Christoph Fahle
May 14, 2012

Startup of the Week: Terranauten

The Terranauten is a project of professional dancer Lisa Oettinghaus and freelance photographer Kay Strasser. They have developed a symbiotic project between dimensions of the creative worlds: text meets dance meets photography, creating something new. Terranauten explores spaces with gravity, and provides a relation between the act of flying, and the texture of the ground.

The Terranauten is a project of professional  dancer Lisa Oettinghaus and freelance photographer Kay Strasser. They have developed a symbiotic project between dimensions of the creative worlds: text meets dance meets photography, creating something new. Terranauten explores spaces with gravity, and provides a relation between the act of flying, and the texture of the ground. This is what they capture in exciting photos that show what cannot be, taken without tricks, without any technical manipulations and without photomontage.  The Terranauten have been betahaus members since last October.

What and who are the Terranauten?

Kay: Terranauten is an interdisciplinary project between dancing and photography. We met each other last autumn, Lisa performed in the backyard of betahaus, and I realised then that she is able to fly. That was the main idea of the whole project. I asked her to do a project about flying, she agreed and we started prototyping.

Lisa: We started like two freelancers, working from ODC. By coincidence, he saw me while I was doing a performance and took a really nice picture when I jumped. After the performance, he talked to me and asked me about working on a project where I was outside gravity. Afterwards, we made a project out of it and we have developed the technique for making me appear as though I was always flying. Nowadays, I appear higher off the ground than before – this is because over several months, we’ve developed our techniques, and also chosen the right surfaces, the right lighting, the right dress to wear, and other things.

Terranauten projekt

What is your main aim with the Terranauten project?

Kay: First aim is to do more art and creative work in betahaus. The second aim is to have an interesting project to impress the people, and to show them that there are still things which are possible.

Lisa: …and to make people to look from another perspective, to touch them, and make something beautiful out of gravity, the power which is given by the earth.

Terranauten project is working with Startnext. Can you tell me more about your collaboration?

Kay: We were thinking about how to raise money for a whole project. We thought about cofounding at first. We found Startnext, and it was pure working together. We will be presenting at the Browse photo festival in June. Startnext also wanted to implement the idea of cofounding in the whole festival and combine that with photography.

Lisa: In the end, we wanted to do also an exhibition there and in betahaus, and with Startnext and cofounding, we were able to get more publicity. The project is still like an experiment – we don’t know where we’ll end up, but we do put a lot of time and effort into it, so we do need money in the end.

Terranauten projekt XI

Lisa: We brainstormed in the beginning, and wrote a long list of surfaces where we want to jump – snow, ice, and so on – and then we got started. We keep challenging the idea of what would be possible.

Kay: We always keep our eyes open when looking for interesting locations.

You are based in Open design city, in betahaus. How does working in this space affect what you do?

Lisa: We get a lot of inspiration here at ODC. People help us with design, brainstorming and other details. The community is really nice, and they support us a lot, mentally and practically. We want to create a community that supports what we do, and is interested in it, and we found just that in betahaus.

Kay: It is our home and our community.

Terranauten project VI

What are your future plans?

Lisa: With Startnext, we would like to organise a flashmob; the people will be the surface, and I will be jumping over them. So the aim is to get more challenges with it, and take more difficult pictures which seem even more impossible than the ones we’ve already done so far.  We are also thinking of taking pictures at different locations in Berlin – we’re thinking of taking some at Alexanderplatz, which is one of the city’s best-known locations –  and in other cities, and maybe even making a video.

Kay: I would like to ask you to please support us on Startnext (http://www.startnext.de/terranauten ) it is really important to us, because we need as many people to support us as possible. With that, we’ll be able to do further work and to develop ourselves. All kinds of support are welcome, and we will reward our supporters with photos, postcards, posters, and other gifts.

Want to work with us? Follow this link to become a part of the community! 

Cost is a big one here. In regards to total transportation costs, the last mile comprises up to 53% of those - making it the least efficient part of the supply chain. Expectations of free shipping and next day deliveries add up to this.

Due to increasing digitalization and convenience services in every area of people's lives, the smooth and flawless process of getting the delivery to one's doorstep is exceedingly becoming what customers care most about. On top of that, for companies that package being delivered is an extension of their brand. The consumer is basically coming face-to-face with the brand, which makes it the biggest opportunity to heighten customer satisfaction.


If you live in a city and have even slightly observed your urban surroundings you’ve probably witnessed it first hand - urban congestion and crowded cities make it pretty tough to satisfy the growing demand and rising expectations of super quick deliveries. Add unpredictability in transit (like weather conditions), an incorrect address or remote locations, just to name a few, and you can see where this is going.

The worst part is, all those delivery trucks and vans that also produce a fair bit of emissions, are often only half full when they roll out for deliveries. This is mostly due to low drop sizes and stops along the route that are far and few between.

It’s not all hopeless though - Where there is a problem, there are solutions.


Same old, same old - isn’t always all that bad. Sometimes, all that’s needed are some new perspectives! The city of Utrecht, for‌ ‌example, implemented a zero-emissions electric barge nicknamed the “Beer Boat”. 

Since 2010 it’s carrying beer and food to the city’s downtown restaurants by using waterways. Other electric barges in Amsterdam not only deliver but even collect organic waste, which is then turned into biofuel in processing plants! Isn’t that cool?

It becomes clear that cities, logistics, as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌urban‌ ‌planners, are equally part of solving the inefficiency of the last-mile. Tackling this mountain of issues calls for teamwork!


A centralized platform, hub or network for similar companies, could do the trick to fill up the delivery vans & trucks that are barely loaded. Parcels could be distributed more efficiently between different companies and their delivery vehicles.

Like a big pool of parcels from different companies with every single parcel going into that one van with the same route!


Delivery Driver Experience and Smart Delivery Vehicles are also areas with huge potential for improvement and innovation.


Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company. 

Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.


Next to that on-demand experiences have become firmly embedded into people’s everyday lives - be it a mobile app to book a ride, send flowers to your loved ones or order lunch to your office. It’s all possible and has made premium features like real-time tracking a standard.  The online consumer expects nothing less and certainly doesn’t like to wait.


Making that quick and instant gratification happen is another story though. Groundbreaking ideas and innovations are needed to tackle all these factors. Does your startup have one? 

Then head over to our Future Logistics Challenge! Applications are still open until September 23rd.

Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.

Ellie: I eat a lot in west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.

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