Archives for category: SOCIETY

A slice of solidarity for the soul…love is love is love.

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Watch the future with augmented reality as realized by London designer, Keiichi Matsuda. Either it kills you or makes you stronger….

HYPER-REALITY from Keiichi Matsuda on Vimeo.

via Keiichi Matsuda’s Hyper-Reality film blurs real and virtual worlds

John Oliver takes a look at the real price of that $19.95 dress that is truly priceless…

In light of the first successful telepathic experiments utilizing digital messages sent to remote volunteers, JWT has come out with its 10 key consumer trends and behavior for the next 10 years and beyond (one of which are telepathic technologies…) It demonstrates both an attraction and aversion to developing technologies and the omnipresent, connected and always on society.

JWT’s “10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond” is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year and for this report. JWTIntelligence conducted quantitative surveys using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool. – See more at: http://www.jwt.com/blog/consumer_insights/10-trends-that-will-shape-our-world-in-2014-and-beyond/#sthash.WKd0NHxT.dpuf

1_ IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES: Entertainment, narratives and brand experiences will become more immersive and altogether more enveloping in a bid to capture consumers’ imagination and attention.
2_ DO YOU SPEAK VISUAL?: We’re shifting to a visual vocabulary that relies on photos, emojis, video snippets and other imagery, largely supplanting the need for text. “Visual” is a new lingo that needs to be mastered.
3_ THE AGE OF IMPATIENCE: With the mainstreaming of the on-demand economy and our always-on culture, consumer expectations for speed and ease are rising exponentially. As businesses respond in kind, making the availability of their products and services more instant, impatience and impulsiveness will only continue to increase.
4_ MOBILE AS A GATEWAY TO OPPORTUNITY: In emerging markets, the mobile device is coming to represent a gateway to opportunity—helping people change their lives by giving them access to financial systems, new business tools, better health care, education and more.
5_ TELEPATHIC TECHNOLOGY: Thanks to the rise of brain-computer interfaces and emotion recognition technology, brands are getting more adept at understanding consumers’ minds and moods, and reacting accordingly in a very personalized way.
6_ THE END OF ANONYMITY: Thanks to an array of new technologies and a growing drive to collect personal data, it’s becoming nearly impossible to remain unobserved and untracked by corporations and governments. As anonymity becomes more elusive, expect pushback from consumers and a growing paranoia around technologies and services that affect privacy.
7_ RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE: As we move further into the digital age, we’re starting to both fear and resent technology, fretting about what’s been lost in our embrace of unprecedented change. We’ll put a higher value on all things that feel essentially human and seriously question (while not entirely resisting) technology’s siren call.
8_ REMIXING TRADITION: With social norms quickly changing and a new anything-goes attitude, people are mashing up cherished traditions with decidedly new ideas, creating their own recipes for what feels right.
9_ PROUDLY IMPERFECT: Imperfection and even outright ugliness—the quirky, the messy and the clearly flawed—are taking on new appeal in a world that’s become all too polished or mass-produced. The imperfect is coming to feel more authentic, and also more comforting and meaningful.
10_ MINDFUL LIVING: Consumers are developing a quasi-Zen desire to experience everything in a more present, conscious way. Once the domain of the spiritual set, mindful living is filtering into the mainstream, with more people drawn to the idea of shutting out distractions and focusing on the moment. – See more at: http://www.jwt.com/blog/consumer_insights/10-trends-that-will-shape-our-world-in-2014-and-beyond/#sthash.WKd0NHxT.dpuf

If you think life has left you behind and is now only full of terminator styled cyclists with their cyborg light mount helmets and sporty spandex, have no fear, the Tweed run is here. With NO Lululemon or Nike in sight, London held its 6th anniversary leisure cycle through the streets and parks this year with an estimated 500 participants. Not bad at all.
Today it hit Pescara and Madrid, the 18th of May and coming to 35 more destinations later this year.
Ride on!
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London rugby run

Business innovator, designer and visionary shares his 1 minute of very wise advice.

The mother of all forecasting discusses her latest insights which reveal some very interesting ideas such as:

*Everyday Spirituality: Not in a Buddhist mode, but to something that celebrates life on a small, day to day level.
*The loss of individual behavior: Collaborative efforts and groupings. Terrace style organization.
*The young father: The nurturer which gives new perspective on parenting.
*Fluidity: The creative elite is envisioning a borderless world, against what is happening nationally and politically, where each person incorporates another profession in their work. Something akin to a new renaissance (wo)man.
*New couples are like teammates,buddies, comrades, lovers.
*The rite of the blogger (future editor-in-chiefs?): By creating their own sphere of influence, sharing innate passions for their subjects and reinvigorating the written word.
Naturally, she says it all with casual conviction and succinct wording…

There is fresh fury over revered artist, Banksy and his take on the colossal 2012 Olympics. You be the judge. As the Guardian paper recently posted:
“This attack on one of contemporary London’s most renowned traditions reveals how deeply uncomfortable the cultural relationship between this city and the Olympics really is,” writes Jonathan Jones in The Guardian. “An event that is all about massive finance, colossal scale, hyper-organisation and culture delivered from above is being superimposed on a capital that happens to be best at improvisation, dirty realism, punk aesthetics and low art. It’s like Versailles versus the sans-culottes. And this time Versailles is determined to win.”

Watch the couple dance their way through the ages with the suitable musical accompaniment. You’ve come a long way, Darling.

Paypal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel, who is currently the Seasteading Institute’s “most generous funder has his mind on on expanding his empire. His initiative constitutes a bold move towards creating floating autonomous states. The initiative is inspired by the idea of creating cities that are free from political agendas and social construction. These “floating cities will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government,” says the Seasteading Institute. “The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world.” Utopian indeed.


The Honorable Daphne Suzanne Diana Joan Guinness was born in 1967, the daughter of brewery heir, Jonathan Guinness, Lord Moyne, and French beauty, Suzanne Lisney. Her paternal grandmother was Diana Mitford, one of the legendary Mitford sisters. In 1987, at the age of nineteen, Daphne married Spyros Niarchos. After her divorce in 1999, Daphne resumed her maiden name, and over the past decade has emerged on the world’s stage an extraordinary fashion creature.
If anyone has the ultimate wardrobe, it is Ms. Guiness. She obtained ALL of Isabella Blow’s pieces and also has pieces by the late, great Alexander McQueen. The high priestess of high (very high) fashion.
Daphne Guinness
Special Exhibitions Gallery
September 16 through January 7, 2012


How our imaginations must have been stretched at the thought of such sci-fi communication and convenience. We simply don’t realize what a strain normal life must have been like (kidding of course). Here is an excerpt from a flight-of-fancy documentary. It’s pretty accurate! Watching this video on our new fangled computers is all very back to the future…

Mick Webb

The SEED Project is developing a method to convert unused shipping containers into sustain...

Aside from tragic loss of life and incomprehensible destruction, events like last week’s devastating earthquake in Haiti create a myriad of problems in their wake, not least of which is homelessness. With over 30 million shipping containers the world over currently lying dormant, a team of researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina are working to help solve the issue of accommodation in disaster affected areas by developing a method to convert the unused containers into sustainable emergency housing.

The team at Clemson University, operating under the SEED Project banner, were originally inspired by the hurricanes in recent years in the Caribbean and US. As shipping containers are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and exceed structural code all over the world, their “unibody” construction means they can be equally useful in seismic zones. Currently Caribbean countries have a large surplus of unused shipping containers due to imports far outweighing exports.

While they have been used in past as boutique relocatable homes and even portable restaurants, the SEED Project aims to use shipping containers to provide safe emergency housing for people displaced by natural disaster as quickly as possible. Historically, in many cases people affected by disaster do not return to their land for years, sometimes never. The SEED Project seeks to see people re-housed in a modified on-site container in as little as three weeks. The idea is to use local skills, labor and materials, with the container eventually becoming a sustainable permanent living space.

Making use of discarded shipping containers in this manner also addresses the global issue of recycling, and the team is focusing on another industrial surplus as well – 55 gallon steel drums. It is looking to use these to create a “starter garden” on top of a converted shipping container to grow food crops and the like should the ground below be contaminated. Water can then be filtered through the drums for use in a water pod that includes shower, sink and composting toilet.

As we approach the end of the first decade of the new millennium, let’s consider what life will be like a decade hence. Changes in our lives from technology are moving faster and faster. The telephone took 50 years to reach a quarter of the U.S. population. Search engines, social networks and blogs have done that in just a few years time. Consider that Facebook started as a way for Harvard students to meet each other just six years ago; it now has 350 million users and counting. 

Between now and 2020, the trend will continue, spreading cutting-edge technologies to every corner of the country and beginning to make innovations once consigned to the realm of science fiction real for millions of Americans. Specifically what can we expect? Solar power on steroids, longer lives, the chance to get rid of obesity once and for all, and portable computing devices that start becoming part of your body rather than being held in your hand. 

What will drive all this accelerating change is precisely what has driven it this past half-century: the exponential growth in the power of information technology, which approximately doubles for the same cost every year. When I was an MIT undergraduate in 1965, we all shared a computer that took up half a building and cost tens of millions of dollars. The computer in my pocket today is a million times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful. That’s a billion-fold increase in the amount of computation per dollar since I was a student. 

That incredible force — information technology that moves faster, then faster, then faster still — will power changes in every imaginable realm over the next decade.

Start with the basics. You’ve no doubt noticed that electronic gadgets are getting smaller and smaller; the iPod Shuffle holds 1,000 songs and weighs 0.38 ounces. Your phone is smaller than it was a few years ago and can do much more. By 2020, memory devices will be integrated into our clothing. And the very idea of a “smart phone” will begin to change. Rather than looking at a tiny screen, our glasses will beam images directly to our retinas, creating a high resolution virtual display that hovers in air.

That virtual display will be able to take over our entire visual field of view, putting us in a three-dimensional full immersion virtual reality environment. We’ll watch movies virtually and read virtual books. A lot of our personal and business meetings will take place in these 3D virtual worlds. The design of new virtual environments will be an art form. We’ll even have ways to touch one another virtually.

There are already beginning to be apps available for your iPhone or Android phone that allow you to look at a building and have the display superimpose what stores are inside it; Google Goggles, released last week, is the first free, widely-available version of such software. By 2020 we’ll routinely have pop ups in our visual field of view that give us background about the people and places that we’re looking at.

In other words, your memory will be constantly, instantaneously aided by the information available on the Internet. The two will begin to become indistinguishable.

How about energy? That doesn’t sound like an information technology. Fossil fuels, after all, are an early first industrial revolution, 19th century technology. But we are now applying nanotechnology — the science of essentially reprogramming matter at the level of molecules to create new materials and devices—to the design of renewable energy technologies such as solar energy. As a result, the cost per watt of solar energy is coming down rapidly and the total amount of solar energy is growing exponentially. It has in fact been doubling every two years for the past  20 years and is now only eight doublings away from meeting all of the world’s energy needs.

When I shared this fact with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a few weeks ago, he asked, “but is there enough sunlight to double solar energy eight more times?” I responded that we have 10,000 times more sunlight than we need to do this. The prime minister announced an Israeli energy initiative the next day at the Israeli Presidential Conference based on our conversation, setting a 10-year goal to create the technologies to completely replace fossil fuels.

It’s not just the gadgets we carry around and the power we use to fuel our lives that are subject to what I call “the law of accelerating returns.” Health and medicine, which used to be a hit or miss process, has now become an information technology.

We now have the software of life (our genes) and the means of upgrading that software. How long do you go without updating the software on your cell phone? Not long: it does it itself every few days or weeks. Yet we are walking around with obsolete software in our bodies that evolved thousands of years ago. Within 10 years, that will change. 

Already today, there are over a thousand projects to change our genes away from disease and toward health, not just in newborns but in mature individuals. The Human Genome Project, which has catalogued our genetic material, was itself a very good example of the law of accelerating returns; the amount of genetic data that is sequenced has doubled every year and the cost has come down by half every year. We can now design health interventions on computers and test them out on biological simulators. These technologies are doubling in power every year and will be a thousand times more powerful in a decade.

By 2020, we will have the means to program our biology away from disease and aging, and toward significant advances in our ability to treat major diseases such as heart disease and cancer — an approach that will be fully mature by 2030. 

We won’t just be able to lengthen our lives; we’ll be able to improve our lifestyles. By 2020, we will be testing drugs that will turn off the fat insulin receptor gene that tells our fat cells to hold on to every calorie. Holding on to every calorie was a good idea thousands of years ago when our genes evolved in the first place. Today it underlies an epidemic of obesity. By 2030, we will have made major strides in our ability to remain alive and healthy – and young – for very long periods of time. At that time, we’ll be adding more than a year every year to our remaining life expectancy, so the sands of time will start running in instead of running out.

No, it’s not going to be an entirely brave new world. Some things will look pretty similar in 2020. We’ll still drive cars — although they will have the intelligence to avoid many accidents and self-driving cars will at least be experimented with. All-electric cars will be popular. And in cities, don’t expect subways or buses to go away.

But in more and more ways big and small, hang in there and we’ll all get to see the remarkable century ahead.

Kurzweil is former recipient of the MIT-Lemelson prize, the world’s largest for innovation, and in 1999 was awarded the National Medal of Technology. He is the author of the books “The Singularity is Near” and “The Age of Spiritual Machines.”

THE INDEPENDENTFriday, 18 December 2009

A new trend is emerging in the fashion world, likely to influence the way collections are conceived for the year to come: designers are increasingly calling on their followers for help.

Web aficionados Dolce & Gabbana – the Italians have both a gossipy news site, swide.com, and an e-commerce – have repeatedly asked fans for feedback on their creations or even for their own design suggestions. Apparently experiencing designer’s block while working on the upcoming ranges, Stefano Gabbana tweeted: “‘I accept suggestions on women’s collection…..(just 2day) :-)))),” and both designers have asked fans about their opinion on shoes for the next range via YouTube.

Top model Coco Rocha, who is currently working on her first clothing line, also didn’t hide her lack of inspiration when she released a video on her Oh so Coco blog, asking her followers to suggest names for the range. The post has so far attracted more than 400 responses – the winning submission has not yet been announced.

Both moves are part of a tendency of designers listening to and interacting with their customers, from made-to-measure (Prada) and customization services (Louis Vuitton) to livestreams of their fashion shows (Alexander McQueen) and open calls for them to star in their advertising campaigns (Calvin Klein).

Social media are naturally playing an important part here, with many brands launching new portals to widen their reach. Burberry, for instance, recently introduced the interactive website, theartofthetrench.com, that lets users upload pictures of how they styled their coats – which in turn is likely to influence Burberry designer Christopher Bailey’s creation process.

RAW Natural Beauty put out a video to remind potential customers that women consume quite a bit of lipstick in their lifetimes. Seven pounds on average, in fact! or 933.33333333333 tubes.  Would you like some salad with that, madame?

RAW – Natural Beauty – GLOW.com

The definition of extravagance - the iPhone 3GS Supreme
by Darren Quick

Goldstriker International, a company which specializes in dipping mobile phones in gold and platinum, appears to have snatched the title of world’s most expensive mobile phone from the iPhone 3G King’s Button with the creation of the iPhone 3GS Supreme. Priced at £1.92 million (approx. US$3.14 million) this is one phone you definitely wouldn’t want to leave on a bus…Before you go reaching for your Titanium credit card, you should know the iPhone 3GS Supreme was commissioned by an anonymous Australian businessman from the gold mining industry.
And I thought we had left all of this rotten excess behind!

By David Licona
Puebla, Mexico, is the latest city to offer a taxi service exclusively for women. Intended as a safe means of transport, the thirty-five strong fleet of bright pink Chevys are driven by women only and will not stop for men. For further female appeal, the cabs are equipped with beauty kits, GPS and emergency panic buttons. Pink Taxi de Puebla has privately financed the initiative, according to an AP report. The regional government, which is licensing the service, has trained more than 60 Pink Taxi drivers (aged 25-45) in driving theory and practice, as well as aspects of car maintenance, such as changing tyres.

Despite the best intentions of the scheme, some local women’s rights campaigners claim that the girly vehicles are promoting harmful female stereotypes. Still, they are certainly eye-catching and for women who have experienced harassment by male drivers in the past, the 24-hour service is sure to offer peace of mind. Similar operations have already proved successful in places from London to Teheran. Mexico City proposed it in 2007, but settled instead for female-only buses and subway cars. If this service in Puebla is successful, there are plans to expand to other cities. If your own town doesn’t yet have a fuchsia fleet, now’s the time to launch one.

By Juliet Warkentin, WGSN
Some very interesting developments as our crunch goes on…

The Power of Women
Powerful, iconic women have been making headlines recently, not only with their ability to inspire new generations as role models (Hilary Clinton, Christiane Amanpour) and fashionistas (Michelle Obama, Carla Bruni), but also through a growing awareness that the 21st-century workplace will be far better served if it taps into its feminine side: Experts cite female characteristics such as ‘discipline, focus, detachment, and systematic thinking, together with playfulness, empathy, and design‘ as the key to management success. From a retail point of view, women hold the decision-making power for many products, making it vital for marketers and brands to connect with them. In recessionary times it makes even more sense to focus on the group that holds the purse strings.

The Wisdom of Age
In a world that has idolised youth for decades, ’age‘ is little more than a dirty word. But as the economy gets tougher and as Baby Boomers get older, the concept of ’experience‘ is acquiring a new relevance and energy. To get the best from the benefits of age is more than learning lessons from the past — it’s about applying experience to new ideas and concepts.

Opposites Attract
An adverse reaction is often the birth of a new trend. This trend could be termed the “baglash” – a movement against the now de rigeur It bags and conspicuous consumption – and in it’s place, a humbler design approach to luxury that’s all about understated perfection and unconscious simplicity. For the modern consumer, the placement of a perfect seam or an immaculately sculpted collar is more awe-inspiring and authentic than any logo. That’s not to say we’ve forsaken glamour entirely. But rather than OTT branding, the flip-side of this modest trend is about bold, dramatic gestures that tell a story. Look to bygone fashion icons such as Iris Apfel and Diana Vreeland: eccentric and headline-grabbing in their styling, yes, but always true to themselves.