Cecile Poignant » Page 2

street poetry


Young Dutch photographer Loes Heerink has lived in Hanoi for several years.
As she explained:  “photographing the street vendors became a little project of mine. I would spend hours on top of a couple of locations in Hanoi waiting for vendors to walk underneath the bridge.

The street vendors in Hanoi are often female migrants that spend most of their days trying to make profits on selling fruit, vegetables, snacks and other small items.This project started with my fascination for the women carrying their goods. They have no clue how beautiful their bicycles are, no idea they create little pieces of art every day.“

For you to get to know her better I asked Heerink a few questions:

How would you describe yourself as an artist ?

I don’t see myself as an artist. Well I see myself more as an artist than as a photographer. I actually see myself as neither. I am just using photography to het my creativity out!

Is photography the most important media for you?

Yes. I also like videography! But I like photography more. I do both though.

Why are you so interested by Vietnam?

I have lived in Vietnam and I find the country very beautiful. It has a lot to offer!


What is your relation to nature ?

I love nature, I love to photograph nature most! I like to go to beautiful places or look for them. I like to go out and photograph the little things in nature, like leaves or flowers or little bugs. Things you would normally not notice.

How would you describe “Vendors from Above“ ?

“Vendors from Above“ is a result of my attraction to street vendors.

What would you like people to feel about your photos?

I want people to see the beauty I see!

Heerink wants to publish this work in a photo book. She’s aiming to have about 100 images in the book, and to achieve this, she started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to go back to Vietnam to complete the shooting phase. Please support her beautiful project !



Food Future



TRENDxCHANGE is a new type of event presented by TREND TABLET an inspiring international web platform which I’m editing.

TRENDxCHANGE-editions are inspired by the local area, working with their community to showcase the cities we visit. After a successful launch in London, Paris and Amsterdam, the next stop is Hong Kong’s Hotel ICON.


Hotel Icon

TRENDxCHANGE explores the future of food with experts on the cutting edge of their trade. I will be in Hong Kong and will have the pleasure to welcome several guests :  Vicky Lau (Tate’s Michelin-starred chef), Dr Lin (City University), Veronica Yu (Eating Concept Designer), Larry Tang (Founder Sohofama|Locofama) for a thought-provoking presentation, roundtable discussion, drinks gathering, and idea exchange.



Food is a complex and wide reaching subject that touches us all profoundly. Eating is not just nourishment. It’s about emotions, memories, discovery, travel, and sharing. What we eat is influenced by society, geopolitics, beliefs, history, art, marketing, and biology.

‘Food Future’ provides insights on major food trends, allowing participants to engage with the subject and uncover new ideas. A chance to share views on primary food trends linked to feeding and changes in behavior. And consider questions such as: What will be the key foods of tomorrow? Is food a drug? Will we all become locavores and vegan?

Vicky Lau

My highly visual presentation analyses four main themes of the future of food, followed by an interactive roundtable which will give the opportunity to hear, see, and speak with well-known local actors from the Hong Kong food scene:
Vicky Lau – Tate Dining Room, chef and owner. Michelin says it all: « Vicky Lau is the young owner-chef of this contemporary yet also quite intimate restaurant. Her cooking is an eclectic mix of French and Japanese influences and each dish is beautifully presented – a reflection, perhaps, of her previous career as a graphic designer. » 1 Michelin-star 2016.

tea_almanac_1 - copie

Veronica Yu

Veronica Yu – Eating Concept Designer. Veronica has worked on old-meets-new/east-meets-west food concepts such as a Chinese New Year Tea Almanac Box and a Soy Sauce Tasting dinner with local soy sauce makers.
Dr Carol Sze Ki Lin, City University. Her research team has recently successfully converted food waste into fibre. The new material can be used to manufacture textile and apparel products

Larry Tang – Founder Locofama|Sohofama, Locofama has played a role in changing the city’s perception of what it means to eat clean and the importance of knowing where your food comes from. They try to grow their own vegetables as much as possible and bring locally grown produce directly from farmers to keep costs under control. Did you know: Sohofama’s soups are inspired by Chinese doctors?
Join me and our creative community in Hong Kong at the Hotel ICON on Thursday 21 July 21, 2016 at 6.30 pm.
Foodies and design lovers are welcome.
We’ll provide the conversation, Hotel ICON the drinks and canapes—you just bring the brains!

Tickets & details 



The Green Goddess

La Guinguette d’Angèle

Her irresistible smile is her best business card, Angèle Maeght Ferreux is the chef of the moment in Paris. With her crown of flowers as a toque, she is unstoppable: she writes cooking books promoting an healthier diet, she owns a mini countertop « la Guinguette d’Angèle » which allows Parisian to enjoy her delicious organic, locally sourced and gluten free recipes and she has a catering service for professional.

Angèle Maeght Ferreux is the great-granddaughter of Aimé Maeght the famous post-war art dealer and friend of Matisse, Miro and Giacometti. As a child, she lived in Paris on the left bank in Saint germain des Près and spent her summers in Saint-Paul de Vence, the stronghold of the Maeght,in Provence.

At 17 she decided to go to San Francisco where she finished her high school years and discover organic food and local production.Then she went to Australia where she learnt the virtues of fasting through the ’green tea Monday’ only green tea on Monday. She quickly realized the importance of diet on health : «I became interested in gluten which is so much talked about today and the impact of genetic transformation of wheat since the 50s when stronger varieties were created but more complicated to digest. »
Back in Europe she keeps on cooking and decided to become a naturopath. In 2012, she creates a catering service to broadcast her innovative fairy cuisine. Soon, she was spotted by the Haute Couture brands and hired for the biggest shows of the Fashion Week in Paris: Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Isabel Marant … For the opening of Inès de La Fressange’s new boutique it was a thousand pieces to deliver at once, and five hundred the day before at Christian Louboutin: vegan cheese cakes, mini sandwiches and her famous Primavera Roll, a spring roll made only with vegetables and flowers … Today, everyone want her services and she had to expand her team which now has ten people (all girls).

Her unique signature is exactly what was needed in the organic/ gluten-free trend: a magical and girly twist bringing flavors and good mood!


For you to get to know her better I interviewed Angèle Maeght Ferreux :

Can you describe your cuisine in a few words?

Joyful, delicious, pretty, gourmand.

What is the encounter that changed your life?

There are so much .. Pierre Rabhi, first through his books, he has completely revolutionized the way I see life .. And great friends which direct me with kindness and accuracy ..

Why choose organic?

It’s obvious when cooking for abetter health not to introduce food contaminated by toxic agents or endocrine disruptors such as pesticides. It would be absurd ..

Do you have iconic products?

I have a lot! When traveling, to avoid the food served in the plane I always have a miso soup in powder that I drink throughout the trip, I drink clay every morning to protect me from all food poisoning .. I spent like that three months in India without any worries!

Your recipes are composed like paintings, is colour for you an important medium?

Exactly! It is full of meaning, values ​​and benefits ..! The more colorful the food is the more it contains antioxidants!

Read more…

What makes life worth living

elle lunaSince life is sometimes rather complicated and frustrating, we spend our time looking for the perfect balance between work and leisure, between what we must do and what we should do.

It’s a struggle and Elle Luna describes it very well in her inspired essay and journey !

But, may be we are wrong from the beginning and it’s not just an equilibrium with two forces, this might be a bit too simple.
For a long time, I have been fascinated by Japan culture and their relation to the world. It seems to me to be a deeper and more meaning full relation than our.

I recently found on Twitter a fascinating chart shared by Emmy van Deurzen referring to a Japanese concept called IKIGAI that I didn’t know at all.CS3v4xJWIAAkwTA

In Japan, Ikigai is a term to express well-being, purpose and meaning, with connotations of joy about being alive.
It has no direct translation, « Iki » means life and « gai » basically means achieving what we hope, the term is generally translated as « purpose ».Like often Japanese concept are far more complex than the one we usually deal with. We just don’t have one word to translate this and we need at least 4 or 5 words to express it.

Everyone, according to Japanese, has an Ikigai. To discover it requires a deep and long research.Such quest is considered as very important, since it is estimated that the discovery of our personal Ikigai brings joy and meaning to our lives.

Kobayashi Tsukasa a psychiatrist says that « people can feel real Ikigai only when, on the basis of personal maturity, the satisfaction of various desires, love and happiness, encounters with others, and a sense of the value of life, they proceed toward self-realization »

I feel confident with such a complex diagram even if I know that is not really easy to reconcile all these data … I see this as a holistic way to embrace life in all its complexity.

So let just fill this Ikigai pattern and we’ll see !



Eco chic, ethical consumerism and sustainable fashion are the new buzz words. The apparel industry has taken a major turn in the past 20 years: fashion has evolved into something similar to fast food, it’s convenient but made with few respect. It’s the whole supply chain that has to be re-invent: the use, production, consumption, disposal, and recycling of clothing. Sustainability includes a lot of components: social responsibility, human rights, energy and materials.

In 1993, graphic designers Markus and Daniel Freitag were looking for a functional, water-repellent and robust bag to hold their creative work. They developed a messenger bag from used truck tarpaulins, discarded bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts. The first FREITAG bags took shape in the living room of their shared apartment – each one is recycled and unique.

The swiss manufacturer has a denim line. You can’t do much with the jean silhouette: the five pocket is even more than a classic, it’s an icon. Today we are looking for vintage inspiration, the shape doesn’t need a redesign. But the production is really damaging a lot: too much water and pesticide for the cotton, to much travel for all components …

F-ABRIC denim from FREITAG is a five-pocket jeans without rivets or polyester threads, it’s made in Europe using European bast fibers true hemp and linen and, it’s naturally 100 % compostable even the sewing thread is biodegradable .

Read more…

I See Clouds Everywhere


I am a collector but not of objects. As a trend forecaster I prefer signs and signals. I recently noticed that I was collecting clouds in all forms: wind-propelled balloons, cloud-like installation, inflatable sculpture, floating device ….

Clouds come in many shapes and forms: there are storm clouds, fair-weather clouds, clouds of change and clouds of war. Clouds symbolize air and,they are often associated with intellectual ideas and abstract thinking. They are above us exactly like the virtual cloud containing all our lives and datas…

I thought also of « The Unbearable Lightness of Being » by Kundera and wondering if in these difficult time we were attracted by something extremely fragile. Something that would give us the feeling of how life is ephemeral. What could be more fragile and elusive than air and clouds?


Kohei Nawa born in 197 is currently based in Kyoto. One of his creation is an immersive cloud-like installation made of foam. Located in a dark room, the piece consists of floating small bubbles (like cells) that accumulates to form a temporary structure. Nawa says, “Each bubble cannot escape the cycle of birth and destruction, which is not unlike the way our cells operate as they metabolize and circulate.”

Google X’s Project Loon is an ambitious initiative to bring balloon-delivered internet access to remote areas and developing countries. Loon began in 2011, it’s first testing period – in 2013-  was in New Zealand and involved 30 balloons, followed by Australia and Brazil. Now P roject Loon is targeting Indonesia because two-thirds of its citizens don’t have Internet access which means 100 million people! Loon will fly its balloons more than 12 miles in the sky to beam down internet access to any LTE-capable smartphone.


In his Invasions series, Paris-based artist Pétillon use balloons to alter the way people perceive familiar things and spaces. He recently did a huge installation in Covent Garden Market, the inflatable sculpture incorporates 100,000 white balloons.  Read more…

Boutique Hostels


The words “hostel” and “luxury” or « hostels » and « design » do not seem to go together, but a new generation of boutique hostels is aimed at travellers who seek style, but who are also budget minded. Please, forget nights in drab dorms, these well located hostels are clean and comfortable, with stylish upgrades in service, accommodations, design, food and beverages.Customers now expect to have the same features as hotels and only pay hostel prices. Hostels have recently attracted older adults, families and even junior business travelers.
One of the best example is Generator. The hostel chain have design-led hostels in 9 of Europe’s most inspiring cities: Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamburg, London, Venice, Paris and Rome.
I had the chance to interviewed Matt the founder of HotelGeeks a premium hostel branding awarding 5 Star hostels based on transparent criteria such as sustainability, and design.What they offer to travellers is a real sense of community with free guides and tips.

swanky mint hostel Zagreb
Why did you decide to propose Hostelgeeks as a new online service?
I wanted to build a website where travelers can find top hostel-style accommodation on a budget, based on transparent criteria that I feel helps them to stand out from the rest. I have been working in the tourism industry with a specialization in accommodation and hosteling for five years. With a steady increase of more and more booking platforms and websites for comparing prices, the competition has blown through the roof. Additionally, several more design-driven hostels were popping up all over the world. However, not all of these design conscious hostels were really great – maybe you could say it was a marketing coup from some investors. Finding a really unique and interesting hostel was getting harder, and maybe even overwhelming. I wanted to build a place where travelers can easily find the best hostel in their chosen destination. The users know that all the hostels at Hostelgeeks fit within a transparent criteria, we are not a booking platform, we do not recommend any hostel to simply earn some coins. These authentic reviews and recommendations, and our unique geeky guides are what our users appreciate.

Yim HYuai Khwang Hostel Bangkok
Do you think there is a revival of Hostels and how do you explain it?
I don’t think that revival would be the best word for describing the current development of Hostels, although it may seem so from the outside. I would call it more an evolution. Many hostels used to be part of a network, run by non-profit organizations. This changed quite a while back now, and the hostel industry is adapting itself to the newest standards and requirements for their accommodation. In other words, hostels have, and are continuing to learn how to compete with others out there.
There are specific researches dedicated to the development of hostels, especially in Europe. Due to the financial crisis in Europe you can see the raise of Design and Boutique Hostels all over the place. Additionally, the competition for every type of accommodation, not just hostels, was growing when private house holds started to rent out their spare rooms. AirBnb had a deep impact on the market, for example. As a result of increased competition and the financial crisis, many hostel investors had to make a move. Uniqueness became a key factor for a hostels success and still is.
However, the market is still growing. The hostel industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry.
Read more…

The New Art & Craft

Iris van Herpen
3D printing is every where these days and in everyone’s mind. From high-end products to mass market items.

In the fashion world Iris van Herpen has been challenging what the future of fashion will be for some time. She is an early adopter of 3D printing and passionated by technology. Her latest show in Paris brought this into context with strength: Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie was lying in the centre stage while a dress was being printed onto her.

Herpen shows us that you can take the best of modernity and the best of tradition : future craft will not only be made only by hand but also by smart machines.

On the other hand, Adidas just unveiled Futurecraft 3D, a running sneaker sole made using 3D printing. It supposes to be the most comfortable footwear innovation since the invention of rubber.


« Creating a flexible, fully breathable carbon copy of the athlete’s own footprint, matching exact contours and pressure points, it will set the athlete up for the best running experience. Linked with existing data sourcing and footscan technologies, it opens unique opportunities for immediate in-store fittings. »

This means that in a near future we could all have bespoke running sneakers!

This is just the beginning of a deep movement, a radical change in the way we design and produce objects.We need creative alternatives to the industrialization and the standardization of the products that we touch, feel and wear.
Less is more when objects are really unique and made to measure, this is what 3D printers will bring us.

Silo: The Zero Waste Restaurant

image004Today’s food industry is a mess. Over 100 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU and globally as much as half of all the food produced in the world – equivalent to 2bn tonnes – ends up as waste every year… The world is waking up to the reality of sustainable issues with waste leading the way as one of the biggest topics of recent years. Health is one of the major concern of the future and all the food cycle is involved in this long term trend.
People are now more interested in how their food reaches their plates, and the carbon footprint associated with.

After twelve years fine dining experience from all over the world, head chef Douglas McMaster, returned to the UK hoping to change completely the way restaurants source, cook and sell their food. His philosophy is quiet simple: only locally grown and seasonal food are served; nothing is thrown away! Douglas’s restaurant – Silo– minimises up to 95% of the usual waste produced from traditional restaurants.The concept is so powerful that we hope it will have an effect on the whole restaurant industry.

In the ground floor of a handsome warehouse in the heart of Brighton’s trendy district Silo – the UK’s first zero-waste restaurant- take place.The overall design is pure, raw and undone. Using a local non-profit making community project who ‘use and share unwanted goods’, Baines&Fricker – repurposed old school tables and used office floor insulation to make tables and bench seating. These designs are coupled with modular stools and chairs made from sterling board OSB. Virtually everything in the restaurant is upcycled or made from intercepted waste materials- from cutlery, jam jar glasses to plates made from recycled plastic bags


In his journey to achieve zero waste McMaster and his team discovered primitive food systems that not only support a package-free lifestyle but has led to a way of preparing food from its wholest form. They mill flour, make yoghurt, roll oats, bake bread, brew vinegar and beer, culture cream, grow mushrooms, cure meat, deal directly with farmers and compost all food scraps in-house. It’s a pre-industrial food system adapted to a modern kitchen. The yoghurt and butter are made from fresh milk, any excess milk is being used to make a curd. The flour mill uses ancient grain varieties to make a signature 48 hour sourdough bread.

Sil-005 (1)

The compost machine is functioning well and each week they make over 100 kilos of nutrient rich compost from their food, espresso and other biodegradable waste.Silo has also managed to operate chemical-free with a water electrolysis system. This innovative technology splits tap water into an alkaline and an acidic solution which effectively cleans surfaces killing 99% of bacteria. Electrolized water can be used for both human sanitation and cleaning and offers a more sustainable and ecological alternative to conventional chemical cleaning products.

Behind every dish is a story to be told, of a farmer, a forager, a fisherman, a hunter, a brewer, a baker and many more. So many creative, passionate people are involved that it’s a collective project and a way of life. As Douglas McMaster says : «  Food can be a wonderful vehicle for social change.»


image043 Silo-Restaurant-Brighton-Interior-Photography-Devlin-Photos

Poetic Innovation


Daan Roosegaarde’ s goal is simple: “I’m a voluntary prisoner of my own imagination, and I want to update reality,” he explained in a fascinating interview with The Creators Project. His interactive designs are tactile high-tech environments.  ‘Techno-poetry’ is the word Roosegaarde uses to describe the connection, between ideology and technology. His work is changing the way we perceive the world by playing at the boundaries of analog and digital.

Studio Roosegaarde his design lab, recently conceived Smart Highway and team up with the Dutch construction company Heijmans to realize the first interactive road of tomorrow. This smart road use light and road signs that interact with the traffic situation to provide us comfort and safety.The Glowing Lines charge at day-time, and glow at night for eight hours. The first road has been realized and more will come.

Vincent Van Gogh Masterpiece “The Starry Night” is the inspiration behind the design of a glow-in-the-dark bike path in the Netherlands.The trail extends between Eindhoven and Neunen where Van Gogh spent part of his life. The trail’s opening marks the launch of the International Van Gogh 2015 year, which will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the artist’s death.

And, it is just incredibly poetic!



Back from Milan

enjoy Milan


Salone Internazionale del Mobile is THE well known annual trade show for design in Milan. The fair is really big and a lot of events are also happening all around the city in  old industrial areas such as Zona Tortona  and Ventura Lambrate ….

Milan is always exciting even if spring was not there this year Despite people saying it was not such a “great” year, I found  interesting signals at Salon Satellite  the section dedicated to new designers under the age of 35 . Lot of schools were also showing brilliant students projects such as ECAL with an intimist show on “The iceland Whale Bone Project”

The global trend of the Salone is that in this crisis period we are looking for clear point of view and affordable pieces. We saw clear statements every where with words, simple colors and bright fluos or with warm material such as copper. Let’s go!


A lot of messages in regular typefaces were written on the walls.As if, Tired of images, words seem more meaning full today.

words in Milan

words #2 In Milan



Copper was every where this year . Its warm color brings something new to our home or to the Tea House imagined by Tom Dixon at the MOST . This metal is very often used in addition to another material such as wood or bark to make it more precious.


Left Silla Atacama at Universidad del Desarrollo / Chile. Right : Tom Dixon at MOST

copper Milan

Left : Matti Syrjala for Kaamos . Right Patina by Alhambretto

Klein Blue

The revival of this fantastic color is coming.  IKB  – International Klein Blue-  was chosen by Ros Lovegrove for Renault  with the concept car Twin’Z  and by Mariscal  for Artemide. To follow…. Read more…

Gun for peace

We do speak a lot of guns and gun control, sadly there are always tragic disasters that remind us how fragile a human life is and how violent guns can be. Some signals make me think that we are trying to do something against that human drama.

Gun control a never-ending fight

In a show of support for gun control, Yoko Ono recently tweeted a photo of the bloodied glasses John Lennon wore the day he was murdered with this message : “Over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in the USA since John Lennon was shot and killed on 8 Dec 1980″ . Ono is an activist for many causes, she turned her attention to gun violence with a series of tweets that all included this image, which was also used on the cover of  “Season of Glass”  in 1981. She is really speaking loudly to her 4 millions followers on Twitter and giving power to the fight for gun control.


USA is ranked for the highest gun ownership rate in the world. To reduce the number of weapons on the street in cities, Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit, San Francisco have a gun buyback program . Last december, a one-day gun buyback event in Los Angeles gathered 2,037 firearms, including 75 assault weapons and a rocket launcher! The total was nearly 400 more weapons than were collected in a similar buyback earlier this year. People bring their firearms and each participant received $200 cash for each gun turned in.

Instead of following the ‘gun buyback’ model that has been implemented in the United States and Australia as a way of getting weapons off the street, Uruguay’s “Armas para la Vida / Weapons for Life” program is taking a different approach. Instead of getting cash, residents turning in their unregistered weapons will each receive either a new bicycle or a low-end computer.

Those initiatives are great, is it possible to do more? Some people thought the answer is yes.

Up-cycling as a solution

Jessica Mindich is a former lawyer, about a year ago, she was at a conference and ran into the Mayor of Newark. They spoke about Newark’s no-questions-asked gun buyback program, which was founded in 2009. The program needed money, and the Mayor didn’t know what to do with the weapons the city had amassed. “I know what to do with your guns,” Mindich said. Turn them into jewelry. She has transformed recycled pistols, rifles and shotguns into a line of sleek bangle bracelets, some dotted with tiny diamonds: “The Caliber Collection” .The word Newark is inscribed on the inside. Each bracelet has a serial number that corresponds with one of the actual guns taken off the city’s streets. Since the end of November, she has received over 1,000 orders from places as far as Brazil, Malta and New Zealand. Twenty percent of the proceeds will go directly to the gun buyback program in Newark, she said.
Will you wear a “Caliber Collection” bracelet? The message is very direct and make a permanent reminder of the gun crime your jewel was associated with…. Is it disturbing or just a really strong message?

"The Caliber Collection"

“The Caliber Collection”

Read more…

Is bed the new desk?

The art of working on pillows

Is typing on a laptop while be lying in bed more comfortable and productive than hunching over a desk? May be not but, the time when we only were working sitting at a desk is really behind us. Thanks to phones, laptops, and tablets, our places of rest are increasingly becoming our places of … work!

Researchers who study work habits say a new generation reared on mobile devices is increasingly accustomed to using them while propped against pillows, lying down or in a fetal curl. A lot of us already read or respond to work emails from bed. Some people who work from bed are intent on staying ahead of email, or responding quickly to customers or co-workers in different time zones. It is true that when you work with people all around the world, it is really difficult to avoid working from bed.
The trend has spawned demand for gadgets that make plugging away from our pillow even more comfortable, from stands and cushions to beds. In US bed manufacturers are working on building into the base of the bed plugs for lights and electronics.

Working in bed is not just about convenience or comfort: it is also a statement and a hijack. Previously, only creative people had this fantasy which is now open to any one of us. Famous writers like Orwell, Proust, Colette, Mark Twain and Churchill all liked doing it. Could it have been because writing in bed can help access the unconscious?

Beds or offices ?

This long term trend is also entering in offices to make them more casual and cooler. “Hosu” recently designed by Patricia Urquiola is a convertible work lounge or can we call it a “work-bed” that creates a comforting personal space with storage pockets for devices and cords.

Hosu by Patricia Urquolia

As the boundaries between work and leisure are getting more and more blurred every day, bed offices could really be a part of our future. Read more…

Simple as abc

“Plugg” is a prototype DAB radio, investigating physical and metaphorical interaction with electronic devices. A cork fits nicely into the hole where the radio’s speaker sits beneath. By pushing the cork into this hole, the radio turns off…..and by removing it, the radio turns itself on again.
Theo Tveterås and Lars Marcus Vedeler, established Skrekkøgle to experiment their quirky design ideas.

“Plugg” is one of their latest prototyped projects. A “yellow cube radio” with a big cork button which fits nicely into the hole where the radio’s speaker sits beneath. By pushing the cork into this hole, the radio turns off…..and by removing it, the radio turns itself on again, a low tech system for fan of low-fi.
This clean geometrical design in bright color is exactly what we need after years of rounded shapes in design. Clean cut and edges feel fresh and new to my eyes. This radio is so easy to use that it will immediately brings a smile to your face.

Green cities

Mur végétal by Patrick Blanc at Musée Quai Branly Paris

Our modern way of life is centered on megacities. This will continue and the percentage of the global population living in cities will soon rise 80%. We are all looking for greener cities and a healthier life. Urban farming, rooftop gardening, vertical gardens, biological concrete … all offer a vision of an urban architecture with an added layer of sustainability.

The precursor of this interest for giving more visibility to nature in the city is Patrick Blanc, a french botanist working at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, specializes in plants from tropical forest. He is the creator of the Vertical Garden ( Mur Végétal), the first one was made for Cité des Sciences in 1986. Blanc’s gardens are transformative as the flora is constantly evolving. The botanist uses his profound knowledge of plant life, particularly drawing inspiration from flora found in Thailand and Hawaii. He creates patterns of colour mostly with a large green palette. During the first two decades of Blanc’s experimentation, architectural firms showed little interest. It was only decades later, after he had executed a large number of projects for private homeowners, international hotels, museums and luxury brands such as Chanel, that the architectural world has become interested in the potentiality of vertical gardens. One of his most famous creation is for the Musée du quai Branly, Paris in 2004 during an interesting video interview he explains this realization.

Urban Farm, Urban Epicentera€™ style

Another idea called “Farmscrarper” could make our cities greener by cultivating plant or animal life within skyscrapers. The idea of a vertical farm has existed since the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The modern version of vertical farming uses techniques similar to glass house. Dickson Despommier a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University in New York City, developed this idea of vertical farming in 1999 with graduate students in a medical ecology class. This might be a solution for feeding people in the future in a “locavore” way.

Bosco Verticale in Milano by Stefano Boeri

Read more…

Candy 2.0

We love and eat candy for fun, sharing, friendliness, gentleness, transgression, consolation, regression, reward, reinsurance, compensation …

Candy is an old word – late 13c.- coming from French sucre candi “sugar candy,” ultimately from Arabic qandi. During Antiquity, honey was used a lot, cane sugar is imported to Europe only during the Middle Ages and the beet sugar industry is developed in the nineteenth century. In Europe the beginnings of confectionery are slow because sugar is very expensive.Until the end of the eighteenth century, sweets are reserved for the rich. From the early nineteenth century, sweets become accessible to all.

And here we are now : the Dutch are the biggest eaters of candy, at 29 kg per person a year, in Sweden the annual consumption is over 18 kg per person, Americans eat about 9,5 kg a year … This industry is looking for new territories, we found recently two new directions for this everlasting product.


Read more…

Low-tech & High-design

Mine Kafon 2010 by Massoud Hassani

Mine Kafon 2010 by Massoud Hassani

In the new generation of designers we find people really involved in changing the world around them.

Massoud Hassani is one of them. He designed “Mine Kafon” – a low-cost wind-powered mine detonator. As Hassani explains “The design industry is perhaps too focused on tables and chairs, I think we can use our talents to find design-based solutions to more serious problems.”

Built out of inexpensive, prefabricated materials, the device consists of a heavy plastic core containing a GPS tracker, which is attached to bamboo sticks with plastic feet at each end that enable it to “walk”. Mine Kafon with its skeletal structure of spiky plungers resembles a giant spherical tumbleweed  and all it needs is a windy day to move across a minefield. If it get destroyed by the landline it’s easy to replace the broken “bamboo legs”.The video done by Callum Cooper will show you this low tech and high designed device.

Mine Kafon by Massoud Hassani

Mine Kafon by Massoud Hassani

Hassani explains the roots of his project: “I grew up in Qasaba, Kabul. My family moved there when I was 5, and at the time there were several wars going on. My brother Mahmud and I we played every day on the fields surrounded with the highest mountains in our neighborhood. Read more…

Edible wrappers

photo courtesy of wikicells

photo courtesy of wikicells

Would you eat the plastic package that held your yogurt or orange juice this morning? Of course not and also like most of us you wouldn’t recycle that container either. David Edwards a Harvard professor has come up with a form of edible packaging that houses food in the same way the inside of a coconut or a grape is protected.

This edible packaging, called WikiCells, is “entirely comprised of natural food particles held together by nutritive ions.” It can be used to hold either food or drinks and taste like whatever is hold. WikiCells could be the answer for both the health conscious and environmentally-conscious consumer. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the United States alone generated almost 7 million tons of plastics as nondurable containers and packaging in 2010. Only 12% of these packaging plastics were recycled.

wikicell yogurt

wikicell yogurt – photo courtesy of wikicells

“The notion of Wikicells is that you are englobing liquid, foam, or something else in a soft membrane held together by food particles that are being connected by electrostatic charges to each other and to a small amount of natural polymer” says Edwards. Read more…

Charity is the new black

charity: water

courtesy of charity: water

Last week at leWeb – the biggest european event on internet and tech – a lot of smart people, post nerds, young geeks and successful entrepreneurs announced on stage new products, new services, new apps … One of the things that caught my ears in that future oriented event was an “old fashioned” word : charity.

Loic Le Meur leWeb ‘s founder, invited Scott Harisson the charismatic young man behind charity: water for a sensitive talk that moved the whole room. During the first part of his life, Harrison spent 10 years working in the nightclub industry in New York. He was successful but totally unhappy. In 2006 he started charity: water when travelling to Africa he saw the terrible plight of so many without the most basic of human needs – water. Charity: water is not an average nonprofit, it has very successfully found new ways of fundraising and got it story out to millions of people globally through the clever use of technology and social media. In fact, Harrison didn’t just want to provide clean water; he wanted to reinvent charity. For that he runs his “business” as a tech start up and found partnership with the biggest .

courtesy charity : water - scott harrison

courtesy of charity : water – Scott Harrison

Read more…

Disco soupe

Branding & packaging by Blend-it of Soup-Co

Branding & packaging by Blend-it of Soup-Co

Soup is a comfort and sensible food. It’s not the most glamorous and sexy option of all, but once the weather gets rough, everyone needs a little comfort food action with humble, homely soup.

Soup is today perceived as a healthy food, an easy way to eat vegetables. Americans sip over 10 billion bowls of soup every single year. Market research predict that by 2012 in USA soup sales will reach $6.3 billion, projected growth of more than 25% in just a few years! A trend that is not over….

Recently, we have seen the openings of many “Bar à Soupes” in our cities. More and more  fresh, “home made” soups are stored in our supermarket. We also started to eat cold soup in summer with the rise of gazpacho followed by cucumber, carrots…

This somehow regressive food is getting more and more trendy and stylish. Read more…

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