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Draplin Design Co., North America


Bob flew back to Santa Clara today, and Leigh flew in. It was great to wake up to my lady knocking on my “Berlin Box” door.

Leigh and I hit the city good and early and hit Checkpoint Charlie, then over across the city to the big scary TV tower and then hit the highlight of the day: An “Ost” store.

Basically, the store only sold stuff from those good ‘ol “East Berlin” days. They had a couple cases of vintage products from the other side of the wall, and man, the simple, utilitarian packaging had me drooling. Incredible, and, scary as hell. So rudimentary and, uh, “state-run” or “state-sanctioned” or whatever. Just, scary. Rather devoid of personality.

In all honesty, it makes me take a long, hard look at the spartan design from these eastern bloc countries in a new way. It’s one thing to be inspired by the simple, clean, to-the-point designs from the other side of the world, but, to be up close to it, I couldn’t help but be completely terrified.

I grew up in America. Plenty of this, plenty of that. Freedom, for the most part.

One kind of pickles. One kind of hair spray. And so on. I’m probably wrong, but that’s the feeling you get standing in front of a pile of that East German stuff.

Heavy history in Berlin.

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