Auf Wiedersehen to Barmbeker Straße

Seven years ago, I launched my blog for HOTELS by “looking beyond,” gazing past the seemingly endless emails on my computer toward the view outside my window – a glimpse of one of Hamburg’s many canals and its banks where dozens of people would lie on their blankets and relax in the sun. It’s been wonderful for people watching: children playing on the grass, cyclists pausing to take in the scene, and canoeists who paddled along. Despite being next to a busy street full of exhaust fumes, cigarette butts and dog droppings, for those who were there it felt like a perfect, harmonious spa. Not the kind I would design, but it’s all a matter of perspective!

However, the time has come to change my view and look even further beyond. Although JOI-Design has been around for over three decades, we’re still evolving and thinking about the future.

It’s not that I’m bored looking outside my window (some might say that’s all I do these days, anyways!), but everyone needs to shake things up occasionally and see things from a different point of view.

30th anniversary celebration
30th anniversary celebration
Cooking on Fridays
Cooking on Fridays


We’ve enjoyed many good times on Barmbeker Straße – from the surprise party our wonderful team gave Corinna and me for JOI-Design’s 30-year anniversary, to cooking on Fridays for everyone, and even the staff workouts with our personal trainer – we’ve grown up here and become a close family.

But now we are excited to be relocating our office to a picturesque villa, built in Hamburg in 1922. It’s a way we can give back to our team and share the success they have helped make possible. “Who sits next to whom” has been a major topic of discussion for several weeks.

Not everything will change, though! My new desk will still enjoy the view of a natural “spa” for daydreaming and discovering fresh perspectives about life and design. The villa is located on a 4,300-square-foot plot of land, and again, there is a canal on one side. Since the building was used as a kindergarten for the past three decades, we will even have our own treehouse up amongst giant, gnarled branches.

Unfortunately, it was too difficult to wire the treehouse with electricity to become my office.

I’ll just have to escape there when it’s time to think about my next blog post.