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Ace surprise

Ace surprise

On entering your hotel room, you might expect to see a lovely little chocolate placed on your pillow. Or a liberal scattering of local flora. Or a towel, tormented into the damply wilting shape of a swan. Much as they’d love you to get a great night’s sleep, the stifled yawns these hackneyed housekeeping ‘surprises’ generate is unlikely to have been the hotelier’s intent.

Step forward, the ever-inventive Ace Hotel. Styled as destinations of design and cultural integrity themselves, this collection of seven hotels has rethought the turndown service with typically uplifting results.

Proving that there’s nothing more satisfying than proper, personal letter writing, they’ve collaborated with award-winning poet/novelist, Alexander Chee to give guests the complimentary gift of beautifully crafted words.

Every month for the next year, the Ace Hotel NY will invite a different wordsmith in for a sleepover to produce their own open letter to lucky guests, hand-stamped and numbered like the little works of literary art they are. Combined with seasonal readings, this ‘living anthology’ initiative promises to take bedtime reading to belletristic new heights.

Via. http://www.psfk.com/2015/02/ace-hotel-dear-reader-micro-residency-writers-alexander-chee.html

New life cycle

New life cycle

The vogue to build the most individual bike shows no sign of bonking yet, with this latest collaboration between Levi’s and cult bike-bits craftsmen, Brooks England. These two heritage brands have come together to pimp your ride in a commendably modern way.

Taking up-cycling straight to the cyclists, they have released a limited edition collection of pre-worn denim saddles to add a touch of casual urban cool to your seat post. Bike commuters in Brooklyn, LA and London donated their busted old jeans last summer at Levi’s pop-up Commuter Workspaces last summer.

Brooks then transformed them with their celebrated traditional techniques into vulcanized, waterproof one-offs with the same comfort as their best-selling C17, in this collaborative Denim Cambium C17 release of only 1,000 units. So now, if you’re quick, you can experience what it feels like to ride by the seat of someone else’s pants.

Via. http://www.coolhunting.com/design/brooks-england-levis-saddle-cambium-c17

Bitter, us?

Bitter us

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rLILU3B5LY

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acxXJz7gQnE

They say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. But one brand has adopted it lock, stock and two leaking barrels to elevate itself to satirical new heights in the eyes of its appreciators.

Newcastle Brown Ale, the USA-owned Heineken brand, is proposing “the first-ever crowdfunded Big Game ad”, following its spoof attempt last year to place an ad in the highly anticipated Super Bowl slots. (Background politics reveal that Newkie B was blocked by Anheuser-Busch InBev having exclusive rights.) This year, the idea is to team up with other brands to create a collaborative logo-fest, to actually feature on primetime game time TV.

The campaign launched with a video starring Parks and Recreation comedienne Aubrey Plaza, who straight-facedly states, “We can help your brands sell tons of whatever the (bleep) your brands sell.” It’s a brand strategy with as much snark as spark when it comes to wittiness, but it makes an interesting contrast to see an identity with underdog appeal taking centre stage at the Super Bowl.

Via. http://adage.com/article/special-report-super-bowl/newcastle-crowdsources-a-local-super-bowl-ad/296548/

Robo-blinkers

Robo-blinkers

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jXjpteeLhw

Gigs. Bins. Specs. Whatever you call them, it’s no longer uncool to be called four-eyes. Especially when they’re beautifully designed, and embedded with blue-tooth technology that keeps a watchful eye on your health too.

Look no further than Memes, the futuristic frames by Japanese eyewear designer Jin. Fusing fashion and function, they track your fatigue and look fierce while they’re at it. Their stylish and inconspicuous design, conceived to appeal to lovers of Warby Parkers and the like, makes them a much more wearable option than fatigue trackers like Vigo, or ‘techie’ specs like Google Glass.

Sensors hidden all round the frames measure how busy and blinky your eyes are, or aren’t as the case may be. Six-axis acceleration sensors focus on your posture, and feed back to an app on your smartphone. So you get alerts about your levels of alertness. Handy on a busy motorway, perhaps less helpful in a board meeting.

Via. http://www.psfk.com/2015/01/jins-memes-eyewear-health-monitoring.html

Spray some zzzs

Spray some zzzs

Was it that triple espresso? Tax return terror? Or all that bedtime tablet time you overindulged in? Many things can stop us sleeping, but the blue light of the latter is scientifically proven to mess with your melatonin, or the brain juice you need to nod off.

If you’ve ever wished you could bottle the ability to pass out the minute your head hits the pillow, here’s a genie-us idea to make those dreams come true. Sprayable Sleep claims to induce sweet slumber in under an hour, without the unpleasant side effects of a sleeping pill. It’s just water, tyrosine (a natural amino acid) and melatonin, that chemical your sleep-deprived system craves to bring on instant snooziness. So effective is it, that it must be applied externally, to delay its powerful torpidity in time for you to make it to bed at least.

So now insomniacs everywhere can, in sleepy homage to Timothy Leary, Turn In, Spray On, Zonk Out.

Via. http://www.springwise.com/squirts-sprayable-sleep-insomniacs-catch-zzzs/

Leader of the unverpackt

Leader of the Unverpackt

Crisp bags half full of air. Coffee jars with two plastic lids. Cucumbers double-wrapped in film and cellophane. If over-packaged produce makes you go a bit bananas, take heart from what’s happening in Berlin.

Friends Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski have cleverly unverpactk the excessive packaging problem. As frustrated consumers, hating the waste so abundant in food stores, the pair took action and created an übersuccesful crowdfunding campaign that’s captured the zeitgeist. The funds are now in hand for a summer opening of Original Unverpackt, their first zero-waste supermarket, with a second soon to come. (Schönen Dank, Jampbell.)

The idea is as simple as it is original. They sell in bulk; you bring your own boxes. If you forget your Tupperware, you can borrow some from the store or use their recycled paper bags. Operating on a similar but larger scale to food co-ops, you can shop with a clear conscience, knowing that single-use containers and pre-packed preposterousness are strictly verboten.

Via. http://inhabitat.com/original-unverpackt-germanys-first-zero-waste-supermarket-to-open-this-summer/original_unverpackt/

Beer with added fibre

Beer with added fibre

Calm down, calm down. Carlsberg hasn’t gone all colon-health-crazy. The fibre’s not in the beer, but the bottle. They’re developing one made from ‘Green Fiber': a world-first that’s fully biodegradable, sculpted from sustainably-sourced wood and paper pulp. (The sort of stuff that keeps your eggs uncracked and your electronic goods so tightly packed.)

It’s lighter than glass too, neatly upping its eco-credentials as it downsizes its transport costs. Production costs too, presumably, as the entire form is moulded in one, unlike the plastic bladders PaperBoy Wines came up with last year

Coated inside to stop the lager leaking out, the bottles will nonetheless decompose naturally when recycled along with your newspapers and card. If this packaging catches on, it could also see a soggy end to scary barroom brawls.

Via. http://qz.com/331879/carlsberg-may-soon-be-serving-beer-in-cardboard-bottles/

The society of grownups

society of grownups 1

Skinny cappuccino? A cinnamon bun perhaps? And would you like life insurance with that? In a bid to gain business from Millennials facing life decisions, insurance group MassMutual is inviting its customers to cosy up with them over a decent cup of coffee.

Hosted in the group’s own café-style space, The Society of Grownups promises a series of chats, supper clubs and classes to help young adults weave between the tables of financial planning. A typical night’s discussion could cover ‘Buying a Home (Without Losing Your Mind)’, or ‘Over & Out: Making Your Next Career Move’.

society of grownups 3

It’s a very civilised environment in which to tackle the big decisions. But best of all, it makes hanging out with your financial adviser feel, well, ever so slightly cool.

Via. https://www.lsnglobal.com/seed/article/17029/fireside-finance-insurers-create-welcoming-space-for-financial-advice

A beer with a head, and a heart

beer with a head

Next time you’re quenching your thirst with an ice-cold Stella Artois, spare a thought for those in developing countries who lack one of life’s essentials – clean drinking water. That’s the message from water.org, the non-profit co-founded by Matt Damon, in partnership with brewing giant Anheuser Busch InBev.

beer with a head 2

Launched at the Sundance Film Festival, the campaign ‘Buy a Lady a Drink’ invites consumers to buy a limited edition Stella Artois chalice through Amazon. More than just a branded souvenir though, the proceeds from every sale are enough to provide clean water for a family for five years. We’ll drink to that.

Via. http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2015/01/23/150123-Stella-Artois-Water-Matt-Damon.aspx

As squeaky clean as a dolphin

squeaky clean

Delicate, lacy lingerie. Super soft cashmere. Trousers crusted with mud from a trek through the rainforest. All need washing. All a complete chore to clean.

Not so with Dolfi. This ‘next gen washing device’ has arrived to take the task gently and discretely off your hands. Pop it in a bowl of water and laundry detergent, plug in your Dolphi and it will do the job for you. Using ultrasonic tech. (Thanks go to our superfresh Mr Jampbell.)

These tiny sound waves bounce around the fabric, collapsing microscopic pockets of air to create a fizz in the water that dislodges the dirt. It’s a method used traditionally for cleaning jewellery, watches and surgical instruments. And mucky porpoise pups no doubt, as the product was named in honour of that sonic sage of the seas, the dolphin. A portion of the initial campaign takings are even flippering their way to dolphin welfare and research projects.

Perfect for travellers, haters of hand-washing, and people who’ve always wondered why screaming at a pile of dirty socks never quite did the trick.

Via. http://www.psfk.com/2015/01/dolfi-ultrasonic-pebble-clean-machine.html