Salzkammergut features a Water World, a Sauna World and the Waldhof Spa. Plus, the hotel offers a wide range of wellness treatments and serves particularly well-balanced meals made from local products and home-grown herbs in the Gütl Restaurant. Where golfer dreams come true Just a few steps from the hotel, you will find the hotel’s private nine-hole golf course for guests. “Whether you are a complete novice or simply want to improve your game, the Waldhof Golf School

Indoor pool.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  51

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Kitzbühel, Montafon, St. Veit

The Rehazentrum is embedded in the beautiful Tyrolean landscape. Photo: © MultiVisualART

T O P R E H A B F A C I L I T I E S W E S T- A U S T R I A

Back in shape, for a new life: VAMED rehab facilities in Austria The international health care provider VAMED group plans, modernises and runs concepts and buildings for clinics and rehab facilities in a way that shows an understanding of health to be a global, sustainable and holistic asset.

the three mountain peaks of the world famous Hahnenkamm, the Wilder Kaiser and the Kitzbüheler Horn.


The Rehazentrum Kitzbühel is specialised in the treatment of orthopedic and sports traumatic injuries. Housing up to 120 patients at a time, the centre opened in 2013 and has since been situated in modern premises that are marked by a welcoming yet effectively functional architecture.

Backed by their International Medical Board, VAMED keeps an eye on the patients’ well-being through employing highly qualified personnel with comprehensive expertise and long-term experience within the health system. All VAMED enterprises are marked by the latest diagnostic technology, amazing medical know how and modern facilities as well as an efficient international network. Three Austrian rehab facilities with a focus on therapy, rehabilitation, sustainable health 52  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

and lifestyle, set in Austria’s loveliest holiday areas, have lately been benefiting from these qualities to build a sustainable basis for their excellent medical treatment programmes. Kitzbühel Rehabilitation Centre Recover your mobility and fitness right in the heart of the Austrian Kitzbühel alps. The VAMED rehabilitation centre for treatment of the musculoskeletal system is located within beautiful scenery between

A highly qualified team of doctors, therapists and sport scientists as well as massage therapists, nutrition specialists and nursing staff apply their expertise for an optimum in individual rehabilitation. An in-house library, the grand roof terrace

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Kitzbühel, Montafon, St. Veit

with a breathtaking view, a public cafeteria and, last but not least, the attractive location in the alp town of Kitzbühel make the centre a great place to indulge in expert treatment and swift recovery. Therapeutic treatments range from ergotherapy to isokinetic training, from hydro to thermo therapy, from strength to endurance training through to nutrition counselling and health psychology. In wintertime, heat and infrared therapy are a welcome treatment for muscle and joint problems, fibromyalgia or any type of rheumatic ailment. Both patients and guests at the Kitzbühel rehabilitation centre enjoy the charm and lifestyle of the legendary Alpine sports resort in combination with the latest standards in medical therapy.

Montafon Rehabilitation Centre Set in the unique natural landscape of the Austrian federal state of Vorarlberg, in the lovely village of Schruns, the Montafon centre for orthopedic, cardiac and neurobiological treatment opened its doors in 2010. Following their motto of “our patients are our guests!”, the clinic is the perfect place to regain one’s energy and life quality from the inside out. A highly qualified staff of 120 make sure to tend to full medical, therapeutic and nursing care for each patient. “Enabling” is of the highest priority at Montafon so that patients can reenter daily life as soon as possible. Patients enjoy the modern, light-filled surroundings, excellent culinary treats and the Montafon

natural scape, often accompanied by family members or friends who are equally welcome to stay. At the Montafon centre, orthopedic ailments are being treated as well as neurological problems caused by inflammatory or degenerative illness of the central and peripheral nervous system. Also, patients who have suffered strokes or injuries to the brain or spinal cords in accidents come to the Montafon centre for treatment. Cardiac rehabilitation at Montafon has an emphasis on creating a higher life quality through implementing lifestyle changes. Individually taking care of important aspects like physical and cognitive activity, the team at Montafon helps creating the

Kitzbühel – not only because of the famous ski-downhill-race - is undoubtedly one of the most popular holiday destinations in Austria.

Modern treatment facilities in the Rehabilitation Centre Kitzbühel. Photo: © Bezirksbl. Kitzbühel

In the heart of the Montafon lies the Montafon Rehabilitation Centre. Photo: © MAM Photographer

The quality of the Montafon Rehabilitation Centre was meticulously tested by an expert team from the Joint Commission International. Photo: © MAM Photographer

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Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Kitzbühel, Montafon, St. Veit The individual person’s abilities and life situations are put the centre of the Montafon Rehabilitation Centre’s doing. Photo: © MAM Photographer

The Oncological Rehabilitation Centre St. Veit constantly seeks to secure the best possible treatment success.

St. Veit offers an extensive, efficient and varied therapy programme on 1,000 square metres.

best possible conditions to let the heart and circulatory system recover so that the patient quickly regains fitness and vitality. By helping patients to retrieve access to their own power, a swift re-entry into their accustomed place in society is the primary goal at Montafon. Accompanying visitors, who come to help and support a patient during treatment, enjoy their stay with hotel standards. Oncological Rehabilitation St. Veit Set in the picturesque town of St. Veit in Austrian Pongau, only 60 kilometres from the cultural and historic city of Salzburg, the VAMED group has founded an innovative rehabilitation centre for oncological ailments of any kind. Sharing the operational tasks with the Salzburger Landeskliniken, the house counts 120 beds and a highly motivated team. The traditional health resort is situated above the Salzach valley amidst the impressive scenery of the Salzburg mountains with skiing and hiking areas all around. Its beautiful natural surroundings help to form a helpful basis for recovery. Specialized on post-treatment and treatment accompanying therapy, the offers at St. Veit range from physio to ergotherapy through to dietology. A maximum in backup is provided through a 24hour presence of medical and nursery staff and the tight cooperation with the neighboring St .Veit clinic so that patients have 54  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

Relaxation or hiking: patients can also enjoy the many things the city of St. Veit has to offer.

quick access to the respective equipment and facilities needed in case of emergency. Treating all types of oncological ailments through individual, tailor-made programmes, there is also ample time for relaxation and refreshing walks. Patients at St. Veit profit from the overall positive atmosphere and a revitalising stay within beautiful surroundings. St. Veit is also the town with the most sunny days in Austria. For 2017, the Oncological Rehabilitation Centre’s plans include groundbreaking work for a children’s department in spring, a training symposium for medical

and therapeutic staff as well as a major study on the enhanced life quality reached through rehabilitation. If post-operative or not, anyone seeking general revitalisation is welcome at the Austria-based VAMED clinics. They will find an individualised custom treatment in combination with the healing powers of Austrian nature, helping them to re-enter their lives with a sustainable plus in health and vitality.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Exhibition Highlights 2017

View in the hall III, Carlshütte. Photo: © Dirk Eisermann


Discover Germany’s cultural side With around 470 exhibition centres and 6,250 museums that attract approximately 112 million visitors each year, Germany is a cultural hotspot where visitors can explore the country’s rich heritage, as well as find out about history, exciting art of all epochs, technology, nature, literature and much, much more. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

The National Theatre, main venue of the Bavarian State Opera. Photo: © Felix Löchner

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Exhibition Highlights 2017

One thing is for sure – one will not experience boredom when visiting one of Germany’s many exciting museums and exhibitions. At Berlin’s famous Museum Island, for example, visitors can get an insight into various cultural epochs, in Frankfurt’s Städel Institute one will be enchanted by art from the Old Masters to the modern age and in Munich, at the world-renowned Deutsches Museum, one can look forward to learning more interesting facts about science and technology. These are some of the largest museums in Germany, but many smaller and independent institutions are definitely worth a visit too. If you want to find out more about exciting upcoming exhibitions or what museums can be found in Germany, take a look at the following pages and get inspired. EXCITING EXHIBITIONS IN FEBRUARY - Max Liebermann: Vom Freizeitvergnügen zum modernen Sport, Bremen Do not miss out on this extraordinary display of Max Liebermann’s artworks in the Kunsthalle Bremen. It deals with sport in all of its facets (until 26 February). - Oishii! Food in Japan, Stuttgart Stuttgart’s Linden-Museum has dedicated an exhibition to Japan’s culinary scene. While exploring origins and current trends of the country’s food culture, it also showcases objects, international loans and multimedia elements. How is rice cultivated and what does it mean for the Japanese society? What roles do fish and algae play? Find out here (until 23 April).

Westbox exhibition space Moderne II. Photo: Falk Wenzel

Georges Rouault, Automne, colour etching, 1938. Photo: © Fondation Georges Rouault Paris, ADGAP

- Rock und Pop im Pott, Essen The Ruhr Museum in Essen is hosting an exhibition about the exciting history of rock music in the Ruhr region (until 28 February). - Watching You, Watching me, Berlin This exhibition at Berlin’s Museum of Photography is a photographic response to surveillance and definitely a must-see (17 February – 2 July).

Museum for East Asian Art Cologne. Photo: © Alexandra Malinka

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Exhibition Highlights 2017

Germany’s most sought after collection of East Asian art

Left: The Museum for East Asian Art Cologne, exterior view with terrace complex. Photo: © Alexandra Malinka Right: Okita of the Naniwa-ya Tea-house (Japan, 1793) by Kitagawa Utamarô (1750-1806), woodcut. Photo: © Rheinisches Bild-Archiv, Sabrina Walz Below: Usagi Kannon II, bronze plastic by Leiko Ikemura (Germany, 2013/14). Photo: © Alexandra Malinka Bottom: The Great Wave (Japan, 1832/33) woodcut from the series Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Photo: © Rheinisches Bild-Archiv, Sabrina Walz

Founded in 1909, the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst Köln (Museum for East Asian Art) in Cologne was the first special museum of its kind in Europe. Today, it houses the most important collection of Chinese, Korean and Japanese art in Germany.

key pieces like The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai (1832/33) and Driving Rain at Shono (ca. 1833) by Utagawa Hiroshige.


The combination of exquisite Modernist Japanese architecture set within lush surroundings and its unique and multifaceted collection make the Museum for East Asian Art a one-of-a-kind destination for all art enthusiasts visiting Cologne.

By opening a museum for their extensive private collection, founders Adolf Fischer (1856-1914) and his wife Frieda Bartdorff (1874-1945) realised their goal to present a multifaceted and wholesome view on East Asian Art in all its genres and periods. Adolf Fischer died only shortly after the museum’s opening and thus the widowed Frieda Fischer (later to become Frieda Fischer-Wieruszowski) took over as one of the first female museum directors in Germany. Between 1922 and 1942, she also wrote and published significant books on Asian art, inspired by the Fischers’ early journeys throughout Asia. During the Nazi regime, collecting activities came to a halt, Frieda Fischer-Wieruszowski was eliminated from her post, and the building was destroyed in the bomb raids. In 1977, Japanese architect Kunio Maekawa (1905 – 1986), a former Le Corbusier pupil, gave the collection a new home, creating one of the finest and most important buildings of the classical modernist 58  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

period in Cologne. The flat-roofed onestorey building offers 1,390 square metres of exhibition space and includes a café overlooking the picturesque Aachener Weiher pond. An expansive foyer offers a view of the traditional Japanese meditation garden, designed by Japanese sculptor Masayuki Nagare (born in 1923), as well as the monumental protective Usagi Kannon bronze sculpture by Leiko Ikemura. The Museum for East Asian Art changes its presentation of selected objects from its permanent collection several times a year. In addition, it stages special exhibitions of works from its own holdings as well as from other museums worldwide. This year, for the first time in its history, the museum will present its unique collection of Japanese woodcuts. Marking the 40th anniversary of the Maekawa building, the special exhibition will include highlights like the beautiful Okita of the Naniwa-ya Tea-house (1793) by Kitagawa Utamaro,

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Exhibition Highlights 2017

Experiencing the Munich opera season with the Opera Festival as cultural highlight The highlight of Munich’s opera season is the Munich Opera Festival, this year running from 24 June to 31 July 2017. The festival has a long tradition and combines premieres with opera highlights staged at the National Theatre and other venues. With special open-air events, lieder recitals and new music theatre it also broadens the spectrum towards contemporary music.

Tschaikowsky. The second part of this free of charge series continues on 9 July with a live transmission of Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser.


Two operas will premiere during the festival: Die Gezeichneten (The Stigmatized) by Franz Schreker and Carl Maria von Weber’s Oberon or The Elf King’s Oath. The Stigmatized is a highly political drama and, for the first time since its Munich premier in 1919, it will be staged at the Bayerische Staatsoper. The opera is set in Renaissance Italy, a story revolving around a misshaped nobleman, abduction, murder and love.“It is clearly a story about an outsider, I mean, the guy is clearly condemned in a way to be alone,” says Krzysztof Warlikowski, responsible for the production. It is a very demanding piece, as one of the lead singers says, but also very accessible and powerful – and seldom brought to stage. Weber’s Oberon might be a bit better known. The romantic story about the mysterious elven king is a classic piece of music theatre. Fighting with his wife Titania about who is more changeable in love, men or

women, the king swears no longer to love his queen until a human couple has been found who proves to be truthful and constant in their love. The story is only loosely based on Shakespeare’s ideas and the storyline will take a completely different turn.

Main photo: Elīna Garanča and the Bavarian State Opera’s choir in La Favorite. Photo: © Wilfried Hösl Top left: Concert at Opera for All. Photo: © Wilfried Hösl Below: The National Theatre, main venue of the Bavarian State Opera. Photo: © Felix Löchner Bottom: Kirill Petrenko and the Bavarian State Orchestra. Photo: © Christoph Brech

As it is tradition, the opera festival not only shows these two premieres, but all the season’s new productions: La Favorite, Semiramide, Andrea Chénier, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District and the famous Tannhäuser. General music director Kirill Petrenko will conduct the last two as well as Richard Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten. One reason that makes the festival so special is that it gives people a chance to experience opera who have never come into touch with it before or simply did not get tickets. The festival starts on 24 June with Oper für alle, a free open-air concert with music by Sergej Prokofjew and Peter I. Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  59

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Exhibition Highlights 2017

Westbox exhibition space Moderne II. Photo: Falk Wenzel

West wing access tower. Photo: Falk Wenzel

A citadel of modernism The Kunstmuseum Moritzburg Halle (Saale) is unique in presenting an exciting contrast between 500-year-old surroundings and modern art. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

The first impression upon entering is the late Gothic four-wing complex, which was initially built around 1500 by order of Ernst of Saxony as the Archbishops’ residence. A modern extension of both the North and West wings was opened in 2008. Amongst other treasures, an outstanding and internationally recognised collection of 19th and 20th century art awaits the visitor, with an emphasis on classic modernism. From the German romantics such as Caspar David Friedrich and Carl Blechen, on to the symbolism of Gustav Klimt and modernists like Beckmann, Marc and Nolde on to Bauhaus artists 60  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

and Constructivists like Feininger and Lissitzky, the list is of a stunning range. Serving as art museum of the German Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt, the vast and interesting collection includes painting, graphics, sculptures and photography, but also numismatic treasures as well as arts and crafts. However, due to significant donations, the Kunstmuseum Moritzburg Halle (Saale) has lately grown into one of Europe’s most important collections. Individual craft objects add to its quality as well as

the photography section, which is unique amongst the states of former East Germany. Another special asset is the museum’s collection of GDR artists, soon to be displayed in significant form as part of the permanent exhibitions. The magical buildings of the complex, partially destroyed in the 17th century, were used as a museum 110 years ago. Founded in 1885 as the local art museum of the city of Halle (Saale), the first addition was a reconstruction of the former ‘Talamt’ headquarters of the traditional ‘Halloren’ salt workers (the city of Halle (Saale) was the starting point of the medieval salt route to Prague). Here, the first Moritzburg museum director installed the arts and crafts exhibition spaces, while an already existing 19th century picture gallery was situated at

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Exhibition Highlights 2017

the former gauging office. The two collections were united on the Moritzburg castle grounds after the First World War. Both early 20th century museum directors Max Sauerlandt and Alois J. Schardt developed the museum actively through new acquisitions and continuous exhibitions, resulting in one of Germany’s leading museums for the contemporary art of their time. However, under the rule of National Socialists, nearly the entire collection was confiscated as ‘degenerate art’ in 1937, a label which has since become a ‘quality seal’ for large sections of excellent German modernists. After the end of the war, first attempts were made to return to the former standard and the first post-war director Gerhard Händler provided extraordinary work in the first years after 1945, thus setting the ground for what eventually became the stunning collection, which is on display today. The Saxony-Anhalt coins collection was established in 1950. The highly acclaimed photography collection springs from the Swiss photograph Hans Finsler, who taught at the nearby Burg Giebichenstein art school. His artistic estate and collection form the base of the Moritzburg photography collection. A colourful and engaging programme accompanies the museum’s special exhibitions like the 2016 presentation of French Inner court with museum entrance, MoritzKunstCafé and Maria Magdalene Chapel. Photo: Falk Wenzel

modernism, highlighting its influence on the German expressionists, or the still ongoing analytical exhibition on Lyonel Feininger’s recently emerged Paris on the Seine painting from 1912. Of both historical and aesthetic fascination, the Feininger exhibition is enriched by performances of the Martin Luther University’s spoken theatre group who reconnect to Feininger’s work for the city of Halle (Saale) in 1929 by re-enacting the discussions between the Bauhaus master and his wife as well as his correspondence with the museum’s director at the time, Alois Schardt. In several successive steps, all parts of the museum will be redesigned to meet the growing international interest as well as the increase in cooperation with other European art institutions. This summer, the presentation of classical modern art, the Moderne I: Art between 1900 and 1945 part of the Moritzburg museum, will be presented in a new design and, for 2018, the Moderne II: Art after 1945 section will be restructured as well.

and the Alexej von Jawlensky Archivio S.A. in Locarno will draw arts enthusiasts on both a national and international level. The exhibition will focus on figurative paintings crafted in series that are showing striking parallels in execution and meaning. Driven by the insisting questioning of mankind and its spiritual core, translated into a structural densification bordering abstraction, both artists found their artistic expression in creating a unique bond between topical art and spirituality. A well of inspiration and a national treasure connecting on an international level, the Kunstmuseum Moritzburg Halle (Saale) invites all and everyone who want to take a plunge into the fascinating world of modernism and its persisting influence on the arts until today. Georges Rouault: Le Saint Suaire, 1939–45, oil on paper. Photo: bpk/RMN - Grand Palais/Philippe Migeat, Copyright: VG-Bildkunst, Bonn 2016

A special temporary exhibition under the motto of ‘seeing with closed eyes’ will open in March, showing selected figurative works of the two modernist painters Alexej von Jawlensky and Georges Rouault for the very first time. Curated by director Thomas Bauer-Friedrich, the cooperation with the Musée National d’Art Moderne of Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, the Foundation Georges Rouault Kunstmuseum Moritzburg Halle (Saale), frontal view. Photo: Falk Wenzel

Exhibition space Moderne I. Photo: Marcus-Andreas Mohr

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Exhibition Highlights 2017

Germany’s number one destination for 19th century art Dive into the world of German art from Romanticism through to Symbolism at the Georg Schäfer Museum in Schweinfurt, Bavaria. You will discover the most important private collection in the field, housed in a masterpiece of contemporary architecture by Berlin architect Volker Staab who calls it a “treasure chest”. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

The congenial cubic building holds many “treasures” indeed, for example the largest existing collection of works by Biedermeier artist Carl Spitzweg (1808 – 1885). Showing German art from late Rococo to Classicism and Romanticism through to famous impressionists and secessionists, the collection is at a level with the London Tate Gallery, the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin and the Neue Pinakothek in Munich. With the first planning steps already taken in the late 1950s, it took 40 years to finally open the museum in 2000 in Schweinfurt, the home town of the late industrialist and art collector Georg Schäfer (1896 – 1975). Since then, the impressive range from the late 18th to the early 20th

century draws both national and international crowds throughout the year. 2017 will show the refined and detailed work of Johann Georg von Dillis, a formative ‘plein air’ artist, followed by a collection of collages of renowned Bauhaus artist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in spring,

in cooperation with the MoMA – NY. For the summer, a comparative Carl Spitzweg vs. genre painter Johann Baptist Pflug exhibition named Spitz & Knitz will delight art enthusiasts from around the world. Last but not least, the museum’s year will end with the grand, co-operational exhibition Back to Paradise, Masters of Expressionism. Do not miss out on a delightful insight into the charms and gems of German 19th century art.

Right: Carl Spitzweg: Der Bücherwurm, circa 1850, oil on canvas, Museum Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt. Photo: © Museum Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt Far right: Museum foyer, architect: Volker Staab. Photo: © Schweinfurt360°, F. Trykowski

The story of the German dragon slayer The Nibelungen Museum Worms has dedicated itself to explaining the famous German saga of the Nibelung and its influence on German culture. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD  I  PHOTOS: STEFAN BLUME

The story of Siegfried, the dragon slayer and his wife Kriemhild taking revenge after his murder is the most famous heroic poem in Germany. The major parts of the saga took place in the southwest of Germany in Worms, which is one of the country´s oldest cities. Since 2001, Worms has been home to the Nibelungen Museum Worms and is dedicated to explaining the saga of the Nibelung to visitors from all over the world. The museum is housed in two converted towers from the 12th century and also includes parts of the historical city wall. Due to the saga’s mythical characters, the museum focuses on transporting the emotions and tragedy of the story with the use of an impressive multi-media concept. Visitors can choose between two different tours. One is dedicated to the 62  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

national epic poem itself, where the story and historical background as well as its influence on German culture throughout the centuries are showcased. The second tour focuses on the most well-known artistic adaptation of the story, The Ring

of the Nibelung, a famous opera composed by Richard Wagner. It explores the life of Wagner and the connection he had to the mythical story. In June 2017, the tour will be extended to expand the focus on Wagner’s music. The museum is a real gem of German cultural history and worth a visit not only for fans of dragon slayers!

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Exhibition Highlights 2017

NordArt A place of inspiration

Main photo: View in the hall I, Carlshütte. Photo: © Dirk Eisermann Top right: AES+F (RU) First Rider, fiberglass. Photo: © Jörg Wohlfromm Above right: Liu Ruowang (CN) Original Sin, bronze, 36 parts. Photo: © Jörg Wohlfromm Bottom: View in the hall III, Carlshütte. Photo: © Dirk Eisermann

It is the land between the oceans, it stands for vastness and nativeness. However, as a top address for art, Schleswig-Holstein is more of an insider’s tip; but probably not for long. NordArt, one of the largest European contemporary art exhibitions, has firmly established itself in the middle of Schleswig-Holstein. Its distinctive venue is a historical iron foundry. TEXT: KUNST IN DER CARLSHÜTTE, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

The Kunstwerk Carlshütte is a non-profit cultural initiative and a venue for exhibitions, concerts, readings or theatre and film showings. Its main focus is the international art exhibition, NordArt, which has been held every summer since 1999. Hosts of the Kunstwerk Carlshütte and the NordArt are Hans-Julius and Johanna Ahlmann, an entrepreneurial couple who also provide a concert room for the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra on their premises. 80,000 visitors came to the NordArt last summer to gaze at works from 250 selected artists from around the world – 10,000 more than in previous years. NordArt is vibrant. It is a refuge and source of inspiration for artists from all over the world – whether they are renowned internationally or newcomers. The initiators’ concept is a synthesis of the arts with tension fields between the exhibits that

develop a common language despite their differences and that stand in dialogue with the industrial architecture’s aesthetics. The NordArt’s stages are the Carlshütte‘s imposing, 22,000-square-metre-large filter halls and an 80,000-square-metre-large sculpture park. Here, visitors are taken on an unparalleled trip through the world of art. Year after year, NordArt is conceptualised and defined by head curator Wolfgang Gramm. Furthermore, NordArt annually puts a special focus on a country’s visual art through cooperating with embassies, cultural institutions and respective curators. This summer, after China, Russia, the Baltics, Mongolia and Israel, a focus will be put on a country that seems close to us and yet has rather exotic nuances – Denmark. NordArt has made it its task to foster mutual understanding through the language of art. Every year, the audience is

astonished by foreign narrative traditions, but is also amazed when finding out how many common experiences people share across the world. Wolfgang Gramm attributes a significant role to NordArt: “The more the world moves together, the more important and existential mutual understanding becomes. And the artist who sat in the ivory tower yesterday is a mediator between the worlds today, a nonverbal diplomat. The Kunstwerk Carlshütte is proud to be able to provide a forum for this mediation and visionary foresight.”

NordArt 2017 10 June – 8 October 2017 Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday: 11am – 7pm

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Exhibition Highlights 2017

Left: Georges Rouault, Automne, colour etching, 1938. Photo: © Fondation Georges Rouault Paris, ADGAP Right: Georges Rouault, Madame Louison from the series Cirque de l´Étoile Filante, 1938, colour etching. Photo: © Fondation Georges Rouault Paris, ADGAP Below: Opening of the Jean Lurçat exhibition, 12 August 2016. Photo: © Kunsthalle ‘Talstrasse‘, Michael Deutsch Bottom: The art hall ‘Talstrasse’ in Halle (Saale). Photo: © Kunsthalle ‘Talstrasse‘

Georges Rouault – Icon of the École de Paris in Halle (Saale) In 2017, the art hall ‘Talstrasse’ in Halle (Saale) will bestow a top-class exhibition programme on the central German region. TEXT: KUNSTVEREIN ‘TALSTRASSE’ e.V., TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

From 19 March to 25 June 2017, artworks from Georges Rouault (1871 – 1958), one of the most significant artists of the École de Paris, will be presented in a solo exhibition in the art hall. The printed cycles Miserere, Cirque and Cirque de l´Étoile Filante, as well as a selection of oil paintings, will be showcased. In the 1950s, the enterprising gallerist Eduard Henning presented works by Georges Rouault in Halle (Saale). These presentations had a significant influence on the oeuvres of central German artists of the time. 60 years later, the Georges Rouault – Icon of the École de Paris exhibition wants to take us back to that. The exhibition became possible through the close cooperation with the Foundation Georges Rouault in Paris and it will run parallel to the Sehen mit geschlossenen Augen – Alexej von Jawlen64  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

sky und Georges Rouault exhibition in the art museum Moritzburg in Halle (Saale). From July until October 2017, a display with works by painter Uwe Pfeifer will follow, which refers to his role models, heroes and artists that influenced and inspired his life and his creations, such as Albrecht Dürer, Hans Baldung Grien, Caspar David Friedrich, Christian Schad, Wolfgang Mattheuer and Werner Tübke. The art hall ‘Talstrasse’ in Halle (Saale) organises up to eight annual exhibitions in the tension field of regional art development and international tendencies that deal with everything from visual or applied arts to photography and architecture. As an independent, free institution, the art hall has developed into a fixed component of central Germany’s cultural life. Next

to the exhibitions and diverse events, the house can also refer to an extensive publishing programme of more than 80 titles. Since the opening of the extension building in April 2014, the art hall’s exhibitions inspire visitors from near and far on more than 400 square metres.

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Film Column

Left: Martin on his mission. Photo: © RTL. Right: Scene from Deutschland 83. Photo: © RTL

Film Review: Deutschland 83 The Cold War period may seem a little dusty these days, but the gripping adventures of an East German spy in the hit TV series Deutschland 83 will surely glue you to the screen. TEXT: SONJA IRANI

The Story: The Lives of Others just got an upgrade! In 1983, Germany is a divided country. The East is communist, the West capitalist. Plus, the Cold War between the US and Russia is on an all-time high. In this politically volatile climate, East German citizen Martin Rauch (Jonas Nay) is sent on an undercover spy mission to West Germany. Dutiful Martin does a good job. However, he soon finds himself in several situations where he is driven by his emotions rather than his head, which can be quite dangerous for a spy. The Location: So close, but worlds apart In 1983, the Berlin Wall had been up for 22 years. At one point, 24-year-old Martin says:“West Germany is so close, but totally different.” There certainly is no better place to relive the Cold War tensions than the now reunited German capital Berlin. Most of the filming was done here and in the nearby Potsdam Babelsberg film park. Do not

**** 4 out of 5 stars Deutschland 83 is available with English subtitles on DVD as well as for instant streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

miss the German Spy Museum, Berlin’s AlliiertenMuseum, which hosts an exhibition about the Cold War until January 2018, and the famous border control point Checkpoint Charlie. The final verdict: People over politics On a personal level, this suspenseful drama brilliantly recounts how the lives of the people were affected by their time. Plus, who can resist the legendary ‘80s pop soundtrack? Thanks to the German series being a huge international hit, a second season called Deutschland 86 is set to air in 2018. In 1986, Martin will see even more of the world with his undercover assignments taking him to Johannesburg, Tripoli and Paris. Finally, a third season called Deutschland 89, the year in which the Berlin Wall fell, will be likely to follow. A little too violent at times, but otherwise a stunning time travel experience that teaches you much about German (and world) history!

Martin discovers the Walkman. Photo: © RTL, Laura Deschner


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sonja Irani is a marketing translator, travel journalist and ex London expat now living back in Germany. Her second home is the cinema. If you do not find her there, she is probably travelling the world in order to trace her favourite film settings. On her blog, she shares her best tried-and-tested tips for film-inspired travel.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  65

Discover Germany  |  Star Interview  |  Pierre Kiwitt

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Discover Germany  |  Star Interview  |  Pierre Kiwitt

Pierre Kiwitt The embodiment of an international actor He has starred in Brazil’s largest telenovela, has been prenominated for the Spanish cinema award ‘Goya’ for his role in Lobos Sucios, filmed Un profil pour deux alongside Pierre Richard in Brussels, landed a role in the Spanish success series El Ministerio del Tiempo and, of course, can also be seen in big, German TV and cinema productions. Pierre Kiwitt is the embodiment of an international actor with bi-national French-German roots.

shooting in Germany but France simply has the better buffets [laughs]. You became a big star in Brazil through the telenovela Eterna Magia. How was it for you when you came back to Germany after the whole hype?


You were born in Germany, have French roots and worked in France, Spain and Brazil amongst other countries. What does ‘home’ mean for you? P. Kiwitt: Home is still Germany because I live there most of the time. But France is as much my home as Germany because I have a lot of family there. I always get confused where I like to be most. Let’s say it like this: home is where family and friends are. Then that’s the place where I also like to be… and sometimes this is Spain or Brazil. All in all, you could say that I’m 70 per cent French and 70 per cent German. Some Brazilians also say that I’m 30 per cent Brazilian… so this adds up to 170 per cent! Back in the day, an agent discovered you while working in a bank. Why did you decide to become an actor in the end? P. Kiwitt: My first ever role was the Pierrot in a pantomime play in my French school and it was a great experience for me. From this point on, I wanted to become an ac-

tor. Later, I took on several, smaller jobs to make some money. Then, I went down the wrong path and became a banker [laughs]. It was fun for a while but, in the end, it just wasn’t for me and I decided that it would be a great side job to finance my acting training.

P. Kiwitt: I really became famous from one day to the next in Brazil. That was as fun as it was bizarre, but I knew from the very start that it wouldn’t be as crazy back in Germany. That’s why it was quite easy. People simply don’t know that many Brazilian stars in Germany. What can we expect from you in 2017?

You have been in a Brazilian telenovela, were seen in Lobos Sucios, Homeland and Un profil pour deux and are also part of many German productions. Is there a role or a country that has especially stuck with you? P. Kiwitt: Actually, exactly the projects that you just named stuck with me. There are different reasons why a project might do that. For example, I didn’t have a lead role in Un profil pour deux, but spending a few days with Pierre Richard was a childhood dream. Being the antagonist in Lobos Sucios was a great gift, to work with such amazing talents as Marian Álvarez, and it was a wonderful compelling story. The Brazilian telenovela was my first, big role - in a completely foreign country and in a foreign language. Of course, I also love

P. Kiwitt: I want to fulfil all my childhood dreams – just like I did it with acting. And I can say that many new projects will also come out. Do you have an absolute dream role that you would like to play at some point? P. Kiwitt: The super and antihero who is nice but also bad. One who falls in love, cries and laughs, one who makes mistakes and also gets betrayed. One who then fights back, loses and then wins it all back again. One who makes people laugh and makes them cry, one who makes them think and reflect. And all of this should play on a pirate ship or in a submarine. Or in a space shuttle… something like this [laughs]. Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  67

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Educational Institutions Switzerland

University of Zurich. Photo: ©, Tambako The Jaguar

S P E C I A L T H E M E : T O P E D U C AT I O N A L I N S T I T U T I O N S S W I T Z E R L A N D

Celebrating diversity and internationality Switzerland offers great education, ranging from local Swiss schools and private schools to bilingual schools and international schools with a multilingual focus. On the following pages, we present some of Switzerland’s best institutions. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: ©, USF SLE

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Educational Institutions Switzerland

Photo: ©, Zhu

In 2012, Switzerland ranked nine out of 65 countries in the OECD/PISA survey of educational standards amongst 15-year-olds. That is quite a good indicator on what the country has to offer education-wise and it can definitely be said that Switzerland has one of the best education systems in the world. Students can choose between great public schools and a variety of top private schools. International and bilingual schools, a vast range of universities, technical universities or universities of applied sciences round off the offering. What makes education stand out in Switzerland exactly? Well, first of all, education is compulsory in the country and lasts for nine to 11 years, while some children begin their educational paths at the age of four or six. It needs to be noted that the country’s education standards are extremely high and the system provides schooling for all backgrounds and also thoroughly caters for special educational needs. Furthermore, the education system is largely decentralised. This means that each of the 26 cantons creates and implements its own standards. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) then oversees these cantons.

Photo: ©, Alberto G.

OTHER INTERESTING FACTS: - The learning environment is rich in a variety of cultures and linguistic backgrounds. - Switzerland’s school year usually begins between August and September. - The structure of the country’s system begins with primary education, followed by a lower secondary education and an upper secondary education. This may include vocational training. After this, students may proceed to higher education or a university.

Photo: ©, Mike Fernwood

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  69

The address in Zurich for a world-class education Beyond the appeal of its sophisticated central location in Switzerland, the InterCommunity School (ICS) in Zurich secures a world-class education by entering all of its students into the International Baccalaureate (IB) and understanding that academic success alone is not enough to produce intelligent and insightful students year after year. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE  |  PHOTOS: ICS COMMUNICATIONS AND ICS STAFF

On a crisp winter morning, the ICS in Zurich is already in full swing, with all of its 850 students diving into ambitious projects. Some of the bilingual Early Years classes put on coats for their weekly excursion to the ICS’s ‘Forest School’, where they will build resilience and gather knowledge of the environment. A group of grade nine students listen attentively to careers counselors as they face the delicate 70  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

decision of which subjects to pursue for their IB diploma. Other classes are busy finalising their technology and craft projects, due for sale later in the week at the school’s pop-up market. Noting all of this productivity, the ICS feels remarkably engaged. Head of school Mary-Lyn Campbell agrees. The ICS caters for the whole of a

Main image: ICS Grade ten student enjoying the Swiss Alps scenery during a training weekend in preparation for a school expedition to Peru. Top right: ICS Grade two students participating in ‘Drop Everything and Read’, an annual activity promoting multilingualism around the world. Above: ICS Kindergarten student and teacher conducting a science experiment.

child’s academic life, from their Early Years education until the completion of the globally recognised IB Programme. Touring around the well-maintained complex, Campbell explains how the ICS prides itself on the adoption of not only the prestigious IB diploma for 16 to 19-year-olds but also how it provides continuity by following the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), an inquiry-based curriculum for younger students that has a string of advantages which go far beyond grades on paper. As an accredited extension of the IB, the PYP and MYP Programmes offer an educational programme that is not only mobile but gives parents

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Educational Institutions Switzerland

the stability and certainty their children need in an education system. Campbell continues: “Two further advantages of the IB Programme is the edge it gives students academically and the fact that teachers in the Programme engage in on-going professional development globally. Research has demonstrated that the IB provides significant educational advantages to students throughout the world. Then there’s another advantage – particularly interesting for globally mobile families – namely that the IB is also transferable.” The concept of ‘transferrable learning’ and this inquiry-based approach, clarifies Campbell, does not just create students who actively engage in the learning process, but, she argues, “it also provides parents and children with a vital continuity of learning, therefore giving reassurance, certainty and stability when changing countries”. The global academic landscape Right now, the ICS welcomes students from 55 different nations and boasts almost unrivalled connectivity at the crossroads of central Europe. From its beginnings as Zurich’s first ever international primary school in 1960, the ICS has grown from just 80 students into one of the leading IB-offering schools in Europe and its development is largely down to the ICS’s forward-thinking

and thoughtful staff, who prioritise engagement, nurture healthy bonds with the students and come up with solution-based plans for achieving goals. “We offer a highly successful transition programme for families who are coming into the school or relocating,” continues Campbell proudly. Testament to the care offered both at entry and on exit, the school has been inundated with positive feedback from current and ex-students. She nods emphatically: “We go well beyond providing just the basics to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible.” Further to welcoming the child to the school – where they will be met by enthusiastic peers, a seemingly infinite number of extra-curriculum activities are on offer and all manner of inspiring trips throughout the year. The ICS is proud of its active Parents Association that organises popular events to integrate families into the community. A glance at the calendar confirms this; the first week after Christmas begins with a Welcome Back Coffee morning for new and returning parents, as well as a Zurich welcome event for brand new families. Beyond bilingualism As an international school, focusing on English would be the easy option, so

Campbell explains how the school goes beyond bilingualism: “There’s a bilingual strand Early Years Programme and we embrace multilingualism too, offering an after-school mother tongue language programme so that students who will be returning to their native countries after a stay in Switzerland are, therefore, able to successfully make the transition and study in their native language.” With class sizes kept intentionally small, the ICS ensures that each pupil benefits from an almost tailor-made education and it has a visible knack for drawing out the best in each student – be it on exam papers, the stage, the ski slopes or the hockey field. As a result, the school’s narrative is written by the students’ widespread enthusiasm for all manner of subjects, seeing them excel at performing arts and sports, as well as actively involved in community projects. Going hand in hand with the IB’s positive encouragement for a global outlook, inquisitiveness and a global consciousness are considered crucial for the development and later success of ICS’s students. Left: ICS Ski team training in Gstaad, Switzerland. Bottom left: Early Years children spending a morning in the forest exploring the natural environment as part of the weekly ICS Waldkinder Programme. Right: The ICS Middle School girls Soccer team celebrating their win with their coach.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  71

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Educational Institutions Switzerland

Education without borders Founded in 1927, St. George’s International School is a day and boarding school for pupils from all over the world. With a curriculum that is well structured and employing multiple languages while being rooted in academic accuracy, the school is known for enabling students to reach their best grades within a holistic education. Apart from its educational standards, St. George’s is also aimed at inspiring its pupils with many co-curricular activities from various fields, including performing arts and sports. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: ST. GEORGE’S INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Lorna Southwell and Osyth Potts, the founders of St. George’s, met during their studies. At the time, the horrors of the First World War had left the world in shock, which sparked an idea in the two young Oxford graduates. It was an idea for a school that unites rather than separates, a school where children from all over the world could come and go through the struggle of learning and growing up together. One of the most important hopes for such a school was that it would give its pupils a better understanding of their fel72  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

low humans and enable them to become adults who understand the value of peace and tolerance. This hope and defining principle still holds true today. At the moment, St. George’s is populated by a community of 400 boys and girls. While 20 per cent of the students are of British nationality, the remaining 80 per cent represent over 60 different nationalities. Of course, language is the key to uniting nationalities and St. George’s does so with its main instructive language

English and an added English/French bilingual programme. ‘I lift my eyes’ St. Georges International School is situated in Montreux, a city most famous for its annual Jazz Festival and its wonderful adjacent environment. Like the city, the school overlooks Lake Geneva and offers an enchanting view of the Swiss Alps. Because of its special natural surroundings, the school’s motto “Levavi Oculos”, translating to “I lift my eyes”, contains a subtle double meaning. In the literal sense, one cannot help but lift the eyes to observe the alps and the lake. Metaphorically, the idea translates into a child’s process of growing up. Lifting one’s eyes means seeing new things, learning new ideas and going from a child’s point of view to an adult one. The motto is represented in St. George’s educational philosophy as well. Teachers

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Educational Institutions Switzerland

are inviting the students to dream and consequently help them in realising those dreams. In that regard, a caring and supportive environment is created and maintained to stimulate student’s senses of individuality and their respective abilities. A thinking school St. George’s International School is a thinking school. From an educational perspective, this involves deliberate curricular choices to foster the pupil’s intellectual curiosity, confidence and critical thinking. Furthermore, learning at St. George’s is an experience that will encourage the student’s lifelong wish to learn further. The foundation for the school’s outstanding academic results and reputation can be seen in its approach to education. Naturally, the so-called basics are at the heart

of the curriculum. Reading, writing and mathematics formulate the basis to understanding our world and St. George’s provides pupils with these tools. Furthermore, these core abilities strengthen the student’s appreciation of the world’s cultures, history and arts, while enabling them to understand societies and sciences. The curriculum, which contains all of the above and much more, provides a complete education while not forgetting the pupil’s individual personalities. Vast opportunities Catering to both the integrated education style and the individual strengths and weaknesses of every student, is St. George’s varied programme of cocurricular activities. Children are invited to choose from and take part in over 50 clubs and societies and thus find what they

like, while developing as a human being. Whether basketball or skiing, swimming or running, St. George’s offers sports for everyone’s interest. The same goes for the arts. Drama classes, music, singing and photography are all waiting to be explored. And do not forget about language courses and the science or economics clubs. With these activities, St. George’s International School motivates its students to take part. It is this simple act of taking part that will shape a child’s entire life. Taking part sometimes entails winning or losing, but the important aspect is that one did it and learned from it. This is what St. George’s offers to all children from 1.5 years old to 18 years old. The opportunity to take part in your education, to learn from it and by extension have a fruitful, happy life.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  73

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Educational Institutions Switzerland

Dive into your career where others go on holiday Situated in the picturesque environment of the Swiss Canton of Lucerne, the International Management Institute (IMI) is an international private hotel management school that offers degree courses in hotel, tourism and event management as well as postgraduate studies at MBA level for hospitality management. At the same time, IMI is well known for its provision of culinary programmes through its culinary institute ICI, all the way up to BA level. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: IMI

The Kastanienbaum campus was founded in 1991 and is set within a beautiful scenery of lakes and mountains. Students can dive into the world of the hotel and culinary industry profiting from the dual Swiss system of vocational education and practical training in combination with an academic degree programme by universities such as the Manchester Metropolitan University and Oxford Brookes University. 74  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

IMI is taking students from a Certificate to a BA Degree (with Honors) in just three years, including two six-month long, paid internships. Students first learn the key practical and management skills needed to succeed in the industry before choosing from one of five specialist pathways for their last year of study: international hotel management; international hotel & tourism management; international hotel

& events management; international tourism & events management; international hospitality entrepreneurship. Since 2013, the campus also includes a culinary programme at the ICI, where budding chefs de cuisine are trained in small classes and encouraged to form their own unique culinary style. At the same time, they are getting familiar with the necessary basics in business management, enabling them to one day fulfill their dream of opening their own restaurant. IMI guarantees personal support in finding the perfect paid internship placement, both in Switzerland and internationally. Renowned guest lecturers from the hospitality and tourism industry regularly

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Educational Institutions Switzerland

join the highly qualified IMI team to teach courses on the base of real-life projects. Small classes guarantee personal support and a broad range of course offers helps developing a profound basic knowledge with the option of a follow-up specialisation. Tailor-cut programmes include practical training and attractive internships and the family environment of the campus allows for young personalities to grow into highly trained graduates that later become competent managers or business owners within the industry worldwide. With IMI, students find a truly inspiring international environment for both living and studying. From the campus setting of the Kastanienbaum peninsula, surrounded by picturesque mountain views and lakes, it only takes a few minutes with a regular bus service to reach the historical old town of Lucerne with its cafés and restaurants, shopping and leisure opportunities. One of the most-visited European destinations, Lucerne is located at the heart of German-speaking Switzerland; a beautiful medieval university city with a large international student population, famous for its quality education. With its many cultural and music festivals, students are never short of inspiring entertainment.

With regards to accommodation, newly renovated single and double rooms are available for IMI students both in Lucerne and on campus, at moderate conditions. The Kastanienbaum campus accommodation features stunning views of Lake Luzern and Mount Pilatus and many rooms even have a private balcony. All accommodation offers a safe and warm experience in the traditional Swiss family way. The rich catering includes breakfast, warm lunch and dinner buffets from Monday through Friday, as well as brunch and a warm dinner buffet on weekends. The student body organises regular recreational activities and excursions to fascinating destinations within the region. IMI students start their career well prepared. Excellent degrees are being made a priority ensuring that graduates will find their dream spot in the business after completing their education. An individual career service further supports this goal. An alumni website allows for graduates to keep in touch and continue their networking after leaving the school. Each spring and autumn brings ‘career days’ at IMI, taking place over a span of several weeks. Managers and headhunters from renowned hotel groups, air carriers

and job portals present their companies and provide workshops and application training. The schedule also contains additional lectures in career planning. 2017 is expected to be a very exciting year for IMI and its students as they are planning to launch the Swiss Cantonal recognised Diplome Hôtelier Restaurateur programme. Taught in English, the attractive programme bears the Swiss recognition and has a highly vocational approach true to Swiss hospitality education values. The IMI team are proud of their small campus with a family feel, which allows students to develop the caring and friendly spirit so recognisable in IMI graduates. The individual and supportive approach provides them with the best chance of securing their dream roles in the industry. Main image: IMI welcomes international students from across the globe. Below left: IMI’s culinary programme offers the best of both practical and management skills. Below middle: IMI graduates go on to work in leading management roles within the industry. Below right: IMI prides itself on its inclusive, family environment. Bottom left: Small class sizes and personal career support help deliver success for students. Bottom right: Study in the picturesque Swiss environment.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  75

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  EuroShop & EuroCIS 2017


Retail in new dimensions A true baby boomer, the world’s number one retail trade fair EuroShop has been around for 50 years. In fact, it was founded in 1966 and, after a very successful outing in 2014, it returns this year to celebrate the past and present, as well as the retail opportunities of the future. Part of the EuroShop is also the EuroCIS, a dedicated outlet for the technological driving forces of the retail market. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  |  PHOTOS: MESSE DUESSELDORF/CTILLMAN

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  EuroShop & EuroCIS 2017

For 2017, the EuroShop will break new ground, as it was reshaped to the dynamic progression of the market itself. The new structure of the fair introduces seven experience dimensions. These cover all retail aspects, from POP marketing, expo and event marketing, retail technology and lighting to visual merchandising, shop fitting and store design and food tech and energy management.

only proud of the fairs continuous growth, but also excited that two thirds of visitors and exhibitors came from abroad. Next to the actual exhibitors, the EuroShop also puts forward a diverse supporting programme. In that, the pro-

gramme includes forums, talks and presentations for all the experience dimensions of the EuroShop. Additionally, the programme also includes the presentation of several awards and two special presentations concerned with lighting design and interior design.

While it was an independent fair last year, EuroCIS will be included in EuroShop this year. Technological innovations are key for the fair, as it delves into topics like mobile solutions, business analytics and much more. In 2014, the EuroShop attracted almost 110,000 visitors, who were keen to discover the 2,500 exhibitors from more than 50 countries. Thus, the organisers are not Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  77

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  EuroShop & EuroCIS 2017

#3724-W Frame A7 landscape for ClearGrip and #3719, Mini Round Base, magnetic.

#5225, Bus Stop Clip II.

#119-100, SuperGrip Duo-Grip.

#BW1, Bucket Wobbler-Click Stick.

#7073, Twinstick, round.

#2216, Floor Stand Glide Combi.

Simplify your point of sale Based in Bergheim near Cologne, the JEGAB DISPLAY GmbH has been a competent partner for the mounting of point of sale display systems for more than 30 years. Here, CEO Silke Ruland explains how a simple idea from Sweden has made carrying out promotional activities in companies so much easier. TEXT: SONJA IRANI  I  PHOTOS: JEGAB DISPLAY GMBH

JEGAB’s products include well-known display items such as brochure stands and hang tabs, but also more exotic ones like blister hooks or SuperGrip. “Our products are not that easily visible to the outside world,” says Ruland and provides a visual comparison: “This is because they are like the buttons for a suit.You need the buttons to keep the suit together, but no-one really pays attention to them.” Just like the buttons hold the suit, the products by JEGAB DISPLAY GmbH help companies to smoothly integrate promotional display tools into their day-to-day business activities. 78  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

A Swedish-German success story It all started in the 1970s in Sweden. Back then, the JEGAB DISPLAY AB developed and manufactured fastening systems for promotional displays. In fact, the company was so successful that its products were exported into 25 countries around the world. In 1983, German salesman Hasso Siebert realised the huge potential of the JEGAB products and joined the business as a partner. Thus, the JEGAB DISPLAY GmbH was founded. Shortly after, he launched the patented SuperGrip range, which was initially regarded with skepticism and hesitation. However, compa-

nies soon noticed the simplifying effect of Siebert’s products, which eventually turned JEGAB DISPLAY GmbH into a big success in Germany. In 1993, Siebert took over completely and becomes the sole shareholder of JEGAB DISPLAY GmbH. In 2005, Hasso Siebert’s daughter Silke Ruland, who had been in the company since 1992, took over the business as the new CEO. Ever since then, good relationships with customers and suppliers have remained the top priorities of the successful CEO. Now vs. then “Back in the day, companies had to get professional decorators and window dressers to attach or mount the various kinds of promotional displays in a shop,” explains Ruland about the benefits of her products. “That was quite a big effort, es-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  EuroShop & EuroCIS 2017

pecially because these displays were often needed for a short time only, for example for a short-lived promotion. If the employees did it themselves, they often found it hard to attach the displays. Nowadays, we always deliver the right kind of fastening aids with our products. Thanks to these, the process of fastening promotional displays has become much easier.” Ruland adds that the JEGAB products together with the promotional displays can be delivered as a flat package, which can be mounted on location. “This saves freight costs and simplifies the construction process,” she says. “It also offers our customers the possibility to try out different solutions.” Personal service tailored to your needs Today, the broad range of products available at JEGAB DISPLAY GmbH includes blister hooks, ClearGrip, SuperGrip, ceiling mounts for displays, display construc-

#2279 Mobilbutton and #7020, Mobile Spiral Jet Snabb.

tion, turntable, L-stands, hang tabs, merchandising strips, Pivot Pricer, brochure stands, sign holders, wobbler, Jet Snabb, Triarama and display hooks with threads. However, according to Ruland, there is something far more significant than having a large range of products. “Personal advice is the most important aspect of our business,” she says. “This is because although we have our standard products, every customer uses them in a different way and for a different purpose. Therefore, we always develop a tailor-made delivery based on what our customer needs. For example, a customer requires some extra glue for a specific material, so we amend the product accordingly.” She adds that sometimes customers are finding it difficult to see the many alternatives of how they can use a fastening product. After all, it is not something that her customers deal with on a daily basis. “For this purpose, we send out a lot of

samples, images or even videos” she says. “All of these help our customers imagine the many alternatives of how they could use our products for their business.” Telephone and trade shows Ruland adds that the best way to provide advice to her customers is the good old telephone.“A personal customer consultation, preferably via telephone, is best. Besides, trade shows like the EuroShop are a great way for our customers to get to know our products. Here, they can actually touch and try them.” If you would like to try products by JEGAB DISPLAY GmbH for yourself, you should mark the 5-9 March 2017 in your calendar. At the EuroShop 2017 in Düsseldorf, Germany, the JEGAB DISPLAY GmbH will present all of their versatile products, novelties and bestsellers at Booth 3/C44.

#109-/110-/210-/113-300, SuperGrip Displayholder.

#2-K65, Round Bottle Hang Tab.

# 8600, Triarama + display (illuminated).

#37-0112, ClearGrip Gripper with adapter for Pivot Pricer.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  79

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  EuroShop & EuroCIS 2017

Moss pictures.

The green revolution in interior design The styleGREEN pieces of art promise to catch everyone’s attention: Handcrafted with ferns, eucalyptus, mosses and other real preserved plants, the green pictures and walls created by the company FlowerArt are not only beautiful and modern eye-catchers, they also absorb noise. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS  |  PHOTOS: FLOWERART GMBH

A walk in a forest or a park can boost your mood and be good for your health. But as more and more people move to cities, they may not have the chance to spend time in nature. Those who are seeking such an experience should get to know the company FlowerArt. With its brand styleGREEN, FlowerArt brings landscapes to your home or your office in the form of fancy decorations for walls that promise to create a relaxing atmosphere. For more than three years the company has been offering trendy pictures and walls with mosses, ferns and other real preserved plants, which are not only a modern eye-catcher, but also an 80  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

effective method to absorb noise. Made by hand at a manufactory in Munich, the FlowerArt production team exclusively uses real, natural preserved plants to create these unique pieces of green art. When plants are preserved in a natural process, they do not require any water or light. “The best way to tend our products is to do nothing besides avoiding direct sunlight and too much air moisture. Then you can enjoy our plant pictures and walls for years,” says Niklas Guggenberger who created styleGREEN together with Lukas Dinger. The two of them have known

each other since childhood and took over FlowerArt in 2014. With this decision, they fulfilled their long-time dream of leading their own company.“Back then, there were already many similar solutions with real plants for walls, but they usually required a lot of tending,”Guggenberger states.“Nevertheless, people generally do not want to have artificial plants, either. Therefore, we decided to establish styleGREEN and to create green pictures and entire walls based on real plants and mosses which require no tending, because they are preserved with glycerine and food colouring.” A positive impact on every room Like other natural products, styleGREEN pictures might gradually lose some of their colour intensity. But, as Guggenberger explains, the company offers a method to naturally restore the plants’ green colour. “Of course, our products cannot replace

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  EuroShop & EuroCIS 2017

nature experience, but after all they show a piece of nature on our walls which might invite you to an imaginary trip, for example during lunchtime,” Guggenberger states. According to FlowerArt, the green pieces of art even have a positive impact on the acoustics of a room, since they act like acoustic panels made of soft natural materials and reduce both noise and reverberation in indoor areas. This aspect especially applies to reindeer moss, which is capable of absorbing about 50 per cent of the sound in a room. Hand-picked moss from Finland and Latvia Customers can for example choose from plant pictures framed in different sizes, consisting of leather-leaf fern, ivy, tree fern, papyrus, parchment fern, amaranth, and ming. Alternatively, there are different The styleGREEN plates can be mounted on ceilings, as well.

kinds of moss available, such as Iceland moss, which is a good indicator of humidity or dry air, and reindeer moss.“The reindeer moss, which resembles a kind of lichen, is hand-picked in Finland and Latvia and preserved with an ecological salt alloy,” Guggenberger explains. “Our reindeer moss design objects are available in light and/or dark green and in a wide variety of shapes and designs.” With its hilly shapes, the pole moss version, for example, is particularly captivating due to its 3D effect. In addition, customers have the choice between four different edge finishes, such as a green edge or a black aluminium profile. When the production team has arranged the plant pictures or walls according to their customers’ requests, it lets the finished plates dry and air out. Three to six weeks after ordering, the green work of art is ready for delivery.

Today, FlowerArt has a very broad customer base, ranging from design and nature lovers to famous fast food companies as well as auto companies. Many managers and directors of hotels, restaurants and trade shows also want to adorn their premises with green walls nowadays. “Doctors are among our biggest customer groups,” Guggenberger says. In 2017, the FlowerArt team wants to focus on individualisation, the CEO adds.“In our new shop, customers have the chance to configure pictures or entire walls completely according to their wishes.” Those, who would like to have a closer look at some of the styleGREEN products, can meet Guggenberger and his colleagues at the EuroCIS trade fair (hall 10 / D80) in Düsseldorf.

styleGREEN products are handcrafted with ferns, eucalyptus, mosses and other real preserved plants.

With its hilly shapes, the pole moss version is captivating due to its 3D effect.

Lukas Dinger (left) and Niklas Guggenberger (right).

Moss walls for very large areas.

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  81

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  EuroShop & EuroCIS 2017

Chilled drinks and the right tools always at hand while doing DIY Would it not be great when doing DIY, refurbishing some old furniture or working on an old car to not have to run into the kitchen for a chilled drink, but to have them stored where the tools are? Cool-Tool allows exactly that; it combines a large toolbox with a small refrigerator. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: GASTRO-COOL

Cool-Tool is a creative gimmick, says Natascha Betzgen who is responsible for marketing at Gastro-Cool. The company was founded in 2003 and focuses on refrigerators that can be used for advertising purposes. Advertising also played a role when developing the toolbox-fridgecombination. Cool-Tool can, for example, be a bonus or present for long-time customers. “When we are at a trade fair, Cool-Tool always hogs the limelight,” says Betzgen. The innovative workshop wagon comes in three colours: red, blue and black. It has three drawers and a refriger-

ator with a total volume of 50 litres. Since the workshop wagon weighing 35 kilogrammes has wheels, it can easily be taken where the work has to be done such as the garage, the cellar or even out into the garden. Of course, it is not wise to drink alcohol while working, but afterwards a cool draught might be very enjoyable. Of course, there is space for storing water bottles or a healthy juice. Cool-Tool contains the newest cooling technology: it has a temperature control, is free of CFCs and is overall certified energy efficient class A+.

‘Passion works’


When starting a project, dedication is as important as capability. The Vivamo GmbH, situated in Bochum, knows this and thus is made up out of a diverse team who are not only skilled at what they are doing, but working out of personal passion. At this year’s EuroShop fair (Hall 14, Booth A28), the full-service agency will display their very own approach to shop fitting and exhibition building. Visiting Vivamo’s booth at the March trade fair will immediately show the ingredients that helped the company grow over the last ten years. “In designing our booth, we wanted to give the visitor a peek over the shoulder of our employees,” explains CEO Volker Brunswick. At the core of the display is a large work table, which is split in half. On the one side, there is the creative sphere dominated by a free-spirited agency atmosphere. On the other side, there is the tidy, business sphere, showing a clear structure and arrangement. Truly, these are the two sides of Vivamo’s full-service operation, which initially began under the name Magwick Essentials. In 2006, Vivamo adopted the 82  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

interior and retail design branch and founded own departments for the development of signs and wood works to grant higher responsiveness and quality control. At the beginning, Vivamo was rooted in the streetwear, sneaker and action sports sector, which in turn attracted employees with a personal passion for their professional work. After more than ten years of realising interior room concepts for a diverse array of industry and retail firms, which today includes brands like Wellensteyn, MCM and Fit X, this has not changed. Passion works, both within Vivamo’s team and as a recipe for the success of a project.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  EuroShop & EuroCIS 2017

Musical brand experiences

Top left: Porsche Design Store in New York. Photo: © Porsche Design Left: HearDis! office. Photo: © David Franck Right: Porsche Design Store in Berlin. Photo: © Porsche Design Bottom: Robin Hofmann. Photo: © David Spaeth

Due to the time and location-independent access to products and goods in a digitalised world, the physical point of sale is subject to a radical change: the mere place for selling becomes a place of brand experiences. TEXT: HEARDIS! GMBH, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

The term ‘point of experience’ is increasingly used – and this brings about the question of how such a brand experience can be achieved in retail shops. The answer for this should be holistic. Accordingly, a multisensory approach should be followed that includes visual, olfactory and haptic stimuli, as well as acoustic design tools in the form of instore music. Emotionalisation through music Just like any other marketing tool, the acoustic brand strategy (or audio branding) pursues the goal of differentiating and individualising a brand. Unlike any other brand communication tool, audio branding can emotionalise a brand. Each person links emotions and memories with certain songs or entire music genres. He or she then reacts accordingly, with rejection or approval, to specific musical presentations. How musical content is emotionally perceived by a target group in a specific context, also depends on whether it is

perceived as suitable for a brand and situation. Those who are attracted by the loud college rock in the shops of the American fashion label Hollister also consequently belong to the brand’s target group. When different stimulations or objects, for instance a brand and the music in a retail outlet, are perceived as compatible and then the acoustical brand strategy speaks of a ‘fit’. Therefore, the brand fit is used as a quality criterion for musical contents in brand-specific contexts.

Through the example of Porsche Design, a brand that HearDis! has supported since 2014, managing director Robin Hofmann explains the fit as follows: “Porsche Design’s innovative strength and its sense of zeitgeist correspond with the idea of music as a design object. Transferred onto the musical level, this spans from electropop to house music. The brand Porsche Design emits elegance through the high quality of its products. We put this quality in the limelight through nu-soul and folk music and solely include titles that correspond with this excellence.” The suitable music thus becomes an important component of an unforgettable shopping experience.

Brand values and musical categories The audio branding agency HearDis! GmbH has specialised on creating this fit and on offering its clients corresponding, individual instore music profiles. A musical spectrum is derived from the brand’s core values and compacted to music categories so that brand and music fit together. Based on these musical categories, the instore music profiles are geared towards the different target groups which are then addressed in store. Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  83

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  EuroShop & EuroCIS 2017


Left: xplace realises rollouts as a full service provider and an integrator with different manufacturers in various retail sectors. Photo: © xplace GmbH Right: LED Video Walls are eye catchers and create a stunning shopping experience. Photo: © xplace GmbH Bottom: Multichannel applications create a seamless shopping experience with comprehensive information about items and their availability instore and online. Photo: ©

The secret of attracting customers in retail stores The digitalisation of the point of sale (POS) is changing the retail sector. Interactive shopping experiences are enhancing physical retail and are making purchases more exciting. A ‘smart store’ is now the must-have when it comes to POS. In order to grab the full potential of the emerging technologies for the intelligent shopping experience, it is crucial to have an established partner by your side. A partner like xplace GmbH.

fun and the benefits of e-commerce at the POS. “We’ve also successfully implemented wine and recipe advisers within the food retail sector, for example for Carrefour in Belgium and France,” continues Arne Jürgensen.


Retail businesses that are interested in interactive solutions for the digitalisation of their POS can find out more about the European market leader for interactive customer information at this year’s EuroShop & EuroCIS in Düsseldorf, where xplace GmbH will showcase its fully integrated solutions for digital in-store communication.

Founded in 2002, and headquartered in Göttingen, Germany, with sales partners and subsidiaries across Europe, xplace GmbH was one of the pioneers in developing solutions, such as touchscreenterminals, for the digitalisation of the POS. Today, the company is the European market leader for interactive customer information, kiosk technology and digital signage at the POS. With its broad portfolio of intelligent solutions, xplace aims at helping retailers make their point of sale exciting for shoppers. As a multichannel and full service provider as well as an integrator, xplace GmbH offers its clients both tailor-made solutions and on-site assistance. In 2016, the company was awarded the first place in the category ‘Integrators’ in the invidis Digital 84  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

Signage contest. “What makes us so special is that we can offer the full spectrum of digital customer communication and multichannel solutions from one single source in order to inform, advise and delight the customer at the POS,” says Arne Jürgensen, CEO at xplace GmbH. A closer look at the highlights that xplace has to offer confirms the reputation of the company as a pioneer and an innovator in creating technologies for the ‘smart store’: ESL (electronic shelf labels), which make it possible to change prices at the POS directly from the merchandise management system, the LED Video Wall, the Instore TV and the multichannel terminal with comprehensive product information and direct order opportunities are able to attract customers in retail, providing both

Photo: ©, Dean Hochman


Where great ideas come alive Switzerland is most likely associated with tasty chocolate and great cheese, but on the business front it also has a great deal to offer. On the following pages we present some of the innovative companies the country has brought forward lately. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: ©, stephengg

Photo: ©, kev-shine

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Successful Enterprises

Liquid medication made easy Nowadays, illnesses can thankfully be treated in various manners and, in many cases, appliances exist that enable the afflicted to lead a relatively carefree life. Appliances like liquid drug delivery devices manufactured by the Swiss company Sensile Medical, facilitate the lives of individuals inflicted by illnesses who demand a regular intake of liquid medicine. Sensile Medical, one of the international leaders in medical device technology, is one of the leading experts in the production of drug delivery devices. The company was founded in 2004 and has experienced continuous growth since then. “Our drug delivery devices have some very distinct advantages. They are very precise in the administration of liquid drugs and thus optimise the effects of medical therapies; a fact which, at the same time, saves the various stakeholders a considerable amount of money. Moreover, our devices are highly customisable and thus easily meet the needs of our customers and their varied pharmaceutical therapies alike,” explains Sandra de Haan, head of

business development at Sensile Medical, the advantages of liquid drug delivery devices made by Sensile Medical. The easy and economic way of handling their appliances combined with high-quality Swiss workmanship, technology and research has won Sensile Medical the highly prestigious Swiss Technology Award 2015 of ‘Innovation Leader’. “Yet we don’t intend to rest on these laurels or on what we have reached so far. The increasing demand for our liquid drug delivery devices shows us that we


still have a long way to go. In order to be able to help those who rely on us, and to use our knowledge and our devices even more efficiently, Sensile Medical will keep investing in people, in research and in technology!,” concludes De Haan.

Micro volumetric rotary piston pump.

Liquid drug delivery solution.

We are Swiss pioneers in Large Volume Injector Devices Offering a clever platform for unique devices


+41 62 209 71 00

Designed and Engineered in Switzerland

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Successful Enterprises

Where saving the planet is fun GreenGoWeb is the smart company behind the genius idea to gamify sustainable practices. Satisfying the inner child whilst reducing our carbon footprint? This is how change really happens. MarLa Burgener. Photo: © Philippe Houdebert


We all want to help save our planet, but changing old habits is always a challenging task. Founder of GreenGoWeb, MarLa Burgener has the solution. She knows exactly what makes it easier to commit to a new eco-friendly lifestyle: fun. “We offer Digital Sustainability Campaigns using mobile and web apps, to engage people in a fun and interactive way. Data visualisation shows the user that small actions add up to a big collective impact,” Burgener explains. “We help individuals in organisations tackle climate change one simple eco-action at the time and change their habits to become more sustainable.” Turning into an eco-friendly company will certainly become more crucial over the next years and GreenGoWeb also con-

tributes to the UN 2030 Agenda by helping participants comply with the SDGs. Using GreenGoWeb is a fantastic way for businesses to promote a green mind-set amongst their employees whilst also encouraging to socially interact and nurture team spirits. As a B-Corp-certified company, GreenGoWeb is leading by example and invites us all to join. “Our goal for 2017 is to engage everyone in a fun and efficient way, be it at home, at work, or on holidays,” Burgener smiles. “We believe that small drops add up to become an ocean and that every single action to preserve our environment matters.”

Photo: © Leo Spafford

Industry is looking for solutions. And finds them at one place. HANNOVER MESSE 24 – 28 April 2017 ▪ Hannover ▪ Germany

Get new technology first

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Successful Enterprises

Photo: ©

A perfect marriage of style and safety If you are searching for quality biker apparel that is comfortable to wear, looks good and ensures top protection, look no further. THE ROKKER COMPANY designs biker fashion that is not only stylish, but also meets the highest safety standards for riders’ protection on the road. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: THE ROKKER COMPANY

Swiss biker label THE ROKKER COMPANY started as a passion project in 2006 when hobby motorcyclists Kai Glatt and Michael Kuratli realised that there were no stylish clothes specifically made for bikers. Back then, the common biker apparel was generally made of either black leather or heavy-duty synthetics, which are neither the most stylish or comfortable of materials. Being able to wear jeans whilst cruising across the Swiss Alps, without sacrificing the crucial protection feature, became 88  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

Glatt and Kuratli’s mission. THE ROKKER COMPANY was born. From logo to design, Glatt and Kuratli did everything themselves. With their love for motorcycling, they knew exactly what the perfect biker apparel had to include. If there was any doubt, they simply went for a test ride – for research, of course. The duo received great feedback after showing their prototypes and it became apparent that there was a real niche market for their product. This marked the beginning of the

pair’s journey from hobby motorcyclists to successful entrepreneurs. A year later, in 2007, ROKKER took the prestigious Heuberger Winterthur award for young entrepreneurs, and the prize money helped to firmly establish the company as a new shopping haven for bikers, locally and abroad. The quality of the innovative jeans spoke for itself and the word spread rapidly. Today ROKKER apparel is available at selected stores in over 35 countries and online. Although the jeans look like regular denim, they are far from being average. As Glatt explains: “Because we use schoeller®-dynatec material, ROKKER jeans are extremely abrasion-proof, water-resistant or even waterproof as

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Successful Enterprises

well as wind-proof, while still breathable.” Over the years, many new collections have made their way into the ROKKER store and the range is steadily growing. From trousers, jackets, shirts and boots to vests, T-shirts and even underwear, there is the right item for every fashion-conscious biker. As the ROKKER signature style is so popular, there is also a collection for non-bikers, so nobody needs to feel excluded from the ROKKER family. One of the label’s most recent additions are the revolutionary ROKKERTECH biker jeans. These stylish single-layer jeans are made of a unique blend of highperformance fibre and carefully selected cotton yarn and meet the highest protection standards. The incorporated Dual FX Lycra gives the jeans their stretch element, making them extremely comfortable. A brand new collection of biker boots called Gentleman Racer and Classic RacStreet leather jacket, black.

er has also just been added to ROKKER’s range.“All boots are manufactured in Portugal following the traditional goodyear shoemaking methods,” Glatt says. “Robust, waterproof, greased vintage cowhide leather is the essential ingredient for these breathable boots. They also feature shock-absorbing insoles, plus heel, toe and shin protectors.”To top this, the boots feature robust oil and skid-proof VIBRAM treaded rubber soles, providing a firm footing on any surface. The boots come in several different styles. A great companion for any activity or simply worn as a solid fashion statement, the boots are certainly going to become a favourite this year. The founding duo’s genuine love for motorcycles, paired with their creativity and ambition has proven to be a successful recipe, turning a gap in the market into a flourishing business. The feedback from bikers across the globe has been over-

Rokkertech jeans.

Street Surfer t-shirt.

whelmingly positive and makes the team at THE ROKKER COMPANY rightfully proud. Hearing from customers who have suffered accidents especially touches the ROKKER family’s heart. “We send our bikers who have had accidents new jeans for free,”adds Glatt. It highlights the community feel of ROKKER and sets it far apart from just a moneymaking business. Customers are not just customers, they are fellow bikers in a community that looks after one another no matter what. Nothing is more important than protecting ourselves on the road and having the piece of mind that our clothes meet the highest safety standards specifically set for bikers, making the ride so much more enjoyable. If those revolutionary garments also feature a cool, timeless style, you have an absolute winner: and that is THE ROKKER COMPANY. Urban Racer boot, light brown.

Classic Racer boot, black. Photo: ©

Photo: ©

Gentleman Racer boot, brown.

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Successful Enterprises

CEO Walter Weiler.

Game-changing ideas through lateral thinking and analogies from other industries QUO AG is an out of the box thinking innovation catalyst for clients of different industrial sectors. The company was founded in 2000 and to date has helped clients in more than 400 innovation projects to always be one step ahead. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: QUO AG

Cross-industry innovation is a clever way to jump-start a company’s innovation effort. It allows one to draw analogies and transfer approaches between contexts and beyond the borders of a certain industry, sector, area or domain. These analogies can be drawn at various levels, from products to services, processes, strategies, business models and leadership. When QUO AG was founded in 2000 – originally under the name awtec – the company started out with three employees and has grown 90  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

to today’s workforce of 24 innovation experts. While the initial focus was mainly on engineering aspects, over the years QUO linked this with design, market orientation and economics. “This holistic approach is our unique selling point,” says CEO Walter Weiler. To give an example of QUO’s success stories: many people love silky and smooth milk foam for their cappuccinos and lattes. With warm milk, creating foam is quite

easy as the only thing needed is to add some air to the milk and the result is foam. This is why most modern fully automatic coffee machines have a special steam outlet to heat up the milk and add the necessary air. With cold milk, this is different and not quite that easy. Therefore, it was a tricky challenge when the Franke Group searched for a solution for cold milk foam with variable density for their Coffee Systems line. Creativity and unique ways of thinking spark innovation Thinking out of the box, QUO found the solution and built a pulsating valve for precise air dosing using vehicle fuel injection. “If the foam quality should be

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Successful Enterprises

reproducible and adjustable from firm to creamy, this becomes quite complicated – especially when the milk should stay cold,” says Weiler. “That means the air supply has to be very exact.”This is something that conventional valve technology cannot accomplish. Screening for ideas, they identified the fuel injection technology used in car engines.“We developed the concept for a new milk frother, built and optimised a functional model and helped Franke to industrialise the technology,” Weiler adds.

does the company have and what does its brand stand for? What do customers need and what are competitors doing? This analysis is important to agree on goals, requirements and the overall approach. The next step is the search for new ideas that – when generated, grouped and selected – are tested and shown to a client’s potential customers to get their feedback. “We are specialised on the front end of innovation, from needs analysis to proof of concept. But some clients ask us to also support them until market launch.”

This way of thinking and working is also the company’s secret of success. Corporations engaging and working together with QUO benefit not only from the knowledge and insights collected over years, but more so from fresh eyes, curiosity, openness and the willingness to take risks. Or, like Steve Jobs once said: “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. It’s about the people you have and how they’re led.”

In a second case for Rieter, a leading provider of textile machines and components, the automotive industry was also the source for the solution. The challenge here was that the air-jet-spinning process is not optimal for synthetic fibres, because the components easily get dirty and threaten the quality or even the whole process.“Experiments have shown that the spinnerets get far less dirty when a tiny amount of water – 0.03 to 1.0 millilitres per minute – is added during the spinning process,”says Weiler, also resulting in higher yarn quality. The solution found was what is known in the automotive industry as ‘common rail’ technology, a direct fuel injection system in diesel engines. Bringing together experts from different fields Interdisciplinary teams are key to QUO’s success: “Holistic thinking, challenging existing mindsets and working in interdisciplinary teams – we see these as important elements for innovation,” says Walter Weiler. To give a few more details: first, it is always important to combine engineering, design, customer needs and economics to turn an idea into a successful innovation that results in sustainable revenues. “Secondly, with our lateral thinking we scrutinise established patterns of thinking and beliefs so that even radical ideas can be developed and discussed,” says Weiler. The third aspect comprises of collaboration and knowledge sharing not only in the project team, but also with other colleagues who might give valuable input. When developing new technologies and products, the first step is to understand the initial position: What kind of products Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  91

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Successful Enterprises

Tanja Tobler. Photo: © CHLietzmann/CHL PhotoDesign

Tanja Tobler. Photo: © Tanja Tobler

Training in a hotel conference room. Photo: © CHLietzmann/CHL PhotoDesign

Event organisation from an expert in the field of healthcare and pharmaceutical industries When Tanja Tobler founded her own company t2-events gmbh, right from the beginning she put a focus on organising corporate events for companies in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. This is where her passion and skills lie. Trained in the hotel business, she later switched to working for the healthcare industry. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

t2-events gmbh with headquarters in downtown Zurich organises business events worldwide but with a focus on Europe. “My business is based on trust,” says event expert Tanja Tobler. That is why she does not only want to know her clients 92  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

and their expectations, but also locations, local partners and venues. “I always compare our clients to ourselves. If someone else would organise one of the most important days of my life, I have to fully trust that person. I expect innovative ideas,

seamless organisation, thrilled guests and the best value for my money.” And that is exactly what t2-events aims to do for its clients.“What we would expect is what we provide,” Tanja says, thus the company’s slogan ‘your expectation is our guarantee’. That Tanja mainly focuses on the medical industry today has not only to do with her skillset, but also with her personal history. In 1997, she became ill and only after being hospitalised for nearly a year was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. “They told me I had a life expectancy of two to five years. But thanks to drug de-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Successful Enterprises

velopments, 20 years later I am not only still alive but full of energy, unrestricted and symptom free,” she says. It was a life-changing experience that not only made her appreciate life but also aroused her interest in medical and pharmaceutical industries. After working ten years in the hotel business, Tanja switched careers and became first an assistant in a pharmaceutical company, then an event manager for a healthcare provider. In both capacities, she was responsible for organising meetings, events, conferences and training courses within the EMEA.“Working freelance now allows me to combine both interests by organising events for the healthcare industry,” Tanja explains why she founded her own business. Her work experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries is a great advantage for Tanja when it comes to, for example, compliance rules or safety regulations. She knows exactly what these entail and how important they are in her business. “When we receive short-notice enquiries from new clients, we need to study their products and understand regulations before being able to start the search accordingly.”If, during a conference, a tour through a manufacturing plant is envisioned, she knows exactly what areas require special attention during the site inspection and what safety regulations need to be clarified to be able to plan a seamless group visit. Tanja and her team work in two main sectors: the first is events, the second congress management. “Referring to events, we do not only undertake the overall meeting organisation and management, we also create concepts for product launches and trainings.” This includes everything from budgeting to inspecting the sites and choosing the right hotels, dinner venues or team building activities. “In terms of congress management, we additionally do the entire booth management, meaning creating the design according to the client’s brand guidelines, product promotion as well as constructing and later dismantling the set-up.” t2-events also organises the merchandise if required.“Furthermore, we manage accommodations, registrations, flights for keynote-speakers, airport

transfers and coordinate the whole symposium. Although we mainly focus on the medical industry, we of course cater any other industry with our services as well.” The goal is to organise an event that fits the client entirely. During an event, Tanja or her colleagues will be there as a contact person and make sure everything is kept to the highest standard. That she has lived in many different countries, here comes as an advantage: not only does Tanja know different cultures, but also speaks English, German, Swiss-German, Spanish and Dutch fluently.

Kick Off meeting – a football field in a conference room. Photo: © CHLietzmann/CHL PhotoDesign

Team building. Photo: © Tanja Tobler

Tanja only ever books a venue or a hotel when she has visited it personally and is absolutely sure it provides what the client needs and expects. “Fact is that we do not book or recommend anything without having visited it. We do not trust pictures. What we trust is what we see,” Tanja explains this decision. “If I cannot guarantee a certain quality standard I would expect as customer, I decline a job.” Not everything is about earning money. Tanja speaks with passion about what her work entails and why these aspects are so important to her. Often enough she finds inspiration for her work during her spare time: in the mountains with her family or riding her Harley.

Congress booth design. Photo: © Tanja Tobler

Tanja Tobler on her Harley. Photo: © Tanja Tobler

Sky diving. Photo: © Tanja Tobler

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  93

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Successful Enterprises

Frankfurt’s skyline. Photo: ©, Frank Friedrichs


The land of poets, thinkers and … great entrepreneurs Germany has always been known for bringing forward exceptional brands, entrepreneurs or innovative ideas. We handpicked some of them on the following pages to give you a little insight into the land of poets, thinkers and great enterprises. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: ©, Chad Kainz

94  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

Photo: ©, kosheahan

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Successful Enterprises

Mareike Awe and Marc Reinbach.

Losing weight on a healthy level With the programme intueat, you will reach and maintain your ideal weight.

convinced that they continue eating intuitively in the future.”


Diets usually do not help you to lose weight in the long run. After dieting, many people tend to gain their weight back. As a medical student, Mareike Awe wanted to find a healthier way to eat. “Five years ago, I was dissatisfied with my eating habits, and so I came across the approach to intuitive eating,” Awe explains, according to the fact that everybody has an intuitive eating habit, but when growing up, certain influences let us eat differently. “We start eating when we are stressed, for example,” Awe says. “In order to learn how to eat intuitively again, we have to listen to our body and train our subconscious.”

After testing this method herself, she lost ten kilogrammes within three months without having to abstain from her favourite meals. To continue her research, Awe and her fellow student Marc Reinbach established a study with a pilot group and developed a mental coaching programme. The University of Düsseldorf awarded them for their innovative and successful approach. As the method proved to be very effective, the project emerged. “We soon gained many additional participants,” says Awe.“To this day, we successfully helped about 1,600 people. More than 95 per cent of them are

With intueat, Awe and Reinbach now market their programme on a professional level. Those who are curious now and want to try intueat, can start with a taster package. By using the link discover, you can save the regular 19 euros for this package and gain free access for 14 days. This way, you get a picture of the program that will finally help you maintain your ideal weight and feel great with your diet-free eating habits.

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Successful Enterprises

Founder and CEO Dr. Guido Sandler (right) and founder and chairman of the board Dennis Bemmann (left).

Bergfürst’s office in Berlin.

Following a new approach in property investment using crowdfunding Investing in properties is in high demand and the way into it is currently changing. The Berlin-based company Bergfürst established a crowdfunding website focussing on property development in 2012. The financial instruments differ but overall Bergfürst concentrates on subordinated loans.

investment periods, making it a great opportunity for modern investors.


Currently, Bergfürst has properties in its portfolio worth three to 60 million euros. For the respective issuer, crowdfunding is an interesting perspective because it allows him to raise the necessary funding quite easily.

Since the financial crisis in 2008, good news from the financial markets are sparse; especially for small private investors. The current zero-interest rate policy makes it hard to even compensate the inflation rate when making an investment. Even if assets are growing, the real purchase power drops. So many investors are 96  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

looking for investment opportunities that might not be as safe but are more lucrative. That does not mean taking full risks – like gambling in casinos – but being open to new forms of investment and new markets like property crowdfunding, which might not be as risk neutral as a savings account but has very high interest rates and short

Easy investment without any costs for the investor

Private investors could currently invest sums between ten and 10,000 euros per project, according to the German legisla-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Successful Enterprises

tion protecting small investors. The investment is free of any charges – something that distinguishes property crowdfunding from more traditional forms of property investment where brokers always take a share. “We allow small investors and larger private investors to build up their own depot,” says founder and CEO Dr. Guido Sandler. What makes this so attractive is the high interest rate of five to seven per cent for mezzanine capital. A product so far not accessible to private investors. This high-rate investment market until now has been exclusively in the hands of large fonds or banks, something Bergfürst has entirely changed. Now, various private investors can come together to raise the funds needed for new property projects. In the end, both shall profit: the investor and the issuer in need of project funds and investments.

risk that every one of those fails really is rather low. Since all investments are short term, say one to five years, people stay quite flexible and can react to the market. Trading properties as tangible assets online Bergfürst also offers an online trading platform. Here, investors can sell their loans even before the official end of the investment term. Additionally, to the above-mentioned information, here future investors are kept on track as to how far the project has progressed. This may, for example, include videos depicting the work progress, quarterly reports and adhoc publicity.

Of course, there are critics who say that the property market might also be a bubble ready to burst, like the financial markets have before. There is nothing to indicate this so far, says CEO Dr. Guido Sandler. “As long as the interest rate level is so low and there are such great currency insecurities, investing in properties is an attractive offer,” he says. Additionally, it has to be considered that especially in the cities the population is growing. “So there is definitely a market for properties.” Since the banking crisis, people simply want to invest into tangible assets and Bergfürst makes this easier.

Bergfürst always has several properties at the start people can invest in. The process is very easy, fast and transparent. The website provides all the necessary information, from short facts to a video and text explaining the intentions and the ideas behind the project. “On this basis, investors can make an educated decision and that without any costs,” says Sandler. This is far more than one can say of an investment made using a broker. Often enough people there just hand over the money and have to trust decisions made in their name. Risk management is necessary Of course the risk is higher than for example putting money into a savings account. “That is why we always suggest risk spreading and only to invest as much as the own risk profile allows,” says Bergfürst CEO Dr. Guido Sandler. This can either mean spreading the intended money over various property projects, or to invest in for example properties while keeping some funds in a savings account with lesser return but greater safety. Since the minimum investment sum is so low, it is quite easy to invest in different property projects at a time and thus minimise the risk even for people who do not have a great deal of money to invest. Even someone only investing 100 euros can spread that over ten different projects – and the Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  97

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Safety & Protected Working Environment

Photo: ©, clement127


Keeping you safe at work Ever wondered where firefighters buy their work gloves that help them save lives? Or who exactly offers work safety measures or what kind of business makes those exit signs you see around companies or airports? If you have, then be sure to take a look at the following pages to find some answers to these questions and more. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: ©, Paul Downey

98  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Safety & Protected Working Environment

Top left: SafetyWayGuidanceSystem in lecture hall at University of Vienna (after power failure). Right: SafetyWayGuidanceSystem in lecture hall at University of Vienna (normal conditions). Below right: SafetyWayGuidanceSystem in production hall of an automotive company in Prague (normal conditions). Bottom right: SafetyWayGuidanceSystem in production hall of an automotive company in Prague (after power failure).

A guiding light for 20 years As one of the global players specialised in photoluminescent safety guidance systems and products, EverGlow is a reliable partner in case of an emergency. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS  I  PHOTOS: EVERGLOW GMBH

When a fire breaks out or there is a power breakdown, it is necessary to keep calm and to find an escape route – especially when such an emergency takes place in a big building. With its photoluminescent safety products and guidance systems that show the way, even if there is dense smoke or no power, the company EverGlow helps to save lives in emergency situations. Established in 1997, the company is known today for being a pioneer and a leading brand for outstanding safety products in technology and quality. “For 20 years we have been producing optical safety guidance systems for high requirements,” Markus Thrun, managing director of EverGlow, explains. “With our broad expertise, we for example introduced the screen-printing technique, which offers a high coating thickness with which colour can be applied, as well as materials such as aluminium, as it provides more stability and better fire protection.” EverGlow not only sells a great range of safety guidance products, it can also be

described as a producing network. An international team of specialists develop new products, while the manufacture and service make two further main fields of the company. “Even if problems arise, our resourceful colleagues from the development department, safety engineers and expert service partners will offer on-site support and custom-tailored solutions in all matters concerning safety,”Thrun says. “As an internationally operating company we are familiar with regulations and laws all over the world and have a subsidiary in the United States.” About 60 per cent of EverGlow’s business take place on an international level.

improving EverGlow’s online presence, Thrun says. “In terms of our products, we are developing new manufacturing techniques and a new programme for staircase and tunnel markings. In addition, we want to offer decorative glass elements like, for example, tiles or mosaics under the name of Lumpiro Deluxe.”

Airports, airlines, industrial and mail order companies, as well as specialist suppliers are among the major customers that installed the EverGlow floor-path-markings and other guidance systems. In 2017, the company based in Muggensturm, Baden-Württemberg, will focus further on its marketing strategy by developing a new catalogue concept and Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  99

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Safety & Protected Working Environment

CEO Rainer Seiz demonstrates the advantages of their textile gloves compared to leather gloves.

Gloves for real-life heroes Many of us have never thought about the technology behind highly specialised technical gloves. We take for granted that technical gloves simply do their job, be it for the fire brigade, in industrial environments, at airports or just during a skiing trip. Listening to Rainer Seiz, son of glove factory founder, Friedrich Seiz, opens the door to a fascinating world of state-of-the-art glove development.

apparent that the Seiz family know what they are doing and are passionate about their craft: “It is part of our company philosophy to take on any challenge. We can design the perfect glove for any hand and requirements.”


Since opening its doors in 1961, the prestigious glove factory Seiz is a traditional German family business that is currently being run by its second generation. The passion for developing perfect tactical gloves and continuously improving their features in line with modern technology, has been passed down from generation to generation.

that are highly functional and each serve a specific purpose. Their glove factory has established itself firmly as an international forerunner for specialised gloves and even the firemen of London rely on the outstanding products made by Seiz. Emergency services, rescue services and industrial companies across the globe are regular customers.

The Seiz family has made it their personal mission to invent and improve gloves

Talking to the founder’s son and managing director, Rainer Seiz, it becomes instantly

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The custom-made assembly gloves for Lufthansa are a recent example of Seiz’s dedication to their customers’ individual wishes. The white and grey gloves are used for maintenance work and are an exclusive design for the well-known airline. Another frequent customer is Frankfurt airport. Their chosen gloves are typical all-rounders called Blue Mamba and Winter Grip, and can be found on the Seiz website. Recommended wear, for example when loading suitcases or refuelling the aircraft,

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Safety & Protected Working Environment

these gloves are the perfect companion for carrying out the diverse tasks daily airport life brings. Not to mention the fire fighter gloves that are in high demand amongst fire services at international airports. One of the most prestigious innovations made by Seiz is their fire fighter glove with its high resistance to cracks and abrasion, an all-round cut protection and a double-layered heat shield.

Lasertemp makes the risky procedure of opening doors to burning buildings much safer. A real problem solver, the company Seiz, has also recently ventured into the field of leisure and winter sports gloves. “We always wanted to apply our extensive knowhow from the demanding fire brigade and industrial sector to the area of winter sports, where nothing has been changed for decades,” explains Seiz.

The glove can be upgraded even further by attaching the measuring instrument Lasertemp. The small electronic unit on the back of the hand measures the temperature of surfaces with its infrared sensor from a safe distance. Usually a fireman would have to take off their gloves to feel the temperature of a doorknob with bare hands, but thanks to the Lasertemp these dangerous days are now in the past.

As ever, when the Seiz family commits to a new task they pursue it efficiently until the product is perfect. Today, Seiz is the proud supplier of custom-made winter sports gloves for the bob, luge and skeleton national teams, amongst others. Also worth a mention is the futuristic winter sports glove REX ˚C. Thanks to its 7.4V lithium battery, this glove can be heated.

A red LED gives a warning if there is a risk of a flash fire due to flue gas when opening the door. Seiz has been awarded with variousprizes for this invention as the

The Seiz family is always looking for new challenges and have designed gloves for working on film sets. Finding those niche areas and developing the perfect gloves for

such specific needs can be seen as a true trademark of the company Seiz. Rainer Seiz summarises: “We love and maintain the traditional craft of glove-making and are fascinated by the history of it.” So, it should come as no surprise that this glove manufactory also has a little museum attached to it. The museum shows the evolution of gloves from the Stone Age, where furs where used to make gloves, to today’s high-performance protective gloves for extreme conditions. Seiz was the first company in the world to believe in knitting working gloves, and initially received ridicule for it. Knitting the gloves enabled a snug fit and allowed the gloves to be seamless. Today knitted gloves have become the standard across the globe. Innovation really is the pillar of Seiz. It is their unending curiosity and passion that makes this glove factory a fascinating company to watch. The diverse range, from gardening gloves to fire fighter gloves.

Airport ground service using Seiz glove Blue Mamba at Frankfurt airport. Photo: © Fraport AG

Producing small series and samples in Metzingen.

Temperature gauge Lasertemp measures the exact surface temperature of closed doors.

Seiz headquarters in Metzingen by the Swabian Alps.

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Automation technology from Germany’s leading expert for machine safety EAC engineering and consulting GmbH, based in Hamburg, is an independent partner for high-quality and innovative engineering services concerning safety for machines, facilities and more so people working with and in them. With years of experience in this field, the company recently widened its portfolio to include automation technology.

them accordingly. Safety expert EAC engineering and consulting GmbH develops the right measures and implements them to guarantee safety. “We have specialised on the topic of safety in plant manufacturing and machine engineering since


EAC GmbH offers extensive support to companies searching to enhance safety measures, drawing from years of experience. What is so unique about EAC is that its services range from a first risk analysis and drawing up a safety conception to actually designing a technical solution, from planning to automation. At EAC, experts from different fields work closely together to be able to address the different aspects 102  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

that are important for safety in production. So, mechanical and electrical engineers work hand in hand with experts in hazard and risk control, biologists or geologists as well as people specialised in economics. Today it is natural to first access risks for example through a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) or a Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) and to then address

EAC has also been awarded the Top Consultant Award in 2014/2015 and in 2016. Photo: © EAC GmbH

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Safety & Protected Working Environment

1996,” says Stefan Afsin, managing director at EAC engineering and consulting. Together with Dr. Peter Egler, a consultant for occupational and environmental medicine, Stefan Afsin founded the stock corporation EAC in 2002. The best approach to safety is right from the beginning, before even setting up the machines or developing new ones.“Safety engineering means to lay out safety and security measures correctly during project planning and building machines and production facilities,” says Afsin. But because specialist engineers developing machines already have a great deal on their mind and much to do, it is important not to put additional pressure on them with very complicated and often ambiguous questions of safety. This is why it is important for companies to rely on the specialist knowledge of companies like EAC. “We like to emphasise that safety, plant availability and efficiency have to be in harmony.”The overall aim is to present solutions and optimisation proposals that are legal, practical and tested.

Another important area is what, in terminology, is called functional safety. In short, it means that the equipment operates correctly and safely even when the operator makes a mistake or there is a hardware failure. “This has by now become an own discipline we have mastered excellently and included in our consultation,” states Afsin. Excellency clients have confirmed “nominating us for the TOP CONSULTANT award the second time in a row”. Only this year, EAC has included automation technology in its portfolio as a separate business segment, so that today the company offers everything out of one hand – from conceptualisation to safety engineering, programming, commissioning, legal certification and solving a question according to CE standards. Involving EAC in a new implementation process or machine development can, in the end, save unnecessary additional costs because the experts will take safety measures into consideration right from the beginning.“It is our goal that a facility has to be to 100

per cent available the moment the production facility is set up, the automation software installed and the approval through our specialists has taken place,” says EAC co-founder Stefan Afsin. Top service and the best solutions are what EAC offers its clients in all branches, says Afsin, including the newly established automation technology department. “That is what our clients are accustomed to when working with EAC as TOP CONSULTANT and it is something they can rightly expect from us in future.”

Main image: Stefan Afsin (left) is awarded the Top Consultant Award from mentor Christian Wulff. Photo: © EAC GmbH Below: EAC banner. Photo: © EAC GmbH Below left: EAC’s division of workplace safety. Photo: © industrieblick/Fotolia EAC’s division of safety engineering. Photo: © industrieblick/Fotolia Below right: EAC’s division of conformity declaration. Photo: © fderib/Fotolia EAC’s division of safety compliance.Photo: © Lev Dolgachov

Of course, legal certainty also plays an important role for companies investing in their safety – even though the human factor might outweigh it emotionally. Often people only realise that a machine or facility is insecure when there is almost an accident, luckily without any serious consequences, or when there is a real accident. Taking the necessary measures to guarantee safety reduces the risk of liability significantly – and the risk to people and valuable, expensive machines. So, taking safety into consideration right from the beginning minimises risks and costs on different levels. It is a difficult balance; too much safety costs a great deal of money because parts are really expensive. If too many security measures are put up, this can actually be counterproductive: “Employees can be very inventive when it comes to bypassing protections,”says Afsin. The main issue here is to make the machines and facilities tamper-proof, so that employees cannot switch off safety measures just because it makes their workflow maybe faster but also quite dangerous. Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  103

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Safety & Protected Working Environment

ELTEN uses the latest engineering technology for the manufacture of their safety shoes.

The revolutionary and highly elastic material makes shoes from ELTEN's new WELLMAXX series even more comfortable to wear.

ELTEN seminar and conference centre ‘Haus Drei Eschen’ in Uedem, the company’s headquarters.

Safety that puts humans first Regardless whether you are a professional builder or a fan of DIY alterations and repairs in your home, safety should always be your utmost concern. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: ELTEN GMBH

ELTEN is a family-owned company that has been a manufacturer of high-quality safety shoes since 1910. Back then, Johann van Elten, the founder, invented safety shoes made from leather. However, like others in his line of business, he did not pay much attention to comfort or style.

Innovative thinking has secured ELTEN a place among the worldwide leading specialists for safety shoes, and the company sustains this privileged position through continuing research and quality checks, as well as through continuous investments in new production facilities.

Today, the basic principles of safety shoes have undergone considerable changes and ELTEN’s impressive product range is remarkable proof of this fact. ELTEN shoes are not only stylish (some of them look like snazzy trainers), they are also manufactured from the most up-to-date materials. Most of ELTEN’s models have been designed and developed in close cooperation with scientists and medical experts, thus never losing safety standards or their wearers’ comfort out of sight. Moreover, ELTEN has been certified with ISO 14001 for environment management and has been processing leather that has been CO2-friendly tanned for a number of years.

In one of their latest additions, the brand new ELTEN WELLMAXX series, ELTEN processes Infinergy® by BASF, a highly elastic material often used for sports shoes, that not only cushions impacts and thus reduces strain exerted on joints, ligaments and muscles, but also and by way of its high level of resilience passes part of the energy spent back to the wearer. Further results of ELTEN’s latest research campaigns will be introduced at the upcoming trade fair A+A in Dusseldorf.

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As ELTEN is a company that feels deeply about the safety of its customers, it invites those interested in feet safety to partici-

pate in the free seminars ELTEN regularly holds in its conference centre, the ‘Haus Drei Eschen‘ on the company’s premises in Uedem, North Rhine-Westphalia. Should you have any questions concerning ELTEN’s product range or foot safety in general, ELTEN cordially invites you to contact them. If you have found that ELTEN safety shoes are just what you have been looking for, do not hesitate to visit their website; their shoes and accessories can be ordered online. for online orders ELTEN Academy ‘Haus Drei Eschen’ is equipped with the latest conference technology.





SPASS UND FARBE FÜR DEN ARBEITSALLTAG Da muss man schon zweimal hinschauen: Der knallrote Sicherheitsschuh MAVERICK red Low ESD S3 aus der Serie ELTEN FUN sieht zwar aus wie ein Basketballschuh, kann aber viel mehr. Dank zuverlässiger Sicherheitsausstattung wie Stahlkappe und metallfreiem Durchtrittschutz wehrt er im Job Gefahren für die Füße zuverlässig ab. Und ziemlich lässig aussehen tut er auch!



Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Top IT Expert, Austria

Country manager Austria Alexander Spörker.

T O P I T E X P E R T, A U S T R I A

Hitachi Data Systems

Transitioning into the future “The forces of change are more evident than ever before and are moving faster. Disruptive digital upstarts are challenging established businesses and companies are being exposed, unless they can adapt to more data-driven, digitally savvy business models. They must transform, to rethink operations and processes, to improve customer experience, and to transform their business models to unlock new revenue streams. But that digital transformation doesn’t come easily,” says country manager Alexander Spörker. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: HITACHI DATA SYSTEMS GMBH

“That is why Hitachi Data Systems is the one partner with the experience and expertise to help organisations use the data they already have as the foundation for their digital enterprise and accelerate their digital transformation. To find out how Hitachi Data Systems can accelerate the digital transformation of your business, we are inviting you to join us at the Hitachi Information Forum on 2 March 2017 in Vienna,” Spörker adds. It is safe to say that businesses nowadays need to adapt to digital trends as fast as possible. Innovation is taking place all around us and the business transformations that go with it can leverage the full potential of these innovations. When fa106  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

cilitating these developments, Hitachi rethinks traditional IT solutions and turns them into modern data strategies that exploit cloud, open source and other emerging technologies. At the core of these business transformations is the data itself. Based on this, new insights can be gained that benefit all areas of a business, fostering its growth, increased revenue and new opportunities. Similarly, this also holds true for modern cities, where we see our public spaces being transformed into smart city spaces. By definition, a smart city uses information and communication technology to raise the standard of living and its own performance, while reducing its costs at

the same time. Hitachi takes this definition further: one of its core objectives is to create sustainable cities that are able to coexist with the environment and improve living standards for communities by improving their safety and overall comfort. Within the smart city framework, the Internet of Things represents a prominent source of data. It is innovative technology like this that allows Hitachi to improve the environments that communities live in, in terms of public safety, efficient mobility, connectivity and sustainability. A prominent topic in the news, Hitachi has decided to make public safety a focus. It is an inherent part of the concept of a smart city to make people’s safety a top priority. The integral idea behind Hitachi solutions is to create an integrated system that captures, transmits and visualises real-time data to form an overall safety study of a city. This solution also allows safety personnel to access the information from any location and immediately react to an incident.

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Solicitor Column

Fog in Channel: Continent Cut Off TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

As I am writing this column, the British Prime Minister just held her long-awaited Brexit speech. It confirms that she proposes to take Britain out of both the single market and the customs union. Both conclusions were inevitable. Britain would not be able to gain full control over immigration if it remained bound by the principle of free movement of citizens – which is a pre-condition for membership of (and unrestricted access to) the single market. Theresa May now appears to have accepted the inevitable. Likewise, unless Britain leaves the customs union with the EU, it would not be able to strike independent trade deals with third countries outside of the customs union. Much is being made of Britain’s new found ability to trade with the world. It is true to say that Britain would be able, following Brexit, to strike free trade agreements with the United States and other countries. President Donald Trump has made it clear that Britain has now jumped to the front of the queue when it comes to negotiating a new trade deal – at least this is an improvement from being at the back of the queue where Britain had been banished by President Obama. But Trump has also made it clear (and no doubt means it) that the United States will do bilateral trade deals that are good for the United States, pretty much based on the ‘divide and rule’ principle (although, evidently, he did not use those words). In reality, all that was

unpalatable about TTIP, and ultimately led to its failure, will be back on the table combined with then vastly diverging bargaining powers between the negotiating parties. It is unlikely in the extreme that Britain will do better in bilateral negotiations with the United States than Europe as one of the world’s most significant trading blocs was able to do. It is also true to say that US trade deals are very quickly concluded – they tend to be take it or leave it deals. But what about the rest of the Prime Minister’s speech? Much of it was not actually about Brexit, but about her vision for Britain. It is difficult to see how the EU ever stood in the way of making Britain stronger, fairer, more united and more outward looking, or of building a stronger economy and a fairer society. Also, her statement that a fairer Britain is a country that protects and enhances the rights of people at work puts a rather astonishing spin on history: much of the law protecting workers in Britain originated from the EU in the first instance and much of it, such as the Working Time Directive, practically had to be forced on the UK and to this day remains despised by politicians and by businesses alike on this side of the channel. It was instructive to see the reaction to Theresa May’s speech in the European press: two headlines that jumped out at me from the news website Der Spiegel can

be translated as: “May’s Brexit plans: I want, I want, I want” and “Prime Minister’s Brexit Plan: May’s wishful thinking”. In sentiment and outlook, the speech very much reminded me of the famous 1930 headline from The Mirror newspaper quoted above: it may be that the fog now has started to lift on Brexit, but that does not necessarily make the route ahead any easier or the future more straightforward.

Gregor Kleinknecht LM MCIArb is a German Rechtsanwalt and English solicitor, and a partner at Hunters Solicitors, a leading law firm in Central London. Hunters Solicitors, 9 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3QN, E-mail:

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  107

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Clueso. Photo: © Jennifer Stenglein

Passau. Photo: © Polybert 49

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Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

art KARLSRUHE.  Photo: © KMK, Juergen Roesner

Culture Calendar Save the date as there are plenty of great events scheduled for the weeks to come. From music festivals and exciting exhibitions to fantastic sport events and social highlights, Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in February.

gence between man and machine and related questions.


Verdi at the Vienna State Opera (5 February) Premiering at the beginning of February is Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Il Trovatore. The play is one of the most famous and loved pieces in opera literature and it returns to the Vienna State Opera after a 16-year absence. In conjunction with the exquisite location and architecture, this promises to be a wonderful evening at the opera.

Clueso (1 - 14 February) We told you all about German musician Clueso in our January issue, when we interviewed him for our cover story. In February, the exceptionally talented musician will play an intimate club tour in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, before going on a larger tour in Autumn.

transmediale 2017, Berlin (3 – 5 February) Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the transmediale, a festival for art and digital culture, will organise events all over Berlin, including a special exhibition called alien matter. The motto for this year is ‘ever elusive’, describing the volatility of contemporary media culture. One focus for the 2017 edition is the continuous conver-

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  109

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Cologne Carnival. Photo: © Wilhelm Rosenkranz.

REISEN HAMBURG. Photo: © Michael Zapf

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Berlinale. Photo: © Olivier Bruchez

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

REISEN HAMBURG (8 – 12 February) This is the largest trade fair for tourism and caravanning in the north of Germany. Around 800 exhibitors from 70 nations will present their offerings for your holidays in Germany and Europe. The fair not only helps you to discover all the corners of the world, but shows you everything you need to know about caravanning, cycling and cruise specials.

IBU World Championships Biathlon 2017, Hochfilzen (8 – 19 February) Ten days of world-class sports will be offered at the Biathlon competition in Hochfilzen, Austria. The schedule is packed with events in various categories and of course visitors will be treated to an exquisite supporting programme including culinary delights from the alps and the omnipresent and delightful après ski atmosphere.

Paragliding at full moon, Simmental (9 – 12 February) A recurring event each month is paragliding under the full moon in the Simmental in Switzerland. If you sign up for the evening you are treated to a delicious fondue meal, before being instructed by your personal pilot. After a couple of steps one takes off and into the bright night with an unforgettable feeling of freedom.

IBU Biathlon. Photo: © Ludovic Peron

Berlinale, Berlin (9 – 19 February) The Berlin bear is heading to the cinema again for the 67th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival. As always, the Berlinale, one of the most important film events in the world, is promising an exciting programme with diverse movies from all over the world. In that regard, lovers of cinema will unite to discover international premieres, as well as a well thought out retrospectives and much more.

326th Horse Market, Leonberg (10 – 14 February) For the 326th time, the horse market will take place in the city of Leonberg in BadenWuerttemberg. It is an event full of tradition

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Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar and with a diverse five-day programme. There is show riding, as well as a hippologist conference. The main day is Tuesday, when horse trading, the show with a consequent award ceremony, the amusement park and a parade through the inner city will take place.

Egon Schiele self-portrait. Photo: © Sammlung Ernst Ploil

art KARLSRUHE (16 – 19 February) A fair for classic, modern and contemporary art, the art Karlsruhe brings together 220 galleries from 13 countries. Thematically, the fair is structured around painting, sculpting, photography and more and equally appeals to art enthusiasts and passionate collectors. In total, around 50,000 visitors will look around the 35,000-square-metre space.

DiGA – The garden fair, Passau (17 – 19 February) For many people, February marks the start of the garden season. But before actually diving into spring, one should explore the latest trends. In Passau over 7,000 visitors will do so by attending the DiGA garden fair, where 80 exhibitors display an attractive offering around home, garden and lifestyle.

Egon Schiele at Albertina, Vienna (22 February – 18 June) Towards the end of February, the Albertina in Vienna will launch an exhibition about one of the key figures in the Viennese art scene of the turn-of-the-century era, Egon Schiele. Schiele, who is one of the founders of expressionism, is considered one of the 20th century’s greatest drawers. The exhibition will display 180 of his most important pieces.

Cologne Carnival (23 February – 1 March) Here is to the fifth season in Germany and its greatest proponent Cologne. If you want to truly immerse yourself in Carnival, you must visit the city in North Rhine-Westphalia for a week of celebration, costumes and traditions. 112  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

transmediale 2017 in Berlin. Photo: © Suzanne Treister

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Vienna State Opera. Photo: © Alexander Johmann

art KARLSRUHE. Photo: © KMK, Juergen Roesner

Issue 47  |  February 2017  |  113

Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

What’s in a name? TEXT & PHOTO: BARBARA GEIER

I’m a bit obsessed with names. No, rephrase that: I’m rather fascinated by the types of names that are popular in a country in specific period of times. So, not surprisingly, browsing through a list of the most popular 50 names for boys and girls in Germany in 2016 keeps me nicely entertained. I think anyone who has either lived in Germany for a longer period of time over the past couple of decades, or is German, will have noticed that, when it comes to first names, the country has become old fashioned again. Let’s focus on boys’ names for a moment, because I find it a bit more obvious here. Take the name Emil, for example. My father, who was born in the ‘30s and was given this name, which was perfectly normal then, always complained about his name. True, it was decidedly uncool. Until, sometime in the noughties, it became almost cutting edge. Little Emils kept springing up right, left and centre; sons of parents in their thirties who delighted in going old school. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Retro has been all the rage now for some time and manifests itself not just in the look of in-bars, but also names. So, Emil, my father’s silly name, from his point of view, was in hipster territory and is still at rank 25 in the top 50 boys’ names of 2016. Names in the same category are Paul (obviously, pronounced differently in German – think ‘owl’ with a P) at number 29, Moritz at 19, Valentin at 24 or Max at 43. 114  |  Issue 47  |  February 2017

Only a few years’ back, these names would have been on the first half of the list. While still popular, they have now been superseded by another category. Not sure how to call it, but while the above mentioned one can easily be labelled as “typical German and very old-fashioned names”, i.e. from another era, this new one is the opposite and characterised by names that don’t sound very German at all. The four most popular 2016 boys’ names in Germany are Liam, Milan, Elias and Levi. Interesting, isn’t it? Don’t tell me you would have guessed. Although I knew that Liam and Elias are in fashion, I have to admit that I was surprised about Milan in particular. Where does that come from? I don’t think that we can safely assume that a considerable part of German parents take their inspiration for naming their male child from Shakira’s son Milan (the only Milan I know and ok, I do sometimes read Gala and Bunte, the German equivalent of Hello and OK, only better). So, just another sign how international in every aspect Germany has become? Or one of super pretentious parents? Whatever it may be, I leave you with news that Julian, Jonas, Linus, Daniel, Alexander and Tim are ranked five to ten, so feel free to pick and choose should you currently be looking for inspiration for your newborn son. Just in case you’re wondering about the girls: with Anna still at number two – has been a favourite for ages – as

well as other classic names such as Laura, Julia, Sarah and Lena all in the top ten, it will be more difficult to judge by a woman’s name alone which decade she was born in. While any German Milan will forever be a giveaway.

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.

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