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Alice Nell
January 19, 2016

2015 / 2016 with Sarah Kennedy

If December is all about reflecting and setting new goals, then January would be the month to actually get to work: to push limits, change habits and work to reach those goals. In our 2015/2016 series, betahaus members share with you what they’ve learned in 2015, and what their goals are for 2016.

Sarah Kennedy


  1. Not backing up work I had a hard drive that suddenly died one Monday morning in July and I lost years of work. Luckily, nothing I was working on at the time was affected, but past work for my portfolio, useful templates, fonts and photos just vanished. A very sad week but it taught me a very important lesson: back up your backup! ...
  2. Trying to fit too much work into a working week I tried to please too many clients at the same time which lead to doing too much work and working long hours.. .....
  3. Saying yes to every project By the end of 2015, I realised that I had reached a stage in my design career where I shouldn't accept every project that comes my way. I need to be selective and choose the projects that are right for me and the right fit for my skills....


"I need to be selective and choose the projects that are right for me and the right fit for my skills.".


  1. Less time designing on a computer and more time designing by hand I’m hoping to screen print more of my own work throughout the year and experiment more. Last year, for example, I started to screen print on wood. I wish to keep going with this and also start screen printing on ceramics… watch this space!.. ....
  2. More collaborations with co-workers My most successful projects last year were due to strong teamwork. We shared ideas and skills and produced great outcomes and had lots of fun along the way.... ...
"My most successful projects last year were due to strong teamwork"


Sarah is a freelance designer working on the 2nd floor at the Betahaus. Aside from her work as a designer, she also teaches some of the Betahaus workshops and courses including Screen Printing and Introduction to Photoshop.

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Toni: Currently, we’ve somehow ended up in this niche of building a lot of internal tools for startups and teams. But this is not the only thing we want to do. What I like about it is that we’re starting projects from scratch and we have full control over them. 

Martin: The first project we worked on was a tool for a large scale real estate development company. What they needed was a tool for their Sales people - to be able to mark their different spots and locations at different stages of the sales funnel. So we created a tool that helps them in this process.

Toni: And this one actually served as a starting point for the tool we’ve developed for  betahaus, which aims to allow the Sales and Management team to see which team rooms are occupied right now, which ones are free or will be occupied in a few weeks or months, so no double bookings appear. 

Alex: These two projects were more focused on real estate, let’s say, but we’ve also done more design-heavy projects like the one we did for Artique which is an online artists agency. For them, we built a whole website and an online system to present their artists starting only from their logo. It had to be very flexible, because the artists needed to be able to edit their own profiles, putting their resume, changing colours.

Toni: Honestly, we have skillsets that you don’t usually find in developers. Because we've had lives that were not just about computer science. I think to some extent this is what makes us different. 

Martin: I believe one of the reasons why people pick us over other studios is because it can be very hard working with developers. If you’re not understanding their work, if the communication is not flowing, you, as a client can feel lost. We're easy to communicate with and we’re always open to feedback and we're open to discuss anything. In the end, after all iterations, if you say we need to start the website from scratch and that you don’t like the idea, we won’t take it personally. 

Alex: Also, I think, since we all work as coding teachers, we are officially qualified to explain what coding is to people who don't code, which is actually really rare because a lot of developers, as Martin says, don't want to, or literally just don't know how to articulate what they're doing. Whereas we are trained in articulating what it is that we're doing, why it's meaningful and why it takes a certain amount of time.

Photo by Lea GK

Alex: Zimt & Mehl - the Turkish bakery around the corner. It’s just soo good.

Martin: Oh, there is this Italian restaurant called Ristorante del Arte

Tony: Oh, my God, this place is so funny. It looks like a pretty average Italian restaurant, but the whole interior design inside is just decorated in such a weird way. The entire place is covered in frescoes. They have crystal chandeliers and Easter bunnies. Some Greek columns. It has a different name on the menu, on the side and on the Internet. And it was an ex-shoe-store.

Want to get in touch with Obst Digital? Come around betahaus | Neukölln and meet them here or send them an email to contact@obst.digital !


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