Slow down

Coolhunts

Time is slipping through our fingers. 24 hours in a day just don’t seem to be enough. The ticking hands of the clock are getting on your nerves, am I right?

‘Deal with it’, is how the clock would answer you. Don’t let it distract you. But it isn’t as simple as that. Is there a way to change it? Well, you could just throw away the batteries of your clock and act like you have unlimited hours in a day, but I’m afraid that your boss and the rest of your social network won’t appreciate it.

But gladly I’m not writing this for nothing. The French designer Bina Baitel created the Lash Clock. The main purpose is that she wants to display the speed of the time as quiet as possible.

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The clock radiates a meditative atmosphere. The design reminds us of an eye with lashes. If you take a good look at it, you see that there is a space at two places between the hairs. The larger space represents the hour, while the smaller space shows the minutes.

I simply love this design! The Western world is very focused on time. When people have been traveling in Asia for example, they have to get used to this ‘rushed’ lifestyle when they get back. Hopefully this will make us a little more zen.

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SUSHI DIY

Carnaval, Costume, DIY, lifestyle, Themeparty

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-14 om 14.50.07 🍣🍣🍣

Over exact vier weken is het weer zo ver: carnaval, of vastelaovend, als ik het meest zuidelijke publiek niet direct in de eerste alinea al wil verliezen.

Als inwoner van Utrecht, met het grootste deel van mijn jeugd in Gorinchem – in elk geval boven de rivieren – zou je mij niet direct zien staan hossen tussen de Limburgers. Maar niets is minder waar: die vier eerste jaren van mijn leven in Venlo zijn toch bij me gebleven. En hardnekkig ook! Iets in de trant van “je kunt het meisje wel uit Limburg halen maar Limburg niet uit het meisje”?

Dus zo stond ik bijna een jaar geleden in Maastricht, in een – jawel jawel – sushi pekske! En deze DIY wil ik je natuurlijk niet onthouden.

Lego House

Coolhunts

‘I’m gonna pick up the pieces, and build a Lego house…’
I have always known that Ed Sheeran was a great inspiration to many people ;).

Create an additional workspace, build a table, create more storage space, everything is possible with these super useful building blocks of Ever Block Systems. A film in which the company demonstrates the blocks, is going viral.
It’s a bit like Duplo/Lego for adults. The building blocks of Ever Block Systems can transform any living space into something new. And it’s fun too.

The blocks are available in various shapes, sizes and colors. Each structure is also easy to disassemble again, so you can quickly shake a new creation out of your sleeve. A simple but ingenious invention.

In barely one week, the demonstration movie of the company already has 61 million views and has been shared more than a million times.

In my opinion, there are several reasons why a product like this strikes at the moment.
It’s about authenticity and efficiency: people want their living space to be unique but it has to be easy, because of a lack of time.

What makes it even more interesting is the ‘play’ aspect. It looks like playing for adults is something booming. You see playground festivals popping up, meeting rooms designed in ball pits, now this. In a world full of burn-outs and high work pressure, the need to feel like a little kid again is growing. These building blocks offer a nostalgic feeling and the opportunity to play. That’s why I think products like this have future growth potential.

Småland

Coolhunts

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. – Leonardo da Vinci

Scandinavia got me, again!

Visitors to Malmö in Sweden should watch out for a miniature mouse café  and shop that has taken up residence in basement windows on one of the city’s streets. The brainchild of the mysterious Anonymouse MMX, the tiny storefronts designed for the city’s population of mouse residents are simply adorable.

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(Almost) everything is better in miniature shape if you ask me. It just creates some kind of harmless, accessible atmosphere.

If you try to figure it out based on scientific literature, you will read that we are evolutionarily programmed so that we are triggered by things that are small in proportion. If it is a small scale deformation (a mini version of something we also have in big sizes), we associate it with something we should cherish and protect. We find it automatically cute. A corollary of our instinct to protect young mammals and babies.

In a world full of trouble and negativity, I think people are secretly longing for something unprejudiced and innocent. Embrace positivity! 🙂

Let’s Hygge a little

Coolhunts

Flanel blankets, fire places, woollen socks, candle lights, tea or hot chocolate, cuddling, having dinner with friends. How would you name this feeling in English? I would use ‘gezelligheid’ in Dutch, ‘cosiness’ perhaps?

Anyway, until today I didn’t believe there was a perfect term which includes it all. A while ago I told you about my love for Denmark. This love grew even more when I first noticed the word ‘hygge’. It represents an ‘intimate gathering with people you can relax with’, creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. It’s a verb in Danish – you can hygge together!

It is seen in Denmark as part of the national identity and culture. Hygge is the antidote to the cold winter, the rainy days and the vast darkness. You can hygge all year, but in winter it becomes a survival strategy. No wonder that the Danish people are the happiest people in the world.

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I think it is not a coincidence that currently, articles and even books are written about this Danish phenomenon. The desire to come together with family and friends is getting bigger and bigger in a world where in fact the opposite is happening with wars and conflicts.

Hygge has future growth potential, because this concept focuses on the good things in life. It is a strategy to improve our quality of life. We need to connect again, to accomplish – I won’t say world peace – more love and understanding.  It reminded me of this beautiful quote:

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” — Ryunosuke Satoro

Lesson learned: I’m going to enjoy this evening with pillows, blankets, candles and my family. And set up a Pinterest board with some hygge inspiration.

What is your favourite hygge thing to do?

If I were a toy

Coolhunts

Pink
Blue
Dolls
Cars
Dresses
Building blocks
Kitchen
Soccer

Each item is associated with either girls or boys and I assume that you don’t experience any difficulties by categorizing them. Girls’ toys are associated with physical attractiveness, nurturing, and domestic skill, whereas boys’ toys were rated as violent, competitive, exciting, and somewhat dangerous. Of course, it is a fact that boys generally have more testosterone. This explains why they are more engaged with competition and sometimes aggression.

But in my opinion, this knowledge is being extremely magnified by the media and the gender-stereotyped toy marketing. It isn’t so obvious anymore that cleaning belongs to women and that men are the breadwinners of the family. So why is this still a common image in the toy store flyers?

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That’s why I love the new commercial from Smyths Toys UK. It shows a little boy singing his own version of Beyonce’s ‘If I Were A Boy’, where he imagines what life would be liked if he was a toy for one day. The boy flies through space as a rocket, but he’s also dressing up as a queen in a pink dress and crown before waving to his subjects from the roof of a castle.

It’s just a fraction of the commercial but I believe that it has been a very conscious choice of the store and they are making the first step toward the gender neutrality trend.

It is already visible in the fashion world and every new signal in a different area confirms this trend more and more. Kids should decide for themselves what they think is fun.