From designers and illustrators to painters and photographers, there’s something about Berlin’s vibrant cultural scene and spirit of challenging conventions that continues to attract creatives from all over the world. Not only that, the German capital is overflowing with cultural offerings of all stripes – particularly when it comes to design.
For independent designers who are new to the city and want to get their foot into the door in the Berlin design scene, we’ve created this guide for you. Here’s a list of hotspots where you can surround yourself with creatives, get inspired and learn about the forces that shape the design community:
Once a month, the Berlin chapter of the CreativeMornings event hosts a free breakfast and short talk featuring a creative from the local community. The lecture series — held on Friday mornings — is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals.
One of largest design events in Europe, TYPO Berlin is known for bringing out the movers and shakers of the design world. With around 1,500 participants and over 60 speakers (including the likes of Erik Spiekermann and Debbie Millman), the conference is a good opportunity to get the pulse on design trends as well as for networking.
For all the web design professionals out there, Up.front is a meet-up for you. The monthly evening event, which hosts 2-4 talks, aims bring designers and developers in proximity to one another so that new, innovative ideas can potentially emerge.
Located in Neukölln, Agora Collective offers a co-working space in a five-storey spacious brick warehouse. The co-working space hosts freelancers, entrepreneurs and artists from various backgrounds, and aims to strengthen its interdisciplinary community through events and workshops.
Opened in 2009, Betahaus is one of the mainstays of Berlin’s co-working scene and a great place to expand your network. The space is located in Kreuzberg and offers meeting rooms, team spaces, access to community events and courses. Also, since the jovoto offices are in this space, feel free to drop by for a coffee and say hello, if you’re ever in the area.
If you’re a designer interested in working with startups and tech companies, Factory Berlin is the place to be. It houses offices for SoundCloud, Twitter and Uber among others, and also has several spaces for startups and freelancers to work and connect with the community. From fireside chats with the Who’s Who of the global startup scene and workshops to afterwork jams and parties, you’ll want to check in their community calendar regularly to keep updated with the latest happenings for members.
Home to the Startupbootcamp accelerator in Berlin and a slew of other startups, Rainmaking Loft is a startup hub in Mitte that offers co-working and event space for entrepreneurs, startups and freelancers.
NETWORKS & COMMUNITIES
To stay up-to-date with the latest events, job opportunities and exhibitions in the local creative scene, check out online platform Artconnect. You can also join the online network to showcase your work and connect with other creatives.
For German-speaking designers, Design made in Germany is a communication platform that compiles job opportunities and projects coming from German agencies, freelancers and students.
One of the most influential design, art and architecture movements of the 20th century, Bauhaus’ legacy is still seen in many buildings and design objects today. The Bauhaus Archive houses an impressive collection of objects and artifacts from the movement as well as works from its renowned teachers, such as Walter Gropius, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.
Are you into fonts and letter forms? Then the Buchstabenmuseum is for you. The museum collects, preserves and exhibits letters, signage and their history as a way of recognizing typography’s role in society and culture.
Since the 1970s, the Museum der Dinge has been gathering an array of objects deemed significant to design history as a way of exploring contemporary consumer culture and design. You’ll find everything from design classics to kitsch objects at the Kreuzberg museum.
Housed in David Chipperfield Architect’s office, Kantine is a beautiful and minimally designed lunch spot in the heart of Mitte. With a changing daily menu and bread to die for, the canteen is a perfect place for a lunch meeting, or to be surrounded by buzzing architects.
If you’re looking for a quaint spot to meet a client or collaborator, ORA is a good choice because it’s a cafe, restaurant and bar rolled into one. Not only that, it’s located in an old pharmacy with high ceilings and huge windows and is sure to charm your guests.
Located in the middle of bustling Rosenthaler Platz, Sankt Oberholz started out as a startup haven back in 2005 and has since become a go-to destination for Mac-touting freelancers everywhere. Above the cafe are co-working spaces and apartments for members.
If the popularity of iconic Berlin magazine and book shop Do you read me? is an any indication, it’s clear that print is not dead. With an impeccable selection of contemporary mags and publications from all over the world, the store is a perfect place to immerse yourself in top-notch editorial design and to garner inspiration.
Whether you’re working on a personal project or building a model for your architecture assignment, Modulor is a one-stop shop for your DIY needs. The massive 3,000 square meter store at Moritzplatz is filled to the brim with metal sheets, countless types of papers and things you never thought you needed until you saw them.
PEOPLE TO FOLLOW IN THE DESIGN SCENE
Berlin-based illustrator and graphic designer Christoph Niemann has created editorial work for the likes of The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and WIRED. Follow him on Instagram or Twitter for insights on his creative process, latest projects and tidbits from his visual column for the New York Times Magazine.
Founder of brand and design consultancy kulturspace and an active member of the jovoto community, Justin Merino is a seasoned creative professional with loads of experience in management, design and cultural environments. Currently, he’s also working on the Berlin Student Film Festival, and is the founder of the exclusive Facebook group Berlin Graphik.
Founded by renowned German typographer Erik Spiekermann, Edenspiekermann is an agency focusing on strategy, design and communication. Follow its online magazine for designer residency opportunities, tips for design students and upcoming events in their offices around the world.
A writer for AIGA’s Eye on Design blog and the editor of Magculture, Madeleine Morley is an arts and design writer who pens insightful and thought-provoking articles about the world of design and magazines.
Founded in 2014, Old Yellow is a creative studio working in the realms of illustration, lettering, animation and contemporary design among others. Working with an experimental approach, the team has collaborated with high-calibre clients, such as Vitra, Coca Cola, Adidas and Nissan. Old Yellow also work as creative guides for projects on jovoto.
Connect, learn, and grow with jovoto’s online community of designers. Collaborate with other professional designers on work for brands like WIRED, adidas, Audi, Greenpeace, Mercedes-Benz and more. Whether you are a product designer, architect, packaging designer or an illustrator, learn more here, or drop by our office to say hello (we sit in Betahaus!) We’d love to meet you!
Header image from workhowyouwant.com