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Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Diesen ersten Freitagskaffee mit der Inspiration trinke ich, während meine Füsse im Sand stecken. Zumindest tun sie das in freudiger Erinnerung an meine gestrige Begegnung mit MICHAEL OBERT, einem der bekanntesten Reisejournalisten.

Michael Obert
Michael Obert hat gerade sein neustes Buch „Chatwins Guru und ich“ in den Druck verabschiedet und mir bei Kaffee, Wind und Spree erzählt, warum es das vielleicht WICHTIGSTE WERK SEINES LEBENS ist. Seine sehr persönliche Geschichte von der Inspiration für dieses Buch und für sein zweites Leben habe ich in meiner Kolumne „Catch the Inspiration“ für Euch aufgeschrieben.

Was mich nach unserem Treffen so inspiriert zurück gelassen hat war die Tatsache, dass Michael diese zwei oder vielleicht sogar noch mehr Leben lebt. Da ist zum einen das urbane rauschende Berliner Leben eines Mitglieds der Kreativszene. Das andere ist das eines Reisenden und Schreibenden, den seine Sehnsucht nach fremden Realitäten an „Die Ränder der Welt“ zieht.

Michael Obert hat im Unterwegsein, seinen Weg gefunden. Aus seinen Reisen in die extremsten Gebiete der Erde zieht er eine unglaubliche Inspiration für seine Bücher aber auch für sein Leben. Für mich hat seine Art Inspiration zu sammeln und in Ideen zu verwandeln eine Tür aufgemacht und einen ENTSCHLUSS GEBOREN. Ich werde mich weiter in die Welt hinaus wagen.

Das mag für Vielgereiste, die ihr sicherlich seid, ein wenig lächerlich klingen. Aber für mich bedeutet das ein ÜBERWINDEN. Ein Herausschälen aus Berlin, in dem ich nach so einigen Städtestationen endlich meine Herzensheimat gefunden habe. Die Stadt macht es mir oft schwer das notwendige Fernweh zu entwickeln, um mich aufzuraffen den Koffer zu packen und loszuziehen. Die UMARMUNG Berlins mit all ihren faszinierenden Menschen, ihren pausenlosen Ereignissen und dem ständigen Laufen nach dem „Ahead of time“-Sein hält mich fest.

Aber sie hält auch die Gedanken gefangen. Der Inspirations-Radius Berlins ist zwar schillernd aber nicht weit. Nach dem Gespräch mit Michael Obert ist diese Ahnung für mich zu einer Gewissheit geworden, der ich folgen werde. Morgen geht es los. Eine Woche in Italien. Sieben Tage oder eben ein Anfang.

Michael Oberts Lieblingsplatz

Bis ich soweit bin wie Michael wird das allerdings noch ein wenig dauern. Ich habe ihn aber schon einmal vorsorglich gefragt, wie er seine Reiseziele auswählt. Seine Antwort war so leichtfüßig wie intensiv:

„Am Anfang ist es häufig nur der Klang eines Namens: Tim-buk-tu, Pa-pua Neu-gui-nea, Ma-n-da-la. Diese weit geöffneten Silben und das Vibrieren der Stille, wenn man sie ausspricht, genügen mir manchmal um aufzubrechen. Ihr Klang projiziiert Bilder von fernen Ländern, Gerüche von Gewürzen und dem Meer auf meine innere Leinwand. Ich will heraus finden, was sich hinter ihnen verbirgt. Und schon bin ich unterwegs.“

MEHR
Catch the Inspiration – die Geschichte von Michael Obert
Freitagskaffee

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First Issue

AUGMENTED REALITY: THE FUTURE OF HOSPITALITY MADE BY CREATIVE MINDS

Claus Sendlinger about the future of hotels as happening places, the creative generation of hoteliers and his very personal vision for what is next in hospitality.

Claus Sendlinger, Design Hotels

It is 11 o’clock in the morning and old barges pass the Spree River while I am jiggling on my design chair in Design Hotels‘ headquarter loft. In a moment I will meet my PERSONAL BRAND GURU: Claus Sendlinger, the head and founder of Design Hotels whom I always wanted to get to know just to get trailed away in his visions for one of my favorite topics: the future of hospitality.

Two hours later I leave his office, feeling like a travellette having done one of her best trips ever being accompanied by one of the most creative entrepreneurs.

Before I met Claus Sendlinger in person, I touched the spirit of Design Hotels twice. One was somewhat disappointing, the other pretty inspiring. In case you should not know, Design Hotels™ is an international lifestyle brand that curates a collection of member hotels, which are very carefully selected. Last year 400 hotels did apply, 25 made it under the umbrella of the brand. All of those have an asset. And this is NOT JUST DESIGN. According to Claus Sendlinger design is no competitive advantage anymore it is a minimum requirement.“ What made those hotels great enough to be supported by Design Hotels are the creative entrepreneurs behind them. The hoteliers.

Made by Originials, Design Hotels

Design Hotels is scanning the hospitality world for the most creative, passionate and authentic minds“. They kind of look for hoteliers who love to admit: „at the end of the day we are all crazy“ (quote Emanuele Garosci in „made by originals“). And craziness means to live for the creation of “touching” spaces and services. Hospitality experiences that evoke your very personal potential, scooping the power of the country you are in.

Claus Sendlinger is the pulse maker of this spirit. He is niche and a global brand rolled into one. In his 20ies he rocked the Air Force’s PR department, travelled the world in between, engaged in PR for the nightlife scene, bought a travel agency with 23, led it to success with three of his homies and a charming old lady and was always ON TOP OF THE TECHNO AND SNOWBOARD CROWD.

Later he brought nightlife and travelling on a whole new level by organizing raves in ski areas and providing brands with parties that would always differentiate by design. With the openings of the one of the first design hotels in Paramount, Claus Sendlinger would become even more connected with the mover and shaker of the design scene and 1987 finally decided to launch a creative travel agency: COORDINATES, which six years later, would turn into Design Hotels™.  Soon the agency represented some of the coolest hotels in NYC, L.A., Paris and London. Do I need to say that their owners were mostly creatives out of the music and design scene?…

Here we go: We are facing a creative entrepreneur at its best. So I took my chance, put on my creative classy glasses and went to interview Claus Sendlinger about the future of hotels as happening places, how his company creates touch points for creative class people and about his personal idea of WHAT IS NEXT. Enjoy!

Design Hotels, Claus Sendlinger

ABOUT THE CHALLENGE OF OFFERING HOSPITALITY FOR „GLOBAL NOMADS“

Claus, travelling means to me, „finding new triggers for different experiences“. What is your target group, the „global nomad“ seeking?
Since taste has become so diverse, staying in a hotel is more about „MOMENTS“ than about a design experience or a location. There is no „my favorite hotel“ but „my favorite moment“ which happens in very different ways in very different hotels. The more intellectual and forward thinking someone is, the more he has a mind of his own. Don‘t try to heavily convince him of your hotel. Those people want to discover or maybe stay at a friend‘s place. They don‘t want to be tourists but participants in a global world.

What do you think your guests of choice expect from today‘ hotels?
Today forward thinking people expect more from the creative product than just the hardware, the aesthetic room. You easily eat one‘s fill with design and creative class people are swift to leave anyway. They are always looking for the upcoming COUNTER CULTURE of an actual movement.

Design Hotels, inside Claus Sendlinger's office

ABOUT HOTELS AS HAPPENING PLACES

I love hotels for their potential to hook me up with pulsating people. How does Design Hotels realize this potential?
We sometimes challenge our hoteliers by asking: „Do you build your hotel for the transient passenger or for the locals? And where do you draw the demarcation line? Is it in the lobby? At the spa or at the restaurant? Is this a house or a happening place?“
The answer always depends of the very specific setting of a hotel. It is about the property and the district and the design. The later is always the catalyzer and the architecture needs to embody the hotel‘s soul.

Tell me, where is this successfully happening?
Hmmm….the Roomers in Frankfurt is such a place. The two hoteliers Micki and Alex are the local chiefs when it comes to party. They do amazing parties in their own hotels and the guests draw the guests.

Design Hotels, ROOMERS

What do you think of the idea that hotels become modern saloons?
Once upon a time, the Grand Hotels’ teatime was the DJ of the 19th century. Guests would define themselves by the hotels they lived in. The aristocratic class would not travel the world but the hotels. YOU WERE WHERE YOU SLEEP. Then mass tourism and hotel chains arrived.

So there is no modern translation for the old Grand Hotels?
Until now…Design Hotels is establishing the modern version of those old saloons. Just now, we are planning, in co-operation with TheCrane.tv, worldwide „CONVERSATIONS“ where we invite experts and celebs out of design, art, architecture and fashion as well as entrepreneurs and selected media. Thereby we focus on millennials between 25 and 32, people like you.

Besides those events, how do you get cool locals wowing for Design Hotels?
It is definitively not the event. It needs to happen organically. People should love to meet here because they like the atmosphere, the people, the place.  That is how it happens in hotels everywhere in the world.
Design Hotels plans something like that in Berlin. At different locations with different concepts. We think about an open door concept including an aesthetic powerful space where you can work and talk…

Design Hotels, reception at headquarter

ABOUT THE CLAUS SENDLINGER VISION

I consider you as a very visionary creative entrepreneur. What is in your mind, you haven‘t realized yet?
A lot…but do I want to talk about it now?
Having always been the consulting part, I would love to create my own hotel. Here in Berlin.
Beyond that I think of a completely new definition of the leisure experience or let‘s call it „CHICK SHACK”. So far, all I see is so NOT right. It does not match the real needs. All those concepts seem to just copy successfully implemented models. Nobody really tracks the zeitgeist and the change of needs and translates it in a new product.

Design Hotels, Claus Sendlinger's office

So what might this new product look like?
My topic is the aesthetic room, which doesn‘t necessarily need to be covered with buildings. Why not just cover it with plants? In my eyes all existing spaces today are way to expensive as it is far too much „SIGNATURE DESIGN“.

Design Hotels, Claus Sendlinger

What is the alternative?
Design should be defined by the atmosphere of its surroundings. The last thing an urban guy who travels the mountains needs is a Barcelona chair. He needs a walnut and an apple served on a clean wooden plate. Design should make you INHALE THE COUNTRY you are in.

Thank you Claus.

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The series

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Ich hatte es bereit angekündigt: meine Suche nach dem PERFEKTEN HIDEAWAY mit urbaner Kommunikationsattitüde fand letzte Woche ihren Anfang. Also den Liebsten geschnappt, rein in den Flieger, rauf in die Luft, rein ins Shuttle, im Vorbeifliegen den obligatorischen Kaffee geschnappt, hinauf in die Bad Gasteiner Berge und hinein in die 20er Jahre des Hotel Miramonte…

Das erste, was uns begegnet, als wir uns durch die Lobby des Hotel Miramonte bewegen sind HORNBRILLEN, die uns, versteckt hinter riesigen Blumenarrangements, neugierig anschauen und freundlich zublinzeln. Mir schiesst ein „krass, hier is es wie in Berlin“ durch den Kopf. Und das wollte ich ja auch. Aber im ersten Moment ist der Kontrast zwischen den mächtigen Bergen, der morbiden Bäderarchitektur da draussen und dem urbanen Style hier drinnen doch ganz schön heftig. Aber gut, wir kommen klar, tätscheln den Hund, freuen uns über die reizende Begrüßung des Empfangs und fläzen uns erstmal in die Lounge, die bereits mit hübsch anzusehenden Großstädtern garniert ist.

Mal sehen, wen wir so kennenlernen. Den sleeken Architekten aus München? Den Dior-Mann aus Hamburg? Oder doch lieber diese Gruppe da an der Bar….die mich latent an die GREY ANATOMY Crew erinnert (sowohl was die Optik als auch die Gebaren betrifft, äußerst unterhaltsame Sache, das!).

Aber dann kommt es doch irgendwie anders. Wir geben uns drei volle Tage lang das Miramonte Komplettprogramm. Wir schlürfen fleissig After-Ski-Käffchen in der Lounge, schwitzen in der Sauna mit wechselnder Besetzung, belauschen dabei höchst spannende, wenn auch im Saunakontext leicht fragwürdige Intimgespräche. Robben uns im Miramonte Spa von der Massageliege zum Aveda Body Scrub und wieder zurück. Rasen zwischendurch die Berge mit den Skigeräten hinunter, ignorieren tapfer dessen Folgen und erscheinen Abend für Abend und (natürlich!) jeweils im neuen Outfit zum 4-Gänge-Dinner.


Das alles tun wir nur für uns und gleichzeitig mit allen anderen. Es ist so ein bisschen wie im Prenzlauer Berg, wenn Sonntagabends genau die Filme ausgeliehen sind, nach denen man gerade greifen wollte oder wenn man, lange bevor es an die tatsächliche Umsetzung der Kleinfamilie geht, beschließt ganz sicher KEINEN BUGABOO Kinderwagen zu kaufen.

Die ESSENZ hieraus? Es ist total komisch, sozusagen mit seinem sozialen Spiegelbild konfrontiert zu sein, das exakt dieselben Dinge tut, die man ebenfalls gerade tut und welches dabei, genau wie man selbst, vorgibt völlig darin aufzugehen (schwitz, schwitz, entspann, entspann, scan, sacn durch die neusten Magazine etc.). Währenddessen aber konstant und unübersehbar zu einem rüberlinst und sich, übrigens natürlich genau wie man selbst, fragt, was wohl das Wesen da im weissen Frotteemäntelchen so im richtigen Leben tut und wie es wohl wäre, wenn man sich in Berlin/München/Hamburg auf der Strasse treffen würde.

Das alles ist ein bisschen SCHIZOPHREN und doch amüsant. Nach drei Tagen allerdings changiert das Ganze, zumindest für mich, ins Angestrengte und ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob es nun an uns liegt oder einfach in der Natur des Großstadtmensch, dass es so schwierig sein kann, ein sympathisches Lächeln über den Loungechair oder auch wahlweise die Spaliege schießen zu lassen. An den Hausherren liegt es jedenfalls nicht. Die haben gut zu tun, ihre feierwütigen Gäste bis sechs Uhr morgens an der Bar zu entertainen.

FAZIT: Mission ENTDECKUNG geglückt, Mission KOMMUNIKATION abgebrochen. Aber Einiges zum Thema INSZENIERUNG gelernt….

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BAD GASTEINER FARBPROJEKT

Dass Bad Gastein morbide ist, das wusste ich bereits. Die alte Bäderarchitektur, die einst das mondäne Leben in den Gasteiner Bergen barg, hat sich mir schon bei meinem ersten Besuch in die Netzhaut gebrannt, so gebannt war ich damals von ihr. Und sie war es auch, die mich hat wiederkommen lassen. In diesen Ort, für den der Begriff SKIORT definitiv ein unpassender wäre.  Als ich am Sonntagnachmittag fast ganz allein, durch die steilen Strässchen wandere, ist kein Skischuhgestapfe zu hören, sind keine schreienden Kopfbedeckungen zu sehen (ja genau die mit den Elchöhrchen links und rechts), kein Piz Buin Sonnenöl zu riechen und keine einzige Pommes meets Jagerteeversuchung zu schmecken.  Stattdessen begegne ich in diesen zwei Stunden einem Kaleidoskop. Bad Gastein versteht es auf alten Mauern Farben blühen zu lassen, die man erst beim genaueren Hinsehen entdeckt. Ist man soweit, könnte man stundenlang auf Farb-Entdeckungssafari gehen. Aber genug für heute, die Sauna ruft und soll nicht ignoriert werden.

Bad Gasteiner Farbprojekt

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credit: Rebekah Roy Fashion Stylist

Take this: a supermodel, inventing new media into fashion, building a successful company around it and manage to stay one of the hottest models and, as a little side job, become a loved one in the underground art scene for being a great MOBILE artist.

Impossible? Not. Here comes Anina. I met her at LeWeb08 where Anina’s red hair would seem to glow everywhere, always on the run for interviews, such as the one she did with Marissa Mayer from Google talking with her about her personal importance of fashion being a tech icon and  playing a critical role  of attracting women into technology. Watch it here on her blog

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credit: dsearls

With her hottest project 360° Fashion, that she launched 2005 with Nokia Corporation, Anina is spreading like a virus through the fashion and technology scene.

311259440_badf713681_o1360Fashion is a network of high-level fashion professionals using the latest web 2.0 and mobile technologies to spread the word about their  fashion projects. What you get as an observer is a 360 degree overview of what is happening in the world of fashion.

Anina’s vision: to create higher visibility, new business models and even new brands by empowering the member of the 360Fashion network in using mobile technology. You might imagine her as the head of a techi-fashion school for models, agencies, designers, journalists etc, educating them to create and publish their fashion stories in real-time.

The output is impressive: events, demos, buzz marketing campaigns, conferences, community  projects… Get here the full picture of 360Fashion.

credit: amsterdamize

During Fashion Week Paris 2005, she held the first ever FASHION & BLOGGING CONFERENCE.
Since then you can’t miss her anymore. Just look for the red hair during the fashion or web events you gonna attend.
Next opportunity might be the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Berlin. Of course, she has already been here:

And if it happens to you, being a girl with true entrepreneur attitude, then you might consider flying next month to beautiful  San Francisco. There you will find an exceptional conference: Women 2.0 that is committed to empower women entrepreneurs  starting high growth ventures by providing the resources, network, and knowledge for the launch and growth of their company.
I guess I’ll ask Santa Claus for a little ticket…

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1700 participants from all over the world. Some „little“ difficulties with fulfilling the basic needs like getting warm, getting something to eat and having some w-LAN at an internet conference. I guess Loïc Le Meur’s heart had a pretty stressfull time behind the scenes.

3094721837_d7848fe966_bLoïc Le Meur
credit: dotdean

But it seems that LeWeb’s fascination did not suffer. Thousands of blog entries summed it up: participants would fly home, after freezing, being constantly hungry, but very happy with especially one thing: opportunities! As Ewan Spance brings it to the point, LeWeb is the paradise for getting yourself an investor. The receipt: just hang around in the lounges and you will stumble upon one. Ok, I missed that, but next year is coming…and I will be prepared.

Here is how my training camp will look like: John Buckman, the owner of magnatune.com, climbed the stage and became my personal coach. His message: employees suck – get out of the game – become a freelancer.
And then he digged into the “how”.

Ten steps to coach yourself to an award-winning entrepreneur. Here we go:

1. Start thinking, find ideas
2. Do nothing, keep collecting ideas, write them down, give them 3 months time, keep thinking of other ideas, kill ideas, create new ones
3.  Test it: explain your idea to some friends in a noisy pub while drinking beer. If they don’t stop drinking your idea is not good. It is like in the web, tons of distractions, get people listening to you and your idea is supposed to be successful.
4. Make an elevator pitch: you got 15 sec to get someone going for your idea
5. Write the first line of the press release, then write the first paragraph of your homepage. Would those words make you wanting it? Than you will make it
7. Crucial: don’t borrow money, figure out the cheapest way you can make your business running
8. Launch before you are ready, see what happens, integrate feedback
if nobody cares, kill the idea and start all over
9. The secret of getting massive press: convince two influent bloggers, focus on freelance writers, they have to find stories. Think of as many edgy stories as you can. If you are not getting press get better reality
10. Do everything yourself, if you are not technical, become it.

You can do it.

And if you want: John’s presentation is here, himself live and in color here

Bisous et a bientot

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Good morning LeWeb

I already feel like a real Parisienne this morning when I am running down “my” street at the wonderful République, wearing a really French style hat and hopping on the métro to head to LeWeb again. Not sure, if these drinks last night at the mySpace Party in the illustrious Palais Maillot were really good for the look of freshness but they helped to deal with my electronic seeking ears which, of course, would not get what they were longing for this night.

pic_palais_des_congres

credit: Concorde

Ok, but let’s get back to business. Today the programme promises to dig more into interesting topics such as Social Advertising and how it lost his love approach. I am really curious of how they will manage to get the love aspect into this topic. But then again it is all about plain and loveless online advertising and the search for new formats which should outrange the controversy between direct response ads where, at least in the eyes of Travis Katz from MySpace, the big money is and brand ads which make the user interact with the brand.
No love inside. I quit and head to the presentation of Ted’s curator Chris Anderson who really gives an astonishing presentation. You can watch him here.

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