The ‘updated’ lower east lab berlin – ready to welcome (almost) what ever you can come up with
We are so happy with our lab, we are full of good, new energy with this place we have had for eight years now – the home of lower east design, lower east lab and camillo’s kitchen lab.
Recently we have had quite a few guests in the lab, among them the board of a Danish theater (for a day-long meeting and later in the evening for a full menu dinner), a group of students and teachers from a Danish folk high school came by (for an introduction to our universe, a ‘mini urban safari’ and for a dinner), a creative communication company used the space for a one day workshop, with both talks and yoga on the program.
Very soon there will be a new film production taking place in the lab – and shortly thereafter the lab will be transformed into a fashion show room for 4 days.
Between all the hustle and bustle the lab functions as our design studio. Right now we are finishing the work on the new cookbook from Camillo’s Kitchen, we are working on a book about the Danish designer Verner Panton, on a visual identity for a non-profit organization, graphic stuff for an exhibition in Belgium and other very fine projects.
After the summer ’22 we again will open up for Camillo’s Kitchen dinners in the lab.
You can rent the space when you need an awesome space in the finest backyard in town, Kreuzberg, Berlin.
Call +45 40636899 or (even better) send an email to email@example.com
Lower East Lab are very happy to present:
A Minor Detail. Else Duedahl / Pen on Paper
Exhibition in Lower East Lab Berlin 20.02-14.04.2019
Exhibition opening Wednesday 20.02. 5:30 pm to 8 pm
Join the opening! See the event on facebook
Else Duedahl (born in 1948) is preoccupied with the notion of serial processes – with repetition and the simplification of complex forms. Often her minute attention to detail will echo certain shapes in the landscape that capture the eye during her frequent, almost ritual morning walks. Through the experience of nature structures find their way into the artist’s pocket: “For me, the act of putting a stone or a straw in your pocket is identical to planting a seed – simply by placing it in your pocket, where the hand brushes the object’s surface countless times during the day, it begins to grow. Consciously and unconsciously these structures, surfaces, lines and shapes grow directly into my art on the paper.” (Else Duedahl).
“As an observer I have the feeling of looking into a microscope.
I’m invited in to take a look behind the indefinable façade, into the matter of existence itself – and right there I am overtaken by this extremely fine intimacy.”
– Lotte Korshøj, Museum Director, Mag.art – and the curator of the exhibition.
Originally, Duedahl started working with the old-fashioned ink pen on the rough Fabriano paper as a form of self-chosen obstruction to distance herself from painting. In later years, however, it has become her primary mode of expression. Natural structures, studied for years, are encased in stringent lines on paper – in serial repetitions slightly displaced from paper to paper, artwork to artwork. The serial line and the recurring focus on specific structures and details is endlessly repeated, which, to those unfamiliar with Duedahl’s work, can make it seem inaccessible. But only until you patiently accept the premise of her art. Because when something is repeated often enough, focus is eventually diverted from the repeated act itself. All meaning is drained from the act, and in that void a space for reflection, vital for the artist, emerges.
Duedahl’s art not only presupposes such a space – it is identical to it. In the same way, we, as observers, can come to terms with the work’s repetitions and structural shapes by accepting it as something which can be emptied of meaning. We are then granted a unique opportunity of directing our gaze inwards, towards something larger.
With “A Minor Detail”, Else Duedahl displays her graphical line through pen on paper, serving us close-ups of nature’s façade and presenting us with an intimate glance into the very matter of existence.Words from the intern
Hello, my name is Manne. I am 30 years old and from Copenhagen, Denmark. I am studying my master degree in co-design and visual communication, at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. As a part of my education, I have been doing an internship at the Lower East Lab, a creative workspace in Kreuzberg, Berlin.
I have enjoyed living in crazy and wonderful Berlin, where I’ve been living in Kreuzberg, 15. min bike trip to the Lab. I have learned a lot about myself during this time. I have had the chance to develop my working skills and gotten closer to what I want to do in the future. I have experienced different cultures, and I am so happy that I have taken the possibility to go abroad.
It has been a really good experience to be an intern at Lower East. The agency has this nice and relaxed atmosphere, Helle and Jørgen cares about their interns, and they have taken me and my work very serious. Which has contributed to a very good working environment, where I have learned a lot.
The Lower East Lab is never boring. Often music is playing, we make good coffee and food and conversations flow easy and naturally. Especially at lunchtime, where we all meet around the kitchen table, and Jørgen has cooked his tasty food for us all. The lab is an amazing place and it makes you think creative. The projects have been interesting, and it has been an important lesson for me, as a graphic design student, to get insights in the workflow of a professional communication agency. I will miss working there!
The Four Agreements
Earlier this year we created this series of postcards based on the Mexican, spiritual teacher Don Miguel Ruiz’s “Four Agreements“, which we find very inspiring, both in our professional life, as in our private lives.
The cards are illustrated and designed by the talented, newly graduated graphic designer Hejdi Pattey, who we had the pleasure of having as an graphic intern in 2015/2016.
Here is how Don Miguel Ruiz summarises ‘The Four Agreements’:
Be Impeccable With Your Word.
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Don’t Make Assumptions.
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Don’t Take Anything Personally.
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering…
Always Do Your Best.
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
We hope that you will dive into the four agreements and find inspiration in it! Reach out if you want a printed set of the postcard.The Floating Piers
We had to try to walk on water! We had to see and experience the artist Christo’s latest project The Floating Piers. Therefore Lower East went to Lake Iseo in Italy on the very last day of the amazing art project.
For only sixteen days – June 18 through July 3, 2016 – Lake Iseo was reimagined. 100,000 square meters of yellow fabric, carried by a floating dock system of more than 200,000 cubes, waved quietly just above the surface of the water.
As visitors we were able experience this work of art by walking on it from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo, which was framed by The Floating Piers.
“Like all of our projects, The Floating Piers were absolutely free and open to the public,” said Christo. “There were no tickets, no openings, no reservations and no owners. The Floating Piers were an extension of the street and belonged to everyone.”
A 3-kilometer-long walkway was created as The Floating Piers extended across the water of Lake Iseo. The piers were 16 meters wide and approximately 35 centimeters high. The fabric continued along 2.5 kilometers of pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio.
“Those who experienced The Floating Piers felt like they were walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale,” said Christo. “The light and water transformed the bright yellow fabric to shades of red and gold throughout the sixteen days.”
According to the Italian newspapers we saw on the day after the closing of The Floating Piers 1.4 million people visited Lake Iseo in those magic 16 days.
Photos from our wonderful Sunday on water.summer school in the lab
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.“ Winnie the Pooh.
This summer Lower East Lab and Sissel Hansen from Startup Guide Berlin, in cooperation with the british Corkscrew, will organize and host the summer school: Startup Experienceship. The young participants from all over the world, will during their training create and develop a startup concept over 4 weeks.
Word from Corkscrew founder Neil Finnie: “The experienceship focuses on creating exactly the right environment to develop key professional skills, with a blend of an internship and study abroad within innovative coworking hubs, taking place in entrepreneurial capitals around the world. It’s unlike anything else in existence, and the feedback has been amazing…“.
From the Corkscrew website: “Young professionals and students deserve the best career accelerators possible. Our unique Startup Experienceships provide the perfect environment to stay ahead of the crowd. Receive training in entrepreneurship and business startup. Mix with exciting startups. Meet inspiring leaders. Develop a startup idea. Conquer the world.“
The training will mainly take place in Lower East Lab and partly in inspiring places and environments all over the hot summer city. We are looking very much forward to the summer, the summer school and to check this new format out.
Find more info about the programme at corkscrews website.Looking at Berlin
The Lower East contribution to the book Startup Guide Berlin, Volume 2, 2016; an intro to Berlin, the startup scene and some of the good and innovative places in the city.
Here’s the text in its full length – you can find the fine book in good stores in the city, and of course in the Lower East Lab in Kreuzberg. Check the Startup Guide website for locations. Link at the end of this article.
Looking at Berlin
Walking the streets of Berlin – which we very often do – we see a lot going on. Stuff happens on almost every corner, in every hinterhof, first, second or third. We love living in the big B! We are still getting inspired from the walks and talks in the city. Love the city for the size it has, love it for the creativity that sprinkles down from the big startup cloud, love it for the diversity, the different colors, sizes, ages and intentions of the inhabitants. Love Berlin for what it does to us in our minds – having left the safe zone in Copenhagen, to the (tiny, little bit more) risky grounds here. A new place for us to live, operate and create from.
At every walk, every little tour in Berlin, we are tempted to enter many doors, visit new places, new companies, small and big – want to drop by, to step in, to ask questions and share stories, about business and about life.
So what do we see while strollin’ around in the many cobblestoned streets of Berlin?
Starting up. Of course we see a lot of startups. Every week, new creative shops, projects, companies and businesses pop up, like dandelions that shoot up out of the pavement; it seems like nothing can keep them down. These years very much so in Neükölln and Kreuzberg, but that can change and shift at any moment (or month), and can extend to other damn fine parts of the city. Then cool stuff suddenly happens in Wedding or Schöneberg – or Moabit and Mitte (again). You can walk the streets to see and follow it yourself, or you can read the countless numbers of blogs, or follow the trends and tendencies on Facebook.
Teaming up. One very fine thing these years is the ‘habit of’ starting up with very interesting teams. We are skipping the lonely wolf period. People, once at the helm of new projects and new businesses, team up with others that may have the same ambition, may have the same hunger for doing good business – but not necessarily having the exact same skills, not coming from the same background and place.
Internationalization. Another wonderful thing about these new teams is that people find each other ‘in mysterious ways’: creative and skilled Germans (Berliners) are teaming up with creative and skilled people flocking to Berlin. Bakers from Italy, butchers from Poland, artists from Mexico, communication talents from Austria, baristas from Australia, actors from Spain, DJs from England, nerds from the US, even project makers from Denmark… Looks like there is an openness to explore what diversity can bring to the team. Seems like there is an invitation from the local Berliner to join the force, that the Berliners fancy the cooperation, have extra space in the team, and are just waiting for the right dude (men and women) to show up, maybe with that good idea, maybe with the necessary skills, or with the missing link in his or her hand. Wonderful!
Good advice. Remember once in a while to climb a mountain (you can always use the Kreuzberg hill in Viktoriapark). Get up there, get some overview, get some fresh air, clear your mind. Maybe your idea, your business can become better? What did you forget to think of, who did you forget to include? What can be improved? Never just lean back in self-satisfaction, do not only celebrate your achievements – be humble, be open for the new, evolve, create, integrate. Set a good example and do your stuff even better, in an even more creative way.
Work hard. Walk the extra mile. Startups really work hard, many hours, many days per week in this city. For these first 1, 2 or 3 years it takes a lot from you. We meet people standing at market after market with their new and fantastic bread, with their smoked meat, with their very special kimchi; we see architects and designers working late in the evening and early in the morning. And we see the beautiful smiles on the faces of the startups, when they have succeeded, when they have achieved their first milestone and when they are able to write their first invoice.
What’s the next thing? The city has been ‘overwhelmed’ with coffee bars the recent years, and thank you for that, all you brave baristas! You needed that, Berlin! Ten years ago it was a hard job finding a decent cup of coffee. But what will the next “coffee-thing“ be? What is that new finding, that new wave in Berlin, that which is just obvious, somehow necessary – and at the same time simple to execute, not so hard to finance and easy to integrate? Will it be small (or big) places for quiet, popping up everywhere like walk-in meditation rooms? Or will it be new locations for having good talks in a new way, with all kinds of people, all kinds of nationalities? Or will it again be new places to eat or to drink – and drink what? We are looking forward to seeing what emerges, while still enjoying our damn good cup of espresso or flat white (for us it is still the good old fashioned italian way of roasting, no third wave here).
New way? The city is happily loaded with a lot of fine co-working spaces. Check them out if you want a place to work from, to start as soon as you arrive in Berlin, or when arriving to the point of no return; it’s now I want to begin my own journey as a startup. Also keep an eye out if there is a new version of how-to-work and where-to-work coming up. Can the co-working scene evolve into an improved form? How can the good from the open co-working environment be combined with the good from working in an intense, disciplined and perhaps silent setting? And how can you find the exact combination that just suits you (and your team).
Ask questions. Be curious. Be interested. There are tons of good stories out there, on the streets of Berlin. Stories about what drives people, for what reasons have they started up their businesses, why here, together with whom? Is it a family business, is it created together with good old friends, or did they meet their (future) business partner in a train, or at a bar – or at a co-working space in Berlin? Ask questions and listen to the answers: they might inspire you in many ways, on how to start and form your new business.
Keep on sharing. And when you are in business, remember to give something back to the big universe of stories, knowledge and experiences. Keep it open, both during successful and problematic periods. Share your gained lessons, big or small, good or bad. Through the shared stories we can support and improve our common businesses. Share them with newcomers and welcome people who visit the city – Berlin can be a very inspiring place for those seeking souls.
Spread the word. We see a lot of good and creative communication here in Berlin. Startups using all the new (social) media platforms in a lively, very strong, visual way, with easy-going, often witty texts and intros – combined with the good ol’ printed stuff, like postcards, flyers and posters, designed with passion and talent in a playful way. We also see a ‘domino effect’ happening here: when people succeed with their first thing in their new business, with their first move, suddenly the next invention and the next thing comes out way easier, like a totally natural thing. It’s very inspiring to look for examples of where one idea nourishes the next.
Anything we missed on our tour de Berlin? Please walk the streets and look for yourself, find your own path in this lively city!
Inspiring spots. When writing this, a lot of fine examples of creative, lively, inspiring and often international businesses and projects crossed our minds. Here is a selection; check them out (and add more to your own list):
In Kreuzberg we of course love the foodmarket Markthalle 9, like thousands of other Berliners and Berlin visitors do. Many of the inhabitants from the Markthalle do really good and interesting businesses, like Big Stuff Smoked BBQ (a BBQ joint with a founding duo from Germany (Tobias Bürger) and Italy (Anna Lai) and an imported barbeque smoker from Tennessee); Kantine Neun and Café 9; Sironi (with Alfredo Sironi, the baker from Milano, Italy); 100pct (delicious olive oil from Greece); Salumeria del Sud (“Feinkost & Wein“ from South Italia with Eugenio Finzi from Puglia in Italy behind the desk) and the new kid in class, Kumpel & Keule (a ‘Metzgerei’ founded by butcher Jörg Förstera and communication designer Hendrik Haase).
In Neukölln you will find the wonderful collective Agora, with co-work, art, food and a lot more, run by an international team. Back in Kreuzberg you can co-work, learn, talk and have a coffee at Betahaus. All over the city you find other creative and good co-working spaces. In Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg, you’ll find the fascinating Platoon Cultural Development. In Mitte/Kreuzberg, below Checkpoint Charlie, you find the cool and very cozy coffee & media shop Westberlin. Back in Neukölln you’ll find the restaurant (and talk of the town) Industry Standard, with its wonderfully international crew. Another talk of the town is Fräulein Kimchi (Korean-American soul food) in Prenzlauer Berg. And back in Kreuzberg you can meet us at our local coffee joint Kiezeklein.
If you are into music, drop by the jazz clubs B-flat (in Mitte) or A-trane (in Charlottenburg). One of our very favorites is Restaurante Maselli in Kreuzberg (chef and owner: Gerado Maselli from Puglia, Italy), we also enjoy dropping by Salumeria Lamuri in Kreuzberg for a delicious coffee, a tasty lunch and a little chat with Lucca Barbieri (of course also from Italy), as well as restaurants Sippi Osteria (Neukölln) and I Golosi Briganti (Kreuzberg).
We would never survive in Berlin without all the italian; it seems like they add spice and flavours, the garlic, the basil, the extra virgin olive oil to the city. They add the good talks, about love, family, relationships and quality of life, they help completing the picture, with warmth and hospitality, with the good food, from Puglia, from Sicily, from Tuscany, from Emilia Romagna or whatever proud region in Italy they have ‘escaped’ from to do some good, warm-hearted work here in Berlin.
We also get inspired by the amazing rooftop Klunkerkranich in Neukölln, the urban garden Prinzessinnengarten in Kreuzberg, and Kühlhaus Berlin (art & event space). In Friedrichshain we enjoy Tres Cabezas (coffee roastery and -bar), Mother Drucker (silk screen printing by the Londoner Dolly Demoratti) and Neue Heimat (which have sadly closed down).
With great pleasure, we have often used Hüttenpalast (hotel with caravans!) for guests coming to Berlin. In Prenzlauer Berg we visit Supalife (a ‘kiosk’ with high quality silk screen printing) and Muse/Thyme Supperclub (restaurant and pop-up dinners run by the British/German couple Caroline Grinsted and Tobias Zeller).
We keep an eye on Buchstabenmuseum (they will hopefully soon re-open), Refugees on Rails (Refugee Coding School), the art organization Node Center, the bookstore Motto in Kreuzberg, Cee Cee (books and lively newsletter), do you read me?! (lovely magazine store in Mitte) – and maybe we will finish the day with a glass of wine at “not only riesling” in Kreuzberg.
Enjoy your Berlin!
Helle Marietta Pedersen and Jørgen Smidstrup are running the design & communication company Lower East, with clients and projects in Berlin, Switzerland and Denmark. They have established their Lower East Lab in Kreuzberg, a lab for creative learning, workshops, meetings, talks, events, dinners and co-work. They are also the creators of the pop up kitchen: Camillo’s Cafeteria and Camillo’s Paladar.
Keep the wheels turning. © photo: Lower EastDinners in the Lower East Lab
We do dinners in the lab! We just love to do that. Now and then, then and again, Camillo’s (pop up) Kitchen pops up with either Camillo’s Cafeteria or Camillo’s Paladar.
We also love to do all the other good stuff in our lab; the graphic design, the workshops, the talks, the meetings – and the quiet, creative days.
Last Friday it was time for Camillo’s Paladar (paladar is a term stolen from Havanna, Cuba, where the only good food you can get is in the half-private, family-run restaurants called Paladars). It turned out to be a lovely, very cosy evening with 18 guests (berliners of many kinds, danes and swiss flying and training in), all smiling, eating, talking, drinking, laughing, having a good time. The menu was a six course homage to the french cuisine – paired with just excellent german wines.
Among our guests, suddenly a brilliant photographer got inspired and popped up – the next day we got almost 100 wonderful, evocative and intense photos in our mailbox. Thank you so much to the photographer, Martin Studer from Switzerland. Here you can see a small and delicate selection of his photos.
Urban Safari Berlin October 2015
Lower East Lab invites you on a urban safari in wonderful Berlin. In October. Could be cool if you want to join. Read all about it under the picture.
Need inspiration? Want to meet people, discuss good and new ideas?
Come join us on an intense 2day Urban Safari Berlin. We have on 21 and 22 October 2015 put together a journey for you in this urban jungle, with special focus on inspiring new business, creative spaces and the co-working scene.
Berlin is a very lively and a very inspiring city! It is a melting pot of start-ups, young (and older) entrepreneurs, fresh initiatives, inspiring atmospheres, cool exhibition venues, an innovative food scene and just amazing spots and corners.
Berlin is a perfect spot to explore, think of new ideas, rethink the old ones, wonder about how funny & crazy some projects can be – and simply enjoy the love for new, small and bigger beautiful things.
We have experienced, that just a couple of days in this city, can be a good solid boost of energy and a very welcome creative break from the daily routines.
The Urban Safari Berlin is a initiative of Lower East Lab Berlin. They organize and host the safari’s – the first one held in November ‘12, in April and May ‘13, and again in May ’14 and June ’15.
The deal is:
• We will start on wednesday morning October 21th at 10:00 in Lower East Lab in Kreuzberg, the lab will be our class room during the safari days.
• We will be a group of around 8-12 curious and interesting people like yourself.
• We will be safaring on bikes, and on foot, by U-bahn – and again on bikes, the most fun way to explore and stop and go again.
• We will have time to follow our noses, our instincts, enjoy the crème-de-la-crème of the Urban Safari and Lower East exploration so far in this town.
• In the lab we will share inspiration and inputs, we can listen and discuss – have time to reflect, to sketch, to laugh and to enjoy.
• We will be done by thursday October 22th at 18:00. Here we finish with a glass of ‘see you again’ wine.
Together with Camillos Kitchen, we will all put up a playful and inspiring dinner in the lab on the first night. Camillos Kitchen is a pop-up (mostly in Berlin, Copenhagen and Bern) restaurant with gorgeous food and remarkable wines. That alone is worth the journey.
After the safari, you will receive a rich visual documentation on your days in Berlin.
Are you ready for this adventure with us?
If, here comes the small-printed stuff:
• You sign up with an e-mail to Jørgen Smidstrup. First come, first serve.
• You book your own flight or travels to Berlin.
• You book your own overnight stays. We suggest you some beautiful places like Hüttenpalast, Michelberger or IMA Lofts. Or find a flat on Airbnb, we can get you in contact with fine private flats as well.
• Your costs will be €550 for the two days in the urban jungle. Guides, food and drinks for the time between the first day at 10:00 to the second day at 18:00, bike rentals, U-bahn tickets, and the class room and kitchen facilities are covered in this.
• Empty your head. Bring comfortable clothes and shoes, your favorite notebook, your best pens, some kind of a camera, and your toothbrush.
If curious, you can get some impressions from the lower east safari life on here on our blog and on facebook:
If you like, you can of course invite a dear friend or your partner to enjoy the weekend with you after the safari in this mind-boggling city.
If the dates doesn’t fit you, special safaries can be arranged.
Feel free to contact us for any questions.
Jørgen Smidstrup, firstname.lastname@example.org
tel +45 40636899 // +49 170 2307910
Lower East Lab is a design studio, workshop room, event space, co-working space, homebase for Camillo’s Kitchen and Lower East. Behind the lab you find Helle Marietta and Jørgen Smidstrup who have moved their design company, Lower East, to Berlin at the end of 2011 and have been exploring the city ever since.
Helle and Jørgen will be your scouts, hosts and the facilitators for the Urban Safari.
You can find this text as a pdf on our website.