Alte Schönhauser Strasse 36/37
10119 Berlin

Phone: + 49 30 / 28 38 93 19
Fax: + 49 30 / 28 87 91 42
05.06.2011 – never ending story

Join “the obiists”

by geraldine frisch, places in Upper Bavaria, Germany


“Obiism” is neither a disease nor a religion, it is mere passion – a passion to do handicrafts, to fiddle about, to design and construct on one’s own. The “obiists” belive in using their free time meaningfully, in finding creative solutions provided by the DIY stores and saving money at the same time.


I first coined the term “obiism”, based on a German chain of DIY stores, in 1990. After the German reunification, the former GDR citizens indulged in DIY activities. Not long after that, I was able to recognize this phenomenon when looking at the renovated houses in the former east German states. I was convinced that the era of “obiism” had finally begun.

das fugenass

The “obiists” form a social group with more or less skilled craftsmanship, a lively curiosity and an enthusiasm to enlarge and reconstruct their homes in their free time. They mainly live in and around the major German cities. Existing since the 1960s, DIY stores have since become a tradition. DIY stores like Bauhaus, Obi, Hornbach, Praktiker or hagebau, to mention only a few of them, enable DIY enthusiasts to practise their hobby.


Some of the obiists, such as Doro Guht, I. B. Obladen and Mrs Obrist visit DIY stores in upper Bavaria more or less regularly. They examine the influence of the offered goods and the tips and tricks conveyed to the customers by advertising clips.

haus styrosalis

Those visits are not announced and take place during the normal opening hours. The results and the videoloops of those visits will be presented in some upper Bavarian DIY stores by mid July 2011.

die frau obrist

The protagonists are:

Mr I. B. Obladen, a successful manager in his fifties and of questionable craftsmanship. Mrs Obrist, a middle-aged housewife who is supposed to return her husband’s purchases to the DIY store and has considerable fun there. Mrs Doro Guht, a DIY store expert, who guides you through the world of DIY stores with expertise and confidence.


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