Twiddle yourself tranquilo

Coolhunts

Just a few Kickstarter projects outperformed the Fidget Cube. A cube with each side buttons that you can press, click and wiggle. The makers needed $ 15,000, the counter now stands at 4.6 million. And they still have a month to go for crowdfunding. Why would you want or even buy such a thing?

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Neuropsychology professor Erik Scherder thinks fidgeting is very hyping nowadays. “Internet, social media and apps have brought us many wonderful things, but there is also a downside: Too many incentives because all the technology and communication demands our attention. By fidgeting, you are able to bring your central nervous system in a relax mode.”

By fumbling, you can also steer your attention. “It takes away the noise,” said Scherder. That’s why you see students in lectures fidgeting with their hair or people playing with the button of their pen during meetings in the office . That’s not a lack of interest, the fidgeting increases concentration.”

From my perspective as a trendwatcher, I can confirm that play is an upcoming trend. You see inflatables festivals for adults (bouncy castles, assault courses, water slides, bumper balls, base jumps and of course the classic ball pits) coming up, escape rooms. This is also due to the fast, crowded and busy world we’re living in. We want to escape from this routine.

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Jeg elsker dig, Nørrebro

Coolhunts

Oh how I love Danish!
Unfortunately my knowledge ends at ‘tak’ (thank you), ‘skål’ (cheers) and the title above (I love you).

For a trend watcher, Copenhagen really is the place to be: many lovely coffee/food concepts and artsy ateliers filled with design. In particular Nørrebro: a very multicultural, trendy, hipster kinda district with lots of students.

During my last visit this August, I stayed in an Airbnb in the center of Nørrebro. When I walked out of the apartment, I stepped in the middle of the Superkilen park. I didn´t really understand what the aim or meaning of the park was, but it made me happy: I wanted to run (please understand this isn’t very common for me), climb and play around like a little kid.

Everything is included in the park: skating tracks, swings, hammocks, a boxing ring, barbecues, everything you can imagine. Besides it is one kilometre-long!

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Photo taken 05/08/2016

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Photo taken 07/08/2016

Back in the Netherlands, full of nostalgia and suffering from post-vacation blues (this really is a thing) I got curious about the whole meaning behind the Superkilen Park.

Apparently, the designers went traveling with five different groups of people from the Superkilen neighbourhood to a country of their choice, following a specific story or memory that would eventually lead to objects for inclusion in Superkilen.

The five trips went all over the world and some very different objects were brought back. For instance a sound system from Jamaica, a bull from Spain and a boxing ring from Thailand, all chosen by inhabitants from the area.

So the park really encourages diversity and the aim is to unify the inhabitants with more than 60 nationalities.

In my opinion, this is a beautiful development. It’s not only that sport brings people together, the park gives people the space to feel at home and to shape some self-esteem. When I think of all the refugees, I can imagine it is incredibly hard for them to get used to a totally different country/culture. Therefore I think this is a great beginning to create a place which literally and explicitly belongs to everyone.

suk_image_by_torben_eskerod_11© Torben Eskerod

 

 

Two beer or not two beer

Coolhunts

It had long been a great fantasy of every bartender: a beer pipeline that could funnel the staple drink of Belgium beneath the cobbled streets and gothic houses of Bruges.

Now, though, the dream became reality: Belgium’s first major beer pipeline is alive! From today, Bruges beer flows under the city. From a brewery in the center of Brugge pumped to the bottling room, more than three kilometers away. The beer flows through an underground beer pipeline.

Until now, the beer was always brought by trucks to the bottle factory, but thanks to the plastic beer tube it is no longer necessary. The brewery is killing two birds with one stone: the trucks don’t have to enter the historical center of the city anymore and besides, the brewery has the possibility to expand.

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I think it is really cool, because it’s all about efficiency, creativity and innovation. Moreover, this idea contributes to the sustainability trend, because it reduces CO2 emissions. So, say hi to future growth potential!

It’s only 10 a.m. but I got thirsty.. But it’s probably 5 o’clock somewhere on this earth?

So, CHEERS!

Offline is the new Luxury

Coolhunts

Who doesn’t recognize this? You arrive on your holiday destination and what is the first thing you do? Check if there is a WiFi connection available at the airport? Although I am pretty embarrassed, I should admit that I am guilty of this urge. Not just the urge to tell my mom that I landed safely, but also to let the rest of the world know I’m having a great time in Rome by sending a Snapchat.

However, I do often have the feeling that I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the idea to be always traceable, reachable, available. It’s pretty exhausting and sometimes I just want to be offline for a minute, escape to a signal free world.

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Source: Joakim Heltne – Human Sculptures

The ‘White Spots App’ helps us to escape for a while. The app (design by Studio Richard Vijgen) combines data sets from all mobile phone networks worldwide in a new world map. The network scanner visualizes the invisible electromagnetic cloud and offers a way out “from the hotspots to the white spots”. The route planner shows the way to the nearest place with no mobile coverage or internet.

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Installed the app on my smartphone. Kinda depressing, isn’t it? We are literally surrounded by signals and masts!

I don’t necessarily think that many many people will use this app, but the designer is certainly making a statement and it shows the desire that is growing: it’s still a small group but more and more people choose to go offline (for a while). Google and Facebook will do anything to connect the whole world (which isn’t all bad of course!), but I think it’s good that we get confronted with the fact that we are never really alone anymore, just you and your thoughts.

So, next time when you cannot reach me?

I will be 21 km away, probably philosophizing on my white spot!

*Sector: (Mental) Health

De waarheid in pacht

Personal

“Suiker is net zo verslavend als heroïne”… Een uitspraak die gedaan werd in de – overigens geweldige – serie Rita (zie Netflix). Hoewel deze uitspraak dan ook volledig de grond in werd geboord door onze rebelse Rita, vliegen dit soort extreme verkondigingen me steeds vaker om de oren.

Ik vind het allemaal reuze interessant, begrijp me niet verkeerd. Maar het lijkt me zo prettig om gewoon op een rijtje te hebben wat goed voor me is en wat niet. Dit krijg ik dan ook vaak genoeg voorgeschoteld, door verschillende media en menig boek over voeding. En nét als ik dan denk dat groenten de beste soort voeding ter wereld zijn, staat meneer de voedselwetenschapper Martijn Katan groot in de Volkskrant met de kop: ‘Groenten, verwacht er niet te veel van’. Ik word er bijna paranoïde van, al die tegenstrijdigheden.

De #fitgirl, ik word er doodmoe van. En ik ben altijd weer blij als ik een moeder zie die haar kind wél nog gewoon een Ligakoekje en bammetjes mee naar school geeft in plaats van een broodtrommel vol met komkommers in een soort geforceerde gezelligheid (echt, wie heeft hier tijd voor?!).

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Maar misschien ben ik stiekem wel jaloers omdat ik zelf simpelweg nooit zo consequent met mijn ‘gezondheid’ bezig zal zijn.

Je merkt het misschien al: ik ben zelf ook een warrig en beïnvloedbaar brein vol dilemma’s, twijfels en onzekerheden. Omdat niemand ooit de waarheid in pacht zal hebben, blijf ik toch maar bij mijn levensmotto: “IK WIL ME LEKKER VOELEN”. Ik luister naar alle adviezen en ik vind het best leuk om af en toe de Spirelli van mijn zus te lenen om zo lang mogelijke slierten courgette te fabriceren om de koolhydraten uit de spaghetti te mijden. Maar don’t blame me als ik de volgende dag verschrikkelijk veel zin heb in een diepvriespizza. Met tiramisu na. Om de volgende dag weer de hardloopschoenen aan te trekken.

Credits: De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig

Experience Rome from Home

Coolhunts

First, just give yourself a minute to figure out what this product might be.

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Exactly. It’s a can. Filled with air. That’s all.

You wouldn’t expect that there is a need for a product like this. Basically, it is nothing. The air will look the same as the ‘Dutch air’. However, I have the guts to say that this is a product which sells at the moment.

Regarding to my trend map, the product perfectly fits in our current zeitgeist so I’d like to label this can with air as cool.

The trend ‘Spoil Yourself’ means that consumers become less materialistic due to the enormous wealth and overflow. Instead of purchasing a second car, we are looking for new experiences and intanglible things. The increase in the travel industry confirms this. The quote ‘travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer’ enrichens the trend. This product might not be an actual ‘trip’, but it represents the experience of another culture.

‘Feel Connected’ is another relevant trend. The product is for sale on Etsy: a webshop full of creatives from all over the world. Consumers share and cocreate nowadays. This ‘can’ contributes to this by sharing just a little piece from a specific city with the rest of the world. Thanks to globalization, traveling becomes easier and more accessible.

Never been to Rome? Order your can online and begin your journey while still at home!

*strong la dolce vita scent and pizza al taglio smell inside.
*May contain traces of the St. Peter’s Basilica, the Piazza della Repubblica and the Pantheon.

The product is 100% bio. Fresh air from Rome relieves stress, cures homesickness
and helps fighting nostalgia. It is made by careful hands in the heart of the city. All descriptions on the can are in English.
Buck, M., Ruetz, D., & Freitag, R. (2014). ITB WORLD TRAVEL TRENDS REPORT. Berlijn: Messe Berlin GmbH.
van der Welle, D. (2015, december 3). Reistrends voor 2016. Opgeroepen op april 25, 2016, van Reishonger: http://www.reishonger.nl/reisnieuws/trends-voor-2016/

Once upon a time… TexTales

Coolhunts

Friday October 23th, I astonished myself by all the beauty at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. I spotted a coolhunt where I have written about earlier. When I discovered TexTales two years ago, it was just an idea on Kickstarter and very depending on sponsors. I wanted to convince my visitors of the future growth potential of this concept. It was particularly me who was excited.

However, DDW 2015 confirms my enthusiasm: all visitors were able to admire TexTales for one week. That’s why I would like to pay even more attention to it by writing this.

I remember those nights when I was younger. Surrounded by pillows and stuffed animals, warm under my blanket. I enjoyed the stories my parents told me, in particular the self-invented stories by my dad. The same characters ‘Joris’ and ‘Suzanne’ always accompanied me while going to sleep.

Storytelling and reading a book stimulates the linguistic development. Since still not every parent tells their kid a bedtime story, TexTales may be helpful for parents and even more fun for the kids. TexTales is a combination of some bed sheets and a tablet or smartphone application. The bed sheets are printed with images. The tablet or smartphone application recognizes these images and transforms them in 3D characters from a fairy tale.

TexTales is an example of virtuality and involvement, augmented reality has a major role in this product. When the tablet scannes and recognizes a bear on the textile, the kids can play with the textile to transform the digital visual. Because of this product, storytelling ánd going to sleep becomes a memorable experience. TexTales is cool because it is surprising, you don’t expect that the flat flowers and animals on the textile are suddenly moving and jumping.

 

 

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Augmented Reality is a trend which will expand even more. Besides, parents have problems with getting their children into their beds. With this innovation, the child probably can’t wait to go to bed! The product may solve problems and is perfectly in line with the new trend. That’s why TexTale has future growth potential.

Sleep well my dear readers!