"The countryside brings us total peace. That's why we like being out here so much!" Anna and Marcus are enjoying the calm life whilst we visit them at their remote home. They share their farmhouse in Brandenburg with five sheep and a cat, called Cat... They moved to the countryside to watch their own fruit and vegetables grow. It's a far cry from the loud and busy vibe of Berlin, and their second home in Neukölln, 100KM away from their current home. They opened up about their life, and their relationship with sustainability and mobility.
Anna and Marcus still enjoy the big city life. They're both used to loud bars, multicultural restaurants, and large crowds. Their bright white trainers don't exactly scream 'ecofarm' either. "We wanted to get away from this overload of impressions and 'things'", Anna explains. The idea of less houses, less people, less stuff is an important concept for both Anna and Marcus. In their apartment in Neukölln, minimalism is at the heart of their design, with a huge white wall acting as the eye-catching centrepiece. "It's almost museum-like. It feels free", Marcus says. He looks out of his farmhouse window into the garden. One hectare of land is surrounded by endless fields. This really is pure freedom to the young couple - nature, recreation and family: three things that Anna and Marcus are now able to enjoy. "Being here, you get closer to changes and processes, whether it's the seasons of a year, or animals switching from their summer to winter coats. You can immerse yourself in these changes, and you get to see them happening right in front of you", Marcus notes.
This appreciation of nature supports their mantra of "less is more." The idea of leading a simple life not only runs through Anna and Marcus' private life, but also plays an important role in their online magazine. "Viertel \ Vor" focuses on sustainability. And no, it's not the place to swap crochet patterns. Instead, the authors criticise the current 'throw-away society' and the concept of 'fast-fashion', whilst presenting new and innovative labels and initiatives. Anna and Marcus know that in today's society, this movement towards sustainability won't happen overnight.
“People don't buy things to keep anymore. They buy things to enjoy for a moment, and that's it. It's bollocks", Anna says, whilst sipping her coffee. Instead of cluttering the planet with more rubbish, Anna and Marcus desire long-lasting, chic products. "Things are bought by the mainstream because they look good. This is why design is so important", Marcus says. If a product is well designed, people enjoy it and it has a longer life. And if the product is good quality then it's actually more sustainable", Marcus continues. Although they enjoy their idyllic farm life, they miss being close to their friends. To get the best of both worlds, Anna and Marcus often drive to the city. Freedom really means the ability to move freely, whenever, and to wherever the couple want.
The best of both worlds.
However, they are aware of their ecological footprint, and always look for ways to reduce it. "When it comes to cars, the most important thing to us is that it needs to have the lowest CO2 emissions possible", Marcus states. In other words, an electric car. And not just any electric car - one that has a high range. During our interview, he constantly grins when discussing his future vision - combustion engines are exorbitantly loud, yet electric cars float around corners in silence. Marcus envisions electric cars everywhere, whether on Neukölln’s cobbled streets, or surrounded by herds of sheep. He also hopes for e-mobility for everyone, not just the wealthy. "Society needs to start rethinking, and that includes making the electric car affordable." Anna comes back into the room and nods in agreement of low-emission vehicles for all. Both strongly believe that sustainability should not be a luxury.
Society needs to start rethinking, and that includes making the electric car affordable. Sustainability should not be a luxury.Marcus Werner
Anna and Marcus have worked in communications for many years, as a journalist and photographer, and director. In 2016 they decided to branch out and start Viertel \ Vor, an online magazine where they introduce innovations, people and products that embody their principle of the things that truly matter. The name Viertel \ Vor, which translates to 'quarter to' refers to the symbolic 15 minutes that we, as humans, have left to start rethinking how we treat our planet.