Every year when summer is within reach we feel like climbing on a rooftop and sharing our excitement with the world. We celebrate the warmest season’s arrival with a freshly printed copy of Companion Magazine. The fourth in a series, it boldly declares, “Summer is on.”
Companion Magazine is a periodical about the people who shape our cities, created in collaboration with 25hours Hotels and produced by Freunde von Freunden. Our mother agency More Sleep developed the bold and colorful design to reflect the cheerful character of the concept. For the spring/summer issue we met with explorers of all kinds. We were introduced to a reinvented district in Zürich, visited the ateliers of sought-after artists in Frankfurt, jogged past landmarks in Berlin, took a stroll in Vienna and rode a boat in Hamburg. In tow with well-informed locals and flaneurs, we let the journey unfold through Companion’s pages.
This time around, some of our topics include:
A visit to Jonas Weichsel’s studio. Jonas is one of Frankfurt’s most exciting contemporary artists. He leads a discussion about post-abstract painting and the banking city’s approachable art scene. Throughout his paintings, bold swathes of color and impeccable lines leave the observer wondering whether the uniform surfaces were applied by human hands or machines.
Once a rundown and shady neighborhood, Zurich’s District 4 has been transformed into a mecca of creative, noteworthy endeavors. Along with Regina Schibli, a store manager and curator, we embark on a tour that explores the area through the eyes of a true local. While hopping from bars and galleries to cafes and workshops, Regina shares stories about different locations, all while introducing us to some of the city’s tradesmen and craftspeople.
With an unparalleled openness to the wide spectrum of design, Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag constantly question creative confines, escaping the external world’s attempt to put them in a box. The atypical designers are behind BLESS, the cult label that creates hybrid objects which traverse categories and cannot be defined. In Berlin, the duo talks about their interdisciplinary practice, present everyday solutions in the form of aesthetically appealing items and tell us why they occasionally give the impression of being a team of psychologists.
According to Joji Hattori, one can easily compare running a restaurant to conducting an orchestra. New to Vienna’s culinary scene, the violinist and conductor recently added his own contribution to the city’s rich food culture with a modern Japanese restaurant. After sitting comfortably at a table at Shiki, we get into a conversation about skipping school for days and time spent in coffee shops.
You might not think that ‘running from one landmark to the next’ is a cultural activity. But the Icelandic group Garpur organizes ‘sight running’ tours in Berlin and Frankfurt, as a new way to explore urban landscapes and share knowledge. In a communal and fun atmosphere, the women behind Garpur discuss their innovative idea and why “learning by running” proves to be worthwhile.
All these urban explorations (and many more) come to life in city guides, in-depth interviews and expert tips. And even as we hop on to the printed page, we retain the characteristic style of storytelling and imagery that’s uniquely Freunde von Freunden. You can pick up the fourth issue of Companion at all 25hrs Hotels and selected retailers – use it as the starting point to enjoying your summer!
Stay tuned for a full portrait on Regina Schibli, Jonas Weichsel and other creatives featured in this issue, on FvF soon!