Felix Burghardt // Amsterdam
Introducing Felix; a book lover, daydreamer and Service & Experience Designer based in Amsterdam.
Hi, I’m Felix…
I am an Amsterdam-based service and experience designer with a hospitality background, German roots, a problem-solving brain and an eye for detail.
So tell us Felix, what are you passionate about?
My biggest passion is to constantly think about new ideas and eventually turn these ideas into projects and experiences. It’s quite simple but I just love creating experiences that foster positive emotions, make people smile and are useful to others. Besides that I love sports, daydreaming, Sundays, books, a great turkey melt sandwich and above all – my family.
What keeps you busy at the moment?
As mentioned earlier, I am currently freelancing as a Service & Experience Designer. I decided to go for experience design because it’s the truest, most fulfilling way I can realise my full potential. This career allows me to both grow professionally and personally. I can make impactful business decisions for this world, but also help people in the process.
I just recently helped a Paris-based co-living company develop an on-boarding journey that puts their tenants’ needs front and centre, while building a stronger community.
At the moment I am assessing my next client opportunities and additionally to my freelance projects, I am also working on a personal idea around creating city hubs that combine solitude, silence and sensory experiences to help people reconnect with themselves. To fight loneliness for example we don’t only need to surround ourselves with more people, but we also need to start feeling comfortable with ourselves while being alone. This project ties into this philosophy.
And lastly, besides my freelance work and the personal project, what always keeps me busy is learning. Learning new things that have an immediate impact on what I do. So currently I am taking part in a workshop on how to build a better brand.
What are my biggest learnings?
- Read books: They have been my saviours along the way when facing any kind of challenges (i.e. branding, sales, people’s skills)
- Trust yourself and let yourself guided by your heart and gut, even if there is no safe or clear plan: After I graduated I decided to move to Amsterdam and go for an internship instead of a well-paid job. It felt like the right thing to do to improve myself and to reach my bigger goals. And even when I started freelancing, I was still missing a lot of knowledge.But it would have been more “painful” for me to start a normal job again instead of trying to find a way to become really good at what I really, really love doing.
- Test your assumptions (this works with everything in life): I always wanted to have my own company and never really settle for a corporate job. So before investing much time and money I decided to freelance in order to see if I like this way of working and living. And this test has been a success so far!
- Don’t feel shy, ask for advice and help others: People love to help other people. I once spoke to a VC who was very busy with agriculture projects in Africa for some advice on a project. Despite his busy schedule he took the time to help me. I asked him why and he replied that when he started his career, he asked a lot of people for support and he will never forget how important this was for him. So his credo was to always spare some time for people who ask him for help. A mindset I adopted as well.
- Show that you care: This mindset helped me land freelance jobs, build and sustain relationships and in many other aspects in life.
- Set clear goals and focus on what matters most to move forward: This is still something I am trying to master. When I started to work for myself I was a bit overwhelmed with everything on my to-do list. I started to ask myself, “What is the most important thing I have to do in this moment to reach the next goal?” This helped me avoid distractions and focus on what matters most.
- Talk with and learn from people who are how you want to be
- Be patient and don’t push too hard
- Leave out the bullshit and come straight to the essence
- Add humour to everything you do
We know everyone’s working process is different. We also know you can learn a lot from the experiences of others so share yours below.
When are you most productive/creative? How do you get into the flow?
I am the most productive when I set a clear purpose and have a bigger perspective or longer vision. This helps me with bigger projects but also when it comes to plan my day. I need to know where I am going to avoid floating around and focusing on tasks that don’t bring me anywhere.
When it comes to doing tasks I don’t really like, experience design taught me that you can turn every negative event into something positive. I strongly disliked Mondays in the past. Also because I never wanted Sundays to end. One day I started to implement a ritual that changed my perspective. I connected going to my favourite burrito place (frequent visitor) with Mondays. The only rule was to have the burrito only on Mondays. And since then Mondays didn’t seem so bad anymore.
Show us a picture of your favourite working spot.
I do like to work at home but thanks to a good friend I am currently enjoying working at Spaces in Amsterdam.
What playlist is on in the background and why?
There is not much music playing in the background. I actually really like to work in silence in order to fully focus. But I do appreciate the sound of nature while working – like a good old thunderstorm including heavy rain. And if I do decide for music, it’s usually Tom Misch.
Tell us a bit about the place you’re living right now.
Where is home at the moment?
I am currently based in Amsterdam living in the beautiful district of the Jordaan.
What do you love about this place? Is there anything you feel makes it unique?
I really like Amsterdam for its relaxed atmosphere, open mindset and safe bike lanes. There’s just something different about being able to cycle everywhere within the city rather than taking a cramped subway. I also feel it’s such an innovative and inspiring city that gives you a lot of energy.
Tell us about the hidden gems that you’d take your visitors/friends to where you live and why you chose them?
- ‘La Perla’: Rumors say that you will most likely find the best Pizza of Amsterdam at this beautiful location.
- Vuurtoren Eiland: If you plan your trip in advance try to reserve a spot at Vuurtoren Eiland. Especially if you are into local food and special dining experiences that feel like a little mini vacation.
- Mediamatic: If you are looking for a place that combines art, culture and new technologies you should definitely visit Mediamatic for some inspiring workshops ().
- Zoku: Zoku is a home/office hybrid made for mobile professionals and a really inspiring place to connect with people from all over the world.
- Amsterdamse Bos: This is the perfect place to get away from the city and reconnect with nature. It easy to reach by bike and you will be rewarded with lots of nature and the opportunity to cuddle with goats!
Collaborating with The Sense Network
I could support others in the Network by..
… /in building memorable experiences for their customers or employees.
I’d like to collaborate with Sensers that would like to…
… bounce off ideas, learn from each other or simply exchange experiences.
The Sense Network work together to make things better and make better things. Tell us about the one thing you’d change in the world…
I am actually going to reframe this questions to: What is working in the world and how can we do more of it?
I see a lot of great rising movements and organisations that support communities that don’t have the same opportunities as others.
Thanks to my girlfriend I got to know a project called Klabu. Klabu is a non-profit organisation, that builds sports club within refugee camps and raising money by selling high quality sportswear.
I started to support this project and bought a jersey. And instead of suggesting a completely new idea on how to save this world that probably won’t have any impact, I would kindly ask you to follow this project and have a look at their jerseys!