Interview with myself

I recently stumbled across a series of interviews by The Guardian, and I got totally lost in reading those interviews for hours. Absolutely fascinating.

Then the idea came up in me to collect these questions and answer them myself, an interview with myself, so to speak. I have done something like this before, but only answers, without the associated questions.

Here is the result:

When were you happiest?

When I was 15 years old and met my great love. Every time we met, looking into her face was like the most beautiful sunrise.

I’m Capricorn, very determined when it comes to achieving my goals. I can only give up when something is not important enough to me, otherwise that’s not an option. That’s why we are together today, against all odds, and there were lots of very hard ones.

Life has done a lot of scars to both of us, but when I see her face, the sun is still rising. Every day.

What is your greatest fear?

I’m more afraid of life than of death. This fact itself sometimes scares the people around me who I care about. I myself am hardly afraid of anything, except for the brutality, ruthlessness and lovelessness that people are capable of.

What is your earliest memory?

There are very diffuse, weird images inside of me, of which I don’t know exactly whether they are reality or fantasy.

What is your most treasured possession?

Objects mean nothing to me, but I love my Yamaha HS 8 studio monitors. They make music sound the way it’s been recorded.

Who would you play in the film of your life?

Maybe the young Gérard Depardieu. I once read that he has become an idiot who drinks himself to death, perhaps because he cannot cope with the loss of his son. He said something about his son’s death that touched me deeply: “My little Guillaume was too brilliant and fragile for this world.”

I find this statement very loving.

What is your favorite word?

Flower.

What do you owe your parents?

Nothing but misery.

What does love feel like?

Frightening.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A rock star, an architect or an archaeologist.

What is your favourite smell?

Fresh-baked bread.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Wine.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Fuck.”

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Ignorance.

Which book changed your life?

“Fate as an Opportunity” by Thorwald Dethlefsen. I was 17, absolutely clueless, and this book gave me a chance to develop a world view, even if it was a rather depressive one.

What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?

“Without my money you won’t get anywhere.” My father said that shortly before his death. That was just one of many injuries, but it was the most disgusting.

What was the best kiss of your life?

Wilma’s first kiss when she was a little puppy. It went straight to the heart, the purest form of love.

What has been your biggest disappointment?

My family.

Is it better to give or to receive?

Both. But the order is important: always give first.

Which living person do you most despise, and why?

The orange piece of shit that other pieces of shit put on a throne that makes him the most dangerous piece of shit in the world.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

The year 17 A.C., Jerusalem.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?

As great as the temptation is, and believe me, it is very big: nothing. Everything is as it should be. I think one of the most important things to learn in life is acceptance. Precisely because it is also the most difficult.

Where would you most like to be right now?

I have an imaginary place in my head that I’ve been carrying with me all my life. It is a plot of land on a plateau, high above the adjacent sea. In the background – or foreground, depending on the perspective – are beautiful mountains with snow-capped peaks. There is a Roman-style house on the property with an atrium. My retirement home. I would like to get this done before I depart from this life.

Tell a joke.

If a man comes around the corner, the bus is gone. If a bus comes around the corner, the man is gone. If they both come around the corner, the corner is gone.

Tell a secret.

If I tell a secret, it’s no longer one.

Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and not meant it?

Yes. I didn’t want to hurt or was a coward. Or both.

How often do you have sex?

I’m not counting something like that. But it feels just right.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

That I conquered fear.

Which living person do you most admire?

There is not one person I admire the most. I admire every person who manages to do what is right and does not primarily think of himself first.

But I have musical role models. I think the one I admire the most is Mark Knopfler. His ability to write and play music is incredible.

Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?

Drums. Drummers have the most expensive passion among all musicians. A cymbal stand costs as much as a guitar. Of course, depending on the model, but you get a decent guitar for a decent cymbal stand.

What would your superpower be?

I already have a superpower. I can create music.

What makes you unhappy?

The incredible amount of bad music that is commercially successful.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

See answer #1.

How do you relax?

With wine and good music.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

As a young man, I thought that was important. Today that tends to zero. In this respect, I’m no longer interested in my external imperfections.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Mark Knopfler, Mike Oldfield, Gavin Harrison, Simon Phillips and my parents in one room. The latter should only listen to what the others have to say. Maybe then my parents would finally understand why I have to make music.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?

I almost drowned in the open sea. I was saved unexpectedly at the last moment.

What is your most unappealing habit?

Honestly, I don’t know. Others can certainly say that better.

What is the top of your bucket list?

I really want to find the time and silence to finish my album.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?

To everyone who needs an apology from me to deal with injuries I inflicted on him or her.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

The abolition of money. Mankind doesn’t need money. The planet offers all resources humans need. We have a distribution issue called greed.

What keeps you awake at night?

The future that people of my generation will leave behind for the next generation.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

This song has been with me all my life. A lullaby for adults. And since I then go to sleep, that fits very well. It may also comfort the participants at my funeral. I don’t know any other song that creates such warmth and peace in me as this one.

How would you like to be remembered?

It is not important to be remembered, only what you do in life should be. As a person I’m as insignificant as anyone else.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?

Democracy.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Immediately after birth, all sorts of things are expected from you. They break your wings as quickly as possible before you even start flying.

Aunt Berta’s wet kisses on your still innocent child’s face only delight Aunt Berta. Uncle Alfred has a secret boner when you reluctantly sit on his lap. You endure it because there is a little pocket money or small gifts at the end of the evening, because that way you have already been conditioned.

A little later, you are expected to be compliant, shut up and consume. Almost everyone wants you to become someone you are not.

All my own experiences? Yes. 100%.

The lesson I have drawn from this is: don’t fulfill expectations, find your way back to yourself as quickly as possible, heal, become a natural being and do meaningful things.

Es wäre schön, wenn das jeder lesen würde | It would be nice if everyone read that

(English version below this German one)

Wir haben kürzlich Besuch gehabt, ein Pärchen, sie schon lange bekannt, er ihr neuer Partner. Normalerweise halte ich mich seit einigen Jahren, aus Erfahrung, an den Grundsatz, mit Menschen nicht über Politik oder Religion zu reden. Nun ja… es ist dann aber doch passiert. Ich habe nicht damit angefangen, aber irgendwie war ich plötzlich mitten drin.

Die deutsche AfD ist für mich 1:1 vergleichbar mit der amerikanischen Alt-Right Bewegung (und die ver-Trumpten Republikaner), und vielen anderen rechten Bewegungen auf der Welt. Das ist ein trauriger Trend, den man zur Kenntnis nehmen, jedoch nicht hinnehmen muss.

Wie vermutlich viele Menschen in meinem “Dunstkreis”, die sich auch links/grün/progressiv im politischen Spektrum sehen, ging ich bisher davon aus, man könne jeden halbwegs intelligenten Menschen mit klaren Fakten, wenn unbestreitbar präsentiert, überzeugen.

Was habe ich mir da die Hände auf der Herdplatte verbrannt (und es eigentlich vorher bereits besser gewusst). 😞 Was sagst du jemandem, der klare Beweise ablehnt und immer noch an Verschwörungstheorien glaubt? Richtig, das geht nicht gut. Ich denke, wir können uns darauf einigen, dass wir eine solche Person für einen Idioten halten. Und nein, ich habe ihm das (so) nicht gesagt.

Ich mache es kurz: aus einem gemütlichen Abend wurde ein Desaster, weil ich den Bullshit ab einem gewissen Punkt nicht mehr ertragen konnte. Ich kann eine Menge Bullshit gelassen ertragen, aber nicht mehr, wenn es Menschen betrifft, die ich kenne und die unter diesem Unsinn zu leiden haben. Das ist dann zuviel. Mir ist eine Sicherung durchgebrannt.

Ich habe danach tagelang, und auch heute noch, darüber nachgedacht, wie man jemanden abholt, der sich verirrt hat. An welcher Abzweigung hat er den Weg verloren, und wieso? Wieso kann so ein Mensch klare Fakten nicht annehmen und weiter irgendwelchen Unsinn glauben und verbreiten? Ich weigere mich, anzunehmen, dass es sich hier um “schlechte Menschen” handelt — jedenfalls nicht schlechter, als der allgemeine Durchschnitt — die plötzlich rechts/fremdenfeindlich geworden sind.

Ich habe bis jetzt keine ultimative Antwort, nur eine Vermutung: einfache Antworten sind einfach. Naheliegend. Bequem. Menschen sind bequem. Menschen fühlen sich zu Pappfiguren wie Trump hingezogen, weil er einfache Antworten präsentiert, egal wie falsch sie sind.

Dazu erinnere ich mich daran:

“Die Verschwörungstheorie ist die ultimative Zuflucht für Machtlose. Wenn Sie Ihr eigenes Leben nicht kontrollieren können, muss es eine große Kraft sein, die die Welt kontrolliert” — Roger Cohen, New York Times

Ich würde mich — wirklich (!) — sehr freuen, wenn jemand dazu mehr sagen könnte. Hier in den Kommentaren. Ich bitte euch darum. Was denkt ihr dazu? Falls das so ist, wo liege ich grundlegend falsch? Was mache ich falsch?

Ich habe diese Geschichte und meine Gedanken hier extrem verkürzt dargestellt. Bitte bedenkt das bei eurer Antwort.

Hier eine aktuelle Meldung von CNN, die ich mal übersetzt habe, allerdings nur die Kernsätze, die ich für fundamental halte:

Richter bei der Verurteilung des Helfers der Trump-Kampagne: “Wenn die Menschen die Fakten nicht kennen, funktioniert die Demokratie nicht”

Zitate von Bundesrichterin Amy Berman Jackson:

“Das sind Fakten. Das sind keine angeblichen Fakten, das sind keine alternativen Fakten oder eine Geschichte, die von den Medien erfunden wurde.”

 

“Dieses bewusste Bestreben, die Fakten zu verschleiern, diese Missachtung der Wahrheit untergräbt unseren politischen Diskurs und beeinflusst unsere Politik. Wenn die Menschen die Fakten nicht kennen, funktioniert Demokratie nicht.”

Quelle: edition.cnn.com/2019/12/17/politics/amy-berman-jackson-gates-bar…


We recently had visitors, a couple, we know her for a long time, he is her new partner. I have usually followed the principle of not talking about politics or religion for a few years, based on experience. Well… shit hit the fan it did happen. I didn’t start it, but somehow I was suddenly in the middle of it.

For me, the German AfD party is congruently comparable to the American alt-right movement (and the Trump-turned Republican party) and many other right-wing movements around the world. That’s a sad trend that we have to notice but don’t have to accept.

Like presumably many people with whom I surround myself, who also see themselves left / green / progressive in the political spectrum, I have previously assumed that you can convince any reasonably intelligent person with clear facts, if presented undeniably and with clear evidence.

I burned my hands properly on the stove (and actually knew better before). 😞 What do you say to someone who rejects clear evidence and still believes in conspiracy theories? Right, that’s not going well. I think we can agree that we think such a person is an idiot. And no, I didn’t tell him that.

I’ll make it short: a cozy evening turned into a disaster, because at a certain point I couldn’t bear the bullshit anymore. I can take a lot of bullshit calmly, but not when it comes to people I know and who suffer from this nonsense. Then that’s too much. My fuse has blown.

I spent days, and still today, thinking about how to pick up someone who got lost. At which junction did he lose his way, and why? Why can’t such a person accept clear facts and continue to believe and spread any nonsense? I refuse to assume that these are “bad people” — at least not worse than the general average — who have suddenly become right-wing / xenophobic.

So far, I have no ultimate answer, just a guess: simple answers are simple. Obvious. Comfortable. People are lazy. People gravitate towards cardboard figures like Trump because he presents simple answers, no matter how false they are.

That reminds me of:

“Conspiracy theory is the ultimate refuge for the powerless. If you cannot control your own life, it must be some great force that controls the world” – Roger Cohen, New York Times

I’d be really (!) very happy if someone could say more about this. Here in the comments. I ask you for it. What do you think? If so, where am I fundamentally wrong? What am I doing wrong?

I’ve presented this story and my thoughts in extremely abbreviated form. Please, consider this when you answer.

This is from a current article from CNN, but only the core narrative that I consider fundamental. That’s what Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson said:

“Those are facts. Those are not alleged facts, those are not alternative facts, or a narrative created by the media.”

 

“This deliberate effort to obscure the facts, this disregard for the truth undermines our political discourse and it affects our policy-making. If people don’t have the facts, democracy doesn’t work.”

Source: edition.cnn.com/2019/12/17/politics/amy-berman-jackson-gates-bar…

A Little Personal Update

It may be time to catch up on a few things…

I decided to stop broadcasting my shows on radio stations. The time commitments limit me too much in my personal freedom, and the unreliability of the stations annoys me too much.

I will record LIGHTWORKS and TIME OUT sets (and other specials) whenever I feel like it and my time permits. I will then, as always, offer those for free download on Soundcloud.

As a touring DJ, I am not very active, but still accept “good” booking requests. That means you can still book me, but I’m not running after any gig. Honestly, I’m just picking out the sweetest fruits. I’m tired of lying and cheating promoters and bad marketing because someone does not understand this job.

Please do not get me wrong … I’m not one of those who announce big on social media that they’re giving up the DJ job. Once a DJ, always a DJ. And also: never say never. I love DJing and I love to play for an audience that understands and loves what I do.

Mark my words: that will never end, until my last breath.

But I do not feel like having to get upset about people in this business anymore. I am too old for such nonsense, and too young not to enjoy certain things in a different and better way.

The music business has given me a lot and taken a lot. I have never taken the easy route and I have renounced or thrown away money because I am (still) an idealist. But I have not always kept up well with my energies, have had too much patience with assholes and bunglers. Too often people have taken advantage of the benefits associated with me without even considering giving anything back. I have always put too much faith in the wrong people, that’s been one of my life-long weaknesses.

All that has come to an end.

I will stay with you forever as a musician, composer, producer, storyteller, part-time idiot, puppet master, occasional DJ, show host and smartass. Promised.

On Instagram you can have a peek into what adventures are taking place in my life. I still have endless energy, plans and dreams. Nothing (except perhaps death) will keep me from realizing my ideas. No matter what obstacles have stood in my way: I have the partner by my side whom I always wanted to have, I live where I always wanted to live, and in the future I will only do what I really want to do. Nothing and no one will stop me. Well, maybe here and there, for a moment… but in the end I always reach my goals. Because I know who I am and who I’m not, thus I have plenty of substance to believe in myself.

 

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Ein Beitrag geteilt von IᑎGO ᐯOGEᒪᗰᗩᑎᑎ (@ingovogelmann) am

Life is too short for too many bad decisions. You fall, get up again, shake off the dirt and keep going without repeating the same mistakes. That’s my credo.

Good evening, good night, good morning and good day to you all. Oh … and Happy Easter.

Cutting Toxic People Out of Your Life

“I dropped all the toxic people in my life. Block. Delete. So simple. I unfollowed all the news and political pages on Twitter and Facebook. Life is so much better being a little selfish and putting my needs first. You can’t pour from an empty cup. As bitchy and heartless as I may sound, I’m actually able to love and care for those who actually care about me better after getting rid of the draining relationships.” — Naoko P.

Rumours About My Retirement — A Statement

Ingo Vogelmann
Not retired, yet.

There seems to be a rumour that I retired. Recently I also received messages from fans who asked me directly. I think it’s time to explain, and not just on this subject.

First of all: no. I haven’t retired, yet, nor do I plan so anytime soon. But I have either shut down or minimized certain activities that affect my work in the music industry, on the other hand, I draw my energy to other (and partially new) things.

About my management activities in the music industry

As you may know, I no longer work for FRISKY. I also removed my shows from the station, because I wanted it that way. I was not officially fired. At a certain point, FRISKY simply stopped communicating with me for reasons that to this day are incomprehensible to me, unless I suspected fraud. After all, I was the one who quit after nobody talked to me anymore. I got some sort of explanation (very much too late), but it wasn’t satisfactory at all. Despite the fact that it assumed completely false accusations that looked strongly like made up, for the sake of accusation. I can not spread the whole story publicly, it’s still a legal process that is far from over. I still have demands that I have to enforce in court.

With great pleasure I am Head of A&R for Pro B Tech Music. This job usually takes place in the background, which is why you do not notice much of it. But I am very busy. If you have demos, send them to me. 😉

Studio work

I direct my energy more and more to the work in the studio. That means I produce, mix, master and compose a lot, both for myself and for clients. That’s great fun. I couldn’t imagine quitting this, ever. I will probably do this until my very last breath. I just love music too much.

Radio shows

I do that. Still. As long as I enjoy it and my time allows it. I don’t know when the time has come when it stops being enough fun to continue, but you will notice.

Gigs

Quite clear: I’m picking out the really good ones. I’m tired of stupid discussions with promoters that do too much coke and have an incredibly inflated ego or want to fool me. I do not play for free drinks, travel expenses and hotel. BTW, I never did that.

To be honest: I have been involved in the music industry for about 25 years. I have experienced many beautiful things, seen many places and people and experienced unforgettable moments. But also many bitter disappointments. And I – 45 years old – do not feel like it anymore. Really not. I might be a bit stupid, but not that stupid.

And here is the most important thing…

Over the years, I have neglected far too many things. Friends and partnership, for example. Family. A normal life. I haven’t always given the really important people in my life the attention and energy they deserve. Although I always had the best intentions, I have been terrible on many subjects and fucked up opportunities.

At 45, I’m full of regrets that I need to process — believe it or not. Your own mistakes make you either go full retard (pardon the wording) or they make you humble and thoughtful. I want to be a better version of myself and live the life I could have lived earlier if I hadn’t clinged to stupid things and false perceptions. I also want to have more time and energy for private passions and hobbies, and I also want to really listen to the music I love more, not just skip through it, because I need to evaluate it.

I’m at an age where you do not have to get involved with everything or prove anything. I (almost) only do things that I enjoy doing. A few things I did before have only taken but not given back enough, or at all. Fuck this.

In a nutshell, I have no time or energy to waste. This life is short and will be over sooner or later, and I’m the only one responsible for my happiness until that day has come.

However, that’s the short explanation on the state of things. If necessary, I will explain more at some point. Thanks for your attention and for your support! I sincerely hope you understand what this is about, and what not.

Why Frank Sinatra Was The Man

Frank SinatraFrank Sinatra gave an interview for Playboy Magazine in 1963, and it’s pretty stunning. During the interview he was asked:

If you think you’re stepping over the line, offending your public or perhaps risking economic suicide, shall we cut this off now, erase the tape and start over along more antiseptic lines?

And he said:

No, let’s let it run. I’ve thought this way for years, ached to say these things. Whom have I harmed by what I’ve said? What moral defection have I suggested? No, I don’t want to chicken out now. Come on, pal, the clock’s running.

I have to say, I never liked his music, but this man has become one of my heroes today. Because he’s absolutely right, and he’s had some balls.

But here’s what the interview is about, actually:

I don’t believe in a personal God to whom I look for comfort or for a natural on the next roll of the dice. I’m not unmindful of man’s seeming need for faith; I’m for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. But to me religion is a deeply personal thing in which man and God go it alone together, without the witch doctor in the middle. The witch doctor tries to convince us that we have to ask God for help, to spell out to him what we need, even to bribe him with prayer or cash on the line. Well, I believe that God knows what each of us wants and needs. It’s not necessary for us to make it to church on Sunday to reach Him. You can find Him anyplace.

And:

There are things about organized religion which I resent. Christ is revered as the Prince of Peace, but more blood has been shed in His name than any other figure in history. You show me one step forward in the name of religion and I’ll show you a hundred retrogressions. Remember, they were men of God who destroyed the educational treasures at Alexandria, who perpetrated the Inquisition in Spain, who burned the witches at Salem. Over 25,000 organized religions flourish on this planet, but the followers of each think all the others are miserably misguided and probably evil as well.

But read for yourself.

Behind The Mask

This is how I want to remember Robin Williams. Positive and extremely nice.
This is how I want to remember Robin Williams. Positive and extremely nice.

This is not an obituary. There are enough people on the planet that are way better at this. Plus, I didn’t know Robin Williams personally, and I’m not a journalist. But Robin and I  — and so many other people in this world — have something in common, and that’s why this is a call for awareness.

The first thing I had to learn this morning when I woke up was: shit! I’m late. I’m supposed to drive the Missus to work!

Part of my waking-up-process is having a cigarette and checking my phone. Call it a ritual. Next up would be grabbing a coffee from the kitchen. I didn’t get this far. The news that Robin Williams (apparently, unconfirmed while I’m writing this) committed suicide was all over my phone.

Holy shit! I mean: holy motherfucking goddamn shit! How can this happen? How can someone bring so much joy into people’s hearts and be a totally sad man himself? What an actor, what an artist, what a great human being!

Robin Williams was very open about his addictions (cocaine, alcohol) and his depressions. This didn’t help enough, though. And no money, success and fame in the world could help him to overcome his struggles with life.

My distant relative Christopher Vogelmann, who’s a doctor himself (even when he’s “only” a chiropractor), said today:

Mental distress and mental illness affect more people than we readily know. Depression and addiction can hit those who are famous and those closest to us.

It is a sad moment as this great light of comedic genius has left us for a much larger stage.

and

The daily struggles can often be upsetting but the positive potential is equally strong.

We are as a nation ill-prepared to deal with mental illness. We often just stigmatize and warehouse those afflicted with mental illness – something that we would almost never do to a person with a physical illness.

He said it. I feel that this is all we need to know and think about right now and in the future.

I’m suffering from depressions all my life. I’ve had numerous moments when I wanted to end my life, because I couldn’t bear the deep sadness inside of me anymore. A sadness I couldn’t explain, one I could never find out where it was coming from. How do you pull out the rambling weeds when you can’t grab it at its roots?

funkagendaRead my fellow “workmate’s” thoughts on this, too, Funkagenda, who recently came out in public about his problems with depressions, drugs and alcohol.

I got it “under control”, kind of. The sadness and depressions are still there, but somehow I found a way to go through those phases. They have become infrequent, and I got meds that make it easier when they show up. I have had training all my life, to wear a mask, smile, so that no one would ever figure out what’s going on behind the mask.

The wish to just be dead and get rid of the pain then is still there. It’s mainly the responsibility for the hearts of the people surrounding me that keeps me away from leaving the stage of this life.

I’m sure Robin Williams had professional help, meds and loving people surrounding him. For a “normal” person, there would be so many good reasons to just be happy and enjoy life, but for Robin Williams all of this wasn’t enough, apparently.

I’m thinking about “why do people have problems like that” all my life. What the fuck is wrong? What makes people so sick, and why do I suffer from this, too? Is it a general sick world, full of ugliness and hatred? Does this produce so much negativity that some people just can’t deal with it? Are we not made for a society like that?

I remember a statement actor Gerard Depardieu gave when his only son died. It was something like

He wasn’t made for this world. He was a true poet, this world was too much for him. It’s okay that he’s at another place now where he can find peace for himself.

I was thinking that — as sad as it is — he is probably right.

I wish the world would be more lovely and less ugly. I wish people would treat each other with more respect and kindness. I wish money and status wouldn’t have the importance it has, and everyone could just live his life the way he wants without the constant pressure life puts on us.

Maybe there are individuals in this world that just can’t take all this ugliness. Maybe we put our wishes and our suffering into art, for the outside world to understand us better, to express ourselves, because words are so limited.

And some of of us obviously give the funny clown to overact the deep sadness inside of us, or to pretend that this world is an entirely beautiful place. Like Robin Williams.

P.S.: I didn’t write this to jump on a SEO bandwagon. I did it, because this topic affects me personally, and I think it helps others and myself to be as open as possible about it.
P.P.S.: I didn’t drive the Missus to work, the morning was all fucked up.

Update

This is Zelda Williams’ tweet after her father’s death:

Skipping the Building Permit by Building 9 Square Meter Micro-Cabin

I could totally live there:

Designer Robin Falck obviously loves a challenge. He decided he wanted to build a cabin for his personal getaways, but wanted to do it alone. Then he decided to bypass the need for a building permit by building a cabin under 9 square meters. In just two weeks time Robin was able to build this incredible cabin, minus the door and window which had not arrived yet.

via Skipping the Building Permit by Building 9 Square Meter Micro-Cabin.

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