The Boys Club Berlin

|Germany | Berlin | ||Designers - Illustrators| | When we founded The Boys Club, we didn’t all know each other, but were connected through the Ladies Wine and Design network in Berlin. We shared a similar impulse: to create a space where we could work, but which should not just be a workspace, at least not in the usual sense. It’s become a space where we are not being professional without also personal, and where work and leisure merge. It’s a space for community - between the six of us, but also for the much bigger network of people who come to the space for drawing nights, discussion rounds, talks, charity events, magazine- and book launches. Or who simply drop by for a cup of coffee. 

It’s a democratic space with no hierarchy. Everyone is in a position of decision making and therefore feel equally responsible and encouraged to take initiative. If you’re in a more introspective phase and are not in the mood to initiate something, then someone else will. On the other hand, when you have an idea and a drive to do something, you usually experience a lot of support and encouragement from the rest of the group to carry it forward. This makes it a vibrant space to be in. There is a lot of force in this space and in our shared network and skills. It can sometimes feel a bit like a magic machine, you put a few coins in, and get double back. We use this to facilitate knowledge sharing, activism and community building. We are still only figuring out the potential of this type of collaboration, it’s an exploration. 

One of the most recent initiatives came out of a feeling of worry and powerlessness regarding the urgent bushfire situation in Australia. We decided to host a market to sell work donated by a variety of creatives and donate the profits to fire relief funds.

We also sometimes use our platform to highlight other peoples’ work that we find important or interesting, for example through hosting the launch party for the book Notamuse - A New Perspective on Women Graphic Designers in Europe.

Sometimes we collaborate on creative projects as well. Last year we did a zine, paired with a group exhibition, that was first shown in our own space, as a part of 48h Neukölln, and later we were invited to exhibit at The Wømb - Symposium for Gender Equity in the Creative Industry. We called the group show Club Boys Club and it was an interactive exhibition that reimagined the patriarchal power structure of traditional “boys clubs”. Undefined or defined networks and groups are building blocks in our self-identification as well as in the democratic model and seem necessary to create opposition and propose new ideas. But the essence of a group is also that it has some type of boundary - an “inside” and an “outside”. So, with our own “club” as a starting point we questioned how that boundary is defined. 

| The Boys Club Berlin worked together to design this unique collection of neon signs inspired by their work. This collection represents them as a whole and gives a unique touch to The Gallery |