Can drinking orange juice help cities in the future?

Today the BMW Guggenheim Lab is closed and so we are all working from home. I’m working from a trendy internet cafe. The wifi is free, I just have to buy a coffee every once in a while! I’m sharing a table with a young architect who is using 3D CAD software to design a temporary installation, a freelance writer and a Phd student. They tell me that they are part of “Berlin’s Bohemian Homeless”; people who use cafe’s with free internet as their workplace rather than renting an office.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, when the Lab is closed, I’m going to blog about life in Berlin.

Can drinking orange juice help cities in the future? I don’t know, but I have seems something very ingenious in almost all Berlin supermarkets! Christine, the BMW Guggenheim Lab blogger, and I went to the supermarket on Saturday lunchtime. There was a long queue… but the queue was not for the check-out or for a kiosk or for assistance, it was to return plastic and glass bottles. It’s brilliant. You buy drinks, juices and beers at the supermarket, you take them home and drink the contents, you return to the supermarket with all your empty bottles, you post them down a hole in a machine in the wall and the machine gives you money, quite a lot of money! It’s ingenious. I would love to see a machine like this in my local Coles supermarket in Brisbane.

On Wednesday 4th July my colleague Jonathan James and I will be hosting a “Future of shopping, internet shopping and freight in our cities” workshop in Berlin as part of my public programs for the Lab. It’s going to be a unique experiment; an opportunity for anyone and everyone to have a conversation and to try and figure out what our cities will ‘look and feel like’ if we buy more things on the internet and share more of our ‘stuff’. We have no idea of what ideas everyone will come up with…. and that’s why its going to be so interesting and unique! It starts at 2pm. It’s a walking workshop so please bring comfy shoes … hope to see you there!

TOMORROW: I’m visiting a shop that’s not a shop. Find out more tomorrow