The design studio, concept store, art gallery and publishing house that believes in the art of synergy and in the irreplaceability of physical books
Gudberg Nerger is the brainchild of Jürgen Nerger and Jan ‘Gudberg’ Müller-Wiefel, who come from the world of film production, design, and publishing. The store has been open in its current form for more than five years now but dates back all the way to 2010 when Jan first started selling indie mags from around the world while opening his design studio and publishing house.
For the team at Gudberg Nerger Hamburg, the only security is that the future of digital is print. Even though the interactiveness and intricacy of the online experience increase every day, nothing will be able to replace the haptic experience of picking up a magazine or book, flicking through the pages, feeling the paper the creators chose to print it on, and seeing their designs come to life on those materials.
As they specialise in the work of independent magazine publishers, designers, and artists, it is important to set a stage on which their work can be experienced but also to create a space where real-life connections can be made between artists, publishers, creators, aficionados and clients.
«It is hardly an overstatement to say everybody is online all around the clock these days, consuming all forms of media and reading written content on the go. However, there’s still a huge difference between this type of ‘reading’ and the conscious act of choosing a well-crafted book or magazine and diving in without being distracted by hyperlinks and clickbait. It’s a different quality of reading and it is reflected in the quality of the publications we sell» they say.
A place where a lot of things happen at the same time doesn’t necessary require a particular definition. As design studio, concept store, art gallery and publishing house in one, Jürgen Nerger and Jan Gudberg Müller-Wiefel believe in the art of synergy. You come in through one door, perhaps with specific expectations and objectives, and leave through another. That’s how a long-term client of theirs once described his experience.
Hamburg is quite a specific city in Germany, still linked to a cultural niche of intellectuals and an old kind of ‘bourgeoisie’, yet its harbor city mark is eternal: people coming and going, creating a chaotic atmosphere which is typical to seaside hubs.
That is why the space is situated in Hamburg-Neustadt, which is a part of town that represents what they do and who they do it for and with, because it is right in between the inner city and center of commerce and tourism on one hand and the artist and liberal quarters Sternschanze and St. Pauli on the other, which is also home to the famous FC St. Pauli football club, of which they are of course supporters.
I ask about authors, emerging brands, and artists that Gudberg Nerger Hamburg support and who they think are going to be big in the next years. They say that they enjoy working with local artists Timo von Eicken, Stefan Mosebach, and Svenja Maas, whose artworks they exhibit and sell amongst others and they strongly believe in their artistic vision.
«A magazine launch we’ve celebrated in recent years at Gudberg Nerger is Berlin-based This is Badland exploring art, design, and culture from the Balkans with a unique outlook and style. And a brand we whole-heartedly support is Weld&Co from East Westphalia, a region with a rich furniture-making tradition, whose furniture and home accessories are designed with clean lines and the importance of both form and function in mind».