Tag Archives: innovation

Pop-Up City: The Book

Pop Up City BookThe guys behind Pop-Up City are bringing out a book! Well, they are trying to. They need a little bit more financial backing first, so I’m trying to do my bit to help them get it. Pop-Up City kindly gave me a book back in 2012…unfortunately it wasn’t my very own book – it was a copy of Indie Brands by Anneloes van Gaalen – but it still made me happy because I had won their competition, and got something lovely for free. So yeah, spread the love and all that, you get a discount if you pre-order!

iPhotos iEverywhere

iPhone CityiPhone TaxiiPhone ChildI know that this new iPhone advert is supposed to be poignant and heartwarming, but I actually find it a little but creepy and unnerving. I’ve probably watched too many episodes of ‘Black Mirror’, because this advert just reminds me that we’re under constant surveillance.

Everyone wants to take pictures of everything! I don’t like to think about it too much, but it really freaks me out to think that there is a very real possibility that a complete stranger has taken a picture of me either passed out or wearing a badly-chosen outfit, just so they can upload it to Facebook and get a few derisive ‘Likes’ at my expense. It’s even worse when you think about how this kind of attitude can escalate – like in the recent Steubenville rape case. It’s definitely got to the point now where taking photos all the time hasn’t just become mundane and disposable – like the scenes in the iPhone ad. Gawking and voyeurism is so deeply embedded in contemporary society that it’s become quite disconcerting. Especially because, to some extent, we’re all guilty of it.

With the recent introduction of Google Glass, a campaign group called Stop The Cyborgs have called for the gadget to be banned in certain areas – something which I am definitely in favour of. The BBC article covering the story raises a lot of interesting questions. While it’s definitely true that technology and innovative design makes our lives faster and easier, these new inventions are also shaping our attitudes in ways that very few could have predicted.

Dita Von Teese Models First 3D Printed Dress

ImageThis elaborate, lattice design dress is a collaboration between stage costumier Michael Schmidt and the innovative Francis Bitonti Studio, based in Brooklyn, New York. Michael Schmidt has created stage outfits for some of the most outlandish and exciting performers – from Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Courtney Love and Grace Jones to Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and – obviously – Dita Von Teese. Schmidt’s design for the gown is based on the Fibonacci sequence and was 3D modelled by Francis Bitonti, before finally being 3D printed in Nylon by Shapeways. Once the 17 separate pieces of the garment were completed, they were dyed black, lacquered and embellished with over 13,000 Swarovski crystals.3D Printed Gown DetailDita also wore the dress at the unveiling at New York’s Ace Hotel last night.Dita Von Teese Ace HotelAlthough the cartoon-like burlesque star said that the dress was quite comfortable and ‘super light’, I’m not entirely convinced. Undoubtedly, the dress looks pretty cool, but it seems like it didn’t take her long to change out of the gown into a more practical Roland Mouret shift dress.

CHANEL No 5 – For The First Time

Chanel’s new website and short film show just one of the ways that Coco Chanel was a pioneer within the fashion world, by exploring the history of the fashion house’s debut fragrance, Chanel No 5. Watch the video below or visit the site here.


Calling all needy people!

Are you the kind of person who constantly needs to be reassured?
Are you lonely?
Could you do with more hugs in your life?
Are you willing to look like a bit of a bellend to get those hugs?
Are you prepared to make do with a vaguely creepy constriction from a garment in place of an actual hug?

Oh great, well in that case you will just love the Like-A-Hug vest from MIT student Melissa Kit Chow. The Like-A-Hug vest is a self-inflating (and self-indulgent) garment which the user can connect to their Facebook profile. For those who aren’t happy with their ego being digitally boosted by the traditional Facebook ‘Like’, you can hook yourself up to your profile so that every ‘Like’ is translated into a weird ‘could almost pass for a hug’ squeeze from the jacket.Chow explains the thought process on her website – “The vest inflates when friends ‘Like’ a photo, video, or status update on the wearer’s wall, thereby allowing us to feel the warmth, encouragement, support, or love that we feel when we receive hugs.”

While I’m sure the technology behind this concept is pretty amazing and innovative, I can’t help but feel that the kind of person who would actually want to wear this would be some kind of seriously sad bastard with stalkerish tendencies.

Renault ZE

Definitely one of my favourite TV ads of the last couple of years. I rediscovered it on Youtube and remembered how much I appreciated this thoughtful and amusing advert.

Red Cross: Blood Trade

This is a really inspired idea. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that it’s just a concept, but if Red Cross really were to team up with the developers of online games, then this would be a smart innovation. Before I watched this video, I would have thought that a linking an online campaign to real life blood donation would have been quite tenuous and difficult.

Becoming Real

As technology gets more sophisticated and ubiquitous, there is inevitably a yearning by some for the real and material, even if it is simply for novelty value. Recently, I came up with the idea to recreate a Pinterest board on a wall of the agency where I currently intern, Brand Advocate. The title of the board was “Wish List” and it was populated with things that everyone in the office would like to own, drive, eat, wear…whatever. I drew a browser window around the finished collection of images to make it clear that it was a reference to Pinterest and I also added the interface graphics and logo. While the finished results weren’t perfect, I was working on my own to a time scale of three hours, and the purpose was simply to make the walls of the account management department look more interesting. Either way, I was really pleased that our creative director chose my idea in the first place.

Here are some other creative ways in which the digital has been brought back into the real world or recreated in a material form. To be honest, they make my real life Pinterest wall look pretty lame.

Minesweeper scratch cardsThe Minesweeper postcard by Connect Design means you can send a postcard to a friend with a retroactively imagined version of the popular PC game. The cards include flag and smiley face stickers and come in easy or hard modes with 80 or 120 mines. You can see more images and order them directly from the Connect Design website here.

Analogue Twitter feedThis analogue Twitter wall was created by Precious design studio for re:publica, one of Europe’s largest conferences about social media, blogging and the digital society. The 3 day event saw a total of 38,378 tweets posted on the wall! More info on the event can be found over at the Creative Applications Network.

Youtube street installation

Google Maps-inspired artAram Bartholl created these huge wooden sculptures to imitate the images seen on Google maps, when a distinctive red pin marks out where Google assumes the centre of the city is.

An ‘app’ in the form of a DIY pocket bookThe Hipster Habit App is actually just a fold up booklet that you can use as a pocket guide for how to improve your life, depending on what changes you feel you need to make. The template can be downloaded here.

Traditional Photoshop!

This real life version of Photoshop was commissioned by an Indonesian software re-seller and created by Bates141 Jakarta.

Got QMilch?

If you’re a little picky about textiles, you won’t relish the news that a new man-made fibre has been invented. Every spring, I trawl clothes stores and the internet, scrutinising every floaty garment that I like, ensuring that it’s not made of nylon, polyester, or any other deceptive, quasi-plastic fabric. In a perfect world, I’d probably only ever wear cashmere, cotton and silk. Oh, and leather, suede and fur…sorry PETA.

But that’s why I’m excited about QMilch. It’s a fabric made in Germany, marketed as Milkotex and, yep, It’s made of milk. Sour milk, in fact. It’s odourless, apparently feels like silk, and can be washed like any other fabric. It’s even environmentally friendly – so if you’re one of those self-righteous people who goes on about upcycling and fairtrade cotton, then Milkotex will agree with your “save the world” sensibilities, too.

Invented by Anke Domaske, who is a micro-biologist and fashion designer, the fabric doesn’t require any chemical processes, and is manufactured by heating. The molecules in the milk start creating fibres that can then be processed into clothing. Domaske invented the fabric in order to answer the problem of clothes for people with sensitive skin and allergies – the close-ups of the Qmilch strands show them to be a lot smoother than wool or cotton fibres.

Right now, although a Milkotex dress can be made out of just six litres of milk, it will still set you back around $200. However, in the EU alone, millions of gallons of milk go to waste either because the milk is unfit for human consumption, or because of the Common Agricultural Policy, which is in place to stabilise the cost of dairy products. This milk is often just sprayed onto the fields, but if more of it were to be used in the manufacturing of Milkotex, it could be the most innovative and environmentally friendly fabric in the fashion industry. Not only that, but once manufactured on a large scale it should prove to be incredibly affordable to produce.

So what’s not to love about QMilch? Well, they have some pretty dodgy press shots…