end of 1999 after living ten years in hamburg, berlin finally called. there was a huge exodus of friends and acquaintances from hamburg to berlin in search of that new Y2K internet gold. after leaving the agency i initially set up in berlin, i came up with an idea for my next project.
the concept was a loosely formed design collective called REDESIGN DEUTSCHLAND. with the one simple goal to make germany a more pleasant place design-wise but on a broader scale. despite me not really knowing much about it, parallels to the german bauhaus movement were obvious. i knocked up a concept, shopped around and alot of very smart people got involved. the collective grew and office space born in berlin mitte. then we got to work.
a manifesto was created, but first a new language was born - REDEUTSCH. it may or may of not been based on my terrible german, stripping german of the complexities and welcoming the simplicity of english and the crazy of dutch. it was simple to write, yet difficult to speak, i couldn’t do either. a new time system was created based on 100. a hour had 100 minutes. a year had 1000 days.
furniture for the office was invented and the collective grew. a standard photo for all members was created. building block diy websites were sold, which worked and were actually pretty advanced shit. we had a REDESIGN DEUTSCHLAND pop hit from our own pop star. despite a fear of being sued from the german telekom, we had our own key colour. and and and. and it was pretty crazy. the collective grew. there was a lot of press. a lot of discussions. a lot of drama. the collective shrank. a lot of problems. a lot of bills. a lot of crazy. and we also had a lot of fun.
despite the collectively radical genius and shear beauty of the whole project and all involved, it was simply doomed to fail. the collective strived to function as a business and we actually made money with very commercial projects. yet, we were all too strong individuals to perform as a collective and sadly things fell apart. so me, the initiator of the project left after 1000 days, one REDESIGN DEUTSCHLAND year.
the office still exists in the torstrasse. the website too. and legacies never die. i have a big folder of all we did in that one year.
it was definitely one of the most insane things i did.