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Issue 17 | August 2014

PLUS

LAURIN KRAUSZ SWIT ZER L AN D’S N EW TOP MODEL

SUCCESSFUL START-UPS GREAT WEDDING IDEAS DESIGN, FASHION, CULTURE & LIFESTYLE


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With a deep sea diver’s license and a high seas patent: Ahoi Atlantik from NOMOS Glashßtte

Find out more about this and other models at nomos-store.com and nomos-glashuette.com


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Discover Germany | Contents

Contents AUGUST 2014

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Photo: HOTEL SERPIANO

Photo: MARKUS PÜTTMANN

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COVER FEATURE 6

Laurin Krausz Say hello to Swiss beau Laurin Krausz, the male model who is stealing the hearts of international fashion designers.

SPECIAL THEMES 29

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Design

Wine & Dine Our wine expert Iris Ellmann explains why wine can be a resilient long-term asset with a pretty good return on investment.

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For a better future Sustainability and eco-friendliness have become much more than just a trend. For many, these

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Hotels of the Month Germany’s Hotel Kranzbach near Garmisch-

Conference of the Month

Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to this summer’s upcoming highlights.

Culture & Lifestyle Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 2014, we take a closer look at the Lichtfest Leipzig.

Business

Sirius Facilities offer custom-made conference services in over 30 innovative business parks, all featuring top-notch equipment and the maximum level of flexibility.

Restaurant of the Month Local, honest cuisine with a special touch awaits guests at the restaurant Veranda - a true gem on Bern's culinary map.

Our Swiss contender is the bike-friendly Wellness Hotel Serpiano in the stunning region of Ticino - a hot tip not just for keen cyclists.

Our legal expert Gregor Kleinknecht talks about ‘the right to be forgotten’. We also take a look behind the scenes of Germany’s finest pipe manufacturer and explain all you need to know about learning a new language or spending some time abroad on an international exchange programme.

Enjoy the summer. This month’s picks are dedicated to social gatherings in the outdoors.

Successful Start-ups Discover Germany presents exciting business ventures. Our Start-up Special is dedicated to those who took the leap of faith to turn a small idea into a great business.

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Learn a Language It is never to late to learn a new language. Why not give it a try this autumn?

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Partenkirchen is a retreat for tranquillity, relaxation and a healthy lifestyle, all blended with a distinctly British twist.

Fashion Breezy outfits for the summer season: Great looks suitable for beach, bar and beyond.

Wedding Wonderland Meet Froonck, Germany’s most glamorous wedding planner. If you are intending to tie the knot, our wedding theme will be a boost of inspiration for your big day.

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REGULARS & COLUMNS 10

Get sporty All you need to know about a career in the sporting industry, plus cycling and skyrunning in the Swiss region of Ticino.

Photo: BLUMERS ARCHITEKTEN

terms have become a lifestyle choice to save our planet and make the world a better place. Read all about some amazing companies who are each shouldering the responsibility to create sustainable products and services.

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Barbara Geier Our columnist Barbara Geier explains why some English words often used by Germans are just not English. Or?

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Dear Reader,

Discover Germany

Sales & Key Account Managers

Issue 17, August 2014

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard

Published 30.07.2014 ISSN 2051-7718

Laura Hummer Antonietta Cutarelli Jennifer Martins

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd. Design & Print Liquid Graphic Ltd. Executive Editor

Advertising info@discovergermany.com Discover Germany is published by: SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3TY United Kingdom

Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Tina Awtani

Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423 info@discovergermany.com

Art Director Svetlana Slizova

For further information, please visit www.discovergermany.com

Copy-Editor Emmie Collinge Contributors Elisabeth Doehne

We are still indulging in joyful reminiscences of the World Cup in Brazil.Thanks to Bayern Munich’s Mario Götze’s championship-winning goal, the German national football shirt will bear four bright stars as of now.Yet despite summer being nearly over, it has without doubt been a fairy-tale of a sporting season that we’re happy to look back on. While the German equestrian elite triumphed at CHIO Aachen, with the dressage uber-horse Totilas under Tobias Rath dancing to victory in the Grand Prix Spécial of the CDIO-Tour, the Jumper Christian Ahlmann with Codex One won the legendary Rolex Grand Prix and scooped one million Euros in prize money. German Wimbledon icon Boris Becker coached Serbian Novak Djokovic to victory at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, and the Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer was runner-up at the All England Club. This month’s cover star is also from Switzerland. The 20-year-old model Laurin Krauzs has taken international designer catwalks by storm with his great looks. Read how he loves life in NewYork, despite being eager to return to Switzerland.Talking about young and successful talent leads us right to this month’s special theme about exciting start-up ventures, a unique compilation of innovative and creative business entrepreneurs who took the leap of faith and turned their business ideas into reality. We also focus on sustainability and eco-consciousness, because we only have one big beautiful world and we like to spread the word of how to keep it in good shape and make things that little bit better.

Iris Ellmann Barbara Geier Meryem Hauer Jessica Holzhausen Julika Huether

Wedding bells are ringing in our wonderful wedding theme, which includes a few inspiring words from Froonck, Germany’s most glamorous wedding planner and a real celebrity in his field. Be prepared to be swept off your feet.

Sonja Irani Gregor Kleinknecht Cordelia Makartsev Jessica Pommer

Take a moment, sit back and browse through the following pages as the most amazing summer season slowly draws to an end. Enjoy the magazine!

Dorina Reichholdt Jessica Ridder Jaime Schwartz Irina Simmen Marilena Stracke

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

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Discover real Private Banking At SEB Private Banking, we acknowledge that everyone has a unique set of challenges. It’s why we do not offer ready-made solutions, concentrating instead on developing meaningful, long-lasting financial relationships and making the effort to really understand you and your requirements. Our international network of private banking offices will look after all aspects of your family business finances, from daily transactions to long term investments. Its services cover everything from tailored financial management, through to helping you to optimise the legal and tax structures within which your assets are held. As one of the world’s strongest banks and with more than 150 years of experience in private banking, we have just what it takes to ensure your future prosperity. To find out what SEB can do for your personal wealth, contact us in London: Christian A. Hvamstad +44 (0) 20 7246 4307 privatebanking@seb.co.uk

Sweden • Norway • Denmark • Finland • Luxembourg • Switzerland • United Kingdom • Singapore • Estonia • Latvia • Lithuania


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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Laurin Krausz

Laurin Krausz Switzerland’s new topmodel While most youngsters attend university straight after graduating from high school, an alternative dream career path opened up for the Swiss hunk Laurin Krausz. Just 20 years old, he is already a hotly dialled number in the little black book of model booking agents worldwide. TEXT: IRINA SIMMEN | PHOTOS: SCOTT HOOVER

Two and a half years ago while Krausz was still a schoolboy, earning some extra cash working in a clothes shop in Landquart, Switzerland, he was approached by a woman. Instantly struck by his looks, she told him that he should apply to a modelling agency. Krausz remembers: “I didn’t really think anything of it until I followed her recommendation.” After taking the plunge based on her advice, he was soon faced with the choice between the biggest Swiss agencies and he decided to team up with Visage. In February 2012, just a few weeks after entering the tough

world of fashion – and right in the middle of preparations for his final school exams – no one other than the world-famous Calvin Klein booked Krausz for the Milan Fashion Week catwalk. “When I realised Calvin Klein wanted me in its fashion show in Milan, I couldn’t believe it at first,”Krausz admits with a broad smile. That was just the beginning of his successful career as a male model. Two years ago, Krausz let me in on a secret of his as we chatted, he dreamed of moving to NewYork City to work as a model there, yet he never suspected that this wish would come true so soon afer. In June 2012 he graduated from high school with flying colours despite his heavy schedule. After a busy summer of photo shoots and fashion shows, the established DNA Model Management agency in NewYork City took notice of the young Swiss talent and signed him up in November. He moved to Manhattan and started working hard while en-

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Laurin Krausz

joying his life at the same time.“Initially it wasn’t that easy to find close friends in that stressful business, sometimes you even feel alone. But at the same time you meet so many nice people from all over the world and that’s what makes every day exciting and interesting,”the dandy explains. Meanwhile, Krausz’s career reached new heights in the metropolis. “I’m going to miss the pulsating city, my daily life and my friends a lot once I move back to Switzerland, that’s for sure,”he sighs. He loves New York despite his busy schedule. A typical NewYork day for the Swiss model includes lots of sport, healthy food, castings, socialising and gaming. But he stresses that this lifestyle is not forever:“I’m enjoying my freedom, but I couldn’t continue with that lifestyle to my dying day.” It is impossible for the eloquent Swiss to name every single job he has pulled off so far, but certain ones hold a special place in his memory. One of the most prestigious campaigns for which the young star was the face was the Great Gatsby Collection by the Brooks Brothers (USA).“The shooting took place in a castle outside NewYork City and I was wearing the same suits that Leonardo DiCaprio had worn in the The Great Gatsby Hollywood blockbuster. I absolutely loved those suits and the film as well,”he reveals. Asked if he was allowed to keep a lovely specimen for himself, the 20-year-old sighs. A definite no, I assume. History is already repeating itself for the Swiss heartthrob as he has just returned from another very successful Milan Fashion Week.“This time around I even got booked by Dolce & Gabbana. That was just great!” he says. The list of labels for whom he has strutted down the catwalk is an impressive read and features pretty much all of the big names including Emporio Armani, Etro, Philipp Plein, Guess, and Dsquared2. Certainly showing a lot of promise as a model, you might be wondering about his secret recipe to stand out from the crowd. I’m curious as to whether it is perhaps down to his‘Swissness’. Krausz hesitates before opting for a diplomatic answer: “It’s a tricky

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question. I neither want to appear arrogant nor conceited. Maybe it’s the way in which I behave. I try to stay relaxed but concentrated and motivated at the same time. If it has something to do with Swissness or not, that’s even harder to say. Us Swiss are well known for our seriousness and accuracy, right? So it seems like your thought is perhaps not that far-fetched.” At this point I

have to admit that, given Krausz’s aboveaverage charisma and appearance, these could well account for his success (to stay as diplomatic as he is). Regarding his plans for the future, he does not plan on relying on his looks. Come September he’ll embark on an economics degree at University of Zurich. Temporarily


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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Laurin Krausz

his model career will fade into the background and higher education will become his first priority. “After a long break it is time to use my brain again,”he says, laughing out loud. “It was always planned and just took some more time up to the implementation than initially expected.”But the 20-year-old is not going to put his passion completely on ice. “I have no idea how

much of my time will be soaked up by studying, but I hope there’s going to be enough space for some modelling jobs as well,” he explains. A return to his native country is on the horizon and he’s looking forward to that.“I miss my family and my friends in Switzerland all the time and it feels good to know that soon I’ll be able to be with them as much as I want. Switzer-

land is always going to be the place where I feel at home.”England has David Gandy, the Swedes have Markus Schenkenberg and now the Swiss have Laurin Krausz. We are certainly prepared for more Swiss eyecandy in the world of men’s fashion.

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds August is beach season. The ideal outfit is light and sporty with a sexy twist. Breezy daywear has been seen all over the SS/14 catwalks and many designers gave the ordinary white shirt a cool makeover. Mix with ultra-casual accessories in parrot colours to look stylish even when waddling across the sand. We introduce you to some great looks suitable for beach, bar and beyond. EDITOR’S PICKS

The German label Marc Cain was founded in 1973 by Helmut Schlotterer and is based in the town of Bodelshausen. Today, Marc Cain is a global fashion empire and production still takes place in Europe. The summer collection consists of gorgeous looks with names like Miami Nice or Avanti Avanti. This artsy dress with a Mediterranean print reflects the effortless chic of the Italian lifestyle. Dress €329, ankle boots €379, sunglasses €139. www.marc-cain.com

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The good old straw hat is the perfect summer companion. Available in many different shapes and designs it not only looks great, but also protects the face from the sun. We recommend this model from Seeberger for a sporty look. €49. www.seeberger-hats.com

Racy, colourful and great fun describe the sunglasses by former Austrian label Carrera. Sunglasses €89. www.carreraworld.com

Inspired by the World Cup, adidas Originals has teamed up with Rio de Janeiro-based label The Farm resulting in the Originals X Farm collection. Classic styles were blended with The Farm’s signature bombastic colourful prints. Sneakers €95. www.adidas.com

Right: The glamorous and easy-going lifestyle of Miami was the inspirational theme for this look. The captivating white shirt goes with literally everything. Great with hotpants, but a pretty skirt does the job too should you prefer to opt for a more grown-up silhouette. Blouse €199, belt €139, cap €119, sandals €399, shorts p.o.a. (show-piece). www.marc-cain.com

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Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... This month’s picks are dedicated to the great outdoors. If you’re planning a trip to the seaside, a picnic in the park or a best-friends get-together on the balcony, take heed: We have picked some gorgeous items in beautiful colours, exciting textures and grand designs to make the lazy summer days (and nights) that little bit more enjoyable.

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EDITOR’S PICKS

Add a splash of scent and colour by using fresh flowers for decoration. No need for green fingers here as the Lechuza’s self-watering planters are designed to make the precious flowers last for a long time. From €9.95. www.lechuza.com Plenty of cushions scattered around make a cosy seating area. An array of different colours and patterns add a Mediterranean touch. We love the Blue Garden series from H.O.C.K. From €29. www.hock-dich-hin.de When the sun goes down it is time to illuminate your outdoor space. Nothing beats a good old campfire, but if you’re limited for space the WMF chrome, wood and leather lanterns are just as great. Available in different sizes from €79. www.hotel4home.com

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The good old picnic hamper is a true classic! From public park to polo pitch and filled with yummy delicacies, it is a long established favourite at any social gathering in the outdoors. €79.95. www.novovivo.de

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Investing in a high quality blanket is money well spent. Use as a cover to snuggle up with in the evening or use as a blanket to sit on and enjoy a champagne hamper picnic. This luxurious 100% cashmere version comes in 9 different summer colours. €500. www.eagle-products.de

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www.peter-kaiser.de

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Xilobis Intelligent and flexible furniture design according to customers’needs Often static, traditional furniture does not give much leeway for creativity and change. At the other end of the spectrum, Xilobis makes furniture that does the exact opposite, giving you a flexible and easy-to-handle system. Different components can not only be combined according to the customer’s needs but also changed as often as one likes, without affecting its high quality and stability.

Specially fitted cables and chrome steel balls connect the furniture parts

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: XILOBIS

It all began with a vision to create a sustainable and flexible furniture system made from valuable quality materials but without the need for screws or metal fittings. While still meeting modern design standards, the plan was to make tools unnecessary for assembling or deconstructing the furniture. With Xilobis furniture this vision soon became a reality and in 2003 the first prototype was exhibited at the sample fair in Basel. A year later, the inventors united under the brand name Xilobis and at the same time began to improve the system even further.

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In 2007 the corporation Xilobis was founded. In 2010 it went online with an internet-based configuration system that is part of the firm’s success today.

Xilobis does not offer one particular piece of furniture but a modular construction system that allows customers to create what they need.The system to build the separate modules is an easy one. Take, for example, a cubic bookshelf consisting of four sides: top, bottom, left and right. To put these four together, a cable loop is firstly wound around three of the four parts to connect them. If now a fourth part – for example, the still missing top – is put in its place the specially fitted cable tightens around the four sides holding them firmly in their place. Now the backside is added which gives the shelf ad-


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Discover Germany | Design | Xilobis AG

like a screw would and therefore ensure the furniture’s perfect fit and stability. “When the furniture is in place, the connecting elements adopt their static function and also shape the visual appearance,”says Benedikt Schürch, member of administrative board. “The flexible materials are precisely processed, so that the full flexibility of the furniture can be supported by the elaborate interplay of ball, cable, wood and the precisely milled cavities,” elucidates Benedikt Schürch.“This inspires individual creativity and prompts the desire for change.”Such a clever system meets the varying needs of customers rather elegantly, without losing the desired stability or aesthetics.“The product has no unnecessary components,” he continues. Xilobis are confident that they “offer an individual and unique piece of furniture for design-oriented customers, who know exactly what they want.”

Both are manufactured from birch plywood and can be ordered in black or white. Additionally, Xilobis offers a variety of sliding doors made of wood, acrylic glass, iron, aluminium and even slate. Partition walls, compartments or drawers customise the inside of the elements. Xilobis furniture can be ordered online or bought in special stores in Switzerland and Germany. www.xilobis.ch Below: Showroom Muralto Middle: Showroom Zurich Bottom: Showroom Stuttgart

For Xilobis,“Made in Switzerland”is much more than just a label; it comes with certain obligations: Even though the product is testament to the developers’dedication to design, they know that functionality, high quality and user-friendliness are the main factors the furniture system is based on. Customers enjoy the furniture’s proven quality and flexibility

ditional stability. But what if a customer has more books than this little bookshelf can hold? The flexible system allows the customer to combine different cubicles according to their needs. For ease of use, there are precisely cut cavities on the surface of the elements at defined points and a distance of 25 cm. These will hold small, chrome steel balls that connect the different elements

Feedback has been positive and customers are happy with their own experiences of the interchangeable furniture. As the owner of a Zurich art gallery explains:“When we decided to refurnish our gallery in Zurich it was important that the furniture would not compete with the art pieces and that we have maximum flexibility to move and convert it without external support and within ‘minutes’to meet our changing needs.” This is something Xilobis allows the gallery staff to do with ease.“The light and simple design adapts perfectly. Leaving a discreet note of perfect design, unity and high quality, the furniture can be seen as an art piece in its own right,”the customer concludes. The basic elements can be bought in two sizes. The bigger one has a width of 1,020mm, the smaller one is 512mm wide.

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© Erika Koch

EHRICHarchitekten

Architect of the Month Germany

Unique buildings as a rule of thumb At EHRICHarchitekten, unusual challenges are not simply welcomed; they’re a prerequisite to make architecture a fun, rewarding business to work in. By listening closely to clients' wishes and gaining their respect by delivering high-quality projects, the Düsseldorf-based architecture firm has made a name for itself throughout Germany. TEXT: JULIKA HÜTHER | PHOTOS: EHRICH ARCHITEKTEN

The company was founded in 2009 by Thorsten Ehrich, who studied architecture at RWTH Aachen University. After training to be a carpenter, Ehrich subsequently worked at and co-owned other architectural offices before launching his own company. After only five years in business, EHRICHarchitekten now counts ten architects and is steadily growing. The diverse pool of talent enables the company to plan and realise projects in their entirety from an urban planning context to architecture and interior design. Services offered include project development, location studies and analysis of usage and fea-

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sibility as well as area and structural assessments. Classical architectural planning tasks stretch from planning and building offices, shops and private properties to refurbishment, revitalisations and exclusive interior design. Based on this holistic approach, projects are tackled to ensure every little detail matches the respective concept in full. “Our aim is to develop a harmonic ensemble together with the client, drawing on the original task, the draft and the architectural stance,” says management assistant Antje Baumeister. “Regardless of the task, we always implement the given and ensure that

everything adds up to create an integral, custom-made building.” A symbiotic work ethic EHRICHarchitekten believe in what they do best – tackling unique projects. Their building sites can be found in several places in Germany, although most of them are in and around Düsseldorf. Proximity enables them to work more intensely and therefore more economically. Most of their clients are mid-sized businesses, which they call the most important pillar of the German economy and a guarantor for quality. Ehrich himself draws a direct connection between the project and the customer: “The quality of my work is reflected in the quality of my clients.” By delivering outstanding projects, EHRICHarchitekten constantly gain the respect and trust of new clients, who in turn repay the favour by recommending the architectural firm to other


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Architect of the Month | Germany

© Lutz Hilgers

businesses and private clients. Needless to say, this symbiosis is of a mutual nature. When taking on a new project, EHRICHarchitekten listen closely to the wishes of the client. Sustainable, high-quality buildings are seen as a result of successful communication between everyone involved. The common goals are quality, sustainability and the economic viability of the building. “The quality of our work as architects eventuates in the intertwining of innovation and experience. Stylistic surety and continuous sustainability are guarantees for our success,” says Ehrich. He therefore constantly encourages his team to think like their clients, especially when it comes to timing and budgeting. “Everything else is self-evident for architects: coming up with ideas, quality, technical know-how, implementation,” he says. Exceptionalism put into practice A prime example of a unique building realised by EHRICHarchitekten is the business premises for the fashion retail clothing store C&A in Wiesbaden. Despite handing in a proposal listing a higher budget and a longer project time frame compared to their four competitors, they were assigned the

© Thorsten Ehrich

© Thorsten Ehrich

project and delivered it within the original cost and timing targets.The most important aspect for EHRICHarchitekten, however, was the client's enthusiasm regarding out of the ordinary, unconventional solutions. The redevelopment was based on the content and purpose of the building and turned into the main theme. The motto for the revitalisation of the clothing store was “C&A in a new fashion”. The new glass facade covers the outdated washed concrete slabs like a transparent scarf. Subtle prints showing a fall of the folds and seams consisting of fixing rails that hold the glass in place imply materiality.The transparency and the reflections that change with the light of day and the weather underline the theme and have turned the dreary arcade into an elegant entrance.

different ways and infuse the building with airiness and freshness. Materials such as Spanish limestone, oiled oak, white glass, core leather, ceramic, brushed stainless steel and greywacke have been used in a contemporary manner, giving the building an air of subtle nobility. Ehrich sums it up: “For us, unique buildings are a rule of thumb.” Judging by EHRICHarchitekten's impressive portfolio, they could not have picked a better one. www.ehricharchitekten.de

Another example is the revitalisation of the old city mansion. It took an impressive 3,400 working hours to finish the architectural tasks.The result is an old building staged in a new light in a subtle but effective way. Minor changes breathe life into the oldfashioned structure, and new materials add new possibilities for using the space. Additional vistas and openings guide the light in

© Manos Meisen

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Live in style from Berlin to Ibiza By making full use of their innovative ideas, existing expertise and ties to architects worldwide, Blumers Architekten create residential and commercial construction projects that are fit for the future. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: BLUMERS ARCHITEKTEN

Founded in 1998, Blumers Architekten is based in West Berlin’s district of Charlottenburg. With the thriving city on their doorstep, the design and construction experts don’t have to look far for inspiration and a lot of their work is naturally focused on Berlin. Known as a creative location for scientific research with a growing economy while maintaining moderate rental and buying prices, Berlin has notably distinguished itself from other big cities in Europe. However, during recent years, the demand for living space has significantly increased. The ever-growing demand for properties, particularly due to immigration, has intensified the quantitative pressure on the property market. With regards to in-

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vestments in already existing or newly created buildings, the costs are set to further increase due to the growing demand for energy efficiency as well as barrier-free, senior-friendly living. Overall, the findings show that there is a general rising valuation of urban properties. Mounting demand for a life in the city is leading to a qualitative “upgrading” of residential buildings, which are supported by the special assignments regarding energetic renovation and seniorfriendly conversions. Having recognised this all-encompassing trend, Blumers Architekten is in the process of realising a broad range of projects in various stages of development within not only Berlin, but also other parts of Germany and Europe.

From exclusive private villas to public housing projects, university buildings, health care and shopping centres, a special emphasis is put on design and construction in existing contexts.This includes the renovation, reconstruction and extension of already present buildings – often by taking into consideration the specific regulations in place to protect historic buildings. Thinking ahead For Blumers Architekten, planning is much more than just thinking about a project; it is about thinking something through in advance and acting responsibly – only then can they come up with solutions that are future-oriented and optimal in terms of the technical and economic requirements. Thus, when approaching a project, the architects try to always find new approaches to tackle complex assignments while guaranteeing high standards in design and functionality.


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Discover Germany | Design | Blumers Architekten

client, it is worthwhile mentioning the ecologically sustainable aspect of this current project, including a combined heat power plant with a condensing boiler to produce heat and electrical energy, a solar powered system on all of the buildings, rainwater collection to water the green spaces as well as a charging station for electric vehicles. The start of this building project is scheduled for the end of 2014.

and investment that takes place in Munich, Germany from 6-8 October 2014. www.blumers-architekten.de Left: Exclusive private villa, Ibiza Below, from top to bottom: Am Carlsgarten, Berlin Historic railway estate, Elstal, Wustermark Paseo del Borne, Palma Spanish Embassy, Berlin Research centre, Freie Universität Berlin

International connections

The team consists of more than 20 experts, each one specialised in all areas of building work. Many employees have been part of the team for over ten years and as a result, the client can expect reliable planning and smooth administration. The office handles all the phases of a project, so that in addition to planning and tendering, the team also has a lot of experience when it comes to implementing big projects as a general planner or conventionally observing the construction process of individual installations. Their approach to architecture has brought them far. From among the numerous competitions that Blumers Architekten have won, the recent project “Am Carlsgarten” in the Berlin district of Karlshorst stands out. On a park-like green area of 13,500 square metres, 101 flats, 115 underground parking spaces and 2,000 square metres of commercial space are coming into existence. With Helma Wohnungsbau GmbH as the

One of most recent projects by Blumers Architekten involved the renovation of 120 flats in the listed historic railway estate of Elstal, located 25 kilometres from Berlin’s famous Kurfürstendamm. The client, Deutsche Wohnen AG, is one of the leading housing associations in Germany listed on the stock market. Equally important projects were the reconstruction of the research centre at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Spanish Embassy in Berlin that was partly refurbished and partly built as new according to historic protection regulations in 2002. Since the Spanish Embassy in Berlin, the Blumers architects ventured further into the Mediterranean country, having made a name for themselves within the Spanish property market during recent years. In Mallorca and Ibiza, the team has already realised several substantial residential and retail projects for private investors. A current project in Mallorca is the renovation and conversion of a historically-listed house from 1929 in the old town of Palma, which is being used both for residential and commercial purposes. If all this has made you curious to learn more about the innovative architecture firm, the team of Blumers Architekten can be found at the Expo Real 2014 – the leading European B2B trade fair for property

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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | The WineBarn Column

Vine appreciation! Marcobrunn1945 TEXT: IRIS ELLMANN | PHOTOS: THE WINEBARN

I hope you enjoyed the second part of my introduction to Baden last month. This month I want to take you on a somewhat different journey and share another passion of mine – the treasure of Rare and Antique German wines. Recent years have seen a growing interest in buying rare wines as an asset as it offers potential shelter from financial market turbulence. Indeed, wine has proven to be a resilient asset over the long term and return on investment generally sits at around 5 – 7.5 per cent.

vestment collection.Years of mutual respect and reliability go into keeping these networks open, with the sellers themselves – often private German collectors – very particular about where the wines will be going due to the amount of personal time and interest they have invested in them.

Bassermann – Jordan. 1976 Forster Ungeheuer Auslese 0,7 l 12 bottles @ £450.00 ea

Tax advantages:

These are not the Bordeaux or Burgundy wines that dominate the press headlines, but a hidden secret amongst wine lovers and the trade for people in the know! If you are interested in knowing more about Rare and Antique German Wines please do get in touch.

One of the main advantages and attractions for investors with Fine Wine are the benefits regarding tax exemptions. •

For the love of wine: Many wine collectors start young; they buy their first wines simply because they love them. Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber was still a schoolboy when he bought his first wine and he now has a substantial collection of valuable wine assets. A recent auction of some of his wines in Hong Kong sold for £3.5 million with a case (12 bottles) of Chateau Petrus 1982 going for £48,500. My love of rare wines is not just about the wine – it is also the journey it takes me on to find a particular wine. I am very fortunate in my job, as it requires me to visit my homeland on a regular basis and to spend quality time with expert vintners and the caretakers of some of Germany’s best-kept private wine cellars. In this way I have built up a network of contacts and insider knowledge about some truly exceptional German heritage wines that would enhance any in-

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• •

Wine is usually exempt from CGT because it is regarded by the Inland Revenue as a “wasting asset” with a predicted lifespan of less than 50 years. If you keep the wine in bond, you also avoid paying VAT and Duty. It is essential that the wine is owned by a private individual, who does not trade in wine.

Schloss Schönborn – Rheingau. 1953 Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese 0,375l. 6 bottles @ £1,330.00 ea

I look forward to sharing some more great wines with you next month. Happy Drinking! Iris

My Top 5 German Investment Wines: Schloss Reinhartshausen – Rheingau. 1937 Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese - Auction wine 0.7l 1 Bottle @ £5,449.00 ea J.J.Prüm – Mosel. 1959 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese 0.7l 2 bottles @ £4,130.00 ea Schloß Johannisberg – Rheingau. 1971 Rosa Goldlack Riesling Beerenauslese 0,375l 6 bottles @ £1,280.00 ea

Iris Ellmann (above) is managing director at The WineBarn, an award-winning merchant of German wine based in beautiful Hampshire. The WineBarn, Clump Farm Barn, Farleigh Lane, Dummer, Hampshire RG25 2AF E-mail: iris@thewinebarn.co.uk www.thewinebarn.co.uk


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Winterdreams come true Holidays at the Gotthard mean – comfort, time and space to enjoy as well as a refreshing portion of traditional charm! The Hotel GotthardS has been in family ownership for over 80 years and is ideally situated in a central location in the traditional village of Lech am Arlberg. Fresh colours, local wood, a cozy ambiance and modern facilities will all amaze and guarantee some relaxing hours with us. At breakfast we start the day off with freshly baked bread and pastries from our own bakers. Discover the things which do you good at the Gotthard – and unwind in the TI^Q[P _MTTVM[[ IZMI _Q\P QVLWWZ XWWT IVL Å\VM[[ ZWWU Excellent snow conditions, the best prepared ski slopes, lovely sunny terraces and deep blue skies await all sun seeking skiers.

Familie Nicole & Clemens Walch 6764 Lech am Arlberg | Austria Tel. +43 5583 / 35 60-0 Fax +43 5583 / 35 60-52 hotel@gotthard.at

www.gotthard.at


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Discover Germany | Restaurant of the Month | Switzerland

Restaurant of the Month Switzerland

Restaurant Veranda in Bern Local, honest cuisine with a special touch Simplicity is the concept at the core of the restaurant Veranda in Bern. A special experience is guaranteed thanks to its good food prepared with love, its devotion to cooking and its friendly atmosphere where everyone feels at home. Restaurant Veranda stands for modern and elegant cuisine, for classiness without ostentation – from the interior design to its philosophy.

wealthy silk manufacturer around 150 years ago, the historical building was later ex-

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: VERANDA

The Bernese restaurant Veranda is located just seven minutes from the main railway station in a surprisingly calm oasis in the city. Hidden in a cul-de-sac at the end of a typical residential street with historic ter-

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raced houses, the restaurant is still something of an insider’s tip. The calmness of the park stands in stark contrast to the open and lively atmosphere inside the restaurant. Originally built as a mansion for a

Sandra Christeller, Max Zwahlen and Daniela Hartung (from left to right)


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Discover Germany | Restaurant of the Month | Switzerland

Varying dishes made from organic ingredients Veranda offers a small but varying menu full of creative dishes – most of them organic. Whether you’re visiting for a relaxed lunch or a five-course evening meal, the kitchen entices diners with its classiness. Head chef Max Zwahlen’s dishes appeal to guests with their honesty and taste. For example, the restaurant’s current starters include an oriental mezze with homemade flatbread, coconut-lemongrass soup with smoked tofu or a Caesar salad with croutons and Parmesan. The main courses currently include Cajun lamb with ratatouille and potato tarte tatin.The vegetarian alternative is, on this occasion, an okra vegetable curry with apricot chutney. For dessert, a dark chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet or a cherry meringue should not be missed. A special five-course meal is also available with a combination of the best dishes. The restaurant also has special offerings for lunch. Guests can choose between two different daily menus, one of which is vegetarian, accompanied by a salad, soup and dessert or the weekly special which is either a salad, a meat dish or pasta. Besides coffee and a special selection of black and herbal teas, the restaurant also has a significant collection of Austrian, Swiss, and Mediterranean wines – some of which are also organic.

tended and used first as a hotel and then as a home for the elderly. A recent renovation following strict ecological standards not only exposed historical elements but also combined them with modern design and elegance. The restaurant is situated on the ground floor of the dignified building while the upper floors contain apartments. This gives the restaurant a special ambiance in connection with its surroundings; most residents use public transportation, carsharing or bicycles. So while many bikes are parked in front of the building, parking spaces are a rarity. Of course, there is disabled parking directly in front of the restaurant, but other guests are advised to do as the residents do: come by bike or on foot.

Local products and a close relationship with the suppliers are important

The wellbeing of guests and staff alike is part of the philosophy “Happy, contented guests are our main goal – honest and unaffected hospitality,” the managers explain. “We respect our guests, our products and our staff.” The restaurant’s service philosophy of being attentive but not intrusive means that employees are not only well mannered and pleasant but interested in the guests and their stories. Only recently a staff member recognised a diner immediately and greeted him, much to his delight and astonishment – this particular guest had not been to the restaurant for at least six or seven years. This is possible as a large share of the kitchen and service staff consists of long-term employees. “All of them are engaged with their heart and soul,”say the managers with a smile. Restaurant Veranda is not just a place to eat. Providing you with a culinary and authentic experience, it’s also a place to meet and form connections, a place for conversations where work from local artists is also on display. It is a place for people who want a real break at lunch and a culinary experience in the evening, a location for people who appreciate the atmosphere as much as the cuisine. Veranda is open Monday to Friday. The restaurant can be booked for special events and celebrations during the week and also on weekends. www.veranda-bern.ch

The creative kitchen team buys meat, dairy products and vegetables locally. “Why look far when everything good is so near? To buy locally is also ecologically meaningful and sensible,” say Sandra Christeller and Daniela Hartung, the managers of the popular Bernese restaurant. “When you also have a direct relationship to the products you buy, cooking and serving the dishes becomes even more pleasurable.” Quality cannot be measured by the freshness of a product alone but also by its authenticity. “A former staff member, for example, produces our goat cheese. This very personal connection to small businesses and local suppliers is important to us.”

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Hotel

of the Month Germany

A British gem in the Bavarian Alps Known by locals as the “English Castle” and surrounded by unspoilt nature, the over 100-year-old building could easily have been stolen from a fairy tale. In reality, however, the 4-Star superior Hotel Kranzbach near Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a retreat for tranquillity, relaxation and a healthy lifestyle.

Today a stylish wellness oasis with truly special hideaways

TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: HOTEL KRANZBACH

Tucked away in a peaceful, protected valley with only the stunning mountain scenery for company, Hotel Kranzbach is the first choice for people who are looking for some time-out from their busy lives.“Our guests are mainly couples, small groups of women or singles. They are hard-working individuals who are seeking recuperation and quiet time. Children are only permitted from the age of ten. We consciously do not host public events and the restaurant and the spa area are exclusively for the use of the hotel guests so nothing can disturb their precious relaxation,”explains hotel director Klaus King.

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live in her dream home; World War I broke out and she was never able to return to her beloved Kranzbach.

The walls breathe history The ancient building of the Hotel Kranzbach has a fascinating history. In 1913, the wealthy English aristocrat, the Honourable Mary Isabel Portman, signed the purchase contract for the “Kranzbach meadow near Garmisch” and commissioned a country house inspired by the English “Arts and Crafts”movement. Detmar Blow and Fernand Billerey, two wellknown English architects, provided the drawings for the Kranzbach manor. It is the only building of this kind in Germany. Unfortunately, there was no happy ending for Mary Isabel Portman as she never got to

In 2007, after extensive refurbishment and building works, the new owners opened the Hotel Kranzbach as a wellness retreat. Now the hotel is divided into three parts, perfectly fusing its historical roots with modern comfort: the historical building of the old manor house and the modern wood and glass constructed “Garden Wing”and Spa House. In total the Hotel Kranzbach offers 129 rooms. For individualists on the lookout for that special touch the new owners came up with some rather exclusive hideaways, including a tree house and a suite in the old gatehouse. For true romance, there is a 50m² apartment complete with a 30m²


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Discover Germany | Hotel of the Month | Germany

chat, read or simply dream themselves away undisturbed. Seductive aromas and flavours from the treatment rooms tickle the nose in a pleasant way. Ensuring guests feel good down to the very core, the Hotel Kranzbach offers an extensive list of bathing, body and beauty treatments and massages. With the help of expert therapists guests can design their very own wellness and workout schedule to tackle individual problems like back pain or physical tensions. Whether your path to creating perfect harmony of body and soul is Ayurveda, traditional Chinese Medicine orYoga, at the Hotel Kranzbach you will find highly trained specialists for consultation and treatment. Nature is the star But the hotel’s real attraction is the surrounding unspoilt nature. “We strongly encourage our guests to take some physical exercise in the fresh mountain air, it simply does you the world of good,” says Klaus King. Opportunities are plenty for walking, hiking or cycling and discovering hidden valleys and secret paths in a fantastic landscape. The hotel has free-of-charge mountain bikes to hire as well as e-bikes. Golf and horse riding are not far away either. In winter, layers of snow cover the romantic mountain valley – a paradise for snowshoe hiking or cross-country skiing from the doorstep (equipment available free of charge in the hotel). A mere 10-minute drive away alpine skiers will find well-prepared pistes and a ski school. south-facing terrace in the tree house, built entirely from wood and surrounded by treetops. Wake up to the chimes of bird song and enjoy the harmony of nature. The old gatehouse belongs to the historical ensemble and was very carefully renovated in 2012. It houses 2 double rooms upstairs, each with an en-suite bathroom and downstairs you’ll find an open-plan living room with a log fire and small kitchen. A subterranean stairwell connects the house directly with the hotel and spa.

Cuddle up in your bathrobe and simply be yourself Walking over the light-flooded bridge that connects the hotel and Spa House, the Kranzbach guests enter a world of relaxation and peace. The Spa House features 5 pools, both indoor and outdoor, and 9 saunas or steam baths. Inhale, exhale and recharge on the outdoor terrace while listening to the wind and the rustling of majestic pines. The new Ladies' Spa and Sauna is an area where gentlemen have no admission; an oasis with two saunas and a steam bath where ladies can withdraw to

www.daskranzbach.de

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Leipzig Festival of Lights 2014 Celebrating 25 years of the Peaceful Revolution On 9 October 1989 around 70,000 people took to the streets in the East German city of Leipzig, despite the threat of a command to shoot. With candles in their hands, they peacefully demanded more freedom and democracy in the GDR – a decisive catalyst for the start of the Peaceful Revolution that finally led to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since 2009, the famous Leipzig Festival of Lights has commemorated this historic date with an annual sea of candles and performances by international artists. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

“We are the people” and “No Violence!“, chanted the protestors as they peacefully marched around the ring encircling Leipzig’s historic downtown. It wasn’t long until the protests spread to other East German cities, including Berlin, and caught international attention. This drove the process that ultimately led to German reunification and advancing European integration. For many years, the people of Leipzig have maintained the lively tradition of com-

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memorating the momentous “Autumn of 89”on 9 October. In this poignant anniversary year, the start of the celebrations is marked by a joint ceremony by the City of Leipzig, the Free State of Saxony and the Saxon Parliament, taking place in the Gewandhaus. Burkhard Jung, Lord Mayor of the City of Leipzig, is delighted that many prominent guests are set to attend: “On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution we will welcome German Federal President Joachim Gauck together with the presidents of the four

Visegrád Countries, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.” Joachim Gauck was actively involved in the resistance movement; as a protestant pastor in Rostock he initiated the weekly Prayers for Peace. He will give a lecture on democracy, which will be broadcast live for the public on Augustusplatz.Together with his guests, the Federal President will later attend the Festival of Lights and revive the important memory of autumn ’89. The emotional highlight of the day – the Leipzig Festival of Lights The grand Festival of Lights takes place at 7pm after the traditional Prayers for Peace in St Nicholas Church (5pm). All of the city’s residents and guests are invited to participate as the Augustusplatz is bathed in the flickering light of thousands of candles to create the words “Leipzig ‘89”. Around 150,000 visitors from all over Germany and abroad are expected to partake this year.


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Discover Germany | Culture & Lifestyle | Leipzig Festival of Lights

Main image: Leipzig Festival of Lights 2013 © Punctum Wagner Above, from left to right: Celebrations at the Augustusplatz © Punctum Schmidt German President Joachim Gauck at the Lichtfest 2013 © Westend Ballet performance in front of central station © Jurgen Meier

For the 25th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution, the organisers of the event have come up with some special ideas.“For the first time, the festival will encompass the entire ring road,” says Marit Schulz, Marketing Manager and Authorised Officer of Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing GmbH, the company which has overseen the celebrations since 2007. “In more than 20 different locations, international artists will bring the 3,6 km-long stretch of road to life with light, sound, video, performance and music. Each artist has been assigned a special topic relating to different stages in the events of autumn 1989.” International art along the historic demonstration route Some of the art projects on the route focus on what happened in‘89 in that exact spot. The first installation is located by the residential buildings at Georgiring. Here, on the 9 October, the fighting forces of the GDR

regime waited for their orders and closely monitored what was happening on the street. With the project “Frieda’s Winter”, the young art group “Westfernsehen”addresses the constant surveillance and control of the GDR citizens by the state. Using various media, the group intends to demonstrate how people walked a fine line between new beginnings and a political ice age. Other art projects have chosen democratic values as a topic. On the façade above the main entrance of the New City Hall a contribution from Leipzig’s twin city Lyon can be seen. The project “I vote, I build” invites spectators to reflect on two different models of society – a liberal, diverse world or a place where democratic values are not respected. Reminding viewers of the election fraud of May 1989, the project challenges the role of the citizens in a democratic society as well as their participation in the development of a city, a nation and of Europe.

Remembrance of the historic events, the role of the church in support of the opposition movement, personal happiness as a motivator to resist, the right to vote, critical thinking – the themes of the art projects are as diverse as they are poignant. Festival visitors will go home with longlasting impressions and food for thought. Dr Johannes Beermann, Minister of State and Head of the Saxon State Chancellery, describes the important role of the Leipzig Festival of Lights: “Freedom and democracy are values which need to be lived, defended and passed on to future generations on a daily basis. On 9 October we recall the courage of the people in Leipzig representing many others in Saxony and the GDR who overcame the communist dictatorship and paved the way to peace, freedom and democracy for us all.” www.lichtfest.leipziger-freiheit.de

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Music and the food of love in Salzburg St Peter Stiftskeller – the oldest restaurant in Europe A sense of tradition with a contemporary twist. A place with an appealing combination of history and superb food. A restaurant where !" $%!"& '(() *(() +!) ,(!-"./+0%(! 1($, where guests from every walk of life choose to linger, setting the world to rights and indulging in the epicurean delights. Situated in the old town of Salzburg within the ancient walls of St Peter’s Abbey, Europe’s oldest restaurant is a culinary pilgrimage. Each of its 22 3%/0(.%, .((4/ has its own character and !"#$%&'(! "*%$+, %- &*! "*'" .%$"% ! "#/$&0%$ 1 #2!$3 a welcome refuge and a fresh take on hospitality. Down the centuries, the culinary arts at St Peter Stiftskeller have 4#/$'3*! '- % 5%3&$#-#+'" !(#6/&'#- $!'-(!-&'-5 '&3!67 !(!$0 day. Let the taste buds tango: sous vide, cold- or hot-smoked, traditionally prepared or scented with a hint of charcoal? Pulsing with creativity, + 4"+5 +0 60 7"0". 60%*0/8"55". %/ + 49/0: )( "-"!0 *(. "-".; -%/%0(. 0( 6+5<=9.'>

For reservations www.stpeter-stiftskeller.at

For a total-immersion Mozart experience, St Peter Stiftskeller’s ?(<+.0 @%!!". A(!,".0/ transport visitors back to Mozart’s era: a replica evening’s entertainment as it might have been enjoyed in 1790. Candlelight, a menu based on period recipes, costume and instruments, and – of course – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s exquisite music.

FEEL THE HEARTBEAT CULTURE AND EVENTS. 2014 is full of cultural highlights: On May 10th, “Nacht der Museen” presents the variety of Frankfurt’s museums in a single night. On August 29 – 31, the “Museumsuferfest“ will form the highpoint of the Frankfurt’s summer open air events.

Enjoy cultural diversity throughout the city.

For all the infos visit www.museumsufer-frankfurt.de


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Special Theme

Get Sporty

Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe Achievement, fair play and cooperation

Above: A German Sports Aid Foundation fundraising campaign that appeals to the sports-enthused population. Pictured: Inna Weit, WM-Vierte 2013, 100m Sprint-Staffel. Below: Franz Beckenbauer, Katarina Witt, Heiner Brand: Three role models from Germany’s sporting world. Members of the Hall of Fame, initiated by the German Sports Aid Foundation.

TEXT: STIFTUNG DEUTSCHE SPORTHILFE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe (The German Sports Aid Foundation), established in 1967, has supported more than 47,000 athletes in over fifty different sports. With an annual budget of up to 12.5 million Euros, Deutsche Sporthilfe is the most successful independent sponsoring institution in European sports. With “Achievement, Fair Play, Cooperation” as its guiding principle, Sporthilfe stands for performance and fairness, but rejects cheating. It is our duty to stand up for the integrity of sports and to emphasize a peaceful and cooperative society.

career in business. Most of these athletes face a daily battle to juggle the demands of their athletic training with school and work. Their success in international competitions strengthens Germany’s standing in the world and inspires their fellow countrymen. Top athletes have a distinct disadvantage in the job market because their education is frequently interrupted, they have insufficient time to finish their studies, and they are often unable to participate in internships. “Stepping Stone to the Future” hopes to eliminate these issues.

Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe has created “Stepping Stone to the Future” to assist Germany’s best athletes on their way to a

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Moving on up: A career in sport starts in Cologne The German Sport University is Europe’s largest university entirely devoted to sport and exercise science, representing the whole range of subdisciplines from competitive sports to health-orientated exercise. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: GERMAN SPORT UNIVERSITY

The sole university of its kind in Germany, it was founded in 1947 and features 21 institutes covering everything from education and humanities to social sciences and biomedicine. A further four affiliate institutes and nine special research and service centres complete its profile and the university is the current academic home to over 5,300 students from 62 different countries. The multinational academic environment is second to none. In contrast to other universities, the German Sport University Cologne offers a unique blend of sport and

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exercise science research, making it the ideal platform for aspiring sport and exercise industry professionals, who each benefit from its inspiring interdisciplinary environment for studies and research alike. Space research, public health topics, antidoping research and scientific training matters, as well as the psychological and philosophical dimensions of each topic are all part of the university’s academic agenda. “The huge range of expertise in the fields of sport and exercise science that

we have here and the spatial proximity between disciplines we share are an enormous advantage. The inter- and transdisciplinary approach and the opportunity to shed light upon relevant societal topics from various perspectives is unique within Europe,” explains President Professor Dr. Heiko Strüder, who was recently appointed as the new president and is determined to expand the range and impact of research activities even further. From space to supercups When it comes to research, space is the limit for the German Sport University Cologne. In-house scientists have examined the exercise programmes of astronauts to counteract zero gravity for years and the findings are invaluable when it comes to public


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Get Sporty

A further striking area of research occurs at the interaction of sport, media and economics. Combining methods from economics, marketing, cognition and neuroscience, researchers from the German Sport University have lit the black box of information processing while watching sport on TV. Well-known sport sponsors have used these evidence-based applications to optimise their sponsorship tactics and efficiency. Many of the university’s sport experts transfer their theoretical knowledge into practice. Major sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil or 2012’s London Olympic Games are always linked in some way to German Sport University Cologne’s trained specialists, who support and guide the performing athletes. Off to a high-flying career This approach to sport and exercise science permits a broad and distinguished range of education pathways ranging from bachelors, masters and teaching degrees to PhDs and post-professional master programmes. Five bachelor degree programmes, seven master degree programmes (two of which are taught entirely in English), a physical education programme and three masters of advanced studies programmes are currently offered. In addition to its home campus, the German Sport University Cologne has teamed up with partner universities worldwide to establish a flourishing academic exchange programme for students and academics. An inter-professional approach to learning is always a direct result of the research-focused environment. To name but a few, two courses are globally

unique: the English taught M.A. Olympic Studies as well as the M.Sc. Human Technology in Sports and Medicine in cooperation with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Both are aimed at students who already have acquired solid practical experience in these areas and want to give their position a dynamic boost. In an ever more challenging modern society, graduates from the German Sport University Cologne are well prepared for the challenges of the future and the complex demands of a growing industry. The diversity of students at the German Sport University Cologne is striking; it is quite common for students to have already accomplished a professional career in sports. One example is the German gymnast and London 2012 Olympic silver medalist Fabian Hambüchen: having enrolled at the German Sport University Fabian Hambüchen is aiming for a thriving career in the sport and exercise science industry. Within an aging and sedentary society, the German Sport University Cologne is prepared to take over the responsibility of serving society when it comes to the preservation and reconstitution of health. The holistic approach of considering physical, mental and social aspects of health through the means of sport and exercise demonstrates the unique approach of the German Sport University within Europe. www.dshs-koeln.de

health issues. Bone and muscle degeneration as well as changes in neurocognitive performance observed in astronauts can be considered as a time-lapse of an increased sedentary behaviour and symptoms of an aging population in western societies. The important aspect is that these de-adaptations occur much quicker in space than on earth, giving the scientists valuable insights into the topic and allow them to identify the underlying physiological mechanisms. This is just one example of the groundbreaking research to emerge from Cologne.

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Hotel

of the Month Switzerland

A hotel building its own trail With a rueful smile hotelier Roberto Grisanti rolls up his sleeve and we immediately notice his elbow, marked by a nasty looking graze. "That's from my latest crash," says the ambitious half Swiss-half Sicilian with the joy of someone showing us a medal. "I was at a pumptrack in Zurich riding my bike and I think I found my limits."

to be a sanatorium, run by an insurance company," he continues, "when I arrived there were yellow warning lines on the staircases and the defibrillator took centre stage in the reception area!"

TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: HOTEL SERPIANO

Finding your limits on a bicycle can come in all guises, as can pushing the boundaries of what a hotel can offer. As we discuss the various perils of cycling on the sun-

A passionate enduro rider, hotelier Roberto Grisantiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dream has finally come to fruition.

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drenched terrace of Hotel Serpiano, our attention is consistently drawn away from the conversation, our eyes soaking up the view over Southern Ticino. From the hammocks on the aptly named Sky Deck, overlooking the lake and surrounding mountains, Grisanti explains how he became the manager, driving force and permanent resident of this cliffside spa hotel-cum-wedding and conference venue. "After training in London and France before managing resorts in Mexico and the Seychelles, I came to Hotel Serpiano three seasons ago and was confronted with an out-dated hotel." Given today's contemporary interior and terrace, Grisanti has clearly made his mark. "It used

With a broad smile, he outlines the evolution: a complete overhaul of the interior; the renovation of the spectacular terrace into a stylish Skybar and Skydeck from which idyllic snowy mountain peaks and the glistening lake, lined by villages can be seen; the rejuvenation of the Italian-led restaurant; the creation of an alluring wine cellar; a boutique selling local products, children's adventure playground; and his latest venture (and personal favourite): the bike park and accompanying features. The hotel on two wheels For cyclists, Ticino is the ultimate destination. Away from the madness of the Alps, its relative obscurity renders it quiet enough to


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Discover Germany | Hotel of the Month | Switzerland

overnight guests and bad weather lunchtimes. A special bikers' menu has been created too; in short, Grisanti has basically created everything he'd like for a memorable day's riding.

ride undisturbed but busy enough to feel alive. Whether you are a road fanatic or enduro enthusiast, you know your preferred playground, and Grisanti's is right here: Monte San Giorgio. It offers ‘enduro’, a slightly more extreme version of mountain biking which sees riders take on ever steeper and more technical descents while also managing to successfully scale climbs. Once a vision and now a reality, the BikeHotel Serpiano looks set to take the cycling world by storm. Hand-drawn maps highlight the best routes, the tricky sections and impart the best local knowledge, paramount to any visiting riders' enjoyment. Discounted and unlimited day or season passes for the handy cable car (Brusino ArsizioSerpiano) are available and bikers are treated to a prime spot on the terrace as well as a Chill Out zone to rest their weary legs. Alongside that, there’s brand new bike parking and helmet hangers situated within eyesight of the BBQ, primed for a casual DIY lunch. Bike lockers are available for

"Our guests come here to get away," explains Grisanti, whose ambition to turn Southern Ticino into a biker's paradise is almost complete, "but they are after something more." As the 84-room hotel boasts a pool and spa area along with a substantial list of luxury wellness treatments, the hotel provides the perfect antidote to a day outdoors. Grisanti explains that the swimming pool's floor-to-ceiling windows gaze out not only over the lake but also over the bike park, where riders can be seen four, five, six, feet in the air. "The guests love it – it is completely novel!"

precious position. With the ability to suit glamorous weddings, functional conventions, business seminars and adrenaline junkies, it’s a hotel carving its own path, marking its territory as Southern Switzerland’s hottest destination. Like the buzz from cycling, Grisanti’s unbridled enthusiasm for the region is contagious. www.serpiano.ch Left: With the new bike park alongside the hotel, guests are treated to an extra special sight as they relax in the charming spa and wellness area. Below: Guests can arrive by cable car from the lakeside village of Brusino Arsizio, and bikers are welcome to discounted day or season passes.

Aspirational is the word to describe Grisanti. Given a blank canvas with the hotel, whose potential he immediately recognised, Grisanti did not hesitate before accepting the challenge to revitalise it. Some argue that Ticino has sat on its laurels for too long, relying too much on its Swiss-German tourism and its Mediterranean climate. "People are now rediscovering Ticino and this hotel," explains Grisanti passionately, "they are realising just how much there is to do here." Reaching the hotel is a pleasure; the cable car rises up from Brusino Arsizio or a sinuous road snakes around Monte San Giorgio from the Swiss village of Arzo.This pocketsized, fossil-laden mountain is one of Ticino's secret peaks and perfect to explore with its criss-crossing paths and trails. The Hotel Serpiano, nestled on the side, is in a

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Ticino Terra di ciclismo The oddly shaped Lake Lugano scores Ticino away from the rest of Switzerland. At the crossroads of Northern and Southern Europe, Ticino has the Italian language, climate and palate, yet boasts Swiss efficiency, tarmac, trails and all the lakes and mountains you’d expect from this country. This is what has attracted Discover Germany. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: PHIL GALE & TICINO TURISMO

A haven for cyclists, Ticino has an unbeatable mix of spectacular flat, fast routes that caress the lake and classic mountain ascents and descents taking you from valley to valley. Tarmac or trails, vineyard after vineyard goes by, producing some of the most underrated European Merlots. The villages, each complete with any number of idyllic stone churches, have been here for an eternity. A short jaunt from Lugano takes you to Monte San Giorgio, a UNESCO World Her-

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itage site. By bike, the sinuous road loops around this protrusion of land into Lake

Lugano, and as you explore the fossil-laden mountainside, the views over the lakeside villages momentarily distract from your rhythmic pedal strokes. With innumerable trails descending down to Brusino Arsizio and up again via Serpiano to Arzo, it’s a satisfying encounter with this prehistoric landscape. In the other direction lies theValle di Muggio. There’s a regional speciality to discover


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on the side of the imposing Monte Generoso, making the challenging ascent worthwhile. Particular to this valley and nearby Lake Como, is Zincarlìn cheese, officially recognised as a Ticino delicacy. Dominating the region, this mountain towers above Lake Lugano. Appealing to cyclists, it’s a peak whose fame exceeds its 1,700m. For the daring riders, there are plenty of trails to keep you content for days. Found in the shadow of this mountain is a company to whom cyclists owe a great deal.

Despite not sponsoring a single pro cycling team, ASSOS of Switzerland is the brand most inextricably linked to cycling. Having invented the padded cycling short, this pioneering family-run company harbour dreams of how far they can take cycling apparel. Their heritage lies in this canton, and they’re out on these charming roads crisscrossing the valley on a daily basis, testing their apparel. It’s not uncommon to see lone riders either. An often solitary sport, cycling is a way to

Top: MTB Ticino - Lake Lugano Region Above left: Piora - Bellinzona and upper Ticino Above middle: Foroglio, Val Bavona - Lake Maggiore and Valleys.

discover a region, whether on asphalt or mountain bike trails. For a country that has spawned innumerable world champions, the popularity of life on two wheels is discernible, and Southern Ticino is a great place to do it.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Get Sporty Left & Below: Photo: Phil Gale

Skyrunning: running to great heights Skyrunning is the latest extreme sport to hit the headlines, so Discover Germany’s outdoor sport enthusiast Emmie Collinge took the leap of faith and participated in the 8th Lodrino-Lavertezzo Skyrace: TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: LODRINO-LAVERTEZZO

With over half of the Ticino’s 2,812.46 square kilometres covered in forests and mountains, skyrunning (running as opposed to hiking up and down mountains) is second nature to Swiss natives. Most of today’s skyrunning competitors at the 8th Lodrino-Lavertezzo Skyrace grew up scaling peaks; you can see it in their weatherworn faces and emblazoned t-shirts, boasting the names of previous mountain races they’ve completed. Now, after marathons and Ironmans, skyraces are becoming the next mass participation event. A quick glance at the Swiss athletics calendar presents you with a weekly choice of eyebrow-raising competitions. Typified by gradients hitting double figures for kilometre after kilometre, today’s LodrinoLavertezzo in the canton of Ticino is no different. With an average gradient of 15 per

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cent and a maximum gradient of 50 per cent, this was set to be the most challenging race that I have ever done. The action was centred on a rocky precipice at Forcarella, the halfway checkpoint – or the welcome sight of the finishing mat if you were doing the uphill race. This particular annual event, a popular one for seasoned skyrunners, gives you the option between 22km up and down (2,100m height gain), or just 11km of pure uphill. The ascent took an average of three hours for the 300 competitors. At 2,190m above sea level, we were greeted with unbridled enthusiasm, buckets of isotonic drinks and plates of biscuits. The cheers were audible as we struggled up the final few hundred metres, but for some the race wasn’t over yet.“I think you’ve made the right choice!”

said a runner as they continued over the summit, chucking water over their head. Exhausted, I peered over the other side at the near vertical snowy ravine and knew I’d made the right decision to finish at the top. While it may be considered cowardly to hike down unhurried, it was a lot more fun than tackling the precarious descent. While for many the appeal of skyrunning comes from the adrenaline rush of descending, I’m content to admire the view, soaking up the Swiss enthusiasm and hoping it seeps into my psyche for future races. www.lodrino-lavertezzo.ch


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Special Theme

Wedding Wonderland

A few words from Froonck Germany’s most glamorous wedding planner A wonderful place on Earth in which to say ‘I do’, Germany and its regional diversity and professional wedding service providers far exceed all the requirements for a true dream wedding. TEXT: FROONCK

Froonck, © VOX, Guido Lange

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stylish penthouse chic, art nouveau extravagance in a swimming pool; traditional churches; sumptuous spas; bohemian nonchalance at a beach club; burlesque frolics; vintage-style boogying in a ballroom…

As we’re seen in other industries, Germany is on another level with its high quality, dedication and reliability. From my 13 years of experience as a wedding planner, having organised over 470 weddings across the whole of Europe, I’ve been witness to its excellence, whether in Bavaria’s Rosenheim, Rügen on the Baltic Sea, Rhineland’s Mönchengladbach or Saxony’s Dresden.

For international couples, these locations have a certain magnetism and Germans are spoilt for choice. Selecting a region or a style for the big day is no mean feat.

The possibilities are infinite: romantic Alpine pastures; dreamlike fairy-tale palaces; medieval antics in a castle; baroque ballroom glamour; urban chic in a dockside warehouse; botanical garden exoticism;

In contrast to the Anglo-American countries and their vast wedding planning industries, the German industry is still – despite the “opening-up” of the branch by me at the turn of this century – a mere tod-

This is where my role as a wedding planner comes in: as a wedding consultant I am here to steer “the most wonderful day of your life”along the right path.


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Left & below: Tunesie © 5fifteen

recommendations from satisfied clients. Consultant, listener, problem solver, presenter of choices, a guiding light through the decision-making process, a purveyor of constructive criticism, a sparring partner in the ring, the catalyst and the best friend, that’s how I see myself. My belief: Confidently stylish. Creative. Considerate.

dler. Weddings have not been granted the same societal value that they enjoy in countries like the UK, USA, South Africa and Australia, where a wedding is THE most important life event. A wedding without a wedding planner is frankly unheard of. Yet German’s are as do-it-yourself as they’ve always been. Vital car repairs, gardening or building, it comes as no surprise that they choose to undertake Project Wedding in the same DIY-manner. However, given today’s digital world, the bride- and groom-to-be are flooded with information, offers and options. Add the excessive amount of wedding fairs to the mix and they are left floundering. Where’s the best location for OUR wedding? The best florists and the most suitable caterers? What sort of entertainment should we opt for? How can we create our own personal touch? Where do I find MY dress? As a wedding planner I’m the indispensible expert to solve all these questions and more. For many couples, I’m that little luxury, a decision based on their own mixed experiences of previous weddings and glowing

As the very first professional German wedding planner, event créateur and TV’s wedding expert from ‘Four Weddings and a Holiday of a Lifetime’on VOX, I’ve made it my mission to grasp the hand of those budding brides and grooms and to lead them through the Wondrous Land of Weddings. Accompanying them along this incredibly special journey brings me insurmountable pleasure and satisfaction. From each wedding I take a little piece of happiness, so that I can continue to work as passionately as I do. Filling my clients with enthusiasm and positivity, I advise and accompany them. More than just my career, it’s my calling. This is something I can say with absolute validity after accompanying countless couples at home and abroad on their journey, taking me to breath-taking weddings in Scotland and Tunisia, Portugal and Greece to name but a few.

these are essential for an unforgettable celebration of love, which I must guarantee as the wedding planner, coordinator and master of ceremony. This leaves the bride and groom the luxury to enjoy the day and they can fulfil their roles as host and hostess. The high expectations of both the couple and the guests have to be met. In fact, they must be exceeded. Hearing the couple say, “that was even more incredible than we could ever have hoped for!”renders my job complete and worthwhile. www.froonck.com Below: © Reb Von Rehn Middle and bottom: © Beat Mumenthaler

After the detailed and all-encompassing organising and planning, the creative advice, development of ideas, control of the budget and coordination of the staff, the decisive moment is the all-inclusive, personal care on the actual wedding day. My role is vital here, as the couple, their excitement, nerves and emotions take centre stage. Feverish with love, I’m there to hold their hands, dry their tears and inspire confidence. The smooth running of the day is what counts. The greatest art of my career involves managing the actions of the staff, the schedule and being prepared to act spontaneously if situations arise. Reaching decisions rapidly, always being in the right place at the right time so that both the bride and groom and the guests feel looked after and spoiled;

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Be inspired … for years to come Stories define who we are. And your wedding is the start of your individual family history. Wedding photographer Markus Püttmann turns the story of your big day into lasting memories that will be enjoyed long after the last dance.

Capturing the magic

taken from such intriguing angles that it seems the bridal pair are not aware of any observers at all. “My premise is simple”, Püttmann reveals.“I tell the story of one of the most special days of your life from start to finish. Saying that, there are two things I’m prepared for: firstly, your wedding day is not just about love. It is a roller-coaster of emotions: happiness, joy, pride, excitement, and of course... love! A LOT of love! Secondly, nothing,” he stresses, “and I mean, nothing prepares you for how fast the day passes by.”

Looking at the photos on his website and in his blog posts, it is immediately apparent that Markus Püttmann loves his job. The highly sought-after wedding photographer not only shows passion, but also an intuitive sense for the right moment; many of his wedding and engagement images are

“You’ll wish it was possible to freeze time to absorb every moment of your day. My wedding photography aims to capture all of those moments, allowing you to cherish your day for years to come,” explains the talented and ambitious photographer.

TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: MARKUS PÜTTMANN

Your wedding is a unique event that cannot be repeated. Photo albums are a means of storing those valuable moments and keeping the memories of this day alive – both for you and the generations to come. By the time your children and grandchildren see them though, the majority of today’s photo albums may have lost their appeal due to their low quality – a barrier between your photos and those who would like to appreciate them in the future. Therefore, it makes sense to assign the skills and expertise of a professional wedding photographer who uses only the highest standards

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of paper, materials and bookbinding – a key criterion for the quality of a wedding album. Someone who has the experience, skills and quality standards to do just that is Markus Püttmann.


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times also takes him beyond the beautiful castle locations of Germany: “I got booked for a wedding at Leeds Castle in Kent once – a fantastic experience! I think it’s great when different cultures meet and unite.”

A high quality photo album is also a great gift idea from your friends as this really is a present that you will be able to enjoy for your whole life, allowing the generations to come to sense the magical moments that you rejoiced in on your wedding day.

Invest in your future If this has piqued your curiosity and you would like to secure the man with an eye for magic moments for your own wedding, feel free to get in touch with Püttmann. Although his website is currently only available in German, he regularly communicates with clients from abroad in English. Allow yourself to be seduced by the photos of one of the best day in your life, all topped off with simple, yet elegant design, vast years of picture editing expertise and highquality craftsmanship:“Your photos will be beautiful. You’ll love them. But that’s only part of the reason for choosing us. Meet us and you will fall in love with who we are. You’ll quickly discover that we are genuinely nice people, the kind of people you’ll want to be around. Plus, we’ve been doing this for longer than most – we genuinely love what we do and it shows.” All in all, hiring an experienced wedding photographer like Markus Püttmann to document your big day is definitely money well-spent.

www.hochzeitszeit.de

Bottom: Markus Püttmann Wedding Photography, Leeds Castle England

The story of your day Another matter of heart for Püttmann is to make sure that his photos are tailored to each individual couple and their story. “I focus on what makes the relationship of each couple special and express this in my photos,” he explains. A good wedding photographer tells the story of your day in photos that you will feel are an authentic and affectionate reflection of who you are. While the story can be limited to the wedding ceremony and the after-party, it can also start with the preparations for the big day: the bridal shoes, the flowers, a gaze out of the window – fleeting moments that capture the excitement of the day. When you look at your photos later on, you will probably be surprised of how many small gestures you missed. Markus Püttmann loves this aspect of his job, which some-

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A chic dress that says‘I do’ Despite it being one of the hardest pre-wedding tasks, choosing your dress should also be the most enjoyable. Begin the process by narrowing down designs that take your fancy, hunt out a suitable shop and relax – although be prepared to try on quite a few dresses. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: KÜSSDIEBRAUT

Not dissimilar to a catwalk, all eyes are on you as you walk down the aisle, so you naturally want to be adorned in a dress that is the chicest of chic. To the excitement of every fiancée around, Kerstin Mechler of Baden-Wuerttemberg-based wedding dress design label ‘küssdiebraut’ is on hand to impart her knowledge. With vast experience in the fashion branch, the enthusiastic German has garnered something of a cult following since founding lindegger. GmbH in 2009. Now stocked in numerous select retailers across Germany, her designs have become hot property. “I’ve always been fascinated by dresses,”explains Mechler with a broad smile,“and the

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apex of that is without a doubt the wedding dress.”After studying fashion in Stuttgart, Mechler went on to work for several highstreet brands before taking the plunge into her own company. Now she releases two dress collections each year: the aptly named wedding dress collection ‘lindegger. küssdiebraut’ [kiss the bride] and the classy cocktail dress and evening gown collection ‘lindegger’. Describing her style as modern, chic and rather special, it’s her eye for detail that renders her creations so spectacular. A glance at her wedding collection lookbook causes an audible gasp in many a bride-to-be. With off-the-shoulder pieces alongside laced cre-

ations, slim-fitting simple gowns and sequined delights, her passion for heritage shines through. Inspired by significant females from the past few decades, Mechler combines these influences with modern trends, new materials and a modern cut. The küssdiebraut dresses therefore have a unique look and she’s keen to offer something novel.“You’ve got the 20s nostalgia in the long, flowing silk dresses, the cheeky petticoats of the 50s and the enticing lace dresses of the 70s with their bohemian flair,” she explains. Not just elegant sweeping gowns and dresses adorned with heritage, Mechler sets herself apart with her shorter-length wedding dress. A choice previously unheard of, knee-length creations have been seen on catwalks from New York to Milan in recent years, and Mechler’s shouldn’t be overlooked. “They’re at the core of our collection’s ethos: fresh, fun and modern. I think it’s really refreshing to see them worn at


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any guidelines to follow when choosing the right dress. “My dresses aren’t figure-dependent; it’s about choosing a wonderful material and having a professional cut – those will flatter anyone,”says the croppedhaired Mechler with a beam.

traditional church weddings.” She laughs: “With a shorter dress, the accessories are even more prominent and the right shoes are vital!” Fully committed to the bridal cause, Mechler knows only too well how hard the decision can be.“Often people are torn between two or three of my dresses, and other times it can be love at first sight. So many women have a preconceived idea of which style suits them best and they can be hesitant to try something new – but that’s part of the excitement. Throwing them totally out of their comfort zone in the changing rooms

can often lead to the most incredible moment.” Her advice for brides-to-be is to head out with an open mind.“Be confident in your search and don’t let yourself be guided too much by other people. Try all sort of styles, you never know what could happen.“ A deeply personal choice, a wedding dress is a treasured item in the wardrobes of countless women across the globe. With the added touch of hand-made labels, Mechler’s dresses have an aura of exclusivity and are unlikely to be seen anywhere twice. She is hesitant when asked whether there are

Above all, she advocates a relaxed but organised approach to the big day. “Weddings are made for the couple, so plan it how you’d like it. Be yourself,” she advises. “This special day doesn’t have to be perfect, there are no boxes to tick. It’s about filling it with love and enjoyment.” She chuckles: “Often it’s the mishaps and the spontaneity which render the day so wonderful and memorable. Fun and humour are the ultimate foundation for a future together.” The collections are housed all over Germany at select retailers, as well as certain locations in Switzerland, Austria and Italy. Alternations can be carried out directly at the shops, so clients need not fret. www.kuessdiebraut.de

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Here comes the bride in Alpine elegance. Striking Dirndl-style dress by Astrid Söll Dirndl Couture. The exclusive Madeleine model made from brocade and silk is truly stunning. P.o.a. www.soell-dirndl.de

A true classic amongst traditional wedding gowns is this elegant rose silk model made by Mothwurf Austrian Couture. €930. www.mothwurf.com

This gorgeous Dirndl-style outfit has a figure-flattering corsage combined with a long skirt. A richly embroidered apron adds the finishing touch. €995. ww.cocovero.com

Diavolezza wedding ballerinas are a must-have when tying the knot. With the finest leather and genuine Swarovski crystals, they not only look fabulous but also feel great when dancing all night. €120. Available at Tretter or Angermaier stores.

Yes, we do (like this) With the wedding date approaching swiftly, future brides are desperate to find that perfect dress and those matching accessories for their big day. We discovered several stunning designer pieces that have the magic to turn every bride-to-be into a fairytale princess. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: EURO KOCHTA-INTERNATIONAL

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Diamonds are a girl’s best friend and unbeatable as a token of love. Timeless beauty made by EhingerSchwarz – available in platinum, white gold or rose gold with diamonds. P.o.a. www.ehinger-schwarz.de

Accessories are absolutely essential, so look no further than these Alraune silver lucky charms, which come in various designs. €59. Available at www.amazon.de


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Wedding organised by www.dream-time.ch. Photo: Julian Kanz - www.juliankanz.com

VUSH

Above: Sandra Stauffer-Hess, owner of Dream-Time wedding planners and member of the VUSH board.

Swiss wedding planners with distinction Those who employ the services of a wedding planner for their big day want to feel safe in the knowledge that they can rely on the planner’s compassion, professionalism and efficiency to organise an unforgettable day. TEXT: VUSH | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

To quell any fears for those tying the knot, theVerband Unabhängiger Schweizerischer Hochzeitsplaner (VUSH – The Swiss Association of Independent Wedding Planners), was founded in 2008. Along with ensuring ethical behaviour on the side of wedding service providers, VUSH’s tasks include strengthening the position of the nuptial planning industry in Switzerland. VUSH board member and manager of Dream-Time Hochzeitsplanung [DreamTime Wedding Planning], Sandra StaufferHess would be the last person to undervalue the importance of a couple’s wedding. For those who hire a wedding planner to organise the most important day of their lives, it’s a question of putting your faith in a stranger so it’s important that the pre-organisation discussions go well. Ensuring

that you feel comfortable with the planner and that you’re on the same wavelength is vital. “We’re professionally trained so we’re aware of the preparation and work that a wedding requires. The husband- and wifeto-be should be able to enjoy the run-up to the big day with anticipation and relax as we take over.The couple naturally have the final say in each decision – it’s their day. We’re just here to realise their dreams.” Despite spanning various cantons of Switzerland, the members of VUSH are united in possessing the relevant qualifications, experience and passion for weddings, diving into the intricate planning of each wedding with their whole heart. According to Stauffer-Hess, the association has around 37 wedding planners currently

on its books. Dream-Time Hochzeitsplanung,Your Perfect Day and Luuniq are just some of its long-term members, and companies like Firstclass Wedding, cm Wedding and passiamour have recently joined their growing troupe. VUSH is dedicated to ensuring that Swiss wedding planners adhere to high quality standards. The exclusiveVUSH label of being a member of the association (Mitglied beim Verband Unabhängiger Schweizerischer Hochzeitsplaner) is only granted to those companies who are strictly vetted by VUSH. For those interested in a career as a wedding planner,VUSH cooperates with SAWI (Schweizerischen Ausbildungszentrum für Marketing, Werbung und Verkauf), the Swiss centre for further education in marketing, advertising and sales, to offer apprenticeships in both Zurich and, as of recently, in Bern too. Since creating this scheme several years ago, it has been enormously popular with budding wedding planners. www.vush.ch

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Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column

Forget Me (Not) TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

In a landmark ruling handed down in May, the highest court of the European Union determined that private individuals can benefit from a limited ‘right to be forgotten’, which allows them to request the removal of links to websites and other material on the web that turns in internet searches for their own name. In equal measures the judgement has been heralded as a victory for personal privacy law and criticised as a danger to freedom of expression. The underlying premise, namely, that search engine providers are subject to European data protection laws, must be welcome on all accounts. Whichever way you look at it, the decision requires Internet search providers to implement some changes to their procedures, indexing and technical infrastructure. But how real is its impact? The case involved Google Spain and a Spanish individual who complained that a Google search for his own name brought up links to web pages from a newspaper which were more than ten years old and concerned court proceedings that had been fully resolved and were no longer relevant. In its decision, the court analysed the activities and obligations of search engine providers in detail in the context of European data protection law and concluded that they are obliged to remove data from search results that is ‘inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant or excessive’ in relation to the purposes of the processing or the amount of time that has elapsed since the initial processing of the data. Takedown requests must be made in the first instance directly to each individual search engine provider, which is then tasked with examining the merits of the individual request. In response to the ruling, Google promptly published an online form enabling users to request the removal of search results for their names and was inundated almost equally quickly with over 40,000 take-

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down requests. From the end of June, Google reportedly began processing requests and implementing removals on a case-by-case basis, having set up a dedicated ‘removals team’. Other search engine providers, such as Yahoo and Bing, are in the process of developing similar solutions. As revolutionary as the nascent digital ‘right to be forgotten’sounds, it is not an absolute right and has significant limitations. An individual making a takedown request will need to establish that the relevant data protection rules in his jurisdiction (in the case of England, the data protection principles set out in the Data Protection Act 1998) have been breached through the unlawful processing of his data by a search engine provider; many of the relevant rules are vague and open to interpretation. It is clear, however, that individuals will not be able to request the removal of all links to personal information just because they cause embarrassment or are deemed undesirable (often with the benefit of hindsight). Although it is still too early to tell how selectively search engine operators will treat takedown requests, early indications from Google are that each request will be individually assessed and that each complainant's privacy rights will be carefully balanced against any public interest in the information. Furthermore, Google has only been required to remove search results from its European websites; links to the same information can therefore still be accessed simply by using one of Google's other international or US sites, even after a European takedown request has been implemented. Also, the underlying website to which a search result links, and which published the information originally, will of course still be accessible (for example, the newspaper website carrying the original news report). Individuals wishing to make a request for the removal of a link can currently access Google's form online. The form itself is relatively simple, requiring the name and con-

tact details of the person making the request, as well as proof of identity, the URLs for each link that should be removed, and an explanation as to why the URL is ‘irrelevant, outdated or otherwise inappropriate’. The challenge for individuals making takedown requests will be, first, that a request must be made and justified for each individual URL and to each individual search engine provider; secondly, to show that the search result and content fall within the parameters of the relevant data protection rules and the guidance provided by the court ruling; and, thirdly, to provide a coherent explanation as to why the search engine provider is legally obliged to remove the link. If the removal of relevant links cannot be achieved through a request to the search engine provider, individuals have the option of taking their complaint to the national data protection authority or the courts. Given the administrative burden of achieving a comprehensive removal of links and the ease with which undesirable search results can still be obtained, even after a takedown request has been implemented, many may decide not to bother and will instead simply wait for undesirable search results to be pushed down the list with the passage of time through the normal process of search engine algorithms.

Gregor Kleinknecht LLM MCIArb is a German Rechtsanwalt and English solicitor, and a partner at Hunters Solicitors, a leading law firm in Lincoln’s Inn. Hunters Solicitors, 9 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3QN, E-mail: gjk@hunters-solicitors.co.uk www.hunters-solicitors.co.uk


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Feel Marketing Experience LiveCom Understand Online

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Because flexibility makes all the difference Located in various major cities in Germany, Sirius Facilities provides a custommade conference service in over 30 innovative business parks. Their ability to offer a diverse range of premises and services whilst remaining flexible has placed Sirius firmly amongst the top business park providers in Germany. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: SIRIUS FACILITIES

Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Mannheim, Rostock and Stuttgart are just some of the supreme locations that are now home to a Sirius business park. Since 2006, Sirius has followed an intelligent strategy of re-positioning and re-designing former industrial sites and creatively turning them into topnotch business hubs with modern conference facilities. Sirius Facilities takes its name from the brightest star in the night sky Sirius, and the Latin word facilis, which translates as easy. Their motto “Flexible Spaces for Flexible Times”is clearly a very successful

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approach to today’s fast-paced world of business. “The integrated concept of Sirius Facilities is to provide flexible industrial spaces and services, which are specifically tailored to meet the needs of young, small or mediumsized companies.The service we are offering is unique within

Conference of the Month Germany

Germany,” saysYvonne Schubert, the Senior Manager for Conferencing. “Sirius has conference rooms of various sizes, with a range of different features and for all kinds of business purposes. Our contracts are incredibly flexible and can be changed and customised at any given time.”

Conference Centre Team with Yvonne Schubert, Senior Conference Manager (on the left)


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Discover Germany | Conference of the Month | Germany

aviation security and the healthcare sector to name but a few. The rooms are often used for kick-offs, staff training sessions and job interviews. Many of our long-term rental clients want their meetings and events with international partners to be held near their offices without having to maintain the required infrastructure themselves. Our business parks are the perfect solution for that,”says Schubert. Flexible rental periods for all their spaces, economical prices and outstanding conference equipment ensure that Sirius Facilities is a successful alternative to hotels and regular conference centres.

Left & above: Eventlounge Callisto Right: Sirius Konferenzzentren

This is especially useful for constantly evolving start-ups, as Sirius allows them to evolve together. Instead of offering standard packages, Sirius goes the extra mile and ensures any special demands are efficiently met for their clients. Conveniently located close to airports, train stations and motorways, the different business facilities are also an excellent choice for international conferences. Needless to say, the staff at Sirius Facilities all possess proficient language skills and will do their very best to ensure a successful business trip abroad. Personal service from the first contact to the culmination of an event or rental period makes communication easy and renders Sirius very approachable. “We have already welcomed many international clients from a wide range of industries such as the automobile industry,

“Every day we notice that event managers have to work with smaller budgets in order to stay competitive in the market place – and vice versa, it has become more and more apparent that companies have to cut costs too. Hence they’re now looking for moderately priced alternatives when it comes to organising meetings, workshops, seminars, conferences and events. Our conference centres are successful because they offer such superb value for money and allow our clients to remain flexible and, for example, book at short notice,”explains Schubert.

Schubert says enthusiastically: “Callisto is a location for events and seminars at the heart of the Berlin-Gartenfeld business park. From now on, different kinds of events such as product presentations, staff or customer events, anniversaries or cooking courses can be planned and held in a private atmosphere. We also offer it as a pop-up location for supper clubs, special festivities and public viewings. Together with award-winning landscape architect Sharon Raine Clarke-Wills, we created the Callisto Garden. As a little oasis of calm that encourages to take a break, it really completes our service.” Taking all that into account, Sirius Facilities demonstrates modern German efficiency at its best. www.siriusfacilities.com

With 60 rooms to choose from in over 20 German cities, the conference centres are an ideal choice for any event. Room sizes vary from 15 to 200 square metres and short rental periods mean that clients can conveniently book the room per half day, or even per hour. Of course the conference centres come with a variety of catering services and bistros but those are simply options to choose from and the spaces can easily be booked without it. Schubert adds: “Individual requirements regarding catering or technical equipment are no problem for us. We have gained a lot of experience tailoring our services and we generally think that whatever our client needs, we can provide it.” One of Sirius’ future goals is to double the number of their locations, and having recently added one new facility to their books, they’re on the right track.

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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

The strike of the match, the sound, the flame, putting match to bowl.You don't 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.

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There are rumours that even the Queen Mother loved her occasional pipe. Alexander Eckert, Management Director and Partner atVAUEN 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 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


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Discover Germany | Business | VAUEN

uisite 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 which 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 ‘genuine VAUEN’ is given its distinctive mark: a VAUEN stamp and model number. VAUEN Pipe Manufacture: Tradition meets innovation Throughout its long history VAUEN has consistently come up with 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.”

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 theVAUEN “Handmade Collection”. Each of the pipes from the Italian pipe maker, Alberto Montini, made in cooperation with VAUEN, is unique and finished in the finest craftsmanship according to Italian design standards. Passionate pipe friends who like a long smoke will choose the new model collection ‘Giant’ with a big bowl, glossy finish and a sterling silver band, whereas people who prefer a quick smoke would be wise to wait until autumn when VAUEN will release a revised version of the small and trendy pipe ‘Pipoo’ on the market 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. www.vauen.de

Trendsetter in pipe design

has been loved for their carefully crafted pipes and their innovative ideas. One hundred and sixty years of experience and knowledge are applied during the manufacturing process. Every single one of the 50,000 pipes which leave VAUEN annually pass through 60 work stages, each conducted by hand. First class briarwood, a high quality raw material, is a basic prereq-

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 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

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Learn a Language

Special Theme

Learn a Language International Experience has years of experience arranging individual exchange programmes and study abroad programmes for students. Studying overseas grants you access to landscapes far more exotic than those of your home country.

Creating world citizens “Of all the joint ventures in which we might engage, the most productive, in my view, is educational exchange,” proclaimed Senator J William Fulbright. Admired as a pioneer of integration, Senator Fulbright’s vision is still going strong - largely due to Germany’s International Experience. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

The family-run organisation, now active in more than 10 different countries, set up International Experience (iE) at the turn of this century. Providing the framework, support and enthusiasm for international exchanges for teenagers, iE cooperates with countless institutions across the globe to organise extended stays of anything from two weeks to two years at educational establishments overseas. Now a little under 15 years old, 600 students return each year from an iE programme as ‘world citizens.’ Founded by the tight-knit Gillner family and inspired by the antics of their father, Thomas and Kevin Gillner grew up with tales of their globetrotting parents. “Our father was one of the first Fulbright ex-

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change teachers that went to the USA in 1960. Based on his experiences – and the experience of Senator Fulbright pacing up and down our living room many times – we designed the iE programmes as a legacy,” Thomas explains. The programmes vary widely: from short-term language camps to one or two semester stays at either public or state schools; boarding schools or host families; academic or athletic; high school or university. “The company’s focus is on the safety and wellbeing of the students,” he smiles warmly,“and is very much in line with the way we would like our own children to be prepared and taken care of.” He recounts his daughter’s recent experience of a fulfill-

ing year at a private school in North Carolina. Thomas elucidates: “Visiting another culture on holiday is one thing, but immersing yourself in one is what we are preparing them for. They can learn more about what drives and motivates people in other countries. What has shaped a certain society to have certain beliefs and attitudes?” With his son poised to embark on a semester abroad in either South Africa or New Zealand, it’s clearly not an easy decision where to go. A firm favourite with ambitious German pupils is the United States of America, explains Gillner, as two thirds of the students undertaking an iE programme choose it. In terms of language, it’s an invaluable opportunity to pick up the nuances, but iE are keen to recommend other English-speaking countries. Ireland and Canada, for example, boast charming accents and entirely new cultures, and iE also organise English language camps, which can be combined with sport, in Italy, Ger-


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Interested parties can contact iE to discuss potential options and you could find yourself in South Africa or New Zealand within a matter of months.

many and Portugal to name but three. Alternatively, Gillner highlights a growing interest in Spanish-speaking countries, as more and more German schools recognise their global importance. Gillner cites Argentina, Spain and Chile as prime locations. With iE as your guide, the company will match you step for step. From the initial discussion with an experienced member of the team – the vast majority of whom have undertaken their own stay abroad – they’ll present location options, detail the financial aspects and guide you through the visa process if necessary. iE’s strong connection with the USA has garnered it the accreditation of being a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organisation, a J-1 visa sponsor and a fully listed CSIET member (Council on Standards for International Educational Travel) for over a decade. With multiple active organisations across the globe, the headquarters in Germany both welcome and bid farewell to students and the iE-USA welcomes students from 23 different countries.

“Teenagers successfully completing a programme are ready for this world,” explains Gillner. “They have broadened their horizons, learned how to solve problems strategically, share emotions and create friendships.”

tle more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship.”

While he admits those first few precarious steps in a foreign country are tough as you try to feel at home with your new host family, he is adamant that the advantages far outweigh the (mild and temporary) disadvantages. Taken from the handbook granted to each student at the pre-departure orientation seminars, a culture shock is to be expected and they offer advice on how to overcome it and ultimately welcome it. As Fulbright said, those who return from an educational stay abroad“bring a lit-

For students tempted to dive into a new culture, Gillner couldn’t be a stronger advocate. “Go for it,” he concludes passionately,“It is the best time of your life. Enter a new world and be prepared for the rest of your life. Set a milestone in your life that cannot be removed.” www.international-experience.net Below: Living with a host family integrates you fully into the culture of your adopted country.

With the committed support from your family and iE, an education abroad can act as a springboard to an international career.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Learn a Language

Home away from home Live and learn while abroad Active Abroad offers opportunities to learn or improve upon a foreign language with a purpose. With a unique selection of programmes located around the world from the US to Australia, Active Abroad combines travel with unforgettable opportunities for learning and growing. TEXT: JAIME SCHWARTZ | PHOTOS: ACTIVE ABROAD

“We offer a variety of programmes, Au Pair or Demi Pair stays, language courses and work experiences abroad like Work&Travel, Camp Counselling, volunteering or internships,” explains Demi Pair programme manager Lisa Hussenether. Participants are put in direct contact with a new culture through living with a host family or work placements, thus fulfilling Active Abroad's aim to immerse participants in more than just a new language. As an Au Pair, applicants are able to enrich their experience of being abroad by experiencing local culture and traditions firsthand. Not only are they expanding their own horizons but there’s also the added bonus of contributing to the host family by sharing and learning together. As Ms Hussenether says: “These days a good command of one or more foreign languages is key to keeping up – and I don’t just mean in

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business, but it also boosts self-confidence and you benefit from a larger sense of the world.” For those who are not able or ready to make a long-term commitment, the Demi Pair programme provides a shorter option. This programme focuses on improving foreign language skills by including courses at one of Active Abroad's certified partner schools. Attending classes in the morning and working in the host home in the afternoon gives the language learning direct impact and application. Additionally, through many of the partner schools, Demi Pairs can use their language learning as a chance to acquire a Cambridge, TOEFL or IELTS certificate. Company owner Maria Riedmaier also runs the au pair agency Maria Theresia, which places international Au Pairs with German families. Host families welcome applicants with free accom-

modation, meals and pocket money in exchange for childcare and light housework. An Active Abroad experience is a way to explore the culture and language of new land and feel at home while far away. The committed staff helps applicants to find the most suitable programmes through their knowledge and years of experience working with their worldwide partners. Detailed information about work or study opportunities can be obtained online or by visiting the offices in either Freising/Munich or Berlin. www.activeabroad.de www.aupairmaria-theresia.de Main image, left: Australia's Ayers Rock. Photo: Verena Meindl Above: School facilities in Valencia Chinese language course, Lisa Buddelmann with her first calligraphy Bottom: San Francisco. Photo: Christiane Armannsberger Australia Work&Travel. Photo: Verena Meindl


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Learn a Language

ESL – Language Travel Live a life changing experience After originally starting as a local language school in Montreux, Switzerland, École Suisse de Langues has since grown into a leading institution in the language travel industry. While maintaining its Swiss headquarters, ESL has moved beyond its beginnings and borders to offer a great variety of tailor-made language programmes. TEXT: JAIME SCHWARTZ | PHOTOS: ESL

Joining an ESL programme is a chance to discover new cultures while simultaneously having an adventure, explains Christin Schreyl, office manager Berlin. “It’s not only about learning a language to an excellent standard. It’s about fully immersing yourself into a new culture and getting to know people from all over the world and feeling comfortable when interacting and working in an international environment.” ESL's spectrum extends to applicants of all ages: language courses for children and teens; gap year programmes including official exam preparation courses, internship and voluntary placements; and various adult and family programmes. More spe-

cific courses are available for business executives or specialists, and ESL also offers teacher training courses and higher education opportunities. Working in partnership with selected language schools across five continents, ESL has an active presence in more than fifty countries. After more than fifteen years of dedicated service, ESL has become one of Europe's leading language providers.Their success is a result of commitment to providing the ultimate in customised language training. High quality teaching has first priority but likewise ESL guarantees appropriate accommodation and school infrastructure

available to participants. “As the satisfaction of our applicants is of the utmost importance, we make sure that they have the experience of a lifetime”, says Schreyl. “We are in constant contact with our partner language schools and visit them regularly to have all relevant hands-on information.” Their commitment is also evident in the vibrancy of each of the ESL team members. Naturally passionate about languages, the ESL consultants enjoy sharing their accounts of learning and living abroad.The result is an experienced team that combines both practical expertise and shares a deep understanding of applicants' needs. To pair applicants with the best-suited programme, personal interviews are held at ESL offices in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt and Freiburg.“We want to get to know our clients and identify not only their needs and objectives but also their concerns. The better we get to know a person, the better individual advice and tailor-made service we can offer”, explains Schreyl. For ESL participants, the passion and empathy of the staff accompanies them throughout the process, making foreign language travel feel like a familiar but also life changing experience. www.esl.de

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Special Theme

Successful Start-ups

The essence of innovation New technologies and dynamic cycles of innovations are changing the world at breath-taking speed. Yesterday's futuristic visions quickly become today's everyday normality, and are then made obsolete by even newer developments at the same pace.

champions”: its “Mittelstand” of small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that are world market leaders in specific and often high-tech niches. These companies benefit greatly from a set of conditions that Ger-

TEXT: FEDERAL MINISTRY FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS AND ENERGY

These ever more rapid processes of change make investment in research, development and innovation (RDI) indispensable for maintaining and enhancing the competitiveness of our companies. Dynamic levels of innovation will ensure long-term growth, prosperity and new jobs. New products and services are key to strengthening long-term growth and prosperity. With innovation we can successfully manage challenges like climate change or demographic development. There is a group of countries at the heart of Europe which lead the continent in terms of innovation and R&D. This group stretches from the Scandinavian EU members via the Benelux states to the Alps with

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Austria and Switzerland. Surrounded as it is by these small but innovative countries, it is no surprise that Germany is also one of Europe’s innovation powerhouses. Germany invests around €80bn per year in R&D, which corresponds to almost exactly three per cent of Germany’s GDP, a target that the European Union has set, but – with an EU average of two per cent – is still a long way from reaching. Almost two thirds of R&D is financed by enterprises, and this is a prerequisite to ensure that new knowledge is transformed into innovative services and products that lead to further growth and employment. A German speciality are its so-called“hidden

Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy. © Bundesregierung/Bergmann


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many can provide: R&D investors in Germany not only find a sound macro- and socioecomic environment but also an excellent research infrastructure and a highly experienced workforce. This allows companies from abroad to invest more than €10bn a year in RDI in Germany. To ensure that this positive environment for RDI in Germany can be maintained and improved, Germany’s Federal Government is working on an overarching new innovation strategy to be published in summer 2014. This national innovation strategy reaches across all political fields, themes and departments and regards all the steps in the innovation process – from basic research to invention and innovation – as part of a whole. An important component of the strategy is thus to foster cooperation between a diverse range of stakeholders, businesses and scientific institutions, future users and scientists from various disciplines to produce new knowledge and new value added. This strategy will be accompanied by a new Digital Agenda, with which the Federal Government aims to close the gap that Germany faces compared to the USA when it comes to ICT.

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The main task for our innovation policy is to provide a framework that allows companies to significantly step up their research and innovation efforts.This includes measures to foster venture capital and to allow the greatest possible freedom for creativity and entrepreneurship, but also stable and proper cost arrangements, such as for the protection of intellectual property. We need a social environment that is open to new technologies. We should not only look at the technological risks but also at the opportunities. We should also allow those with new ideas and products to achieve the social recognition they deserve, including incidentally those who have to have a second go at establishing their businesses. Another important task for our innovation policy is to provide funding for cooperative projects and infrastructures for RDI. Germany’s Federal Government is spending more than €14bn this year – compared to €9bn ten years ago – for this purpose. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, which focuses on applied research and innovation, has a budget of more than €3.3bn to support various fields of innova-

tion funding with focuses on SMEs, energy, ICT and aeronautics. International cooperation is one of the major new focuses of the new innovation policy: This ranges from contributions by very internationally oriented research organisations such as the German Aerospace Center to specific cooperation on innovation by SMEs with strong partners in countries like South Korea and Israel. Naturally, the Federal Government does not presume to have a perfect knowledge of which technologies, products or services will provide the greatest benefits in the future. Wherever possible, we leave it up to the enterprises to decide what innovations should or should not be expected to be successful on future markets. They simply know the markets better and it is they who take the commercial risks. This is the essence of innovation: you may never know where you will land, but you will not land anywhere if you don’t start.

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Up to 600€ for delayed flights: Flightright is an expert on passenger rights in the European Union According to a regulation implemented by the European Union every passenger has the right to compensation when, for example, a flight is delayed or cancelled. But often enough, airlines refuse passengers their lawful right. This is where Flightright is called into action. Flightright is a legal expert in the field of passenger rights. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: FLIGHTRIGHT

It is one of the upsides to the European Union: Many regulations strengthen customer rights – not only if it concerns product safety or environmental compatibility but also when it comes to travelling. In 2004 the EU established new rules concerning flight delays, cancellations or denied boarding. But rules alone do not help passengers

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in case of emergency – as a lawyer from Berlin found out in 2009. Personal experience led to a new business concept Compensation at the click of a mouse – that is Flightright’s concept.The idea first struck lawyer Philipp Kadelbach over the course of

several stressful days as he headed from court hearings to the airport and back again, from his job to wedding planning. And then every flight passenger’s absolute nightmare happened: Kadelbach was booked onto a flight with a budget airline from BerlinTegel to the Netherlands for an important court hearing. Upon arriving at the airport he was told the flight was cancelled. After catching another airplane he arrived just in the nick of time. But the nightmare only really began as he desperately hoped for the return flight to be on time as he had an important meeting with a priest to arrange his wedding and, above all, he wanted to make


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Successful Start-ups

states that, for example, in a case of cancellation the passenger can choose between a re-routing to the destination at the earliest possible time, a later re-routing according to the passenger’s convenience or a refund. Even a flight back to the first point of departure is possible. Additionally, with a few exceptions, the airline has to pay compensation. How much money a passenger gets in each case is likewise standardised. Therefore Kadelbach thought there had to be a way to programme a website with a logarithm that would automatically determine how much money a passenger could get with the right legal advice and help. A friend wrote the programme, the website went online and shortly later, in 2010, the project members resumed their work.

a good impression by being punctual. This time the flight was delayed for more than five hours – without any guarantee that the flight would leave at all. Again, Philipp Kadelbach had to book another flight, paying 300 Euro and just he still arrived late. This was the first time Kadelbach came into contact with the European flight right regulations and the difficulty people have to face when they legally claim compensation. The airline told him they would get in touch in approximately six to eight weeks. And then? Nothing! A standardised procedure based on EU regulations The law is quite clear and it applies to flights leaving from an airport in a member state or for passengers heading to the EU with a European-based airline. The regulation

95 per cent success rate for those cases brought into court. The computer-based system allows Flightright to work on many cases at once – even though there are partner law firms all over Europe who can be called into action if necessary. Europe-wide success The only ones not happy with the concept are definitely the airlines. When the Flightright business initially began, many airlines refused payment and risked a court hearing.That has changed in the last two or three years, because court cases cost the airlines nearly double. Since its founding Flightright has helped clients from all over the world. The corporation has claimed compensation for clients not only in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but also in the UK, Italy, Spain, France, Sweden, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands. Charges have also been pressed against American airlines. www.flightright.co.uk

The eruption of a volcano in Iceland provided some good fortune for the start-up business. Suddenly lots of flights were cancelled and many airline passengers searched help to get compensation. This led to passengers becoming aware of Flightright and for the first time the website experienced an onslaught. An easy way to claim back money On the Flightright website clients can enter their flight number, airline and date into the compensation calculator to determine how much compensation the client might get – up to a sum of 600 Euro.The client can give Flightright commission to represent his or her case. If Flightright is successful – and only then – Flightright retains a success fee of 25 per cent (+VAT). The client has to do absolutely nothing – no unnerving emails, no unfriendly phone calls, no stress. No risks. Flighright speaks of a more than

Dr. Philipp Kadelbach (CEO)

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Successful Start-ups

Thinking inside the Box - innovative design in a familiar form Though bordbar might not be a familiar name, their products most certainly are. This Cologne-based team has transformed authentic airplane trolleys into timeless design objects for private use. Their daring and innovative consideration towards an industrial object that most have taken for granted has not gone unnoticed. TEXT: JAIME SCHWARTZ | PHOTOS: ACHIM HEHN

Since 2006 bordbar has attracted the attention of design lovers around the world, bringing their trolleys into the design aesthetic and functionality of numerous homes and offices. The initial inspiration behind bordbar is rooted in the team's passion to find new contexts for old furniture. For example, the team initially experimented with the potentials of decommissioned cinema seats and old sheet metal lockers. “We’d already begun to think about repurposing objects during our time studying together in Cologne,” explains Valentin Hartmann. “We were always interested in the idea of upcycling everyday or mundane objects

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from their typical use.” Serendipitously 287 inflight trolleys made their way into the hands of the bordbar team in 2006 and, as they say, the rest is history.The challenge of turning this disused industrial product into a design piece of furniture would eventually change the course of the company's future. In just a few years bordbar went from a small operation to the forefront of international contemporary design. Despite its global presence, the bordbar trolleys still tend to emerge from their inhouse design studio. The team gives these airplane trolleys a new life, opening up new

possibilities through the addition of unique and special functions. These trolleys can become an expression of individual use for kitchens, bathrooms, offices and even outdoors. Variations such as cutting boards, programmable LED lights or even integrated docking stations for iPhones enhance the use for each specific situation. These innovative ideas have won the bordbar team several distinguished and sought-after design awards in recent years. “We see these awards as recognition for our work, but also at the same time as a further incentive to pursue our path,”says Mr Hartmann. Trolleys from bordbar are manufactured according to labour-intensive and timetested established standards thus rendering them built-to-last. The company currently offers several different trolley options that are available to purchase new or used.


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Mr Hartmann explains: “Initially we had only used trolleys but as the demand became greater than the amount of used trolleys on the market we found a way to access new trolleys.” The trolleys that were previously in use by airlines are individually repaired and overhauled by hand. In just several hours these used trolleys are sanded, primed and provided with a highly durable lamination thus resulting in scratch and impact resistance surfaces as well as a brilliant shine. The trolley editions, bordbar, Lufthansa, Pan Am, and River Rocket, all offer different aesthetic choices with high consideration on design, materials and finishes. Additionally, customers can enjoy a smaller version of the trolley in the bordbar Box or bordbar Cube. The bordbar Box comes in black or white and is a great option for the office or home for storage or as a side table. The Cube, available in eight different colours, takes the trolley to the horizontal plane - re-envisioning it as a sideboard. All trolley options can be purchased or rented through their website and since this April the bordbar trolleys have made their way into a retail space in Berlin. Collaborating with Cramer furniture, the two have

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teamed up to create a space where customers can shop bordbar in person. “We decided to make a test run in a retail space to see how our brand, with such an exceptional product, could work in a store,”says Mr Hartmann. “Our first impression is more than positive and the store has exceeded all our expectations.”

bordbar has carved for itself proves that sometimes coming up with ideas within the box is exactly what can push them beyond. www.bordbar.de

Aware of how design is such a personal choice, bordbar makes it easy for customers to interact and imagine how a bordbar product could fit into their private spaces. With the bordbar app products can be viewed as if they were actually in the room. One can enlarge, reduce, rotate, and view trolleys from any angle. Even better, with the advances in the technology of mobile devices the bordbar app can now offer what until recently only seemed possible in the future: a three-dimensional viewing option. The bordbar team is continually working on new designs, technology and features for its trolleys. Their ever evolving and growing successes are part of how their audience and market is able to keep developing, expanding and advancing. The unique path

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The Holiday Pirates have conquered the travel world The Berlin start-up specialises in amazing online holiday deals Founded in 2011 by Igor Simonow, the groundbreaking website of Urlaubspiraten [Holiday Pirates] allows travel-hungry fans in Germany, the UK, Austria, the Netherlands and Italy to screen the latest travel deals on a daily basis. TEXT: JESSICA POMMER | PHOTOS: URLAUBSPIRATEN

Nowadays, the world is connected like never before; we can call or write to someone on the other side of the globe for free. But while the Internet allows us to access information from all over the world at the click of a button, we still like to explore places in person instead of studying them on virtual maps. Transport costs have dropped dramatically in the last decades, rendering travelling affordable once more. Thanks to the maze of webpages that filter the cheapest flights, hotels or packages, our virtual exploration of the world can become a reality.

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As a student could think of nothing better than exploring the world. But, as is the case for many students, money was the biggest

hurdle.To overcome that financial obstacle, Simonow developed several methods to find the best travel deals. He tracked different sources and combined the best offers in individual holiday packages. On the basis of his research efforts, he was able to travel to Miami for â&#x201A;Ź250 and to Rio de Janeiro for â&#x201A;Ź270. After graduating in 2011, the budding entrepreneur was not only an expert in business administration but also a master at finding cheap travel offers. Wisely, he took advantage of his in-depth knowledge of the travel market and founded his own company: Urlaubspiraten. For German holiday-goers, Igor Simonow publishes his discoveries on the weblog (urlaubspiraten.de) and also in English for UK travellers on holidaypirates.com. Visitors to the website can select flight, hotel, rental car or opt for a complete holiday


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Successful Start-ups

to feed the readers of our websites with valuable information. We do not take over responsibility for the trip itself,” explains Simonow. Urlaubspiraten also makes use of social media platforms like Facebook or the mobile app stores. In 2012 there was a slight hiccup as Alitalia accidentally offered free tickets through Facebook, a seemingly incredible deal, which, of course, was also promoted by Urlaubspiraten. However, Alitalia subsequently cancelled the validity of all tickets booked to the disgruntlement of those who had a planned a trip and many unhappy customers took to Facebook to vent their frustration.“The digital world is very fast-paced and unpredictable,” adds Simonow. Urlaubspiraten has a growing community of supporters with 4 million website visitors each month and 150,000 people who have subscribed to the newsletter. At present Urlaubspiraten has around 3,600,000 fans on Facebook and their app has been downloaded about 890,000 times so far. Compared to its competitors, Urlaubspiraten is rated very highly and this is perhaps due to the straightforward nature of its website. In 2013 the German version was rated as the “best website of the year”in the holiday category by the market research company metrix Lab and IT company Verizon.

package. Options are available to suit all tastes, from the luxury resort dweller to the sleep-beneath-the-stars backpacker.

travellers (vakantiepiraten.nl), Italian (piratinviaggio.it), American (travelpirates.com) and Austrian (urlaubspiraten.at).

The headquarters in Berlin officially opened its doors in 2011 with three employees. It grew rapidly and now the 28-year-old is supported by a team of 20 enthusiastic members of staff, who each diligently scrutinise each offer before publishing it on the website. Now serving a wider market, Urlaubspiraten is also available for Dutch

But how does Urlaubspiraten generate profit? There are no adverts to be seen anywhere on the website as Urlaubspiraten works on the concept of affiliate marketing; if clients book a trip through the link posted on the Urlaubspiraten websites, the company offering the trip will submit a commission to Urlaubspiraten.“Our first aim is

A new unique feature has enhanced the website even further. On urlaubspiraten.de you can find the tab with the title ”Reisefinder”, which means ‘travel finder’. Here, Urlaubspiraten has entered the web 2.0: the users can contribute their own knowledge with regards to the best travel deals. Users are invited to ask travellingrelated questions in the forum and then

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the community tries its best to answer the questions. This knowledge doesn’t only benefit the travel-hungry souls of Urlaubspiraten users, but also the team behind the website. Highlights since the launch of urlaubspiraten.de include return flights to New York City or Miami for €270. Customers also had the opportunity to travel around the world

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via Hong Kong, New Zealand or the US for only €1,350. There were even added bonuses too: customers could rent a campervan and receive a gas voucher of $500. Plenty of highly attractive deals are available for those who are yet to decide where to spend the next holidays. www.urlaubspiraten.de

Left top: Igor Simonow and Sebastian Kaatz Right, from top to bottom: The bloggers Graphic, IT & Marketing area Meeting room Some entertainment for the breaks Left bottom: The team

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Successful Start-ups

Left: Blacklane at your service Below: Frank Steuer and Dr. Jens Wohltorf, managing directors

Travel in style with Blacklane Limousines With access to an impressive fleet of executive cars and a highly effective international network, Blacklane’s limousine service is the perfect solution for the discerning traveller. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: MAX THRELFALL

Founded in Berlin by managing directors Dr. Jens Wohltorf and Frank Steuer, the innovative company blends a traditional high-end chauffeur service with top-notch digital solutions. Contrary to classic limousine fleet companies, Blacklane is a network that cleverly maximises the overflow capacity of local chauffeur-driven executive car providers, providing a win-win situation for companies and clients. The worldwide network literally spans the globe from A to Z, from Adelaide to Zurich. Customer service is key. A 24/7 customer hotline, an easy-to-use smartphone app or a simple booking form on the Blacklane website are ready to process bookings in real time without fuss.

Unlike other providers, prices are clearly displayed and absolutely no hidden fees are included. Limousines are presented in showroomquality and well-mannered drivers round out the journey. “The chauffeurs who join our network have to comply with our international quality standards. All our drivers are trained and vetted on a regular basis. In addition, our customers get the opportunity to evaluate their experience right after they have used our services. In that way, we, as well as the individual drivers, receive direct feedback”, Dr. Wohltorf explains. While most users are corporate clients who appreciate the swift and efficient service,

including logbooks, bonus schemes and monthly invoices, Blacklane also increasingly appeals to private users who simply enjoy that extra bit of luxury while travelling. The innovative company has already adapted to the new eco-aware private hire generation.“In Berlin, Blacklane launched the new Smart Class back in March attracting cost and eco-sensitive clients,” Steuer reveals. In 2013, Blacklane was awarded the Best of Innovationspreis-IT due to its future-orientated digital business model. Blacklane has clearly filled a gap in a highly competitive market with success and the future looks bright.“We are really proud of the fact that since we founded Blacklane over 100 employees are part of our team in Berlin. Every day brings with it new challenges and we truly enjoy taking them on,”the managing directors agree. www.blacklane.com

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asgoodasnew Pioneers of the re-commerce market and Apple product optimiser The company’s philosophy is as simple as it is effective. As Germany’s market leader for refurbished consumer electronics, asgoodasnew’s business model and provision is unique. Top customer service and products that are "as good as new” make up the essence of the company’s success. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: ASGOODASNEW

Originally set up almost six years ago as an e-commerce company called WirKaufens, asgoodasnew now allows customers to save up to 30 per cent on devices such as iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Macbooks, and Tablets etc., all of which are technically and visually“as good as new”. Another unique advantage is that they guarantee 30 months warranty on all of the remanufactured devices – and this also applies to all Apple products. On the other hand, if customers are unhappy with their purchase they can return

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it free of charge within 30 days. All of these competitive advantages are enabled by the existence of the company’s own high-tech factory in Frankfurt (Oder).This means that all asgoodasnew consumer electronics are “refurbished in Germany”by product specialists who carry out the overhauls exclusively on-site. Premium quality, top value and secure handling

CEO Daniel Boldin

Asgoodasnew’s re-commerce business is characterised by fair and competitive prices, professional and resourceful overhauls, reliable premium quality as well as high data security. The electronic devices offered in the online store (www.asgoodasnew.com) range from the latest mobile phones, notebooks, various Apple and Mac devices to digital cameras and SLR lenses.


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Successful Start-ups

perts, the German enterprise has truly revolutionised the online re-commerce of consumer electronics. Each month, around 20,000 electronic devices units are purchased by the company, professionally refurbished then sold again. An important part of the firm’s goal is that asgoodasnew saves resources and protects the environment by gathering, recycling and reusing electronic equipment responsibly and sustainably. Story of entrepreneurial success The company was founded as a start-up in late 2008 and the business idea is based on a web-based system for the acquisition, quality reprocessing (refurbishment, overhaul) and the sales of consumer electronics (CE) in a quality "as good as new." Since first pioneering on the German-speaking re-commerce market, today more than 110 employees work for the company in Berlin and Frankfurt (Oder). In 2014, Daniel Boldin, former CEO of REWE Group subsidiary ProMarkt, was named CEO of the entrepreneurial firm. “Customers won’t notice any difference to new products from off the shelf,” he promises. Superior products and excellent value Asgoodasnew products are qualitatively comparable with absolutely new electronics. This quality standard is achieved by the professional refurbishment that they undergo. All products are delivered with a minimum configuration (battery and charger) and shipped in a high quality asgoodasnew packaging. Products such as iPhones and iPads, MacBooks and Macs underline the firm’s competence for Apple products.

On average, the asgoodasnew store attracts more than 200,000 customers per year, in Germany and neighbouring countries. All of them rely on the simple, convenient and secure services offered. Having received positive reviews by both customers and ex-

Co-platform WirKaufens.de But where do all the refurbished electronics come from? The company’s co-platform (www.wirkaufens.de) buys used electronic devices and is perfect for all those looking to sell their used smartphone, tablet or camera. The platform uses special e-commerce software that is quick, convenient and safe. Sellers simply have to answer five easy questions about the device and are then offered an estimated purchase price. After the technicians in Frankfurt (Oder) have analysed the information and the device, the seller receives their money within seven days. Ambitious goals for the future Despite being a relatively young company, asgoodasnew has received an unprecedented amount of praise and recognition. It was most recently honoured by “Germany - Land of Ideas” in 2012 and 2013 with the “IT Innovation Award” by the Initiative Mittelstand. Looking to the future, the company is striving to build on its pioneering success and expand into other European countries such as Austria, Spain, and Poland. Within the next few months asgoodasnew will launch its business in additional top European markets. www.asgoodasnew.de www.wirkaufens.de Left top: Product specialists at work Left middle: asgoodasnew online store Below: Logistics

In addition to the professional data deletion and major software updates, components are replaced and all the equipment is professionally cleaned. Lastly, the asgoodasnew Online Store features the devices, which are“as good as new”or have a“very good”status.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Successful Start-ups

supercraft – craft with an attitude The Do-It-Yourself sets of supercraft leave lovers of surprises, functional design and aesthetics feeling inspired and creative. These colourful kits bundle ideas along with certified and superb materials, and feature seasonal projects that promote the DoIt-Yourself idea. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: SUPERCRAFT

What is supercraft? The answer is a culture made by your own hands. The notion behind supercraft’s Do-It-Yourself boxes is guided by a robust and sustainable vision: the attitude to make and to create. In a mass consumer society, Do-It-Yourself is a thoughtful and resourceful way of creating goods. The method emphasises the importance of using time, money, and material resources in a sustainable and productive way – and to spark an interest in living fully and creatively.

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“Make more yourself” The brand supercraft was founded in Berlin in 2012. Sophie Pester and Catharina Bruns, two designers and entrepreneurs, decided to create their own luck and promote the importance of handmade projects with their business. “We know that it can be very hard to find great supplies for DIY projects. And even if you come up with great ideas all the time, it's really time-consuming to gather all the supplies you need. We solve this problem for our customers by providing them with the best supplies and inspiration for new projects every two months,”state the young entrepreneurs. Creative boxes with an effect It is as easy and as effective as it sounds: supercraft boxes are bi-monthly craft kits that


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Successful Start-ups

inspire to create and shape the space and environment we live in. The themes are varying and the kits consist of creative designs, needlework, fabric and art projects, certified textiles, a multi-page instruction booklet and carefully sourced high quality materials. The boxes are great for beginners as well as experienced crafters to get new project ideas and excellent materials. While the focus is on the high quality and the uniqueness of the collection, the label also seeks to protect the integrity of the value chain. The supercraft team even creates their own collections. For instance, the label has published a unique fabric collection with two different patterns, and also an own wool edition along with their partners Lamana wool. Easy to order – easy to try All the kits are directly shipped to customers at no cost. The start-up already has more than 10,000 customers and a few thousand regular subscribers – and this number is growing. If customers simply want to try it out, there is no need to stress about cancellations because individual purchase orders without automatic renewal are possible. All other types of subscriptions are easy to renew or cancel.

financed and the only company in Europe with such a unique range of products to inspire people to become makers. Supercraft Lab Evenings promote creativity and community As part of the creative outreach, supercraft labs craft evenings bring together supercrafters and those who work on their kits or their own projects. Everyone is welcome – whether they are a supercraft customer or not. The evenings bring people together as they work on something together to chat and exchange ideas.The supercraft labs are organized independently with the support of enthusiastic customers and take place in cafes or creative co-working spaces in five German cities. For the future, supercraft is striving to remain the most significant label in terms of DIY kits. By continuing to grow slowly and investing in the product and the creative community, they want to expand their range and design more creative boxes. For the coming season a big product launch is planned, the new supercraft "coollektion" product line. www.supercraftlab.com

Work is more than a job The start-up company is currently based in Berlin and has another production site in Limbach-Oberfrohna, a small town in Saxony. It consists of five full-time employees who work closely with freelance designers, artists and illustrators depending on the projects. Over the years, these entrepreneurs have multiplied their success and in 2013, the book “Work is not a job” was published.

Supercraft entrepreneurs Sophie Pester and Catharina Bruns

The two owners state that the best thing about starting a company is the opportunity to be creative and responsible in all aspects of the work.“We are the first provider of a creative DIY subscription service in Europe and one of the few young companies whose business model is not dependent on external money, but grows slowly and independently. We love what we do – work is more than a job.”supercraft is fully self-

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bamero AG BPM Mind Map for Business and IT Business processes are at the core of what makes or breaks a business in today's digital age. The German IT start-up company bamero AG and their software BPM Touch® maximize the value of mobile business applications by combining functionality, accurate performance, intuitive use and aesthetics. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

At first glance, the tool may seem like a digital cluster of information. In fact, it is a powerful mind map that captures a plethora of business processes. It is intuitive, lightweight and digital.The multimedia-based software is especially designed for tablets and incorporates all end-to-end processes; it allows users to capture, design and improve their business and IT processes anywhere at any time. “Our agile BPM methodology M.E.M.O.® in combination with BPM Touch® enables the capturing of process requirements up to 60 per cent faster compared to existing ap-

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multimedia files, edit data and share these with others using intuitive touch gestures. Furthermore, the tool incorporates technical and everyday language, which helps to capture business processes while ensuring 100 per cent compliance to the modelling standard BPMN 2.0 at the same time.

proaches,” states the IT start-up. According to Dr. Christian Bartsch, President and CEO of bamero AG, the software seeks to“avoid loss of process quality and information when transferring business requirements into a formal process model.” Moving away from abstractions towards results The focus for bamero AG‘s tools and services is as simple as it is ambitious: to move away from abstractions and towards results. The ease of use and aestheticism are key components of BPM Touch®’s success. Clients are able to design business processes, integrate

Dr. Christian Bartsch, President and CEO of bamero AG


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bamero AG provides a systematic approach to improve an organisation's processes, making them more effective, more efficient and more capable of adapting to an everchanging environment. It leverages collaboration between stakeholders and clients through its sleek design and interweaves business and IT processes in an appealing and effective way.

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BPM and IT experts, entrepreneurs and aspiring software engineers.The firm’s vision for the future is to sustainably increase its value by bringing business and IT even closer together. An acclaimed model of success

In fact, BPM Touch® has been heralded a milestone in the field of mobile business applications. The company states that: “With M.E.M.O.® and BPM Touch® we offer a new and very efficient end-to-end approach to capture and design business processes with tablets in combination with a highly innovative modelling technique.”

The company has worked with a variety of industries and sectors, including the health sector, public sector, IT providers, digital publishing, consulting, and software development. bamero AG offers traditional and agile consulting services with a strong focus on business process management. Their most innovative tool, BPM Touch® and the agile BPM methodology M.E.M.O.® (Map, Enrich, Monitor, Optimize), both exemplify bamero’s innovative business model and exemplary customer service.

The IT start-up company is located in Stuttgart, Germany, and its founders, Dr. Bartsch (President and CEO), Prof. Dr. Marco Mevius (Head of BPM Research and Services) and Mr. Rolf Gebhard Stephan (Member of the Board) complement each other in their work and vast expertise. Since entering the market in 2013, the young technology firm bamero AG has greatly expanded. The team is comprised of eight

Their products are available for companies of all sizes from a variety of industry sectors. For instance, the Stuttgart state gallery currently uses BPM Touch® to implement a museum wide Quality Management System. Their multimedia tablets enable the museum’s employees to“live”business processes in a revolutionary, comprehensive and time-effective way. Potential users are welcome to experience a free trial of BPM Touch®.

Strategic innovation made in Germany

Above: Tablet with the software BPM Touch

Furthermore, bamero AG made a very successful debut at the technology fair CeBIT 2014 in Hannover, Germany. BPM Touch® was presented at a joint stand sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA). Together with a select group of young enterprises, bamero AG represented the“Innovation made in Germany”. Lastly, the company’s innovative success has not gone unnoticed; the software BPM Touch® was awarded with the predicate “BEST of 2014”in the category BPM by the German initiative for SMEs“Initiative Mittelstand”. www.bamero.de www.bpmtouch.com

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Special Theme

For a Better Future

Organic means life Healthy, organic food is in vogue. The market in the petite country of Switzerland is booming and last year exceeded two billion franks. However, choosing organic is much more than a short-term lifestyle trend and quick way to make a buck. TEXT & PHOTOS: BIO SUISSE

Two thirds of the Swiss regularly eat organic food – a figure that is constantly growing. They appreciate the purity, the genuine taste and the security of organic produce. The Swiss organic food scene has established the label Knospe (Bud), a label assigned and controlled by Bio Suisse, the Association of the Swiss Organic Agriculture Organisations, founded in 1981. Products labelled as Bud are created in harmony with nature. Respectful to the environment, they represent high quality standards, diligent treatment, strict standards and independent controls. This ensures a remarkably high level of organic quality as well as fair and just production. Organic lets nature do its work The guiding principle in organic farming is to work in harmony with nature. Organic farmers focus on sustainability. Natural processes are supported and nutrient cycles left largely undisturbed. Through their avoidance of chemical synthetic pesticides

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and artificial fertiliser, the natural defence mechanism of plants and animals are required and thus strengthened through use.

health, vitality and resistance is more important than a high performance. Further handling has to be organic

Even irritating weeds are a vital part of organic farms. Not only do they provide a habitat for useful insects but also, by protecting the topsoil, they prevent soil erosion. Supporting a balanced eco-system, useful insects control the amount of pests. Furthermore, so-called ecological compensation areas, such as hedges and grassy areas, serve as a home for rare plants and provide protected nesting areas for birds.

Bud-labelled products have no unnecessary additives such as flavourings or colourings, and taste enhancers are omitted. Additionally, no stabilisers, artificial vitamins and minerals or artificial sweeteners are used during production. Bud-labelled products are produced with no genetically modifying organisms.

Organic boosts the wellbeing of animals

Below: Urs Brandli, Bio Suisse President

Switzerland’s organic animals are kept in the most suitable conditions for their species. Regardless of the season, they spend a great deal of time outdoors in the wild. They mainly eat the farm’s own fodder and, in cases of ill health, they are initially treated with non-invasive complementary medicine. The animals’ development of species-specific behaviour,

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Pakka AG goes nuts – in a fairtrade way Switzerland’s Pakka AG is one of the world’s leading fairtrade nut companies. Specialised in implementing projects with smallholder farmers – whether in Southern India or Georgia – they help to bring their products to the European market. This is not only socially invaluable but also provides customers with high quality raw food.

the processing is centralised: In July 2014 Anka Fair Trade opened a new factory that aims to produce 5,000 tons of kernels in three years.

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PAKKA & HEKS

Pakka has developed similar value chains for many different nuts, including Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds and macadamia. Today, the products are sold in organic supermarkets, bars and restaurants. They are also served on board several airlines. The company aims to increase people’s awareness and recognise the value of fair trade in a holistic way.

Describing itself as an“innovative company that practices sustainable development in an authentic, honest and fun way,” Pakka AG see their name as“a byword for stable partnerships and pleasure.” A vision that has been recognised far beyond the company itself, Pakka AG was awarded the 5th Swiss Ethics Award in September 2012 for setting new ethical standards in business. Pakka AG establishes value chains for nuts and raw food, which are organically produced by smallholder farming families. One recent example is the value chain for hazelnuts from Georgia, a produce that has always played a vital role in Georgia’s agriculture. Pakka AG became a partner in a project investing in this agricultural branch to establish a new value chain for fair-trade hazelnuts. Higher productivity, better mar-

keting and access to new markets should help to increase the farmers’ income. By achieving European-standard organic certification and developing new fair-trade standards, they can gain better profits. The project not only offers farmers microcredits as pre-payment for the upcoming harvest, but invests locally as well.Together with its partners, Pakka AG has founded Anka Fair Trade in Georgia, a local processing it’s one company that buys, dries and cracks the hazelnuts. Anka Fair Trade also bought a De-Husker, a large machine that automatically removes the husks from around the hazelnut. Cooperative farmers can borrow it during their harvesting. The farmers then sell their produce decentralised to Anka Fair Trade buyers who install themselves near the plantations. Only

www.pakka.ch

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | For a Better Future

Peel Appeal – feel the difference Since 2003 a traditional family business from Pfyn in Switzerland has been at the fore of the development and manufacturing of high-quality vegetable peelers and graters. The Swiss-made products are a real eye-catcher. Characterised by their combination of creative designs, they remain easy and safe to handle. TEXT MERYEM HAUER | PHOTOS: PEEL APPEAL

In line with today’s trends, the products of Peel Appeal are not just pleasing to the eye. The innovative company only uses firstrate materials, ensuring that their products last a lifetime in the kitchen. Besides functionality and improved peeling properties, the graters and peelers have added benefits with their ergonomic design and versatility. The dishwasher-safe multi-talent from Switzerland is perfectly suitable for left or right-handed users.The replaceable blades, which are supplied with a Latex finger protection, are easily changed. They are made from hardened blade steel and exclusively

produced in Switzerland. Customers have the option of personalising the handle with a printed name, lettering or emblem. Additionally, there is the

possibility for users to put various products together with the goal to create an Allin-One-Set to meet the individual’s needs. Different Sets result in a wider variety of applications. The graters and peelers manufactured in Switzerland are also ideally suited as a practical outdoor kitchen utensil for camping trips. The Diamonds and Pearls product series offers printed Swiss sights on each product, which are very popular gifts. Peel Appeal will present their awardwinning kitchen gadgets at the Marketingmesse EMEX in Zurich from the 26 to 28 August 2014. www.peelappeal.com

Bottom, from left to right: Diamonds&Pearls series Gift Set; Diamonds&Pearls series ‘Swiss sights’; VALOX Cutter with Swiss emblem


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | For a Better Future

Top left: MARGELISCH Mireini bag and Rosche bag Below left: VARGU backpack and Vandis bag

By working with used and recycled materials like industrial waste or auto parts, natural resources such as water and air are preserved and less energy is used.The Fairtrade production ensures that all of the employees are adequately paid for the work they do. That also involves improving working conditions through education, to provide employment without any discrimination and to ensure that all employees have access to a safe and clean working environment. Reinhard Margelisch spends a few weeks in Delhi every year in order to gain a firsthand picture of the business, production processes and new developments.

VARGU Be unique, recycle and love Reinhard Margelisch defines himself as a descycler – that is, a designer and recycler. The young entrepreneur aims to create products which permit a perfect symbiosis between creativity, individuality, sustainability and social responsibility. All of his recycled designer pieces are exclusively produced in Delhi under EFTA (European Fairtrade Association) criteria.

In 2010, the designer took over the financing of a school in Orissa, South India. This project supports 60 socially disadvantaged children and orphans.The aim is to provide these children with books and nutrition, because poverty should not be a hurdle to education. Buyers ofVARGU and MARGELISCH products support the ORISSA PROJECT in India and they are helping to make a difference to a child’s future. www.vargu.com www.margelis.ch Below: Reinhard Margelisch in Delhi Bottom: Fairtrade Seamstress

TEXT: MERYEM HAUER | PHOTOS: PRODIS DESIGN GMBH

Originally a successful investment banker with his own company, the Bern-based Swiss designer’s life changed drastically after a serious car accident in 2005. He dissolved his company and decided to travel around the world. During his travels he had a flash of inspiration in India: bags could be produced from waste materials under environmentally sustainable production processes. As he was in Delhi in 2007, Reinhard Margelisch found a sewing atelier, which he was able to set up and extend.This required both passion and patience, as he got used to working under completely new condi-

tions and dealing with the incessant heat. The first bag collection, under the trademark VARGU (variations & arguments), appeared. The design of the bags is oriented around appropriateness and functionality. Due to the fulfilment of European Fairtrade standards, VARGU products are also available in the bookstore of the UN in Geneva. MARGELISCH is the latest trademark of the designer and combines high quality buffalo leather with inner tubes or vehicle seat belts. This unusual fusion allows endless creativity as well as the production of original pieces.

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“Green” relaxation in the Swiss Alps The Ucliva Biohotel celebrates 30 years of ecologically conscious holidays in the stunning Alpine landscape. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: UCLIVA BIOHOTEL

Living and working “green” is high on the agenda for the Biohotel Ucliva.“We were the first Ecological Hotel in Switzerland, a pioneering achievement that holds today,”Marion Patzelt, director of the hotel, proudly explains. In the 1970s a group of locals averted the construction of vacation apartments to be built in the municipal area. Instead of many cold beds during the year, they proposed the idea of the Hotel Ucliva.Their aim was to create an affordable holiday destination which would help support local farmers by buying their products and fight migration from the area by creating long-term jobs. What’s more, the idea also aimed to maintain the traditional appearance of the townscape. Situated in Waltensburg in the picturesque canton Graubünden/Grisons, just over two hours from Zurich, the hotel offers guests unbridled relaxation in the stunning Alps. Given the hotel’s close proximity to the

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mountain railway in Brigels, guests are able to comfortably experience the lush and unspoilt nature surrounding the hotel. Patzelt's favourite spot in the region is the breath-taking Ruinaulta Canyon in the Surselva where the river Rhine passes through, a valley covered in woodland and home to a large variety of wildlife. The name of the hotel, Ucliva, is derived from the Romansh word for hamlet. The Ucliva Biohotel is exactly that, a small community of amiable hotel staff, who make every guest feel welcome and at home. The hotel is comprised of 22 spacious, bright and comfortable rooms, each one painted in a different colour and most of them have a balcony to enjoy the fresh air and stunning views outside. In addition, the fully-equipped seminar house Uclivetta provides space for up to 80 people. The hotel's restaurant offers a menu consisting of fresh, local produce and also serves a variety of rare ecologically sourced wines.

The pioneering philosophy of ecological consciousness is present everywhere in the hotel. There are no TVs or radios in the rooms so guests can “avoid being distracted by electronic media.” The idea is for them to focus on themselves and bond with nature to find relaxation and new energy.“Our goal and motivation,” states Patzelt,“is to make sure our guests enjoy their stay so much that they don’t want to go home anymore.” This summer is testament to the success of this concept as the Ucliva Biohotel celebrates 30 years of ecologically conscious holidays. www.ucliva.ch


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Advanced technology is connecting with its roots Combining natural wood and technology, iDryad offers an intelligent product designed to reflect style and individuality

The wooden cases are very light, weighing only about 15 grams. iDryad highlights its company’s philosophy with its name, which is derived from Greek mythology. A dryad is a tree nymph whose destiny is linked to the tree's destiny, just as modern technology has its roots in nature’s organic and lively materials.

TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: IDRYAD

www.idryad.com As society expects us to keep step with the latest technological developments at the same time as retaining our individuality, it can be exhausting. However, there’s a solution to this quest in the form of the Swiss company iDryad, a branch of Trial & Success Ltd, located in Biel. Sourcing its materials from sustainably managed Alpine forests, iDryad manufactures wooden protective cases for iPhones. Born into an Austrian wood-crafting family, Katharina Leitner, one of the founders of iDryad, has long harboured a passion for this natural material. Together with her partner and her father, they developed the idea of combining wood and technology to create an unusual phone accessory that would immediately fascinate people:

“When someone sees one of our covers for the first time,”she explains, “they immediately want to hold it, touch it, smell the wood and smile. The sensation is very important for our product.” Each case is unique; with its very own colouring and grain, they reflect the owner's unique style and individuality. Customers can choose from five different types of wood: oak, pear, cherry, elm and walnut. For yet more individuality, customers have the option of engraving their case with a motif from iDryad's collection or an individually chosen logo or message. Leitner’s personal favourite is the symbol of the mandala on an elm base: “The type of wood appeals to me in particular and the cover looks fascinating with its retro touch.”

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Original 1980

A relaunch for a classic shoe design Stefi Talman’s ZIP shoe is back on the market Buying shoes, a handbag or a purse from the iconic Swiss shoe designer Stefi Talman means investing in a durable product – timeless chic meets high quality. ZIP, her most legendary model, was designed in the early 1980s, and it brought the shoe designer overnight fame. For summer 2014 Stefi Talman has revamped the idea and brought the shoe back onto the market. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: STEFI TALMAN

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Talman learned her business the traditional manner; in the late 1970s she started work as a shoemaker’s apprentice in the Swiss town of Winterthur and later studied at Milan’s Ars Sutoria, the illustrious institute for shoe design. A true artisan, Stefi Talman still produces most of the lasts needed when de-


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signing shoes herself. These lasts are wooden creations in the shape of foot and used in the process of bespoke shoe making.

where all her products can be bought. Her collection includes leather cases for smartphones and glasses.

In the early 1980s she became an overnight success – much to the surprise of the young designer. Her creation ZIP has – as the name suggests – a diagonal zip that attracted attention to the colourful shoe. When Talman presented her first collection in 1979/1980, she had only designed four different models. Among them was ZIP, the flat shoe that became an international success and has been copied multiple times. For Stefi Talman it was her breakthrough. International orders flocked in, and the production struggled to keep up with the evergrowing demand.

While many city centres have recently become rather uniform since international chain stores have conquered the pedestrian areas and main shopping roads, it is small boutiques like Talman’s that add character to a city. As high-street chains line the roads, it’s a rare treat to stumble across a shop like Talman’s. Zurich residents and tourists alike often remark upon entering how refreshing it is to visit such a unique shop with a wonderful array of products

However, the manufacturing was halted after only seven collections. The original ZIP became, along with 15 other Talman models, part of the design collection of the Zurich Museum für Gestaltung, marking its significance within modern fashion design. Clear lines and functionality are as much her signature style as the bold use of colour. International shoe design experience In the early 1990s she worked on a freelance basis for various European and Asian shoe companies including Charles Jourdan, Fiorucci and the Central Group in Bangkok. In 1994 she returned with her own label entitled Stefi Talman. She’s been busy again since 1999 designing not only shoes but bags and purses as well. In 2001 Zurich welcomed Talman’s own boutique

Stefi Talman shoes are available internationally and far beyond the borders of her main store in Zurich. Shops selling her shoes, bags and purses are located in Tokyo as well as Boston, along with Basel, Baden and Bern to name but a few. A detailed list of shops is displayed on the designer’s website. It has long been Talman’s dream to relaunch her first successful model as she’s had countless requests from shoe-seeking females. When recently the 1980s made their comeback not only in music but also in fashion, Talman finally decided to take the risk and go for the long-awaited relaunch. Sustainable shoe design influences relaunch of ZIP The name Stefi Talman stands for sustainable fashion. With manufacturing taking place in Northern Italy, she only uses high

quality leather for her shoes. A synonym for endurance, her elegant designs are timeless, the materials resistant and the collection distinctive. Talman has an inimitable style that distinguishes her shoes and bags from others. The timeless chic and the durability make them even more sustainable: they’ll remain special for years to come. This sustainable fashion approach was important for the relaunch of ZIP as well.All the materials originate from Italy, where the shoes are made. The Swiss brand RiRi produces the zips designed especially for the new ZIP line. And ZIP now carries a new logo: a green star symbolisingTalman’s green and sustainable approach to shoe fashion. Different styles, different leather The summer ZIP collection consists of four different styles in the sizes 35 to 42 – or in UK sizes 2.5 to 8. From calf leather to metallised goatskin, the four variations not only play with different leather types but also with a wide colour scheme: from silver to yellow, black to coral.The shoes cost around 300 CHF. www.stefitalman.ch

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Sustainable souvenirs from the Swiss Alps Looking for a Swiss souvenir that makes you smile and helps to protect the environment? Hans-Jörg and Yvonne Karlen might have the perfect solution. Their company, Karlen Swiss, transforms old military blankets and seat covers into shiny, new accessories. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: KARLEN SWISS

With headquarters in the idyllic village of Törbel in the Swiss mountain region of Wallis, Karlen Swiss is powered by local women and their slogan Recycling, Handcrafted, Mountain Region.Ten well-experienced female employees create stylish accessories and novel gift ideas using traditional handicraft techniques. The idea to recycle old but high-quality materials into something new was born in 1951, when Hans-Jörg’s father Titus Karlen founded a shoemakers and saddlery workshop.“At that time, leather was a raw and expensive material,” explains Hans-Jörg Karlen about the business he and wife Yvonne took over from his father in 2000. “We’ve always tried to distance ourselves from today’s throwaway society as much as possible. The materials that we use are

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made of 80 per cent recycled goods. And all non-recycled materials such as leather and closures are bought in Switzerland and Germany, from tanneries that respect the environment and their employees.”

Recycling former Swiss Army issue woollen blankets is an example of their pioneering reinventions. Disused since 1995, the Karlen entrepreneurs have created a range of truly unique bags from these blankets, which all feature the Swiss Cross in red and white, carefully embroidered by hand. Giving old materials a chic makeover, the creative couple have also turned their attention to old post-bags, the former Swiss post delivery uniforms and the red and green seat cushion covers of now defunct Swiss trains. From a pretty iPhone case to a handy shoulder bag, a professional briefcase to a trendy belt, a decorative fruit bowl and even a quirky condom case – you can be sure to find something for every taste among the Karlen Swiss range of products. As of January 2015, some of these products will be available to order from the Karlen Swiss website, which will also be launched in English shortly. www.karlenswiss.ch


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formabina jewellery Simple and compelling, clear and consistent The Swiss jewellery label formabina features award-winning designs to last a lifetime. The combination of traditional craftsmanship and innovative technology results in a symbiosis of style and sustainability. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: FORMABINA

“My jewellery is the visible expression of my artistic approach. It is intended to be a personal companion that brings pleasure to its wearer,”founder Bettina Geistlich explains. Once a goldsmith’s apprentice, Geistlich launched her own label formabina in 2007 after learning the practical secrets of the trade. After completing university degrees in design and gemmology, she honed her skills and gathered experience as an artist in residence at the Edinburgh College of Art. Authentic collections like the geometrical trema line, the perfectly symmetrical yedris line and the velvel rings, which feature sparkling diamonds at both ends, have earned the creative mastermind prestigious industry awards, including two IF product design awards, a red-

dot design award best of the best as well as being the three-time winner of the Modern Jewellery Collection title. A ring from each line has been featured in the annual Modern Jewellery Collection at the Art Aurea Museum in Ulm for three consecutive years.

are the people who invest in a formabina creation? When asked about her clientele, the jewellery designer replies: “They think what is true, feel what is beautiful and want what is good. formabina jewellery is worn by modern people who aspire to possess the ultimate in terms of well-thought design, high quality materials and perfect craftsmanship. They do not follow trends, instead they opt for individual products and in that way bring their personalities to the fore.“ www.formabina.ch

“Curiosity and the passion for experimentation are what drive my creative process. I find the direct dialogue with the material both challenging and fascinating at the same time,” Geistlich says. The clear lines, impeccable symmetry and flawless quality of her jewellery are drawing discerning customers from all over the world and formabina products are available far beyond the Swiss borders, making them as sought-after at home as they are in the United States of America. But who

Bettina Geistlich, formabina founder

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Top: Marble rings. Bottom left: Forever rings. Bottom middle: Cigar rings. Right: Jewellery designer Corinne Jeisy

Marbles, gold and sustainability The jewellery by Swiss designer Corinne Jeisy is delightfully playful and shines with its simplicity and boldness. An innovative approach to resources is the backbone of her eco-friendly jewellery.

customer has to do something in order to use them. Or the jewellery reminds them of something they have seen before in a different context,”she suggests.

TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: CORINNE JEISY

Designer Corinne Jeisy has always felt passionate about crafting things with her hands. Seven years ago, the dream of opening her own jewellery store finally came true and the boutique is a result of genuine love for her profession, hard work and stamina. “I did not quite know what to do after finishing school but my hands were constantly in motion. I remember knitting and crafting a lot at home. It took two attempts to get an apprenticeship as a goldsmith but once I started, I was hardly seen without a soldering iron,”recalls Jeisy with a smile.“I even asked my grandfather to build my very own workbench at home.” During the apprenticeship Jeisy sold her jewellery at markets and worked as a gold-

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smith in Alsace for four years. She then went on to study jewellery and industrial design at the prestigious Pforzheim School of Design in Germany. These days Jeisy lives with her family in Zurich and sells her wonderful creations in her own store as well as teaching her craft. Her unique glass marble rings are not only fabulous but also good fun; the eye-catching ring comes with five different marbles, which can be exchanged as and when you please. Proof that inspiration can be found everywhere, Jeisy also uses the colourful marbles for necklaces and earrings. Given her talent to turn a toy for children into a sophisticated piece of jewellery in a heartbeat, Jeisy explains that the majority of her products feature a playful element. “The

Choosing resources carefully is part of Jeisy’s ambition to remain eco-friendly: “I almost exclusively produce jewellery using recycled gold and silver. Customers want to know where and how the materials are sourced. It is about using ecologically friendly resources and conflict-free goods. Being conscious about one’s jewellery contributes to sustainability. It is so much better to pay a little more to a proper goldsmith or ask for jewellery made from recycled gold.” Wearing Jeisy’s little treasures is not only fashionable but also raises green awareness, and that’s reason enough to pay her studio a visit! www.jeisy.ch www.murmelring.ch


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Discover Germany | Culture | Calendar

Culture Calendar

Above: Museumsufer Festival Frankfurt Photo: Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main, Holger Ullmann Museumsuferfest

Save the date as there are plenty of great events scheduled for the weeks to come. From music festivals and exciting exhibitions to great sporting events, Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to this summer’s upcoming highlights. Dietmar Kainrath at Red Bull Hangar-7, Salzburg (mid July-mid September 2014)

Richard Wagner Bayreuther Festspiele (25 July – 28 August 2014)

German Polo Masters - Sal. Oppenheim Gold Cup, Sylt (1-10 August 2014)

"Dietmar Kainrath - Im Focus: Filme" For the fifth time running, famous caricaturist Dietmar Kainrath focuses his humorous work on some great movie classics. www.hangar-7.com

Since 1876 the Bavarian town of Bayreuth has been paying tribute to composer Richard Wagner – but the prestigious tickets for the world's largest Wagner Festival are hard to come by. www.bayreuther-festspiele.de

Six international teams with almost 180 horses descend on the island of Sylt for one of Europe’s finest polo events. www.polosylt.de

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GamesCom, Cologne (13-17 August) The world's biggest event for interactive entertainment. Over 340,000 multimedia-savvy visitors are expected. www.gamescom.de

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Hamburger Kultursommer, Hamburg (20-30 August 2014)

Suisse Emex Exhibition & Congress, Zurich (26-28 August 2014)

Open-air festival at the equestrian trotting track. A string of concerts include great German performers like Xavier Nadoo, Unheilig and Fettes Brot. www.hamburgerkultursommer.de

Leading Swiss marketing and event exhibition. www.suisse-emex.ch


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Museumsufer Festival, Frankfurt (29-31 August 2014) The Museumsufer Festival takes place along the Main riverbank and is one of Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important and largest cultural festivals this summer. www.museumsuferfest.de

Below: Dietmar Kainrath at Red Bull Hangar-7, Salzburg. Photo: Helge Kirchberger Bottom: GamesCom, Cologne. Photo: KoĚ&#x2C6;lnmesse

Left, main image: Hamburger Kultursommer, Xavier Naidoo. Photo: Thommy Mardo Left: Hamburger Kultursommer. Photo: Franck Sehrsam

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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

English made in Germany Schlaaaaaaaand!!!!! Apologies for this sudden and, for me, rather uncharacteristic patriotic outbreak, however, there was just no way round it after the epic win of the Mannschaft in Brazil. I wouldn’t have thought to live (in the UK) to see the day that newspapers write two-page features advising readers on how to embrace their inner German, or English guys in the pub telling me “You’re the only team that deserves winning the World Cup.” Well, I didn’t contradict – and it happened! TEXT: BARBARA GEIER

Alas, the World Cup is over. Time to move on. Today, I thought I’d concentrate on something that is as typical German as, let’s say (sorry, couldn’t resist), the Germans always winning in the end, just quoting Gary Lineker, or our inability to queue properly. My topic today is: English made in Germany, i.e. the German propensity to invent English words that are only used in Germany while at the same time being convinced that they are actually English and understood in English-speaking countries. So, just in case you’re planning a little late summer trip to Germany here are some “English” words that you might come across that have become integral parts of the German language. One of the country’s most favourite pseudo-anglicisms is, no doubt, the word Handy. This word is now the one most commonly used in Germany when talking about one’s mobile phone. And why not. It’s short and – handy, isn’t it? You wouldn’t believe how many times I had to liaise between visiting Germans in the UK talking about their Handy in English and baffled Brits. And the German reaction is always“Really, I thought that’s an English word” when I’m trying to explain the misunderstanding. Another favourite of mine is the good-old Beamer. Obviously, if there’s the verb to beam there must be a beamer, right, so the pragmatic Germans think. That the English language actually

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talks about a projector or video projector here – never mind. Beamer sounds English, so it must be English. Or how about this one: Dressman. Know what such a gentleman does? Well, it’s actually a male model, so someone who’s dressed nicely and a man, hence, a dressman. I guess that’s the thinking behind. Another one that you can read and hear everywhere is Mobbing or mobben which clearly derives from the English verb to mob. Germans have adapted that and use it to talk about bullying and harassment at the workplace or in schools. Another good one where Germans think “no need to translate because hey, it’s already English” is Oldtimer. Popular things, those oldtimer rallys, aren’t they. And why wouldn’t you call a vintage or classic car that? I mean, after all, they’re old. And a Showmaster is just as straight forward, right? Can you guess by now what that is? Of course, someone hosting a TV programme or a show in general. This said showmaster might sometimes wear a Smoking which is the German word for a DJ or tuxedo. Nice, isn’t it. Last but not least, let’s round off this little linguistic lesson with one of the best English-German words, invented in 2006 during the World Cup in Germany and therefore nicely bringing us back to the topic briefly mentioned at the beginning. It’s

PublicViewing everyone. While in the USA this is associated with the time family and friends come to see the deceased after they have been prepared by a funeral home, it’s a different type of get-together for Germans who love their PublicViewing events when everyone is convening in public, open-air spaces to watch the football in front of big screens (maybe while deploying a Beamer). So, dear reader, next time you hear some English and don’t understand your own language, you might either listen to a German or be in Germany. Where handy words are being picked up, a bit of German logic is being beamed in and bingo, a whole new vocabulary emerges. Happy summer everyone!

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind ww.germanyiswunderbar.com, 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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Profile for Scan Client Publishing

Discover Germany | Issue 17 | August 2014  

Discover Germany promotes German, Swiss & Austrian Design, Tourism, Food, Culture and Business.

Discover Germany | Issue 17 | August 2014  

Discover Germany promotes German, Swiss & Austrian Design, Tourism, Food, Culture and Business.