a round matter


Who hasn’t experienced it yet, when everything is focused on one idea? Once the same thoughts have been turned round and around again – the vision becomes a reality. We’ll introduce you to some creative heads who give us examples for that: they are passionate about round things: whether it’s the basket for basketball, a ring smithy, touring bikes or a rounded stage production.


Opening doors to the third dimension

Questions to Hank Irwin Kittel – scene and costume designer and property master at the Erfurt Theatre

Scenes and props are the third dimension for theatre and opera. What does it mean for you personally, to dress old pieces in modern clothes?

It is an often overlooked fact, especially true for operas, that many of them were contemporary pieces, like La Traviata, Don Giovanni,La Bohème. These operas are set in the times that they were written in. Therefore, it suggests itself to transfer these pieces into our days, seeing as most of the subjects that are dealt with are timeless, like love, jealousy, death, war, suffering, etc. They are as relevant today as they were then.

Erfurt has a lot of faces: it is the district capital, cathedral city, garden and flower city and will probably be given UNESCO world heritage status, soon. Does this variety offer some inspiration for you?

Erfurt citizen by choice, I love the city’s well-restored and diverse facades and little lanes. Nowadays, this might be a world that’s a bit too self-absorbed and sleepy, but still full of history and glory. I enjoy the quietness and relaxation when I’m working here, inspiration for happiness in a cosy corner. I bring back inspirations from the big wide world, when I’m travelling for my work, from Cape Town to Shanghai, from New York to Yekaterinburg.

What was the biggest challenge for you, when your thoughts were going around in circles, in your head? And what brilliant solution did you find, eventually?

Cavalleria Rustica on the Cathedral steps, in 2007! The director Guy Montavon wanted the Cathedral steps empty for this production. It took me weeks to find a solution for this seeming contradiction: to make a statement without any objects. One day, a crumpled little Italian picture of a saint fell out of one of my books. And then I had the answer: That’s it. That’s the world these Italian villagers live in. Thus, I wallpapered the Cathedral steps with those little pictures: an empty stage full of Italian sentimentality.

Event tip:
2019 Festival on the Cathedral steps with the world premiere of "The Name of the Rose" Musical



Advice from a cycling professional

Three facts about Dietmar Meier / Hostel owner and touring advisor from Bad Berka

Modern — When we turned the old fire station into an inn, we put particular emphasis on clear lines and modest colours. P.S.: The wooden beds are joined without any screws or nails.

Ready to go — Even the famous Bauhaus artist Lyonel Feininger went to work on the most up-to-date racing bike of his time. He probably would have liked to use the velo inn Basislager with its well-rounded service for bikes.

Full of advice — Dietmar sees himself as a host with a passion. Nobody in his care is left to their own devices. He looks after his guests’ wellbeing with a busy, almost “fatherly” instinct.

Dietmar Meier's trip tips:
“My favourite spot is the plateau at the top of the Kötsch hill (497m), between Blankenhain and Kiliansroda. This place always reminds me of the Duchess Caroline who came from my home town of Greiz and was married to Weimar. The tower on top of the hill was built in her honour and named after her. On a clear day, you can see as far as Leipzig and to the Kyffhäuser and Brocken mountains, from the top of the tower. This place generates a feeling of quiet and peace, especially in the early hours of the morning or late in the evening."



Queen of the rings

Short quiz about Jessica Herber / Jewellery maker and illustrator from Weimar

What prompted the name and logo of the “Stadtelster” company?

A)   It is connected to one of my childhood memories. During a heavy storm, the nest of a magpie (“Elster”) fell out of a tree. There were little ice cream umbrellas, rings and other jewellery in the nest – a real treasure trove.
B)   10 years ago, a magpie stole a half-finished wedding ring from the studio and brought it back 2 hours later. It left it on the window sill…

The (work) shop in Weimar exists since 2012. What has been the most unusual order you’ve had from a client?

A)   Two heart shaped earrings that – screwed together – turn into a key that opens a secret drawer containing love letters.
B)   A golden wedding ring that also serves as a signet ring. Most exquisite: intricate ornaments and the embedded part of a record, seeing as the client is a DJ.

Jessica Herber creates timeless modern Jewellery, made from precious materials. Sometimes, she uses unusual mixes of materials. Which ones, exactly?

A)   Concrete, recycled glass, aluminium foil, birch bark
B)   Plastic, acrylic glass, olive wood, leather

Jessica Herber’s secret tip:
She loves climbing in the Thüringen Wald Mountains and hiking through the ImpulsRegion. For refreshments, especially delicious homemade ones, she loves to stop off at the Café Lima, in Weimar.



Always on the ball!

Talks on the side line with Björn Harmsen /
Science City Jena trainer

He couldn’t imagine a day without playing basketball anymore! When Björn Harmsen noticed at school, at the age of 12, that all his friends had gone missing, he didn’t need to look for them for long: they had all gone to basketball training! His natural conclusion was to join the club. It didn’t take long before he started to love this team sport and its fantastic culture of supporters. Moving to Bad Berka was his first encounter with the ImpulsRegion, followed by doing a course at the sports’ college in Jena and later, his engagement as a trainer in the town by the river Saale. Barely 25 years old, was he the youngest basketball trainer in the Bundesliga, in 2007. His professional team POM baskets, played at the highest German level. It was vision, skills and team play that have made many dreams come true already. Legendary, the second rise against Trier at the 1.Liga in 2016, followed by a 17 points win over the German master Bamberg, in 2018. He had always looked up to ALBA Berlin, to the big players, who he would have liked to train. Today, they’re playing for Science City Jena, with life-long unlimited contracts, very unusual to find in professional sport. Asked about his plans for the future, he says he’d like to see his club firmly established in the 1. Liga. Looking back to his childhood in Göttingen, he knows: ‘Tis early practice only makes the master”! And that’s where his vision for his role as a youth trainer comes from: to enthuse the next generation for basketball, to have senior players to look up to, also in everyday life. So, if the little ones in Jena are looking for their playmates next, they might find them at basketball training…

Björn Harmsen’s cultural tips:
“Due to family connections with the town on the river Ilm, Santa often gives us a subscription to the Weimar German National Theatre for Christmas. During the summer, when I’m off, I love to take in the many colourful events the Jena KulturArena has to offer.”


Answers to Quiz: 1A, 2B, 3B