When Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr Area are throwing all their aces in the balance as the banana-shaped metropolitan area #urbanana, they charmingly throw you completely off balance. Here, you are not only staggering past the longest bar in the world but, above all, between the collected works of North Rhine-Westphalian free spirits and pioneers in the fields of music and fashion, design and digital, festivals, young art, and architecture.
Fashion: #urbanana suits you well
Pace the catwalk up and down — on your own two feet or merely follow it with your gaze. What do you see? International fashion flair in Düsseldorf, everyone knows the Kö. And this is the city where the big names of tomorrow held needles and threads in their hands for the first time. Marion Strehlow is one of those graduates who learned fashion in Düsseldorf. Meanwhile, she a studio where she — besides fabric and patterns — keeps her very own #urbanana-award. She received it for her Behind the Scene-tour, in which she takes her guests to her peers. In the course of the tour, they also visit the small, fine labels, the fledglings of the city who are yet to be discovered.
The Belgian Quater in Cologne spreads the word of impeccable style. Once a year, display windows and courtyards are turned into pop-up stores, make-up stations, and showrooms. The icing on the cake is the fashion show in the local church, which is well worth seeing.
In the meantime, Gladbeck’s fashion heros are ready for take-off. During the New York Fashion Week, they will retell stories from the coal pot area in jersey and introduce them to the fashion world. Mallet and iron always handy, of course!
Urban Art: Oh, colorful
Do a scavenger hunt — for the rampage of urban color artists from mural to mural. #urbanana provides public spaces for their pictorial manifests. With the City Leaks Festival in Cologne as well as in Düsseldorf and the Ruhr Area they get dignified forums taking shape of various festivals. International Urban-Art-greats take paintbrushes, spray cans, sometimes even LEDs, drones and tape, to turn the spotless immaculacy or stained tristesse into a spectral spectacle. For free and outside.
NRW’s Kunstvereine (art associations) aren’t any less wild. What started as confident emancipation by a citizens’ initiative from the leading corporative state in the 19th century, is continuing today in all its zealousness. There are 300 Kunstvereine in Germany, 63 of which alone in NRW. This is where the art production and reception is encouraged, each association in its own way. The Kunstvereine are exhibition locations and production laboratories on a non-profit basis. Here, they keep developing the experimental art productions in all their shapes and colors — including painting and sculpturing, but also digital art or art walks, where artists set of for artsy forays.
The Düsseldorf art academy also offers forays, in which the students invite to the sacred halls of art production at the Rhine promenade. This is where Beuys, Uecker and the Bechers made a name for themselves.
Design: Pretty good
Fall in love with the details when the design studios open their doors with the fine fragrance of creation breezing against you. We admit, it is not always easy to detect them. This is why we will show you where and how to be at the right time at the right place in #urbanana. For example, every year in October, when the decentral design festival Hello Designer Tour roughs up the stores. The pan-European #urbanana-award winner from the far west of the country dedicate the entire October to the beautiful and good things in the design sector.
On the occasion of the international furniture fair imm Cologne, Sabine Voggenreiter parallelly pairs up Cologne designers, furniture stores, design galleries and Universities with international producers and designers since 1989. The Passages, unfolding de-centrally throughout the whole city, in harbors and under bridge vaults instead of trade fair sights, are Germany’s biggest design event.
Music: the sound of #urbanana
Read the tracks where the sound of #urbanana came into being with Kraftwerk and Can, Nena and Extrabreit and where it still booms until today. Pop musical forays through Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr Area are easily done day and night when you’re following the yellow #urbananas in the web app to the sound of #urbanana.
Krautrock was born in Cologne when Karlheinz Stockhausen inspired the band members-to-be from Can with his Cologne Classes to New Music. You will, of course, take the Autobahn in Düsseldorf. Kraftwerk’s Autobahn in Düsseldorf will take you deep back into the 70s and 80s, where techno, new wave and punk gained ground in the Düsseldorf scene and emanated from there into the world. NEU!, a band emerging from Kraftwerk and Blur’s and Radiohead’s favorite, also inspired David Bowie and Sonic Youth. And then, of course, there are Die Toten Hosen. They make every punk’s heart beat faster for Düsseldorf until today. At the time of their foundation in the early 80es, the Neue Deutsche Welle (=new German wave) came into being when Nena from the city of Hagen gazed after her 99 red balloons floating into the summer sky. Major festivals in the Banana-Metropolis #urbanana are a byword for good taste and the desire to party.
We call it #urbanana
By now, you have probably already noticed that #urbanana celebrates undiscovered spaces for expeditions off the hype. Rough concrete and dandelions, city activists and inventive hosts, major festivals and petite galleries, works in progress and a lot of good taste are lurking behind every corner or main station, that magnetically draws you in. So, switch on your curiosity with us and zoom from Cologne over Düsseldorf to the Ruhr area, into the districts, the streets and the courtyards. This is where we will ring the doorbells and meet mover and maker, collectors and hunters at modern strollers and — maybe even — new friends.