Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Leaders of Design ..Berlin

Berlin wall Graffitis

The Leaders of Design Council is an exclusive membership of the top architects and designers in the US, which was formed to respond to these industry challenges and opportunities. Keith Granet and Meg Touborg are the charismatic founders.
For this year summit, we flew to Berlin. Keith, Meg and Dana took us on a whirlwind of extraordinary dinners in magical settings, motivating and enriching seminars. This was a learning experience, fabulous venue to meet other architects and designers and discuss everything from life, travel, design and take a break from the daily stress of running a design business. Promises were made to stay in touch which will solidify this bond among all of us in our sometimes fickle, demanding, exiting industry.
On our last gala, Patti Austin sang for us, her performance of the song "lean on me " had quite a few of us in tears. I went to her, hugged her and thanked her for reminding us to cherish life and friends.

One of the theme is to tell a story through our work, our creativity. During these 3 days, I took a long solitary walk along sections of the Berlin wall, walked the old Jewish quarter, now the center for modern art galleries and studios, and reflected on the deep dark history of this city. I felt a heaviness as there is no escape from history. Berlin is showing atonement for its past by celebrating the lifes of the lost ones though memorials, museums, plaques.

You may follow me on my contemplative walk....

Jewish Memorial

Art as a cry for freedom (detail of the Berlin wall)

External basement wall of the Corner House at Willemstrasse. For several months in 1936, the house was the headquarter of the Inspectorate of Concentration camps. Then the department of gestapo moved in

Check point Charlie: Wall crossing point between East and West Berlin

Meaningful sculpture in the Jewish quarter

The old  Jewish quarter is now the scene for contemporary art galleries

The architecture of Berlin will be a topic on its own, as the world's top architects have left their footprint on this vibrant city.

Our large group of 140 was separated in intimate sub groups. This was the setting of my first dinner in Berlin. We dined in the top Rotunda...magical

The ultimate Berlin venue: the courtyard of the Deutsches Historisches Museum

My table...great fun sitting next to Celerie Kemble

The Amazing Patti Austin

In parting,. please listen to the inspirational Singing for Change video. This video was actually part of the presentation on new trends in our industry... we are finding our way to a simpler, closer yet nomadic life

A Bientôt,


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  1. Sounds like a marvelous trip. I so wanted to come but just couldn't swing it this year! Look forward to reading about the architectural component. I was in Berlin many years ago and even then it was a cutting edge city in terms of art and architectural contributions.

  2. what a great trip!

    don't forget to contact mw when you come to maine.
    i would love to meet!


  3. What an amazing, inspirational trip! I've never been to Berlin but its certainly moved a few spaces up on my to do list! Dinner in the rotunda--exquisite!

  4. It looks amazing! I wish we had had enough time to visit Berlin when we were there years ago.

    I love to come by and catch up on your amazing trips!


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