Future-forward: the cutting edge German capital
In the 1920s and 30s, Berlin was one of the most progressive places on earth - and not just in terms of its uniquely permissive nightlife.
From art and architecture to science and technology, the city was buzzing with progress and innovation.
And now, it seems, Berlin is again at the forefront of what's new, with cutting-edge stores, restaurants, clothing and clubs providing a glimpse of the future, now.
Data Kitchen - an Automat for the 21st century
'Slow food fast' is the slogan of this futurist-chic eatery, which uses smartphone technology to help serve up delicious, freshly prepared fare.
The premise is simple. Use the app or website to select food, drinks and a time you’d like to eat, pay online, then swing by at the allocated hour to collect your meal.
It’ll be waiting in one of the sleek collection lockers, complete with your name in liquid crystal on the door.
Many readers will recognise the format as a modern version of the Automat - coin in the slot restaurants which debuted in Germany in the late 19th century. They quickly made their way to the USA where, for decades, they were a common sight before gradually falling out of fashion (the last closed in New York in 1991).
But the big difference between those vintage eateries and Data Kitchen is that here, meals are freshly prepared just before they're collected, meaning no food is left sitting for hours in heated compartments.
The hi-tech ordering format simply gives the kitchen more time to concentrate on what it does best: healthy, delicious food with a 21st century twist
Data Kitchen: Rosenthaler Strasse 38, 10178 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Fri, 10am -6pm
Good Bank: Greens, grown in-house
You can’t get much fresher than newly plucked veggies, and at stylish eatery Good Bank, most salads and veg are grown in-store in a stunning vertical garden that minimises water use as well as cutting out transportation entirely.
The result is a win-win situation for all, guaranteeing crunchy, fresh ingredients for customers, plus a big boost for sustainability.
Factor in the wide range of veggie and vegan dishes, and future-forward Good Bank has to count among Berlin’s best options for those who like things green.
Good Bank: Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 5, 10178 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Sun 11.30am - 10pm
Electrifying fashion from ElectroCouture
Fashion and accessories that literally light up a room - that’s the premise behind ElectroCouture, a cutting-edge Berlin label that creates stunning garments and accessories with integrated light and electronic enhancements.
The collections include elaborate evening gowns which shimmer even when lights are low, neon-bedecked menswear or Art Deco-inspired silver pendants that glow at the touch of a button.
For breathtaking design that goes way beyond beautiful clothing, ElectroCouture is an electrifying pioneer in the world of visionary fashion.
ElectroCouture: Kurfürstenstraße 34, 10785 Berlin
Trauma Bar und Kino: the future of clubbing
Fusing music, fashion, performance and film into exhilarating hybrids, Trauma Bar and Kino is the place to head for one of a kind clubbing and arts events.
Above all, it's the inspired programming that marks out this mid-town venue as a true trailblazer - recent highlights include appearances by Japanese DJ Akiram EN, British producer Patten, screenings from artist Jacolby Satterwhite, and a shibari rope bondage performance by Brooke Candy.
"At Trauma, art, dance, theatre, fashion and club culture all become one", so get ready for a brave new world of cutting edge entertainment.
Trauma Bar und Kino: Heidestraße 50, 10557 Berlin
Opening times: see website for event details
Robots at your service: pharmacy of the future...
Function meets gorgeous form at Apotheke, a sleek, clean-lined pharmacy in the recently opened Schultheiss Quartier shopping mall in Moabit.
But not only is the space itself stunning, it's equipped with a robot arm that speedily selects medicines for delivery to the counter.
Image credits: Studio Aisslinger
In fact, such automated dispensing systems are relatively common, although usually hidden from view.
But the decision of architects Studio Aisslinger to make their robot a central focus adds a stylishly futuristic twist to the otherwise mundane business of collecting prescriptions.
Apotheke: Schultheiss Quartier, Stromstraße 14, 10551 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 8am - 9pm
... and a sneakerbot
Hip footwear store Solebox is one of Berlin’s leading destinations for trainers and streetwear.
It's also the place to watch the world’s first sneaker-sorting robot at work.
Enclosed in its own glass cabin, the 'Solebot' selects and delivers some of the store’s most exclusive footwear - a step into the future of retail, and fun to boot.
Solebox: Nürnberger Strasse 14, 10789 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 11am-8pm
Futurium: the shape of things to come
The Futurium centre is located in an aptly futuristic building on the banks of the River Spree, providing a central focus for Berlin's status as a city of innovation.
Housing a permanent exhibition highlighting future technologies, together with a hands-on 'lab' where visitors can get to grips with hi-tech trends, the Futurium doubles as a must-see attraction and space for serious debate.
Conferences, workshops, art events and more add to the offer: find the world of tomorrow at the heart of Berlin.
Futurium: Alexanderufer 2, 10117 Berlin
Scheduled to open for the first time on 5th September, 2019
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