Vintage Sapique 1
Today I'm starting this new series: Vintage Sapique. During a sunday walk over 9 years ago my husband and I came across - and fell in love with - this great industrial building from the 60s. It was abandoned and previously housed a chemical factory with laboratories and offices. We immediately knew we wanted to save it from destruction.
But how? There was no running water, no electricity, no heating and it wasn't for sale. After 7 years of patience, hard work, lots of helping hands, blood-sweat-and-tears, our house is now "photoshoot proof". In october 2011 Studio Sapique was featured on Design*Sponge and later this year it will appear in a global publication. But most of all, it became our home.
Somehow I find it difficult to watch pictures from "before", as I only see the enormous amount of work we carried out to make it into what it is today. Sometimes it's better not to know everything beforehand, because I think we might not have started this incredible project 7 years ago…
So what to expect? I will be taking new fresh pictures in & around the house while showing you little bits of what Studio Sapique looked like before. I hope you'll join me on this little adventure?
To give Vintage Sapique a proper start, I should tell you more about the origin of the name. People from around this area (just outside Paris), know our house by the Sapic factory. Sapic is the abbreviation of Société d'Application de Procédés Industriels et Chimiques (Company for the Application of Industrial and Chemical Procedures). I absolutely loved the original logo with the two retort flasks and simple type. As we're located on a quay, we transformed the name into Sapique. It became a little wordplay in French: "ça pique" means "it stings". So we even recycled the name & logo!
Inspired by the delicious Good Q Frozen Yogurt I tasted in Berlin and the super hot weather here in France, I made my first strawberry frozen yogurt ice cream. A super simple recipe: mix 500gr strawberries with 300gr 0% yogurt, a little bit of milk, some sugar and vanilla extract. As this recipe contains very little cream, large ice cristals form when you put it in the freezer for too long. It tastes best right out of the ice cream maker. Serve a large scoop of Frozen Fraises with some fresh strawberries.
The evening before The Hive in Berlin I was invited by DaWanda to attend a special soirée about Mobilising Communities. A few speakers told us about their community based projects. I was very much inspired by one of the projects called Stadtgarten. The idea is simple: Stadtgarten is an internet-based platform that helps groups of people grow their own fruit and veggies.
The special thing about gardening à la Stadtgarten is that they cultivate the whole garden together, without separating it into individual beds or allotments for people. All info about things that need to be done in the garden is gathered online. No mather if you are FlexiFarmer of a HardcoreFarmer, you know exactly what needs to be done at any given time. And when it's time to harvest, every Farmer gets what corresponds to the share of work contributed to running the garden over the season.
We have quite a big garden here at Studio Sapique and I love (trying) to grow my own vegetables. But how cool would it be to have some help and expertise from other local Farmers and to share the harvest?
Right outside the Betahaus was this incredible Prinzessinnengarten. Open to the Kreuzberg community where it produces local vegetables and fruit. In the middle of the garden is a place to relax under the trees and to enjoy a meal with "homegrown" ingredients. It was inspiring to see so many different cultures working together as a community. I just loved it there!
With the beautiful desaturated Berlin photography of Sandra Juto in my head, I traveled to Berlin. The city turned out to be so much brighter than I thought it would be. So many colors everywhere! The amazing weather and creative conference absolutely helped a lot there too.
It appeared to me that somehow Berlin is to creatives, what LA is to actors. So many creative people everywhere, waiting for their 15 minutes of fame.
The city walls are covered with so much talent. Berlin street art is much more colorful than most things I see in Paris. And there is a lot MORE too.
The R.E.M. song Überlin was stuck in my head all weekend. The street art bunny appearing in the song's video was made by an artist called Roa. I stumbled upon his rats (see above) in the Prenzlauerberg district! Übercool!
Bzzz bzzz from The Hive
This weekend I attended The Hive in Berlin, a European Blog Conference with speakers like Freunde von Freunden, Design Mom, sisterMAG, Zilverblauw, Prêt-A-Voyager, Hauptstadtmutti, Fryd + Design, Lost in Cheeseland, My Paradissi and many more.
Besides the interesting & inspiring talks, it meant lots of pretzels, colorful frocks, many cameras, tons of tweets & pregnant bellies (I loved @Überlin's tweet: RT if you're at #hive12 and you're *not* pregnant!), lots of stairs (4th floor venue), so many smiling faces, enthusiastic conversations…
…and lots of cool business cards! As a graphic designer, I was curious to see what others came up with and it turned out to be quite a colorful bunch. In Germany the idea of handing out business cards on social events like The Hive didn't seem very common. Some German bloggers told me they were a little surprised that others would expect them to hand out their card. Above are a few of the cards I collected.
Clockwise starting at CIAO: Reisefreunde, Just Pretty Things, Zilverblauw, Currystrumpet, Stadtgarten, Kristi Fuoco, Sozialhelden, Fräulein Text, KleiderKreisel, One Bunting Away, Almalu's Place, I'm with Leila, Funkytime, Tante Taart An and Circus Edgar, Jillian in Italy, The Girl at the Laundromat, Mat & Mi, and in the middle the cute dia slide by Vlogaboo.
The week before The Hive I made a bunch of new fresh cards. To me, good design is all about simplicity, so I just used some vintage sticker paper from Studio Sapique, a hole puncher and the sturdiest printable paper I could find to make my cards. Here is what they look like:
Ich bin kein Berliner
Berlin is amazing. This city is so very big, streets are wide, it's airy (you can actually breathe here!), has a creative feel and is very green too. The façades of the (huge!) buildings are very flat and most streets have lots of trees. I walked for hours without seeing any tourists. I now understand why Sandra Juto likes 10-hour walks across the city, I really enjoyed it too!
Here a some of the photos I took, more to follow...
Above: you're looking at a piece of the Berlin Wall.
Façade of Espressobar Mörder, Torstrasse 199.
Standing on former East & West Berlin at the same time.
Design Panoptikum, The Museum of Extraordinary Objects. A supercool store & museum with the most curious and extraordinary objects. I was so intrigued by the mystery of the items that when the owner who was sitting in the dark, said "Hallo" I freaked out and ran outside. The museum is on my list for next time!
The Euro-Flohmarkt (flea market), Berliner Straße 80-82.
With François Hollande becoming France's new president today, the words France, Hollande and Berlin are trending. Also in my book, as I'll be in Berlin for my first time ever in a few days.
Growing up as a Dutch citizen and now in France, with Germany as one of the neighbouring countries, I had the chance of visiting Germany quite a few times. The last time I was in Germany is only a few weeks ago, and only for a few (fun!) hours. Above is what it looked like: so pretty!
Of course we also traveled through Germany on our roadtrip to Scandinavia last year. And in 2007 I was invited to visit the HQ of a German graphic studio and to talk about a possible collaboration. During my stay in a very rural part of Germany, I became embarrassingly aware that I overestimated my German language skills. Chatting to the taxi driver, I saw his quizzical look in the rear view mirror. Probably I spoke Dutch with a German accent, which sounds good to me, but is incomprehensible for a German…
However I read and understand almost anything in German, but speaking it, is something else… I'm off to Berlin to attend The Hive, a European Blog Conference. Besides being excited to meet lots of new people (I will definitely talk to them in English), I'm looking forward to discovering a tiny bit of (hipster!) Berlin. And of course to see what's left of the Berlin wall, as I can vividly recall the moment of the fall of the Berlin wall in november 1989. Rendez-vous la semaine prochaine!