Cities that will move you

Tradition, state of the art and the future of design – we are lucky in that we are surrounded by these every day. For our three locations are placed in some of the most vibrant design hotspots worldwide: Stuttgart, Munich, and Shanghai. Here, designers can get inspired by great masters and visionary creative concepts. What makes these cities special? We have compiled our design highlights, secret tips, and personal favourite places.

 

STUTTGART – Between Tradition and Innovation

The Swabian capital has been home to our headquarters since its foundation back in 1987. Currently, most of our staff work here, as does the majority of our management, and it’s here that our model making workshop does its great job. Here is also the source of our exceptional work ethics distilled into our motto of “Logic, Morals, and Magic” – derived from Swabian industriousness which permeates the air we breathe in Stuttgart.

Porsche, Daimler, Bosch, Fraunhofer, Trumpf … it’s a long list of companies that combine entrepreneurial tradition with a wealth of innovation that translates into compelling industrial design. On a different note, the Weissenhof Estate presents a type of architecture which was way ahead of its time, highlighting the long tradition of renowned architects like Le Corbusier, Fritz Leonhardt, and Frei Otto. In Stuttgart, this tradition meets sustainability par excellence. In our fast-paced world, efficiency is getting more important, it is true; but this is no impediment for Stuttgart engineering to erect breath-taking designs – as can be seen in the projects by construction engineer and architect Werner Sobek.

“Aktivhaus B10” / Model house Weißenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart. (Architect Werner Sobek, Photo: Zooey Braun)

Don’t miss: the new city library in Stuttgart, not far away from the central station. The extraordinary architecture of Korean architect Young Yi continues in the interior. On each floor, one finds quiet zones to read, work or linger as well as pre-installed computer workstations for writing, surfing and selected e-learning offers.


The city library near Stuttgart’s central station. (Photo: René Müller)

One thing’s for sure: At our Stuttgart location, we find inspiration and we experience design first-hand at the same time. But this is also a place to stroll and enjoy yourself.

“The Rita Limacher bookshop at Kleiner Schlossplatz lets the creative heart beat faster. With the latest in architectural and design books in stock, it’s also worth a visit because of its atmosphere.”

Silvia Olp, Head of Communications with Phoenix Design

Stuttgart is surrounded by hills, which is why we can indulge in splendid vistas all around the city. Apart from the TV tower, arguably the best view is a bit up the hill at Weissenburg Park teahouse. In summer, it is particularly inviting, beckoning one to take a seat in the beer garden or to just unfurl a picnic blanket, sit on the lawn, and enjoy the view. Refill on energy, feel the creativity, and liberate both in your projects!

After filling your shopping basket in the market hall with culinary specialities from all around Europe, “Die Metzgerei” [the butcher’s shop] in the western part of Stuttgart is a great place to have dinner – perfect after a long working day. For rounding off the day with music, BIX jazz club is an exceptional location hosting varying events.

 

MUNICH – Capital of Design

Why we chose Munich as the place to open our second studio in 2015? Quite simple: The “village counting millions” offers not only cosy flair, but as Germany’s design capital it is right up there next to Barcelona, Milano and Paris in the international league. This isn’t by chance: With its “Die Neue Sammlung” [“The Design Museum”], the Munich “Pinakothek der Moderne” hosts the first design collection worldwide in its own right, with one of the most comprehensive collections of product and industrial design, graphic art, and ceramics.

Creativity and innovation are also the driving forces for the Bavaria film studios. After all, Munich is a city of movies, which not only creates individual design pieces, but whole TV worlds! Those looking to liberate their mind for creative ideas may find inspiration in the Englischer Garten [English garden], the splendid park in the centre of Munich, basking in the sunlight or exchanging ideas in one of the numerous beer gardens. In fact, this city offers everything for extensively enjoying one’ leisure time: surfing on the Isar river, the culture beach in the summer, the Oktoberfest in fall.

The House of Literatur in central Munich.

“The ‘Literaturhaus’ [House of Literature] is the perfect place to immerse yourself in a book and indulge in the cuisine of the in-house restaurant. And what’s best: right around the corner is Shapes, where the SUMMERA pendant luminaire by Phoenix Design is prominently displayed in the shop window.”

Bernd Eigenstetter, Phoenix Design Managing Director

In close vicinity to our studio, there’s the Bavariapark – a listed park, re-opened to the public only in 1999, so that even many Munich citizens aren’t aware of its beauty. A splendid place, with enormous old trees and a commons surrounded by plants of all sizes, perfect for relaxing during lunch break or for taking a pint in the beer garden next door. Later in the evening, Bar Gabányi is the place to be, one of the best bars in Munich, right across from Theresienwiese, the site of the annual Oktoberfest. On hot summer days, taking a dip in the moor water in the South of Munich is a great option, before finishing off the day on the terrace of the restaurant Waldhaus at the lakeshore of Deininger Weiher: treating oneself to a helping of arch-Bavarian liver dumpling soup and a sensational view of the idyllic landscape around.

The fact that design culture is booming in Munich is shown by bayern design e.V. in their annual Munich Creative Business Week – for two years now, Phoenix Design has taken part in talk sessions, exhibitions and lectures.

 

SHANGHAI – Futurist Architecture Up Close

In our newly opened Shanghai studio, we have conquered a world metropolis. Since September, a team – still small – of experienced designers has been working there on projects for Asian clients. As the Chinese design capital, Shanghai is of course the perfect place to be right at the heartbeat of creativity – surrounded by the latest trends and in perfect market proximity.

Shanghai is internationally renowned for having the biggest harbour worldwide, its iconic architecture and its characteristic skyline are best experienced while taking a walk along the seafront. Especially after sunset, when millions of lights illuminate one of the biggest cities in the world. That’s pure goose bumps galore!


Oriental Pearl Tower (468 m), Shanghai Tower (632 m) und Shanghai World Financial Center (492 m).

Shanghai’s skyscrapers are a thrill, first and foremost the Shanghai Tower – the tallest building in China at 632 metres. In order to be able to take in its design and size, one really has to crane one’s neck! Those not prone to vertigo can take the fastest elevator in the world to the top and enjoy a truly breath-taking view across this city of many million inhabitants.

“The Puli Hotel is located at Jing’an Temple, right in the center of Shanghai. Compared to modern high-tech buildings, Puli presents itself rather unobtrusive in a premium traditional Chinese design style. Surrounded by bamboo, one will find peace to relax in such a vibrant city like Shanghai.”

Yingying Ni, Senior Designer at Phoenix Design Shanghai

The Jing’an Temple in the heart of Shanghai.

An absolute must for designers is a visit to the artistic centre “Tian Zi Fang”. This popular neighbourhood is home to arts and crafts, architecture from the 1930s, and narrow alleys with many small shops to browse in. Looking for culinary delights, one may delve into an entirely new world at the restaurant “Lost Heaven” – serving specialties from the Yunnan region.

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Since 1987, Phoenix Design has been designing interaction: between the product and the user, between the brand and the consumer, between designers and their clients.
In this blog we regularly tell about the past 30 years, the present and the future at Phoenix Design.

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