Aperitivo with Jojo Corväiá

On Thursday, February 23rd 2017, the Valise Society joined Ceramic Designer Jojo Corväiá in his Berlin Atelier.  Jojo treated us to special insights on his unique process in a creating body of work that focuses on social statement through multimedia projects and gastronomy.  In particular, we learned about the ancient method of production dating to the 10th Century B.C. he uses to create his sculptural pieces.  After, we indulged in drinks, food, chats, and merriment.

photographer credit: Cora Woellenstein

Meet the Innovators: Wilfried Lembert

On October 5, Wilfried Lembert invited Valise Society members for a private salon dinner at minimum’s Torstrasse emporium.  Minimum was founded in 1999 by Lembert, and has since become an important address in Berlin known for high quality interior design.

Members and guests were treated to delicious food, engaging conversation, and an exploration of minimum’s products.

photographer credit: Cora Woellenstein

Valise x Atria - Maison et Objet Design Salon & Cocktail Dinner (Paris, France)

In kicking off the Fall edition of Maison et Objet, Valise and Paris-based members club Atria hosted a joint cocktail dinner salon on the lovely summer evening of September 1st. The two societies gathered four fantastic physical designers -- Samuel Amoia, Sebastian Brajkovic, Jean-Guillaume Mathiaut, and Jojo Corväiá -- and paired them with culinary expert Anastasia Finders and cocktail wizard Jeanne Garaude. The result was a magical evening of spurring artistic discussion with the design panel complemented by equally engaging food & drink. Many thanks to Atria and the six innovators who created an extraordinary evening for all attending.

Photography credit: Anthony Pelette


Meet the Innovators: Haw-lin

Cutting-edge creative studio Haw-lin Services hosted Valise Society members and guests for an aperitivo on the night of September 13th, 2016 at their Kreuzberg studio. Co-founders and co-directors Jacob Klein and Nathan Cowen showcased a stunning and comprehensive slide reel of their work, highlighting a range from full ZEITmagazin spreads to techno legend Richie Hawtin’s latest album artwork. After a back-and-forth discussion on their process, Jacob and Nathan generously allowed guests to linger in their impeccably chic workspace and nurse Absolut vodka with engaging company.

Q&A with Haw-lin

How has working in Berlin pushed you to new design perspectives relative to your U.S. work?

Berlin provides a certain flexibility. In the end, it's difficult to beat the cost of living or the seemingly relaxed pace of this city. Berlin seems more unique in comparison to New York, London, or Paris in the sense that the international network offers more tangible possibilities directly due to the affordability and transient nature of the city. There is no major industry to really support the creatives of the city therefore you also cannot rely on Berlin based clients. So it helps to have a few U.S. clients as well.

What motivates you to stay hungry and at the forefront of design innovation?

We’re always eager to learn. We learn by doing. In a way that means we are never happy and are always trying to improve upon our previous works. Once one project is finished we try to learn from any mistakes and quickly begin to look forward.

What are the challenges of further developing a design agency at your current state?

To grow or not to grow. As soon as your agency expands too quickly, you can loose a sense of control, consistency and quality. We are not against growth, but it should be an organic, smooth process built off of confident and reliable steps.

Is there a specific moment or project with which you felt you had “made it” as a design studio?

Working with Richie Hawtin was a surprising and fulfilling moment of our careers in many ways. He was amazing to work with and was very humbly aware of his lineage and how he wanted to further develop. It was interesting to work with and get to know an artist we had followed and basically idolised since our childhood.

Is there a part of your creative process which you feel sets you apart from other studios?

Perhaps this has something to do with the differences between us as individuals. We have very different backgrounds, come from very different countries, cities, languages, etc etc. However, we both grew up in the 90s and shared similar influences albeit from different sources. We also partake in healthy fights or “discussions” and rely on the golden rule of always needing to agree before signing off on a project.

Photography credit: Haley Harrington

Meet the Innovators: Robert Klanten

As publisher and editor-in-chief of Gestalten, Robert Klanten has released over 500 publications that explore contemporary creative culture and its context — documenting and anticipating current developments in design, architecture, art, and lifestyle.  

In recent years the company has hit new strides with their own flagship concept stores and publishing Monocle's Guide to Better Living reaching lifestyle aficionados around the globe.

On June 24, 2014 The Valise Society sat down for dinner with Robert at the new Gestalten Pavilion. 

Q & A with Robert Klanten

1. Describe the spirit of Gestalten with 3 adjectives.

 Curious, creative and quality-conscious.


2. Simply put, how did the brand begin & what aspect of its growth has surprised or taught you the most?

The vision has always been to inspire, inform, and identify ideas and topics that drive creative people and explore what creativity and design can mean for your life and your business. 

I feel that this has not changed. My devotion, my challenge, my expertise lies in finding and formatting subjects, and then I decide what media they should go to. I think the most crucial thing is not to say, I stick to my medium; I stick to paper. The most important thing is to stick to your ideas, stick to your readership and become a trusted source of information for your community. 


3. How often are you on the road & what inspirations have you gained through your most recent travels?

I try not to travel as much as I did. I try to avoid industry events as much as possible.  

I like all aspects of creative self-empowerment and entrepreneurship, especially the rediscovery of artisanship and craftsmanship by young creatives.  


4. In terms of reading material, what's in your travel bag or your nightstand?

Too much, I guess. Right now, I’m reading J.G. Ballard, Jaron Lanier, and a history book about the transformation of the world in the 19th century (Die Verwandlung der Welt - Jürgen Osterhammel). 


5. With the launch of the new Gestalten Pavilion,  what does the space offer you in terms of extended possibilities?

The Gestalten Pavilion allows us to extend the topics that we cover in our books into real life. Our readers can explore the content we’ve researched and compiled in our books, buy great products created by independent manufacturers or even taste some of the craft spirits.


Many thanks!