Fontys ILS Coolhunt update April ’14

Every 5 weeks a few students from Fontys International Lifestyle Studies come together with their Coolhunt-lecturers to brainstorm on all signs of the time. What are the signals worth analyzing and what do we learn about the developing mentalities worldwide?

Constructed by Desiree Laureijssen,Talisa Ong, Madeleine van Wettum and Fleur Stiels. Supervised by Ingeborg Bruinewoud. Written by Fleur Stiels

Once again gathering in the ‘House of Creative Concepts’ in the Spoorzone in Tilburg, it was the perfect moment for sharing international findings and coolhunts: all students had just returned from their study tour to Copenhagen and New York. This was thus a great way to start our third gathering and to discuss all the signs we had found.

First, the Copenhagen coolhunts came up. Mostly, our findings consisted of shops which were selling local handcrafted creations and places in the city which were set up to encourage meetings with other citizens. Most of these shops and meeting places could be found in the upcoming city area Vesterbro. Shops with local handcrafted goods such as Handcrafted Copenhagen and the ceramics selling shop Priip are neat examples of shops where pure craftmanship is being sold.

An example of an alternative Copenhagen meeting place is Foderbrættet, a restaurant that was inspired by other Hot Dog Gourmet restaurants in London and Los Angeles. Here you can get luxurious hot dogs and sausages, all dished up in a very hipster-looking way and share these with other guests, while enjoying a fancy cocktail or a glass of champagne. According to owner Micheal José it’s the perfect men cave for everyone (and not just men). Another interesting meeting place was Bynes Forlag, a little discrete publisher café where authors were able to work on their books (which were published by the publishing house Bynes Forlag of course) and get inspiration by everyone who would like to have a quick stop at the café.

Luxurious hot dogs, salads and fancy cocktails at Foderbrættet, everybody's men cave.

Luxurious hot dogs, salads and fancy cocktails at Foderbrættet, everybody’s men cave.

While talking about signals like these, it was inevitable that Dutch signals were brought up as well. Both of these signals contained both the handcrafting factor and the meeting factor. Hutspot Amsterdam is a place like that. It’s some sort of café where guests can eat and drink, but there’s also plenty of room for creatives and designers in the Hutspot Store to show their creations.
Crafts&Co in Maastricht is a similar concept. Here designers can rent a table and display their goods, while there is also the possibility to talk to the designers when they are there and to get a nice cup of tea with an organic muffin.


Video showing the diversity of Crafts & Co

While talking about all these authentic signs, we couldn’t help but switch over to the more technological signs we had gathered. While discussing these signs we came to the conclusion that many people still have a hard time adjusting to all the technological developments around them and accepting the possibilities all these developments are giving us. An article of the Los Angeles Times stated that a woman was attacked in a bar after she refused to take off her Google Glass. The people who attacked her weren’t happy with the fact that the woman was able to film those people whenever she wanted to. People who are wearing Google Glass are more often mentioned as ‘Glassholes‘, since many people wearing the Glass are expected to completely ignore the outside world because they are constantly being busy with their Google Glass. Wether you like to discuss this subject or not, it is a fact that technological developments will change our everyday life.


A video showing the ‘unwanted side effects’ of Google Glass

Technological improvements are often meant to improve and simplify our lives, but there always have to be improvements that don’t have those same intentions. For example, Nevermind, a horror adventure game which uses so-called biofeedback to intensify the game. In other words, this game knows when you’re scared and gets even scarier. The biofeedback element detects your heart rate variability while playing and the game will automatically respond to you and your increasing heart rate, which makes it even more horrifying to play. Another example of “scary” technological improvements is Labyrinth Psychotica, an virtual-reality outfit which gives you the chance to experience a pshychosis. Not a very pleasing experience, I assume.

The Nevermind video game knows how to shit your pants!

The virtual-reality outfit which gives you the chance to experience a pshychosis

The virtual-reality outfit which gives you the chance to experience a pshychosis

While discussing these fearful concepts, the coolhunts found in New York came in handy too. Since the 9/11 attack, New York keeps an eye open for all kinds of terrorism. Even worse: the citizens of the Big Apple are constantly informed of all the bad things that might happen. Metro tickets with slogans as ‘If you see an unattented package, don’t assume it was left by accident’ and ‘Surf this train and this ride could be your last’ and posters with questions directed to the society about teenage pregnancy are scattered around the city. It almost seems as if the government is trying to scare their inhabitants on purpose, to keep them in fear and to force them to always be aware.

New York citizens are constantly informed of all the bad things that might happen

New York citizens are constantly informed of all the bad things that might happen

Discussing all these heavy subjects, we thought it would be nice to get back to a more positive subject again. In this case: bees. 2014 is supposed the be the year of the bees, especially when you take a look at all the recent movements on how to save the bees. Bees are considered to be a very important factor of our human lives, sadly the greatest part of society doesn’t get that. Bees contain the balance between flora and fauna, which automatically contains our human’s lives balance. Small trends such as Urban Beekeeping are becoming more and more popular for many people. While more people are going to live in the city, the urban areas could be a very interesting place for bees to stay and live as well. In the meantime, big organizations such as Philips are designing urban beehives, to give the Urban Beekeeping a more sexy feeling and look.

Philips makes Urban Beekeeping sexy again!

Philips makes Urban Beekeeping sexy again!

It’s a fact, bees are not only keeping us alive, but they are gratifying to collaborate with as well. Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer using trained bees and Canadian artist Aganetha Dyck collaborates with bees to create sculptures that explore the relationship between humans and bees. Looking at all kind of signals showing the importance of bees, you indeed have to admit that 2014 is supposed to be the year of the bees.

The last cluster we created consisted of all kind of coolhunts which made life easier and more fun. For example the Chineasy illustrations by ShaoLan Hsueh. These illustrations will teach you how to understand basic Chinese characters.

Chineasy makes it easier to remember and recognise Chinese characters

Chineasy makes it easier to remember and recognise Chinese characters

Or The Hitch, a platform just like AirBnB, which helps you find attractive and affordable wedding venues, which, apparently, is very troublesome to find. And ofcourse the Spritz app, the app that can help you to read up to 1000 words a minute. The concept of Spritz is very simple, but also very effective. The app shows you one word of a sentence at a time, displaying the words by quick speed. You can adjust your reading speed, so you can improve your own reading skills. In the beginning the high speed might look inconvenient to your eyes, but by practicing you should be able to handle the fast reading speed.


The Spritz app teaches people how to read faster – up to 1000 words a minute

Thank you for reading and next time we will be back with a new update!

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