Focus on the essential

A day of mindfulness in Munich

April, 20 2019 | Report

Kondo. A new word for a new age. It is the surname of the highly successful Japanese author Marie Kondo, who has achieved worldwide fame with her books. Her focus topic: tidying and creating order for a happy life.


On the back of that hype, the word ‘kondo’ has even made it into some English dictionaries as a verb. To ‘kondo’ means to tidy up a cupboard. Because: we own too much. We are surrounded by piles of things that are supposed to make us happy. For a long time, we have known: happiness is found in the spaces in between. In living with greater awareness and acting positively – not only for ourselves, but also for the environment.

We accompany Anna, a design student from Munich, through a whole day on her path to new mindfulness.


    8:30 a.m. 

    Anna’s day begins on her bike, on the way to university. Relaxed and not beholden to timetables, or exposed to the big groups of people who are always crowded around one door of the underground train. Her route takes her along the Isar river, past the cars, which sometimes move only slowly through the city centre. Someone honks their horn, and Anna notices a ladybird on their steering wheel.


    9:05 a.m.

    Lothstraße 17, Small Lecture Theatre X 1.019. The course: ‘Design: Reset!’. Back to simplicity and reduction to the essential in design. Anna has left her laptop at home and makes her notes in pencil on blotting paper.


    10:35 a.m. 

    A call from Berlin. Her friend Maja is on her way to the ‘FridaysForFuture’ demonstration: striking for climate protection. Once again they number more than 20,000 school pupils and students. The movement is growing.

    12:30 p.m. 

    Lunch with Finn. On the way to her favourite vegan place, Anna stops at a magazine shop. There is a ‘Refill Station’ sticker on the door. Anna fills up her bottle with fresh water. On a table at the neighbouring cafe there is a magazine with just one word in large letters on the cover: PAUSE.


    Name: Anna
    Age: 23
    Current favourite colours: pastels
    Can always do: black
    Do travel by: bike
    Can do without: smartphone


    1:05 p.m. 

    Finn’s already there. Anna orders the grilled avocado. The interior is no-frills: calming anthracite, warm wood tones, always exactly one flower in each vase. Anna tells Finn about her course and notes: ‘This place is actually doing things just right.’

    2:55 p.m. 

    SURTECO Design Factory. Josi Brunner, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication, has just come from a workshop:


    ‘There’s a lot going on out there. The trend Awarism is the result of us focusing once more on what counts.‘

    Creating some clarity and tidying up in the process. We are concentrating on soft, calm tones. Minimalism is central to this, and wabi-sabi, the term for Japanese purism, is an important keyword. It is about purity of style: light wood, discreet colours and tidiness play a role. Our decors pick up on those elements. Morning Dew, Bee and Gooseberry, together with Pearl Grey, Anthracite and warm wood tones, are the trend colours.

    4:20 p.m. 

    Anna is lying in the English Garden. Yoga. She always has her yoga mat with her. For some it is an accessory, for Anna it is the indispensable foundation of a healthy and mindful lifestyle.


    7:00 p.m. 

    Back home. The weekend awaits. The plan? Doing nothing. A bit of Netflix. Maybe meet a friend for a beer. Tomorrow she wants to pop in to the Repair Café and get her toaster fixed with the help of the volunteers there. Then she will see what else the day has in store.


    SURTECO Head of Marketing
    and Corporate Communication

    Josi Brunner

    Age: 53
    Lives in: the bycicle capital, Münster
    Current favourite trend: cargo bikes
    Most important personal design rule: no limits
    Current favourite decor: Noa


    The beauty of the simple being.

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