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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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.

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.

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

 

 

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

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!

Coolhunting, wat is dat?

Coolhunts

Ik coolhunt;
Jij coolhunt;
Wij coolhunten;
Ik heb gecoolhunt?

Je zal wel denken: waar heb je het over?

Ik heb al eens geschreven dat ik voor mijn studie een jaar een blog bijgehouden heb. Ik wil dit graag weer oppakken, juist omdat het nu geen verplichting meer is vanuit school. Maar ik heb ook door dat het voor veel “buitenstaanders” nogal onduidelijk is wat ik nu precies doe.

Ik ben een derdejaars student Lifestyle en deze studie staat eigenlijk in het teken van trendwatching en conceptontwikkeling. Het gaat met name om maatschappelijke/mentality trends. Om deze trends goed in kaart te kunnen brengen komt coolhunting van pas.

Maar wat is nu een coolhunt?
Een coolhunt is eigenlijk niets anders dan een micro-trend. Het is een signaal, dus een product of dienst dat je kunt spotten op straat, in tijdschriften of in social media. Maar zo’n signaal komt ergens vandaan, eigenlijk is een coolhunt een bewijs van een opkomende (meso- of macro-) trend. Zo kun je bijvoorbeeld zeggen dat de DIY Moestuintjes van AH een coolhunt zijn, passend bij de trend lokalisering of duurzaamheid. Zo kan (oké dit klinkt misschien ver gezocht, maar het kan) een kantoorpand dat compleet gemaakt is van glas een signaal zijn voor de trend transparantie of authenticiteit. Een bedrijf wil laten zien dat ze niks te verbergen heeft, want dit is waar de huidige consument ook behoefte aan heeft: openheid.

micro meso macro

Wat is cool?

Iedereen vindt wel eens iets cool. Maar in dat geval vind je iets gewoon leuk, het spreekt je aan. Maar cool uit het woord coolhunting heeft een iets diepere betekenis.

Cool is aantrekkelijk, inspirerend én heeft potentieel voor de toekomst. 

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Als coolhunter moet je dus kunnen beargumenteren en onderbouwen waarom iets cool is en waarom iets geen eendagsvlieg is. Welke langetermijntrend ligt hierachter verscholen waardoor het lang houdbaar is?

Vanaf nu wil ik dus weer gaan coolhunten en dit met jullie delen. Mijn studie is dus heel erg gefocust op de toekomst: wat staat ons te wachten?
Ik wil het dolgraag ontdekken!