Open Eyes //

ACTAHA

ACTAHA – which simply means capital city in Russian – was the goal of our further education this year. Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, is located about 5,100 kilometres east of Stuttgart.

The city in the middle of the Kazakh steppe was only appointed capital in 1997. With almost 900,000 inhabitants, the city is constantly growing. Skyscrapers shoot out of the ground into the sky like mushrooms at every street crossing.

We started on Wednesday. From Stuttgart via Frankfurt we went non-stop to Astana. Arrived on Thursday morning we started looking for a café to have breakfast. Before that we brought our luggage to the very simple but clean hostel. Directly after that we went to our real reason for the long journey – the Expo or also known as World Exposition. The theme of the exhibition was "Future Energy", everything revolved around how we need to change and shape our future to limit climate change and curb the constant hunger for energy. The Expo site was specially developed for this purpose. In the middle is the more than 100-metre-high glass sphere, in which the host country shows its high-tech side. All other countries also showed in fascinating pavilions how they will deal with the topic of energy in the future. So, we informed ourselves for 2 full days and were inspired and could collect many new ideas. All the shows, projections and the architecture were all highlights for us, which we might be able to incorporate in the scenography.

On day 3 a very friendly young lady guided us 7 hours through the whole capital. Past magnificent buildings we learned everything about the modern city. The mixture of Russian, Asian and European influences inspired us all. From the biggest mosque in Central Asia to the futuristic architecture of the English star architect Norman Foster we could admire everything. Also, culinary we didn't leave anything out and were led to a traditional Kazakh restaurant in the middle of the capital. From here, the whole size of the city could be guessed.

Unfortunately, the training was finished much too fast, so we went to the airport again on Sunday and after a flight of almost 6 hours we were back in Frankfurt.

Now we can dive into new projects together again as a team, full of fresh impressions.