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Forecasting Trends Making Assumptions FT3032 Research Dossier

Jillian Smith U0717274


Content Intro Research methodology Questionnaire

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Changing attitudes towards retail, brands, products and the way in which we buy and sell are more prominent now as the recession takes a strong hold over the global economy. With that in mind a global snap shot of consumers and the companies and brands we buy from will be very different from 5 years ago. To find out the change and why, there will be a study into the real personal meanings behind;

• • • • •

Luxury Lifestyle Communication Culture Fashion

By using the new meanings of these categories, trends can be seen within each. The design, product and sell of what we buy and what we like can be understood in a new way.


Research methodology As social change occurs across the world, so do consumer attitudes. From the recession to sustainability, there are many reasons that shopping and trend attitudes change. By gathering information on social change and social attitudes there will be a trend or movement subsequently from these changes.

Secondary research The Internet, The first way of finding my research. Using search engines and looking for news websites and social groupings, such as and BBC news. I also read magazines and newspapers to keep a feel on what was current, such as i-d, dazed and confused, the time, guardian and other such newspapers. Using social networking sites to find events/ideas issues people are involved in. such as, Facebook, myspace, bebo and forums. Looking at blogs with links and finding ideas from each person’s page onto the next. To help with my research I have to use anthropology and an ethnographic approach.

5 section themes Luxury Communication Lifestyle Culture Fashion/clothing

My research structure – Questionnaire and interview consumers. Compile findings and section trends within research Consumer typology Products/innovation Anthropology research Structure trends and information


Present work visually and use finding within presentation.

Primary Research Looking back at research done for previous projects will give me a starting point, understanding how people shop, drink eat etc.

Make a questionnaire to understand the new definitions of luxury, communication, lifestyle, culture and fashion. Compile research and study the outcomes and what trends are emerging. Going to club events or pubs, to interact with groups is the main focus, as this is where I will get my primary research and meet new people. Asking questions about their lifestyle, getting to know the ins and outs of the culture the consumers. Using digital photography to gather all my research visually and to watch different merging trends within the 5 themes by capturing product, merchandise and packaging designs, and understanding where the ideas are going and why









Despite the state of the economy, the fast food industry continues to thrive, owing success to its favorable ratio of price to calories — just look to the increased sales of McDonald’s for evidence of this fact. And while over the long run, this trend might not be the best thing for our overall health and collective waistlines, in the short term, our eating habits don’t have to affect our aesthetic sensibilities as well. To that end, new website Fancy Fast Food endeavors to add a bit of beauty to the banality of commonplace offerings like burgers, fried chicken, tacos and pizza by re-imagining them as haute cuisine. Although the step-by-step instructions for building these creations won’t make the food actually taste any better, it will certainly help in the process of make believe. The website explains: These photographs show extreme makeovers of actual fast food items purchased at popular fast food restaurants. No additional ingredients have been added except for an occasional simple garnish.


Scratch that: New ready meals offer fresh food, fast 2009:08:03 London – A new quick-fix meal serves up all the raw ingredients needed for a one-person portion, without the hidden additives that often come with a ready meal. Scratch meal boxes include all the bits for a full meal – chopped, washed and weighed ingredients, and instructions on how to assemble everything – so time-pressed consumers may cook a fresh dish without the hassle of sourcing and preparing separate ingredients. The design of the box, with its simple sans serif font branding by Brandy, unbleached cardboard and basic window container, further highlights the honest, unfussy approach to prepared food. Seeing is now believing for ready meals. file:///Users/jilliansmith/Desktop/luxury/LifeStyle:News:Global.webarchive


Book a cook: Culinary homedulgence 2009:01:28 Oxford, United Kingdom – With top restaurants still expecting us to pay over the odds for a meal despite the recession, it seems fitting that cooks are now offering their services to people at home. Book a Cook is a new venture offering customers the chance to hire a cook to come to their home for an evening of culinary delights – but this is for homedulgence, rather than catering for a special occasion with guests. As the number of out-of-work professionals increases, more people are going freelance and offering their services as lone businesses. Other examples include Dave Hampton, who has channeled his expertise into becoming a Carbon Coach and can come to your home or business to offer consultations on reducing your carbon emissions.


The “Wall Oven” is a futuristic oven concept by Ludovic Peperstraete which would be a great replacement for the conventional bulky and energy sapping ovens. This oven is mounted on the wall and features three lasers to cook perfect food of all kind. The user can have a perfect control on the final outcome by selecting a texture to cook from various options offered by the Wall Oven. Thus users can avoid the hassle and risk of spoiling the food by selecting a wrong temperature as well as erroneous cooking time. The wall mounting mechanism will increase the space efficiency of your house since you don’t need to place any fittings to make room for it.


At first glance, you might think that this is a camera, but it’s not, it’s an oven, a revolutionary new oven called Inspiro. Electrolux Inspiro oven launches this week with technology that you might say can be the future of cooking. The auto focus camera like in this oven is a heat management that sensors what is to be cooked before calculating the temperature and time needed. Rather than just measuring the air temperature with a thermometer and regulating it with a thermostat, the way a conventional oven operates, Inspiro uses sensors to calculate the precise combination of energy consumption and time needed to bring the food to the correct temperature. This is similar to the way cameras now automatically set aperture, exposure time and focus, depending on the light and what is in the frame. How does it work? To cook a lamb joint, for example, select the category roasting via the touch control, then choose whether the joint should be rare, medium or well done. The oven indicates which level to put the tray on in a cold oven. From that cold start, Inspiro calculates the energy consumption and time needed to raise the temperature of the meat to the desired level. That information is then combined with its database of professional cooking techniques to calculate what combination of heating modes is required (top, bottom, side, hot air, or grill) to ensure the desired result. When the cooking sequence is finished, the oven stops, and alerts the chef that the food is ready. Or if you prefer manual oven, Inspiro can also operate like a conventional oven by selecting manual mode. file:///Users/jilliansmith/Desktop/luxury/new%20cooking%20technology%20imag es%20%7C%20Future%20Technology.webarchive


Orchestra Kitchenware introduces a new means of spicing your meals. Adding up some music and dance with feasts is a traditional matter since music eases the tensions, sets the mood and ignites the spirit. On the other hand, dance and movement helps your appetite up, thus food tastes more appetizing than ever. Orchestra Kitchenware will provide you a brilliant harmony like an orchestra by featuring the required hidden communications and understanding among musicians that goes beyond exchanging words. This kitchenware will surely renovate your meals into an engaging and enjoyable experience. Designer: Hyuh Jin Lee, Chooi-leng Tan and Hye Ryoung Cheon file:///Users/jilliansmith/Desktop/luxury/Musicians%20Will%20Love %20Orchestra%20Kitchenware%20%7C%20Future%20Technology.we barchive



Treat tired feet to a swim in this inflatable footbath ($15), which can be packed and taken anywhere. Follow the spa recipes on the package, or pop in two effervescent Gilden Tree Revitalizing Foot Soaks ($13.95) for an extra-special treat.

file:///Users/jilliansmith/Desktop/luxury/Best%20Home%20Spa%20P roducts:%20Heated%20Stone%20Spa%20Therapy%20System.webarch ive



Only five days after announcing their new name for the Vegemite spinoff – ‘iSnack 2.o’, Kraft have ditched the controversial branding name. Stating that the new name had “simply not resonated with Australians. Particularly the modern technical aspects associated with it”, Kraft will once again hand over the new naming rights to the public. A true example of crowd-sourcing gone wrong, Kraft has denied the tech-savvy name was a publicity stunt. Regardless, the brand has received huge online coverage through local bloggers and social media portals. file:///Users/jilliansmith/Desktop/luxury/Kraft%20Drops%20iSnack% 202.0%20-%20PSFK.webarchive


Now you can stay connected to your facebook or myspace friends while working in your kitchen. Adam Brodowski from USA has designed “Sook”, a wireless kitchen assistant concept that displays and shares different recipes and allows you to connect to your social networking websites with the help of internet access on this device. “Sook” uses a series of sensors to sense what food is kept nearby or on its cutting board. Apart from measuring weight and moisture, it also includes an electronic tongue that tastes and examines food so that all the ingredients can be mixed in a better way. This device is waterproof and is washed like your other utensils. Pretty futuristic concept, especially with “electronic tongue”, very cool. Just buy your favorite food from restaurant, put it near Sook, and voila … you will get the secret ingredients and you can share it with your friends automatically. Text from Adam about the background of this concept: “In my research, I found that 97% of the iGeneration owns a computer and 75% are on Facebook or other social networking sites,” says the device’s creator, Adam Brodowski, a design student at Savannah College of Art and Design in the U.S. state of Georgia. “I also found that they are all hypertaskers who do multiple things all at once. Eating dinner, text messaging, doing homework and watching TV are all strung together. “They are also very comfortable with technology and the Internet. They run personal blogs, surf the web all day long, email back and forth and so on. Most importantly, they enjoy creating content to fuel the web and be noticed.” All Units: This shows the various units of the Sook off the dock and ready to be used.


The Moléculaire concept is actually a marriage of science and cooking, which is actually a 3D molecular food printer. This device is inspired by chefs who painstakingly and scientifically experiment with food to surprise the guests and provoke innovative ideas of cooking. The Moléculaire simplifies the existing hectic, tough and time consuming process of food experiment with this Computer Numerical Control (CNC) food printer for both domestic and professional kitchens. This gadget works with a layer by layer printing method using small elements from diverse ingredients, whilst providing accuracy, simplicity, repeatability and great tasting food file:///Users/jilliansmith/Desktop/luxury/food%20%7C%20Future%20Technology.webarchi ve


The Sony Bravia XBR8 Series was the big winner in a Product Wiki reader poll—despite its $5000 price tag, it has the high end covered. If you’re looking for a little more television for a little less money, try the Panasonic Viera PZ800 or even the Samsung 6 series televisions, which are still high0end receivers, but not as cutting-edge. The Vizio XVT still got high marks even though it was the last in reader faves.


This company creates things that make life better and not compromising on beauty, performance and expectations. This is simplicity at its coolest!. My favourite is “Im one tough little squirt”.


"Australian icon donna hay has teamed up with Australia’s largest independent design studio Frost* Design on a number of new ventures including a new food range, retail store and home wares line. Sharing similar guiding principles of quality and style, Donna and Frost* worked together over 12 months to realise her vision.

Working with existing donna hay branding elements, Frost*’s contribution to the flagship donna hay general store included the logo design, signage, shopping bags, gift boxes and marketing material. In 2008, Donna hay released a range of baking products including Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix, Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix, Oat & Cranberry Cookie Mix, Molten Chocolate Chunk Brownie Mix, Chocolate Cupcake Kit, Vanilla Cupcake Kit, Lemon and Coconut Cupcake Kit. For the various packaging needs, Frost adopted the Donna hay mantra of “simple made special” and worked closely with Donna and her team to develop the food range’s own identity. Donnas’ signature blue was enhanced with stitched ribboning and clean logotype in various colours from their brand palette. This, combined with beautiful photography has created packaging like no other.

Introduced into David Jones in November 2008, the baking mix range is now available from gourmet delicatessens and grocers throughout Australia." g/2009/07/donna-hay.html


Joao Carneiro has designed a cool speaker system called the Cube 2.1. It is already being touted as the speakers of the near future. Professional Sound Reproduction is a cool new concept that explores the idea of advanced speakers. It comes with a 2.1 surround sound system and features 2 wireless 360 degrees speakers. It also comes with a sub woofer that can be placed anywhere you want. The product is called Cube 2.1 and also has the ability to provide a cinematic quality of sound. It comes with amazing docks that can play mp3 players, and connect to TV or PC. It is also quite portable in the sense, it can be transported easily from one place to the other.



If you are lucky enough to have a home theatre, most of us would be happy with a projector, surround sound and perhaps a comfy sofa or two. Not so for these homeowners. Pentagram Architects partner James Biber has designed this home theatre in Montauk New York, taking inspiration from Radio City Music Hall and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The theatre has a series of round arches, which house 600 five-watt dimmer-controlled light bulbs that provide a soft ambient light for when you need to find that elusive remote control. And as in the Music Hall, the lights are positioned to glow away from the viewers — because we all hate to have lights in our eyes when watching the big screen. Biber has designed the theatre to function like a TV room, in that it is comfortable and intimate enough for a romantic night in with a bottle of red and a Hugh Grant movie, but can also easily accommodate up to ten people to watch the big game, or perhaps a slumber party with the girls. All of the surfaces in the room are covered in orange felt to help with the acoustics, and seating on the floor has been taken care of by Edelman Leather who custom made the beanbags. This house, which also boasts a large private outdoor space looking onto the Atlantic Ocean, recently won an American Architecture Award for distinguished buildings and a Citation for Design in the AIA New York State Design Awards. By Brendan McKnight



Magic wand The home-theatre system of tomorrow transforms from a vertical mirror to a horizontal TV; it has a single, long speaker behind your couch and a wand for a remote control.




Baltimore – With more consumers entertaining themselves at home rather than spending money on costly evenings out, what better time to update the classic Monopoly game? The family entertainment favourite of buying and selling property has been given a makeover by Maryland Institute College of Art student Andy Mangold, who updated the packaging and game components with an appropriately classy twist. Mangold’s design covers the game box and assorted containers in cream and a luscious chocolate brown. As increasing numbers of people look to the indoors for fun in a time of Homedulgence, manufacturers of board games and related family-oriented pastimes have a great opportunity to rekindle the interest in their timeless classics.


The SousVide Supreme machine is the world’s first at-home sous vide cooking method water oven. Sous vide cooking is a laborious and intense method that involves vacuum-sealing food in airtight pouches and then submerging it in a precise and controlled hot water bath over a long period of time. The result is perfectly cooked, nutritious and flavorful foods. The SousVide Supreme machine is a stylish at-home solution. Simply set the SousVide Supreme machine and it will control the water temperature and successfully cook your foods. Delicious, gourmet home-cooked meals can be yours to enjoy.


Observing the common behavior of sitting on luggage while in transit, Erik De Nijs created a set of suitcases that can be combined into a two person sofa. The set consists of two full size, and two carry-on sized bags, all covered in a different fabric that would look at home on any couch.



What do superheroes do when Gotham City or Metropolis is not in danger? Spiderman’s web has to be good for something besides for fighting crime. Ever think about how our comic book heroes survive the real life? More importantly is how the real life superheroes—regular people working hard to support their families—live real life. This is why photographer Dulce Pinzon has highlighted Mexican immigrant workers. She photographed the workers at their real jobs dressed like famous fictional comic book characters such as Batman, Superman and Catwoman. They may not be able to leap a tall building in a single bound, but these everyday heroes and heroines save the day for their families everyday.


Compact living, a concept that is most often associated with Japanese lifestyles and design, never fails to intrigue us Westerners. The Dome House is a concept for a new kind of home developed by the Japanese which has been approved by Japanese Ministry of Land and Transport. The materials used to build these home and the actual infrastructure are said to be beneficial in the prevention of aging and the recuperation of your health, energy-saving, earthquake resistance, and environmentally friendly. I would love to see these in expensive structures, starting at $30,000 to build, start to pop on land waiting to be developed around cities like Los Angeles, where temporary nightlife villages can be housed. Each Dome with its own concept. AMAZING!



Manuel Albarran is probably one of the only Metal Fashion Designer in the market. He is dedicates to research a new artistic concept of metal: the METAL COUTURE, developing through the careful combination of metal and different materials and techniques for fashion, art and cinema. Not really easy to sport on a everyday life, but for photoshoot the result is pretty rad ! See by yourself




It all started with celebrity streetstyle photographer The Sartorialist aka Scott Schuman who started to showcase his street finds on his blog in September 2005, and then… the others followed… Paparazzi of the unknown, they shoot models, editors, stylists or random people who have good or interesting style. All those pictures are called ‘Data’ in the trend world, data to analyze and read what’s coming next : details, colors, prints, cuts, accessories, ways of wearing, every single details is important. Trends agencies (like TrendLand’s friend FashionSnoop) have their own photographers traveling the world to shoot what’s cool and hot for the future seasons. And you can be sure that all those photographs are analyzed by all the designers from Marc Jacobs to H&M


Supermodels undress for a good cause ! The Planet is getting warmer everyday, we need to do something…This cool and pretty simple video, gets the point across the best way we know. How? with clothes, or really with the lack of clothes. I guess you get the point!’s Global Day of Climate Action is a great cause and you should all participate !


Design's love affair with bold colour inches one step further with the application of graphic art into everything from tables to chairs, bookshelves and even yachts. Cappellini gave Adam Goodrum's 'Stitch' chair the colour treatment with blocks or red, blue, white and black applied to the segments of the aluminium folding chair. Designer Enzo Berti recasts the humble bookshelf as a canvas for graphic prints with his Bar Code Street shelves. London based artist Anna James, who transforms pieces of 20th century furniture into contemporary art works, applied a clean graphic to her Genoa table. And of course who can forget Jeff Koon's 'art' yacht, released last year, which is still wowing onlookers on the Mediterranean



Austrailia’s Griffith University has added a Twitter component to an existing course which teaches basic news gathering and writing skills. Referring to the journalistic role of Twitter in matters like the recent Iranian protests, the school believes that up-and-coming journalists can benefit from training in the micro-blogging service to help them gather information and write stories. (It was originally reported that

the course was only on Twitter, and mandatory



These can designs are a great example of how some design styles never really go out of style. A few of these designs look slightly dated, yet others look as though they could have been released last week. ” I pretty much agree with them, and also if Coca Cola designers see these, they will probably release some cool retro designed cans in the next few months


5 Ways Sellsumers Could Impact Your Business Brett Virmalo We’re big fans of the free monthly reports from and enjoyed their April report on “Sellsumers.” Here’s their report summary: “Whether it’s selling their insights to corporations, hawking their creative output to fellow consumers, or renting out unused assets, consumers will increasingly become SELLSUMERS, too. Made possible by the online revolution’s great democratization of demand and supply, and further fueled by a global recession that leaves consumers strapped for cash, the SELLSUMERS phenomenon is yet another manifestation of the mega-trend that is ‘consumer participation’.” Most of the examples in the report are products and services that don’t compete with major brands. Sellsumers peddling individual parking spaces, spare storage space, or extra garden produce probably have no impact on content marketing. Smart marketers, however, should perk up and recognize another indicator of shifting consumer behavior. Empowered digital consumers are going around, not through, major brands. Sellsumers are highly engaged, savvy content creators changing the marketplace. Here is a list of ways that sellsumers could be affecting your bottom line and the questions you should be addressing in your content marketing strategy: 1.


Are consumers selling or reselling your products or something similar? If so, how and where are they selling? If sellsumers are an asset to your brand, how can you empower them? If you view sellsumers as competition, position your content to demonstrate why your offering is superior. 2.


Establish new or engage in an existing sellsumer marketplace. For example, Amazon has welcomed individual merchants into its e-commerce engine and offers new, used, and refurbished products from multiple vendors other than Amazon. Put your content into the mix or invite sellsumers into your space. Either way, you’ll need quality content that makes your brand stand out.



Customer Support

If consumers are selling used or refurbished products from you or your competitor, support content may be a differentiator. Create valuable support content that goes beyond troubleshooting problems – engage customers and provide the support that they need to be comfortable. 4.

Mobile Apps

Are sellsumers creating mobile apps that relate to your offering? If so, how can you sponsor or partner with the app developer in a mutually beneficial way? Or perhaps you can create your own apps to create an easier user experience than sellsumers. Leverage your content marketing to take advantage of trails blazed by sellsumers. Analyze trends to blaze your own trails by creating innovative content executions. 5.

Sellsumer Content Creators

One group that the Trendwatching report does not define as sellsumers are bloggers. Instead of getting content from major media outlets, consumers are looking to other consumers – the bloggers. For example, through our work with Breville, we have become familiar with This is a blog with impressive traffic, run by an individual who is, in turn, earning income through advertisers and influencing the purchase decisions of other consumers. Good content works for sellsumers, just like it works for major brands. Takeaway Sellsumers are changing the marketplace. Keep an eye on this trend and be proactive in your content marketing strategy.


Thought the Cash 4 Gold Superbowl ad was strange? Turns out a lot of you didn’t: suburbanites from Oregon to New Jersey are trading their stereotypical Tupperware parties for gold-selling parties. Guests bring their unwanted jewellery (from previous fashion fads or ex-husbands) to a MyGoldParty, enjoy the company and maybe a glass of wine, and leave with a check. USA Today investigated: [MyGoldParty founder January Thomas] says many women don’t like going to pawn shops. “At a party, they’re less embarrassed about asking how much their jewellery is worth,” Thomas says. “Besides, it’s a form of recycling and de-cluttering.” Luckily for these participants, gold is at its highest value in almost a year. The hosts of these parties pay 65% of the market value for the jewellery and receive about 10% of the jewellery’s value.


SELLSUMERS - If saving is the new spending, then selling is the new saving The recession has given birth to a new breed of entrepreneurs, termed as Sellsumers. Because of the liquidity crunch in the market, it is common for people to latch on to their savings. The paradox is that because of so many layoffs globally, people cannot save if they can’t earn. Necessity is the mother of invention and so cash strapped consumers are cashing in on their unutilized assets in novels ways that boggle the mind. Whether it’s selling their insights to corporations, hawking their creative output to fellow consumers, or renting out unused assets, consumers can increasingly become SELLSUMERS, too. Here are a few unique niche based online businesses ideas that have launched within the last few months: connects those who have parking spots to rent out with those who need them on a monthly basis. The Toronto-based company lets spot-holders in the US and Canada list their off-street parking spots, along with the price they want to charge., operating in the UK, Ireland, Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands allows car owners to pre-book a spot online. offers listings for excess storage space, collecting fees for featured listings and for providing custom lease agreements. helps the members of the community lease their unutilized room/attic/garage as warehousing facility to people who are looking for storage options. offers a P2P camping solution by connecting anyone who owns a suitably sized piece of land with anyone looking for a place to pitch their tent. is an online marketplace that allows locals to earn money by renting out their extra space as alternative lodging for hotel-weary travelers. is a service that allows users to exchange their unwanted gift cards. Consumers create an account and provide details of the card they have and will indicate the redemption value it's willing to pay. Consumers can then elect either to receive cash via PayPal, or they can select a new gift card from the site, up to the redemption value of their original card. Finally, this one takes the cake. sells just that!


In her book Payback, Margaret Atwood writes that loans are “like air, it’s all around us, but we never think about it unless something goes wrong with the supply.” The similarly intangible internet is expanding to bring a pawnshop to consumers struggling in the United States. Enter Internet Pawn, a new website that offers a range of loans based on personal assets. Simply FedEx your valuable and the company will determine their value and offer a loan ranging from $500 up to $250,000. The loans can take as little as 24 hours to be approved and after the loan is returned, the items held as collateral are returned. If a customer chooses not to repay the loan, the items are sold and any remaining difference is returned to the customer. Most loans last approximately six months and it will be interesting how this experiment in web-based pawn works in a struggling marketplace, it certainly worked for Cash4Gold.


It’s been well-popularized that Filipinos have an uncanny quality of hospitality built into them. The other side of this is a social culture that pressures for mandatory celebration regardless of economic conditions. A Filipino is simply expected to throw a party for all sorts of occassions, which include all Christian holidays, national holidays, greeting card holidays, graduations and birthdays. This compels the average Filipino to frequently sink into debt in order to maintain the festivities. This debt is compounded by the fact that traditionally, only one member of the family is expected to make income for the entire lot. That is why in this country, pawn shop franchises sprout up at a much greater rate than Startbucks. When savings go negative, the most common collateral available is the cell phone. Text messaging is pervasive because fixed line phone plans are unaffordable for the majority. Mobile operators also provide cheap entertainment alternatives in cell phone format such as ringtone subscriptions, contests, celebrity gossip, interactive games and serialized short stories. Specialist "cellular pawn shops" are now taking advantage. Pawn shops run by techies who are trained to appraise all cell phone models are proving lucrative. If the customer who turns in a cell phone repays, the average absolute return from the interest per transaction is 16%. The average profit margin from a resold cell phone is 37.5%.



In’s latest briefing report, the independent trend observation firm believes it has spotted a new trend. It claims that during these recessionary times, many ordinary consumers will increasingly become a new class of consumers called the sellsumers. Due to “a recession-induced need for cash” and “an ever-growing infrastructure that allows individuals to act as (part-time) entrepreneurs”, many consumers will look for multiple ways to make money, instead of just spending it. It’s a valid observation. We’ve also been seeing signs of sellsumers in Singapore. It’s recently been reported in the local papers that blog shops on the rise, and in some cases of young mothers using such blog shops to supplement household incomes by selling anything from cosmetic contact lenses to baby products. For those of you who are into small business retail, I’ve previously given advice on pushcart entrepreneurship, where to locate a pushcart, and also a list of places in Singapore which rents out spaces for pushcarts. Alternatively, you can consider this alternative to pushcarts. In desperate times, creativity flourishes.


SELLSUMERS: Whether it’s selling their insights to corporations, hawking their creative output to fellow consumers, or renting out unused assets, consumers will increasingly become SELLSUMERS, too. Made possible by the online revolution’s great democratization of demand and supply, and further fueled by a global recession that leaves consumers strapped for cash, the SELLSUMERS phenomenon is yet another manifestation of the mega-trend that is 'consumer participation'. SELLSUMERS' staying power is considerable for a number of reasons: Being in control of one's destiny Human beings forever fantasize about control, about being in charge. SELLSUMERS represents the unlocking of these existing needs and wants in a new way; being one's own boss, even if it's only for three hours a week, is just too tempting to forego. Experience rules For decades, people in mature consumer societies have been trained to become experts in business, marketing and advertising (read: to see through the BS and to understand the underlying workings of being marketed to). The business of business has become something that interests producers and consumers alike. No wonder SELLSUMERS are confident enough to try their hand at (tiny) businesses of their own. Showing off business acumen On top of that, as Big Business is increasingly seen as being behind the times, and niche startups are stealing the show, showing off one's business acumen as a SELLSUMER yields personal status. Providing 'premium obscure' or just plain dirt-cheap SELLSUMERS provide other consumers with 'premium obscure' products and services and experiences—different, hard-to-find, special, vintage, quirky, and/or personalized. Equally important in recession times: unburdened by massive cost structures, some SELLSUMER offerings are dirt-cheap. Extra cash Oh, and let's face it, most people welcome a bit of extra cash, in bad and good times.


Let's look at existing assets first: there are now plenty of (novel) ways for consumers to capitalize on anything they already possess, from unused parking spaces to excess energy. So what's being done besides firmly established SELLSUMER marketplaces like eBay? Space

Parking spots | connects those who have parking spots to rent out with those who need them on a monthly basis. The Toronto-based company lets spot-holders in the US and Canada list their offstreet parking spots, along with the price they want to charge. A similar service is offered by ParkAtMyHouse, operating in the UK, Ireland, Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands. Fun detail: car owners can pre-book a spot daily, but can also make one-off bookings for a football match or a day of shopping in the city. Also check out UK based YourParkingSpace and Boston and New York based SpotScout. Storage | Los Angeles-based Homstie offers listings for excess storage space, collecting fees for featured listings and for providing custom lease agreements. Also check out Store at My House. Camping | Swedish Single Spot Camping offers a P2P camping solution by connecting anyone who owns a suitably sized piece of land with anyone looking for a place to pitch their tent. Listings cost the landowner a mere EUR 40 per year. B&B | Air BnB is an online marketplace that allows locals to earn money by renting out their extra space as alternative lodging for hotel-weary travelers. Also see Roomorama. Any space | Combining all of the above, UK-based Spareground is a marketplace for just about any kind of unused space. Consumers with space to share simply create a listing with its description, location and price. Those seeking space search by category or keyword and then contact the owner directly to arrange the terms. Eco Green SELLSUMERS looking to reap the spoils of ECO-BOUNTY will want to check out the following initiatives: In California, the Assembly Bill 1920 (also called the Solar Surplus Power Bill) will enable solar power-producing consumers to be paid by their utility company for any excess electricity they generate on an annual basis. Michigan, Minnesota and Rhode Island are considering similar legislation. Irish Energy Minister Eamon Ryan recently announced incentives for Irish households to sell excess energy, guaranteeing EUR 0.19 per kWh for the first 4,000 installations around the country. Said Ryan: "Before you received your power from a central source and paid for it. Now you can generate for yourself and be paid for the excess you don’t use. This type of on-site electricity generation will put more money into consumers’ pockets."


In the UK, Ecotricity pays customers who want to sell back to the grid 12 pence per kWh, while Green Energy offers a Home Green Generator plan for those producing less than 6 kWh. In Australia, under the Electricity Feed-in (Renewable Energy Premium) Act 2008, Canberrans can sell energy back to the power grid. Starting July 2009, they'll be paid a tariff that's 3.88 times the retail cost of electricity for the energy they feed back into the grid for up to 20 years from the date they sign up to the scheme (source: Wikipedia). Three more good wiki links for SELLSUMERS who are interested in going green: Ecometering, Smart Grid and Micro-generation. While countless creative SELLSUMERS are already making money from their designs, software, sculpting, knitting, manufacturing and so on, we've only seen the tip of the iceberg. Expect a skilled, handy and brainy SELLSUMER 'workforce' to genuinely blossom when the youngest generation takes over. They'll not only be the first generation to be fully 'wired', but also the first generation to be completely comfortable with taking on the roles of both consumer and producer. In the meantime, check out these random spottings for inspiration: Design and manufacturing

SELLSUMER-posterchild Etsy now boasts 200,000 SELLSUMERS and over 3 million products. In 2008, the value of products sold was USD 87.5 million, and the first two months of 2009 have already produced sales of USD 20.2 million. Much publicized Ponoko allows SELLSUMERS to make and sell everything from jewelry to furniture. In addition, the PonokoID feature invites shoppers to post requests, which professional and 'amateur' designers then bid to fulfill. North Carolina-based Spoonflower lets users design and print their own fabrics for USD 18 per yard with no minimum order. When Spoonflower comes out of beta, it plans to allow fabric designers to sell their fabrics on the site. And no, we’re not forgetting offline SELLSUMER retail/marketplace concepts: in Troy, Michigan, Oakland Mall has placed 12 kiosks throughout the mall, which can be leased for as little as USD 300 for a weekend. The flexible leasing terms are part of an ongoing program that aims to help SELLSUMERS sell seasonal offerings. Also check out Beehive Co-op, which allows SELLSUMERS to rent a portion of stores in Atlanta and New York in exchange for a monthly fee and at least four hours of staffing assistance. Equally interesting: inQbox—which stands for 'incubation in a box'—now operates six stores in Singapore and Malaysia, each of which is stacked with flexible shelving units. It rents out single box units to creative SELLSUMERS, providing them with retail and gallery space, and takes care of


the daily hassle of retail. Prices for a box start at SGD 80 (EUR 40 / USD 50) per month. Content & software

A 'redesign me' challenge by tea brand Pickwick Blogging | In Sweden, free newspaper giant Metro hosts Metrobloggen, a get-paid-per-view blogging service. Anyone can set up a blog at Metrobloggen and as soon as an individual blog achieves 5,000 page views per month, Metro sends the author a MasterCard that's credited with 150 Swedish kronor (USD 20 / EUR 16). Phone-based advice | By signing up for a free Ether number (which is forwarded to any regular phone number), SELLSUMER experts—from holistic life coaches to PowerPoint wizards—can charge their customers per hour, minute, or call. Apps | SELLSUMERS with application development skills can now make a few bucks at the iPhone App Store, Google’s Android Market, Blackberry's App World and the upcoming Palm App Catalog and Microsoft SkyMarket. Ads | While Google AdWords still brings in the money for bloggers, Magpie now inserts adverts into SELLSUMERS' Twitter feeds. Co-creation | It's never been a better time to (finally) dive into the CUSTOMER-MADE trend (aka co-creation ;-). Asking customers for suggestions on how to improve your business, on new services or products they can come up with for and with you, if not on how to avoid bankruptcy, is and will forever be crucial. And while rewarding participating customers is now a given, you will find recession-stricken SELLSUMERS more interested than ever in making a bit of money off their advice and insights. Check out crowdsourcing product-improvement site RedesignMe, which gets paid by product manufacturers to establish 'RDM Challenges', presenting a new product concept and asking the site's 3,000 or so active members to respond. In exchange, members are rewarded with RDMs—RedesignMe's online currency, which can be converted into products such as MP3-players, game consoles and gift cards. OK, one more: Campbell's Ideas for Innovation, which follows in the footsteps of much-discussed co-creation sites by Dell and Starbucks. Idea spotting | Oh, and last but not least, an in-house SELLSUMERS example: Springspotters, our sister-site Springwise's spotting network. Anyone can join as a spotter and accepted spottings and contributions are rewarded with gift cards and other products. Practice what you preach, eh?


Vice swap: new website lets members swap less used goods 2009:11:17 Adam Thompson Los Angeles – Drills, vices, ladders and saws – most of the time all they do is sit in the garage doing nothing. That could be about to change in Los Angeles though, with the launch of new online network NeighborGoods. Connecting people with other locals who live nearby, the site aims to help people cut unnecessary tool purchases by enabling them share with those who already have one, and provide a platform for them meet too (presumably to talk DIY?). This idea of communal living is discussed further in our report on the future of the home.



Long a critical part in spreading the look, attitude and emotion of a burgeoning culture to the masses, the new book "Who Shot Rock 'n' Roll" helps define rock photography as a genre of it’s own. Historian and author Gail Buckland captures the depth and breadth of the field’s most talented purveyors in her twelfth book of photographic examination, which Knopf will release 22 October 2009 (above photo by Peter Beste). Descriptive, insightful captions accompany over 250 portraits, concert shots, intimate back stage moments and studio sessions, told from the photographer's perspective. Through the lens of Maripol’s polaroids of Madonna, Henry Diltz’s magnetic Tina Turner portraiture and Roberta Bayley’s intimate impressions of the New York punk scene, read this way, the subjects take their place as part of a kinetic cultural


Future trends for 2010 – what’s going to happen? Here are some more predictions of trends for 2010. These come from Tammy Smulders of marketing and trends agency SCB Partners. She suggests that some of the trends we will see in the UK appearing over the next few months are below – what do you think? I think these are a bit more interesting than some of the more generic ones you see bandied about. Food & Dining: The principles of organic are abandoned. The nutritional and ethical benefits of genetically modified food are embraced by supermarkets, consumers and chefs. Agricultural science is the dinner party conversation of 2010. The dinner party revolution means “decadent home dining” takes the place of the exclusive restaurant as the lack of interesting new restaurant options creates disinterest in eating out. Social Entertainment: Infotainment opportunities – social activities with an intellectual flavour – will be the latest cool events, with salons, forums and debates moving to bars, clubs and festivals. A new crop of celebrity intellectuals emerges. Large-scale dinner clubs proliferate as nightlife promoters come up with new quirky and creative ways to reinvent the giant banquet. Music: Downloading of music loses favour to streaming through mobile operating systems, shaking up the industry again. Music goes mobile as Google Android Applications and Spotify Mobile take hold. New female pop/dance acts get increasingly outrageous to capture the fantasies of a more subdued public. Shopping & Retail: Curation is the new take on the collaboration trend in retail, as models and style icons are hired by stores to choose a ‘playlist’ of items in store. Model Lara Stone starts the trend with NJAL, selecting 50 “must have” items from the store.


Curated shops take hold in London, with a concept similar to Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio SHOP, at which spectacular props are on sale to the general public from the celebrity photographer’s celebrated shoots. Art: Collective ownership of art becomes a new collecting phenomenon, with multiple buyers investing together and rotating the exhibition of pieces in their respective living rooms for periods of 6 months each. Immersive art grips the general public and museums focus on multi-media thematic shows. Hedge Fund bubble artists such as Damian Hirst return to painting and drawing. Artist edition books make a comeback.


10 Music Industry Trends & Questions For 2009 Guest post by Kyle Bylin

1. Falling Behind - Ten years ago, The Record Industry had The CD Release Complex and knew exactly what to do. Now everyone else is taking fans to the future that they used to determine. Instead of leading the way, they're left holding the hands of innovators and squeezing tightly when they get scared. Have they been so focused on yesterday's problems that they aren't actually finding tomorrows solutions? 2.Groundswell - Defined as, “A social trend in which people use technologies to get things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.” Has thinking against the grain been a logical way of fighting file-sharing? The RIAA suing The Music Industry's customers wasn't a strategy, shutting down their Internet isn't either. The Wisdom of Crowds will retain its superiority over industry. There are people who wake up in the morning because the challenge of finding new ways around these roadblocks excites them. Artists don't understand that giving their music away, getting a ton of MySpace friends, and flipping the funnel six months later will never work. Free by itself isn't a strategy and those who did thrived by doing got lucky. You need to make money along the way and have a business model. 3. Pirate Software - It remains to be most efficient system for getting music. You can download AC/DC's Complete Discography, a 3GB torrent containing 276 songs at 320bps, in a few hours on a good day. Even that isn't the problem, its that you can put over ten into the program, fall asleep, and the next day everything will be done. There are many people who haven't crossed over to torrents due to their steeper learning curve. What happens when next generation file-sharing becomes as easy as its predecessors and harder to stop? 4. Paradox of Choice - Does a large array of options discourage music fans because it forces an increase in the effort that goes into making a decision? Even if this paralysis overcome, its easy to imagine that you could've made a different choice that would've been better. Back in 1995, if you bought a bad CD you could blame The Record Industry. Today, there are systems in place to prevent this and you're left with only yourself to blame. I own three hundred plastic discs that aren't relevant to me anymore and to me this is an example of how I'll never know what kind of music I'll like, even a year from now.


5. Music Overload - Its both exciting and disheartening to wonder, but is there too much music? The CD Release Complex was a way of regulating the flow of content between artists and people. For those who buy music The Paradox of Choice is a reality, but what does it mean for pirates? File-sharing allows them to fail at trying everything while committing to nothing. They download more music than they could ever possibly listen to. Have you ever listened to music for 45 days and never heard the same song? Pirates have. 6. Searching Alone - Searching for music online doesn't have the same feeling as combing through selections at a local record store. Walking through the isles at Best Buy, Walmart, and Target is an experience that's feels lifeless at best. If you need help, the likelihood of an employee giving you real insight is questionable. Big box retail and online music are more efficient, but with them do we lose the sense of community local stores gave us? 7. Not Local - Its estimated that this generation will have 10 to 14 jobs before their 38th birthday. Before they turn 44, its estimated that they will have moved 9 times. This concerns me because that means that the local artists and record stores aren't so local anymore. There are plenty of people who've been uprooted by this economy with possibly less money. How long does the average person have to live somewhere before they settle down and support local causes? 8. Mental Walls - With all the talk going around about engaging your audience, telling a story, and leading a tribe, do we forget that the mental walls around artists still exist? Most people don't realize how transparent the walls arebecoming. We've been conditioned for years to believe that rock stars are untouchable. Turning around and saying that you can now interact with a select few gets confusing. 9. Attention - There's too many artists for people to actually pay attention to. How many artists can the average person could realistically follow? How many newsletters does a fan want to receive before its considered too much clutter? The concert industry makes it easier to participate just by showing up, but do you run the risk of being overbearing by hoping for more? 10. Specialization - As we narrow the gap between search and discovery with music online, we're in turn empowering new mavens to declare their social status. Music fans have an endless array of choices to explore and filters to help them with sorting. However, specialization in itself becomes a problem. We are becoming increasingly individualized with habits entirely unique to us and and our taste. Does specialization make it harder to find people, with similar tastes, willing to participate in your interests?



It’s a fairly common phenomenon, when things are bad, people seek camaraderie. When things become difficult across an entire city or economy, people seek a sense of community. So, how does that translate to our own cities and neighborhoods? A renewed, and perhaps, more authentic interest in contributing to both public gathering places and local venues, specifically third places. Not only that, but crowdsourcing is a natural community-building methodology for doing so. Project for Public Spaces, the leading resource for presenting public placemaking examples, contributed to a Urban Land Institute article, The Upside of a Down Economy, that provides several recent case studies of successful public gathering places. Seattle third places - Ron Sher, CEO of Terranomics Development, redeveloped a retail complex around Third Place Books that anchors a gathering space hosting live music, festivals and a giant chess board. He also developed Third Place Commons, a common area filled with tables, a stage and performance area, restaurants and adjacent community college. The community formed a nonprofit just to run its events. Restaurant-driven neighborhoods - Tony Goldman, CEO of Goldman Properties, has helped transform NYC’s Soho, Miami’s South Beach and Philadelphia’s Center City by sticking to his formula of investing in a minimum of 17 local restaurants (not chains), inviting local stakeholders to join in, as a means of establishing a meaningful sense of place and ownership. Wildly popular public market - Granville Island, a public waterfront in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, attracts 10 million visitors per year to its 280 local businesses because of its distinct character as a diverse and comprehensive public gathering place. It’s secret? It’s long been organized as a public market based on local community groups, and remains the epitome of authenticity. Detroit’s great hope - Read more about Campus Martius and it’s key role in the revitalization of Detroit in this previous blog post. Houston’s Discovery Green - The City of Houston transformed 12 acres of downtown parking lots into a contemporary park with cafe, two restaurants, interactive fountain, playground, market promenade, dog runs, stage, sitting lawn and skating rink (pictured), attracting 250,000 visitors in less than three months and sparking investment in revitalization surrounding it. Public market in Santiago, Chile - A public-private effort turned a desolate plaza adjacent to one of the city’s busiest transit hubs into SubCentro, a vibrant market and public space, soliciting the opinions of its residents from the beginning.


The growth of public markets in Barcelona, Spain - Rising prices in supermarkets have spurred a renewed interest in public markets, even encouraging private markets taking to the streets within a larger program to help revitalize neighborhoods. Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore formed a coalition to invest in vibrant city centers, resulting in a Cultural Centre proposal in Perth, Australia as a model public gathering place, with photo exhibitions, indie music festivals, and a weekend market featuring local food producers. Norway’s 13 ‘cities of the future’ is a formal program by the government to help 13 cities become models for sustainable development, of which preserving the cities’ almenninger (public spaces) is a major priority.


No one in their creative right mind (no pun intended) would wear a tourist souvenir t-shirt displaying their city name, but what if you really did want to display your love for your own unique, authentic neighborhood? If you live in Queens, New York, the answer for many is to buy a shirt from local artist Ciara Elend’s Queensbound collection. Think of it as when you wear your ol’ college alma mater, except it’s in real time and anything but generic. What inspired Ciara to create the Queensbound line? As she says, “I heart Queens. I really do, and its obvious from all my propaganda. I am making up for those who don’t appreciate this kick-ass borough. Queens gets no respect and I’m trying to change that one t-shirt at a time.“ A sampling of her descriptions for her creations, going from left to right at the top of the image above: - “DO U HEART QUEENS? Of course you do. Prove it by wearing this shirt.“ - “1964 World’s Fair Pavillion, one of the best known structures in Queens. I made a mixed-media collage where I had cut these structure out of two different colors of paper.“ - “Inspired by my absolute favorite place, Sunnyside. I drew this font based on those found on a saloon.“ What she refers to as her ‘neighborhoody’, it also comes in other flavors Forest Hills, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Astoria and Woodside. - The image on the shirt in the bottom middle is of a landmark arch. What makes this work is that it’s one artist for one borough. It just wouldn’t work if she started doing Brooklyn and The Bronx because it wouldn’t be authentic, a key attribute for creatives. The real question is, ‘Who’s your neighborhood’s Ciara Elend?‘


Torpedo factory turned artist community

‘Make art not war’ is the literal theme at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, located in the heart of Alexandria, Virginia’s vibrant downtown waterfront. Originally built in 1918 as a torpedo factory and used as such until the end of World War II, the City of Alexandria bought the buildings from the U.S. government in 1969. Marian Van Landingham, President of the local Art League at the time, proposed renovating the buildings into artist studios. Long story short, the Torpedo Factory Artists Association was born, a beta community if you will, with the Torpedo Factory Art Center itself opening in 1974. Read about its fascinating history in detail here. The Torpedo Factory is now a civic tourism destination for the city, attracting 700,000 visitors annually, supported by 1000 cooperative gallery members and 2000 art students. The 165 visual artists in painting, ceramics, photography, jewelry, stained glass, fiber, printmaking, and sculpture, welcome visitors to observe their creative processes, and of course, purchase their work. The Center hosts 82 artist studios, six cooperative galleries, two workshops, art classes and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, and is even popular for conferences and wedding receptions. The best part is that they sell a professional guide if you want to establish your own art center.


Ged Carroll has a post with some interesting thinking about the concept of local at the intersection of digital. While more and more news and information we receive via social and other digital media is becoming locally relevant, Carroll argues that we may need to take a moment to check what local really means. For example, how many of us know more about the neighborhood we work or play in than the one we live in? More: One of the big things about social media is that it provides useful content at an ever more granular ‘local’ basis than would have been economically possible before… but what does local actually actually mean, and does local news and information have value to consumers? For me, my neighbourhood is central London, I work in Covent Garden and my friends live in west and south London so meeting in Soho or Southbank makes sense because the transport system makes it equally convenient for all of us…. I barely know anybody on my block, many of my neighbours are postgraduate students at Queen Mary College and I have very little local knowledge beyond The Morgan gastro-pub right around the corner from my house, the local sorting office for the Royal Mail, my local coffee shop and the Budgens supermarket next door to it; both of which are right by my closest tube station. …Local media is very different for every person and the only way to achieve relevance for each person is a huge degree of customisation: on location, on network, on ethnicity and a whole plethora of other factors.


On a hidden back street of Lisbon, the store A Vida Portuguesa sells what they describe as “genuine and touching products of original Portuguese design”. The store celebrates Iberian style that adorns products that originated from long ago but can still be found on the counters of small stores across the country. Shelves are filled with an eclectic mix of objects – from china swallows to colorfully wrapper soaps to local books. The owners’ of all things local remind us of how brands are leveraging ‘provenance’ in order to set themselves apart.


Finding opportunity in recessionary times, emergence of vintage chic and paying it forward are key trends we discussed in our Emerging Trends Report in April. In the short few months since we published our report, much has changed. To see how we fared, below is our Emerging Trend report card. Private Eye Our search for the truth has lead us to value realism over idealism, and break down stereotypes to realize the potential in everyone. Over the past several months, we have referenced the Private Eye trend in numerous posts. From social influencer marketing to Microsoft’s decision engine Bing to the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, people are increasingly relying on their own intuition and investigative skills to make sense of the world. Consumers never had the tools available to express and create communities as they have now. News resources can come from those actually experiencing the newsworthy event. The proliferation of Twitter exemplifies this need for constantly updated information across even hundreds of sources. Private Eye has been the most referenced on our site and will continue to play a pivotal role in the future. Grade: A+ Pay Forward As we reprioritize what is important in our lives, even the secret millionaires can engender goodwill with surprising acts of generosity. Volunteerism is central to the pay forward trend. It engenders goodwill and karma—two key elements to this trend. As we forecasted, paying it forward has risen since our prediction in April. Salvation Army and United Way have seen an increase in aid in recent months. In fact, Salvation Army saw a 400% increase in food pantry donations from March to April. While many community development agencies have seen a cut in state funding and donations slow, volunteers are compensating for the lack of support. Grade: ARetrofitting Taking the old and making it new again will be paramount for consumers looking for authentic products with authentic prices.


Urban Outfitters and Anthropology are two outlets with a pulse on accessible, American fashion. Tight pants (a throw-back to the 1950s) and old-school running and pump-action shoes are a part of the vintage fashion wave happening right now. Non-hipster outfitters like Gap feature vintage baseball tees and five different pairs of vintage men and women’s jeans. In auto, GM relaunched the iconic Camaro–re-introduced to a younger generation in the new Transformers film. As noted in our April prediction, during recessionary times, consumers want to live a familiar lifestyle that speaks of a time when quality was measured in staying power and a longer product lifetime. Grade: B+ Crisis=Opportunity Today smoke fills the air as our system is on fire. Tomorrow we will sift through the ashes to find new opportunities for rebirth. In April, we discussed opportunities in the “green” sector as a promising solution (i.e. opportunity) to the rising unemployment rate (i.e. crisis). Though socially responsible investment dollars have grown to $2.34 trillion dollars in the US and the second quarter of this year has seen a 12% increase in clean tech investment, the New York Times discusses how many of the jobs thought to be created from the “green” collar revolution will instead go into automated machine systems and outsourced labor. The NY Times illustrates their point by highlighting the production of photovoltaic solar panels, from Suntech Power. Their process is largely automated. While some jobs might be sacrificed due to machines or outsourced labor, the NY Times admits installation and maintenance of alternative energy jobs cannot be outsourced. As we search for alternative energy sources as a long-term sustainability solution, there will be undoubtedly be a need for a new workforce comprised of innovators and workers. Grade: B Redefining Icon The leaders and influencers of tomorrow will take many shapes and forms. As we redefine our expectations for iconic figures, will we look to Paris Hilton or Perez Hilton? We discussed a new league of iconic American heroes in the Redefining Icon trend. Chelsey Sullenberger III, who saved 155 passengers from the airplane crash in the Hudson River and Captain Richard Phillips who sacrificed himself to Somali pirates to save his ship’s crew were amongst those new American heroes. But with the passing of Walter Cronkite, we have to wonder if this new Redefining Icon trend is a re-emergence of value in a strong, honest character. As corporate greed and infidelity dominate news headlines, America yearns for the authenticity and strong-willed character of someone like Cronkite—who never compromised his dignity or profession. His passing exemplifies the relevance and need for a new type of American hero.


SubCentro Las Condes Metro Escuela Militar Santiago, Chile Submitted by: Marcello Corbo transit station and public square URLS: Click on any image for slide show For more images of SubCentro Las Condes or other places, try searching our Image Collection Why It Works This is the last stops of the main subway line in Santiago, at the intersection of Americo Vespucio and Apoquindo (the city's main arteries). The station and the surface were recently redeveloped to reclaim this place for the community, and the millions who use it monthly as a transit station. What Makes SubCentro Las Condes a Great Place?

The place is dominated today by those who use it as a transit station. However, due to redevelopment, it has recently become a popular destination for those who live and work nearby. The place offers excellent access and connectivity with public transportation and is walkable from all directions.

SubCentro was recently redeveloped by a company called Urban Development in a collaborative effort involving multiple municipal agencies with help from PPS. The structural changes were small but made a significant impact. The redesign included letting in more light to make the inside brighter and feel safer; barriers between the businesses were replaced with glass to create a feeling of openness, and the park design was changed to a plaza surface to encourage more public use.

Commuters pass through and stop for quick shopping while people who live and work nearby frequent the plazas for relaxation and to meet friends, or visit the shops.



The four plazas are beautiful new meeting places and provide a great place for travelers and visitors alike to relax. History & Background SubCentro has been a major transportation hub in the center of Santiago for a long time. However, the dark enclosed space became a deterrent as vendors began closing up shop and the space became a sort of haven for criminals and muggers. People would rush through SubCentro to avoid trouble. It was a place of immense potential that Santiago was recently able to harness. Contact Info: Marcello Corbo



Trend Watch: Going Local April 7th, 2009 · 6 Comments

What do Cheers, Starbucks and today’s top consumer trends have in common? There are Starbucks in every small town and on every other street corner in the big cities for a reason. Companies like these and others know the importance of being local for their customers. Just like the classic TV lyrics says: Makin’ your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Takin’ a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name, And they’re always glad you came. * Look what we found at a local coffee shop the other day. (Click on the Starbucks chalkboard image to enlarge it).

Have you also noticed that these shops are not just clones of the corporate collective? They are typically unique, have a local flavor and are staffed with local people. Click the image of the sign above to see an example of a local Starbucks reaching its community. Small Business knows how to treat customers right… Recently I was traveling in South Florida. While waiting for a rental car at the airport a seemingly dazed man came up to me. I could tell by the look on his face that he was in some type of shock. He started out saying… “What is happening to business in America?” It got my attention. He went on to rant about how he could not find anyone to help him with his problem from one of the large national rental car companies. (I’m leaving out a lot of his issues) He said: “I own 4 companies and we do not treat our customers this way.” I said in turn that “I don’t either.” Then I went on to talk about the emergence of small business because of the opportunity for superior customer service. Many large retailers are not in-tune with the local customer…


The point here is that many large corporate entities are in trouble because they are not localized or do not have a local customer-centered mentality, and do not properly train or much less empower their employees to make customers happy. People therefore appreciate the smaller companies that do because of the high level of friendly, knowledgeable service they receive (and crave). I’m not going to be so bold as to say that the demise of corporate service at the local level is automatically an opportunity for your business… but it sure could be if you work to make your customers feel good about doing business with you. I’m also sure there are many large corporate businesses that are doing well because of their attention to the customer (in fact Wal-Mart is very good at it); but those who don’t should be reading this article now rather that reading it while filing for Chapter 11.


“(STILL) MADE HERE encompasses new and enduring manufacturers and purveyors of the local. In a world that is seemingly ruled by globalization, mass production and ‘cheapest of the cheapest’, a growing number of consumers are seeking out the local, and thereby the authentic, the storied, the eco-friendly and the obscure.” In this briefing, we’ll focus on three big drivers behind this trend — social responsibility, status and support. There are more, but we'll save those for a future update. Oh, and don’t worry, we’re not going to wax on for hours and hours about farmers' markets ;-) Now, let’s start with everyone's favorite 800-pound gorilla: social responsibility, from eco to ethics. THE story of 2006, 2007, 2008 and many years to come? Consumers, governments and business leaders are finally feeling the pressure to confront and act upon the fact that unbridled production and consumption comes with mounting pollution and at a significant human/animal/earth cost. Now, since virtually every think tank, trend firm, eco-blog, former US presidential candidate and oil company has chimed in on the issue, we'll refrain from rehashing endless studies and scenarios on the globe's future. Instead, we'll focus on one sub-trend — locality — that is still emerging and as such can offer brands additional inspiration to come up with new goods, services and experiences that are part of the solution, not the problem. Let's start with 'eco'. Now that carbon footprinting has become a household term in mature consumer societies, expect consumers' desire to find out about the origins of a product to become a given. Questions no one ever asked a few years ago will become an integral part of the purchasing process. How was the product made? By whom? How did it get to its point of sale? What effects on the environment will it have after purchasing? Increasingly, this transparency will pit distant production against local production. Above all, local production holds the promise of less pollution due to less transport. And, in prosperous and regulated nations, chances of inhumane labor practices are smaller, too. A slew of projects and publications are fanning the current debate on local versus global production. Not too surprising, it’s the food and beverage sector — which can be both closest to, and most removed from nature — that finds itself at the forefront of the eco-meets-local debate, while the apparel industry (sweatshop, anyone?) is feeling the impact of ethics-meets-local more than any other industry. To stick with our promise to not repeat too much that others have already effectively investigated, we'll gladly refer you to the books and projects below: they all deal with the specifics of how local consumption may (or may not!)


trump more wasteful global activities. Click on the images to go to the relevant web pages: Now, to stick to our usual approach, let's look at some brands that are already experimenting with attaching ‘life story labels' to their products, satisfying consumers who are ready to spend their dollars, euros, pounds and yens on whatever does the least harm: UK supermarket Tesco plans to introduce carbon footprint labels on all 70,000 products it sells to allow shoppers to compare carbon impacts. Implementation will take a while: the company is currently investigating how to develop a “universally accepted and commonly understood” measuring system. Last year, footwear manufacturer Timberland started placing a "nutritional label" on each shoe box, educating consumers about the product they are purchasing, including where it was manufactured, how it was produced and what effect it has on the environment. Nice touch: messaging inside the box asks customers "what kind of footprint will you leave?" and provides a call to action for them after purchase. Hey, it takes two to tango! What works for bananas, works for eggs. Aptly naming their site wheresyoursfrom, UK-based Chippindale Foods was the first company to offer customers full egg traceability. Also check out intermediary MyFreshEgg, which aims to be bringing the same services to a host of farms and egg producers. And the examples keep rolling in: from Nature and More to Lloyd Maunder West Country to Aceites Borges Olive Oil. The latter gives each bottle of olive oil a Numero de Lote (batch number), informing customers about the geographic origin of the olives, the pressing date, oil producer, place of pressing, liters bottled under the same batch number, date of bottling, degree of acidity, tasting score and tasting notes. American Apparel. The most famous advocate of (STILL) MADE HERE deals with ethical concerns in a radical way: by manufacturing its garments in… high-cost LA. American Apparel now operates the country's largest garment factory, employs more than 5,000 people and operates 145 retail locations in 11 countries. Workers are paid (on average) USD 12 an hour, almost twice as much as California's minimum wage. American Apparel isn't the only brand to do so: NoSweatApparel calls itself the pioneer of fair trade fashion and footwear, setting (in their own words) an empowered, unionized workforce as the gold standard for fair trade clothing. And for those of you needing more proof that (STILL) MADE HERE can be profitable and sexy: Ujena offers one of the largest selections of swimwear in the world, yet still manufactures its products in the United States.


Back to edibles: Dutch start-up Happy Shrimp is Europe’s first tropical shrimp farm, located in the very non-tropical port of Rotterdam. Promising fresh (‘superfresh’) shrimp, aimed at local restaurants, the business is taking on low cost shrimp farming in Asia. It does so by smartly capitalizing on trends that the competition may find hard to latch on to. First of all, Happy Shrimp is thoroughly eco-friendly. Its farm is located next to a power plant and benefits from a heat-exchange system, using waste heat that would otherwise be released into the air. Farm waste, meanwhile, is used in a biological filter bed (many existing shrimp farms in the southern hemisphere pollute coastal wetlands). Secondly, Happy Shrimp promises demanding consumers that the food on their plate is safe and unpolluted. An ISO 22,000 system is implemented throughout the whole process, while the farm is a closed recirculation system, which means nothing can enter or exit. Thirdly, as the current trend in food and beverage is all about freshness, with supermarkets increasingly shifting from packed and canned goods to fresh, if not produced on the premises offerings (STILL MADE HERE indeed!), Happy Shrimps prides itself on being able to deliver shrimp to local restaurants within hours after ‘harvesting’, without freezing or month-long travels on mega-freighters. To feast on Happy Shrimp, locals will have to wait until the end of this year: the first baby shrimps arrived at the farm early May, and they’ll be ready for consumption this Christmas.

But there's more. A third, ongoing driver behind (STILL) MADE HERE is the importance of community, especially because to many consumers, ‘global’ has come to represent faceless, rootless mega-corporations and supranational bodies, headed up by money grabbing executives whose golden parachutes seem to grow with the degree of incompetence they've let loose on employees and other stakeholders. Far from being chauvinistic nationalist movements, (STILL) MADE HERE and (STILL) SOLD HERE will increasingly be about supporting one’s neighborhood, one’s city, one’s region, to regain a sense of place and belonging and to safeguard future access to the special and original, vs. the bland, the global and the commoditized. Two interesting retail initiatives from the UK should get you going on this one:

“Bought locally, ordered online and delivered to your door.” That sums up what Poptotheshops offers South Wales residents. Poptotheshops, which was launched late last year, currently serves four high street areas, who each sell between 3300 and 4500 products using the internet shopping service. The company's founder came up with the idea after being dismayed about being too busy to shop at local stores. Most local shops have shorter opening hours than the big chains like Tesco and Walmart, which can make it hard to support local retailers. On Poptotheshops, customers can shop day or night, selecting products from the local butcher, baker, fishmonger, greengrocer and off-license, before checking out in one go. Similar to online shopping at


supermarkets, customers can save favorite products and specify when they’d like delivery to take place. Delivery is free for customers. Poptotheshops covers its costs (and will hopefully generate a profit) by charging retailers 1015% commission. Besides supporting the local economy and keeping the high street alive, PTTS also sees other benefits: independent stores often offer great local products and produce that aren’t available in nationwide stores, consumers save time otherwise spent in supermarkets and helping small retailers thrive decreases the control that supermarkets have over pricing, produce and suppliers.

Another example from the UK (where protest against the loss of local character of the High Street has been most vocal): the Wedge is a loyalty card with a difference. No store with more than 10 branches can participate. The card costs GBP 20 (USD 39), half of which goes to local charities. Wedge gives members special offers and discounts, usually 10% off, at nearly 100 shops. Merchants hope that the Wedge Card will give people an extra incentive to shop there rather than in the superstores. Initially the money will go to two local charities, but in future customers will be able to pick the charity that will benefit from their card.


Consumers are discovering the delights of authentic fare May 28, 2009 Ethical retailers are coming into their own as consumers rediscover the delights of home-grown and authentic fare. Trish Lorenz reports It may be a time of general doom and gloom on the British high street, but not all retailers are suffering. Earlier this month the Co-operative Group posted record results: gross sales are up 15 per cent and breaking through the ÂŁ10bn barrier, and operating profit is up 11 per cent. Co-op chief executive Peter Marks attributed the success to a business model geared around local communities and social responsibility. 'Our focus on social responsibility is more attractive [to consumers] than ever before and we believe 2009 is going to be another successful year,' says Marks. It seems that as globalisation loses its gloss, retailers which can convince consumers that they are staying true to their local roots and identity are prospering. It's a theme that trend analyst is calling (Still) Made Here. '(Still) Made Here encompasses both new and existing purveyors of the local. In a world that is seemingly ruled by globalisation, mass production and "cheapest of the cheapest", a growing number of consumers are seeking out the local and authentic,' it says in its briefing. According to Trendwatching, the trend encompasses not just local provenance but also what it calls 'the authentic, the storied and the ecofriendly' - retailers with stories that ring true, with a provenance that can be proven and with solid social and ecological credentials. And you don't have to look too far to see the concept at work. Lisbon-based A Vida Portuguesa is a great example. The store - located in a former soap factory in the city's trendy Chiado area - only sells brands that are unique to Portugal, have stayed true to their original packaging, are made by hand, or represent traditional Portuguese craftsmanship. It has more than 1000 products, ranging from toiletries to stationery and homewares on sale. Its customers include both nostalgic adults and younger consumers attracted by old-fashioned products and retro packaging that provide an alternative to mainstream brands. London-based Labour and Wait takes a similar approach. The store sells a range of products from hardware to clothing, and chooses items that are traditionally manufactured and packaged.



'We seek out specialist manufacturers who make their goods in the traditional way and to the original design,' says co-founder Rachel Wythe- Moran. The group launched in 2001 and recently opened three stores in Japan and a concession in London's Dover Street Market. 'We're really noticing that people are sick of the high street and the way it all looks the same,' says WhyteMoran. 'They're looking for longevity and an alternative to disposable consumption.' Ethical British fashion retailer Izzy Lane combines local provenance with a strong ethical message. Every aspect of its product is made within 150km of its base. Wool is sourced from its flock of rescued sheep, most of which were destined for the meat markets before Izzy Lane saved them. The clothing is made by local craftsmen, including the last worsted spinners and dyers in the Bradford area, and manufactured at a local mill. For each Izzy Lane garment the full provenance, from the fleece through the whole manufacturing process to the garment itself, is known. Even supermarkets are a target for this new thinking. Website Pop to the Shops, which launched late last year, currently serves four high street areas in Wales. It's an online offering for customers who want to use local stores but don't always have the time. Customers can shop day or night and select products from the local butcher, baker and fishmonger, among others. Similar to online shopping at supermarkets, customers can save favourite products and specify when they'd like delivery to take place. As all these examples show, this trend is a combination of locality, social responsibility, authenticity and provenance. And interestingly, taking this approach doesn't mean saying goodbye to global markets. Greek beauty brand Korres has prospered in the UK and across the rest of Europe by focusing on its provenance and the authenticity of ingredients. The secret, it seems, is honesty. At a time when, as Trendwatching says, 'Global has come to represent faceless, rootless megacorporations headed up by money-grabbing executives', it appears that consumers are looking for something closer to home and with a story that really resonates. KEEPING IT REAL Labour and Wait - retailer with stores in London and Japan offering items that are traditionally manufactured and packaged Izzy Lane - a fashion retailer combining local provenance with a strong ethical messagePop to the Shops - online shopping site supplying local produce Korres - Greek beauty brand which focuses on authenticity A Vida Portuguesa - a Lisbon-based store which sells Portuguese products with original packaging, made by hand and representing traditional craftsmanship





Communication Secret Society Spreads A Hot Mob of Models in the Z Magazine's 'Stand der Dinge' Editorial

A whole slew of drool-worthy male models grace the pages of the Z Magazine’s ‘Stand der Dinge’ (State of Things) editorial, shot by Claudia Knoepfel and Stefan Indlekofer. The Z Magazine ‘Stand der Dinge’ spread features a large cast of male models including Doug Bell, Lyle Lodwick, Tyler Riggs and Clinton Weber, wearing black turtlenecks, snappy suits and wayfarers. It also features an unidentified female model who seems to be the leader of the men in a devilishy haute group of secrety society members from the 50s.


Niche Food Secret Societies

The Marmarati is a newly formed secret society devoted to Marmite, that ultra bitter spread either loved or loathed by so many. At last night’s Marmarati initiation ceremony, London Marmite lovers met at a secret location where they were blind folded and asked to eat and drink various dishes. The venue looked spectacular and was done up much like an old fashioned mascaraed ball. Check out the pictures from the Marmarati induction in the gallery.


The Melbourne shuffle is the new moonwalk. A dance that emerged during the ‘acid house’ or ‘rave’ era, the shuffle involves fast moving feet that seem to defy physics. The Melbourne shuffle dance style has remained relatively underground since its birth in the late 80s and early 90s. However, there is a Melbourne shuffle phenomenon going on now. You will be hard pressed to find a teen now that hasn’t at least heard of the dance. Today name “Melbourne shuffle” has been derived from overseas DJs, party goers, visitors and the media trying to describe this phenomenon. Some have referred to it as looking like “a cross between the chicken dance and a foot stomping robot” (to the untrained eye), but locals have simply called it the “shuffle” since the early ‘90’s. Some dancers sprinkle talcum powder on the floor beneath their feet to help them glide more easily, some including 360 degree spins or jumps into their moves. There are a lot of people using the “Phat Pants” for the Melbourne shuffle as it hides the actual movement of the feet, making the dance appear smoother, as if the dancer is actually floating above the ground.

The Melbourne shuffle is one of several dances that emerged during the 'acid house' or 'rave' era around 1990. Although the precise origin of the dance style is unknown, it does bear a resemblance to earlier jazz dance styles as well as having some hip hop elements. (


If you live in or visit New York City and decide to partake of the nightlife, you may just be at risk of running amok of a giant dolphin. Previously, this was not a normal occurrence, but since Club Animals NYC formed, the tide is turning. According to their website, they are “a culture of secret mascots in New York City.” Okay, fair enough. The modus operandi of the Club Animals is to randomly show up at clubs and bars and throw events of their own. Reportedly, the dolphin has been in training for a marathon. So athleticism is a cornerstone of their organization. Membership is easy: You just need an adult-sized animal costume. And who doesn’t have that?


I would say that at home it’s often nice to get a message from someone, whether it be a phone call from a friend or your son asking for money. With the LED Illuminated Message Board that little “I want to talk to you” sentiment has become a much brighter experience. The Illuminated Message Board would be a great and hip addition to the office, an unforgettable way to remind yourself of important matters or a very seductive notice for any restaurant specials (if the sign advertising glowed, I would probably order it).


This Stylish “mirror’ that transforms into an electronic touch screen family message center, is part of the “Simplicity” range of concept innovations that will sooner than later be shaping our future and one of three Philips Prototypes (there are more coming) i have chosen to write about. Check out the previous trends I posted, the “Lumalive jacket” and the “Momento Glass Ball” are examples of the awesome technology that Philips is developing. “In Touch” is a new, stylish and ultra advanced slant to a familiar way of sharing information, the collective family message board. Instead of leaving ‘post-its’ on your fridge, leave a message as text ,picture or video clip or send one from a remote source. Include a portrait gallery of your family or varsity buddies or company mates as a method of sending.. whatever, there is so much this one can do! All that is needed to activate a message, which could be a voicemail, video, text or picture is to touch the relevant image. It is so simple to operate, touch the mirror with a Stylus and a drawing space opens…to record your image in video format..tap a blue light in the top corner it will turn red and record you in real time leaving a message. There are SMS and MMS functions which are marked with a confirmation stamp once delivered. To send an MMS simply create a message with the stylus then with your finger drag and drop the message square over the portrait of the person you are wanting to send it to. Philips Innovations and Simplicity concepts embody the “essence” of a trend as they are absolutely ‘cool’(throw in a bit of bling as well), interesting and useful which means everybody will want them, the perfect element combination that defines a ‘Trend’!


A group of Palestinian graffiti artists are offering to tag the West Wall with your personal message via email or SMS for a small fee. The group will tag any message, as long as it’s not extremist or offensive. The West Wall is a 385-mile long and 25-foot high concrete fence separating Israel from the Palestinians. The taggers are members of the Palestinian Peace and Freedom Youth Forum, which set up the scheme in collaboration with a Dutch Christian organization. Advertising and marketing companies, take note…

"It is a new way to speak with the people, that we the Palestinians exist," says graffiti artist Yusef Njm. "We are not only throwing stones and clashing. We are alive. We think in a new way to tell them that we are alive." (


SmallWorlds: Secret Societies in SmallWorlds

SmallWorlds's Notes Secret Societies in SmallWorlds Share Friday, 07 August 2009 at 21:58

It all started with the Fat Clan, that group of unusual-looking players who mysteriously appeared back in February. Since then, I have been keeping a keen eye open to see if any further manifestations were to appear and whether I could uncover information on other groups of citizens joined together for unknown (and bizarre) purposes. Well citizens, it seems that my vigilance has paid off, and I can report on a number of strange sightings that I have recently become aware of. It would seem that there are at least three (and quite possibly more) secret societies here in SmallWorlds, and I shall not be at all surprised if we see the emergence of others over the coming weeks. Who are they, what do they want? What is their purpose? I’ll share with you all the information I was able to find out. According to Wikipedia (Kent and I just love Wikipedia; we often read it together), a secret society is a social organization that requires its members to conceal certain activities (such as rites of initiation or club ceremonies) from outsiders. Members are often sworn to keep the society’s secrets private, and the society may have secret ceremonies. I was determined to find out as much as I could about the those I knew of. The Secret Society of Trees

The first I one I discovered was the Secret Society of Trees. You can see a small “forest” pictured at left. I was unable to find out how many members belong to the Trees, but they are definitely growing in number. It would seem that their roots are delving ever deeper in-world, as reports of Tree sightings are increasing. The Trees are seen simply standing and holding their ‘branches’ up. They seem to mean no harm and as far as I could tell, they seem intent on educating citizens about tree and environmental information.


As you can see, they have a distinctive dress style and I can well imagine that being in the presence of a large group of them would indeed be quite the nature experience! I am hoping that citizen Ivana has ceased her axe-seeking and may be considering more supportive actions. If you are lucky enough to meet a tree citizen, I’d encourage you to stop and talk a while… trees are slow growing and wise and you never know what one might share with you. If you would like to become a member, you could try connecting with Tree Boy, Tree Woman or Leafy Tree. If you’ve got what it takes, maybe you can help expand the society by forming a new branch!

The Secret Society of Statues The next group I have been able to source information on is the Secret Society of Statues. As you can see they are visually distinct from most citizens you might see in-world, and as such are very easy to spot. Inspired it would seem by the ancient statues in Thermae Spa, the statues do lend a real air of of antiquity to any space they enter.

Citizens have been sharing their statue sightings and experiences on the forums. It has been suggested that “the one that looks kinda old” is their God, and noted that some statues also have statue pets. A quick search revealed 50 citizens with the word statue in their avatar name, so their reach is extending. If you seek more information on this secret society, a search for avatar Statue God may be a good place to start. Although, citizen Kalid Heurtelou has also claimed leadership, so perhaps we may be witness to a leadership coup about to happen within the Society of Statues.

I found evidence of a few different divisions within the primary statue society, the first of which is the Rebel Statue Group, who include a daring splash of color to the standard dazzling white. Also, as you can see from some of the pictures, many of the statues are actually dancing. Whether this means they are members of a second separatist group I am unsure at this point. I thought I would share a byline I came across while looking through all the statue avatars: “Whispers can be heard at night, statues should not give you a fright… do not fear us”. I found it somewhat comforting. The Statues have thus far shown themselves to be a peaceful group, although I am unclear about their motives, activities and future plans. If you have any further information to share with the wider SmallWorlds community, please do so on the statue forum thread. The Secret Society of MGB – The Murderous Group of Bunnies The first two groups seemed relatively harmless, but I’m not sure I can say the same about this one… the infamously named MGB or Murderous Group of


Bunnies. The very name sends shivers up my spine and sees me running for the relative safety of the SmallWorlds Chronicle Head Office. As you can see from this chilling photo, poor citizen Mike simply wanted to “pet a cute bunny” but got a lot more than he bargained for.

I can only hope that he escaped with his hair intact, as the bunnies all brandish a flaming torch, and all are very close to his head! It would seem that MBG society members Raysil and Piper are out there preying on innocent citizens and then blatantly reporting their frightening activities within the forums! Piper (whom lays claim to the leadership of the society) says in her invitation “If you want to join, just mail me. You have to have a bunny suit and a torch. I will mail you the info for our chat channel”. Citizens, I ask you… do we really want to support this group of bunnies who seem intent on scaring the populace? They may look cute and fluffy but they would seem to have a darker agenda. What oath are they required to swear?

To my horror, they were even seen to infiltrate our recent Celebrity Central event, placing the many celebrity avatars who attended at great personal risk. You can see the late great Michael Jackson; who, upon confronting this MBG attack was probably extremely relieved that he has in fact already left this mortal coil. Secret Society of Monkeys Just as we were going to press, I heard word of yet another secret society in formation, The Monkeys, masterminded by citizens Skippypaul VMK and SweetVanillaGirl VMK. These two citizens have been blatantly recruiting on the forums, and people have been signing up.

I have serious concerns, and I quote here some of what I consider to be rather suspicious lines from Skippypaul’s recent forum postings: When I get enough signed up, Sweet and I will message you the trade secrets. / Sweetvanilla and I will be working on a special project / Speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil lol

Citizens, I urge you to exercise extreme caution. All may not be as it seems. Another recent post by Skippypaul read “I think we have room for maybe 2 more in the banana boat then it’s time to shove off for Monkey Island”. Kent felt sure that this was a coded message, and he is furiously trying to decipher it. It would seem that their secret plans are all coming together this weekend. You can be sure that Kent and I will be investigating further; I just hope he can decipher that message in time. We are sure it has something to do with their secret society initiation ceremony. Hmmm - I have just remembered that


there was a Monkey entry in our recent celebrity lookalike competition. Could there be a link? Will there be more? Well citizens, that is all I was able to bring to you at this time on the growing number of secret societies, an increasing trend here on SmallWorlds. Some, like the Trees and Statues seem to be nothing more than

somewhat eccentric groups of citizens who mean no harm and like to dress a little differently. Others like the MGB should be approached with extreme caution. The Monkeys we are unsure of, but more information may be available after the weekend. What other groups, clubs, or secret societies might we see appear in SmallWorlds from this point on? Kent and myself have sworn an oath together to remain ever vigilant in our role as journalists, and to bring you the news as it happens.



The ‘Daywriter’ and ‘Nightwriter’ wall-mounted message boards by Peter Freund make it easy to get your point across, whether the lights are on or not. The ‘Daywriter’ is black and features a chalkboard finish, while the ‘Nightwriter’ is translucent white. The fluorescent finish on the ‘Nightwriter’ glows brighter where you’ve traced words, making it an interactive glow-in-the-dark message board that’s perfect for nighttime communication. Best of all, the wall-mounted ‘Daywriter’ and ‘Nightwriter’ double as shelves.


Joshua Allen Harris creates inflatable street art by creating structures made from plastic bags. He positions the bags to look like trash on top of subway grates but once the air travels upwards it inflates the bags into animated sculptures! (See video Interview below)

A completely original yet simple idea from fairly unknown artist Joshua Allen Harris has taken the world by storm. He started off with a bear, and developed to gorillas, giraffes, centaurs and the lochness monster.



“The Tree” by Farm is a 100 square meters wide lighting sculpture inspired by the huge old banyan tree the sits majestically on the front lawn of National Museum of Singapore – See installation video below & the beautiful work of Pedro Cabrita Reis

Also the talented Portuguese Artist Pedro Cabrita Reis – Who created those tube lightning sculpture way before Farm Studio in 2004/05 His more recent ones who are also absolutely gorgeous and so graphic !


If the first and second generations of social networking portals were about opening up the world, the third generation is about closing it again. Invitation only sites are popping up everywhere, creating exclusive, gated virtual communities that shut out the “masses.”

A Small World helped kick off the ‘invitation-only’� trend by restricting new membership to those invited by current members. But sometimes an invitation just isn’t enough. Gaining entry into this new generation of private online world can involve an intimidating process of review, such as careerorientated sites and, where aspiring members must submit their resumes to be considered for acceptance. Other sites are blatantly and proudly parochial, such as, which is only for New Yorkers in-the-know.

If you were lucky enough to score an invitation to the Cannes Film Festival, you would also have gained access to the festival’s ‘private’ online portal,, created for attendees only.

In Asia, well heeled society-types and business movers and shakers can network at, a members only online club where one has to be invited to gain entry. In Europe offers a similar exclusive club concept for invited members only.

Wall Street types can commiserate the global financial meltdown with eachother in the privacy of cyberspace at, a membersonly portal for bankers who must be invited to join.

Global expats can catch up on local knowledge and network at The members-only site is for diplomats, members of IGOs and NGOs, foreign correspondents and other expatriates employed by multinational companies and their family members.


If you don't bat for the 'straight' team you can connect with other successful 'power' gays at .

If bizarre beliefs are more your thing then you can try getting into the invite-only community, where "forward thinking terrestrials exchange ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe." Sounds like a blast. Where do we sign up?

American Express should jump into the fray here and create a network for people who use their ‘black’� card. Are businesses missing out by not creating exclusive environments for their high end customers?- Laura Demasi



Part of his recent ongoing Color Studies series, Olaf Breuning's current exhibit in Los Angeles' Michael Benevento Gallery uses sculpture and photography as vehicles for luminous basic colors, offsetting them with deep black and bright white surfaces to striking effect. A multiple-room exhibit, Breuning painted the gallery's first room entirely black, making the photographs depicting bright paint poured onto human figures appear to float in space. Sculptures with amoeba trails of paint challenge the horizontal and vertical forms.

A powerful contrast to the dark interior, the white room takes the mixture of color to a different extreme with photos of purposefully imprecise grids and lines. Breuning's gorgeously organic imagery pushes the concept to playfully explore the fundamentals of color and form.

The New York-based artist's eclectic work features a pop-culture element so singular it secured the Swiss expat a position at the 2008 Whitney Biennial. See more about his two-part installation for the exhibition in the CH video.



Recent Harvard Business School graduates Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss put their brains to work in favor of their love for fashion and after numerous business plans came up with the strategy for Rent the Runway, a concept that has been compared to Netflix. It is in hard economic times that some of the best ideas are born, finding ways to make the unattainable accessible to large demographics is a brilliant mission The duo has created an online platform making typically unattainable fashion accessible to a much larger demographic. Rent the Runway allows its members to rent designer dresses for up to 4 days with a modest range of $50 – $200, approximately 10% of their retail value. And for an additional $25 you can choose an alternate option to be shipped, in case the fit or style is not right.

“After wearing the dress, she puts it into a prepaid envelope and drops it in the mail. Dry cleaning is included in the price, but damage insurance costs $5, and in the case of outright destruction of the dress, the renter is responsible for the full retail price.”

If this sounds at all enticing to your fashion appetite I suggest paying a visit to Rent the Runway and getting yourself on the waiting list asap.


TrendLand is excited to announce the launch of the Shopping Guide, a new vehicle of collaborating with the artists that inspire us most. We are building our Must Have Items archive on a daily basis to make sure that each shopping guide outlines the best of each look.

Counter clockwise: Phi Leather Mini Skirt, Dannijo Earrings, Preen Lightning Coat, LD Tuttle Boots, Alexander McQueen Clutch, 3.1 Phillip Lim Cardigan, Alexander Wang Skirt, Shakuhachi Bodysuit, Shakuhachi Denim Jacket, < Click on individual links for more detail and to buy >



Recently we reported on Burberry’s re-branding efforts in creating a social networking site which would feature photos submitted by users wearing the iconic trench coat. The new website, The Art of the Trench, has finally launched, and The Sartorialist was tasked to shoot the first 100 photos. Some of the photos feature personalities in fashion and entertainment, along with the usual street photography he’s known for. The Sartorialist explains it in his own words: “…During my trips to Venice or Berlin or Toronto I was constantly looking for subjects while still doing my “regular” job for the blog and GQ. I have to admit that this project is probably my favorite collaboration that I have done with any big brand. I was quite flattered by the total freedom and support I was given by the Burberry team. I know how closely they guard their creative output, so to have such freedom was very liberating. Actually, the only thing they kept requesting was more diversity of the subjects, which I was more than happy to try and find.” On the site, you can view and filter images by popularity, gender, styling, trench color, weather, and collaborations. Plus clicking on the photo lets users vote for ones they like, leave comments, and share with others via Facebook.


Looks like another big Trend is coming our way: Its called the Pattern Mix: a mix of colors and pattern ( especially African ones) all worn together. So how do we do it? Simple. You mix different colors , patterns and fabrics. Consider wearing plaid or animal print with stripes, floral prints with stripes, polka dots or animal prints, and any of fall’s random patterns with animal prints or floral prints, as well. It is similar to a Gypsy-Chic look. I Like it ! These two editorial show it pretty well: Edito #1 from Mixte Magazine (Model: Kendra Spears )- Edito #2 from The Time Style (Model: Arlenis Sosa)


Turn your belt buckle into a customized tech statement piece with the QRWhite Belt Buckle. The belt allows you to “turn your personal contact data, the URL of your website or a personal message into a 2D Barcode and design your own belt buckle from it.” High tech fashion accessories are not only for geeks either. Anyone would love something customized to suit them specifically. These QR code belt buckles are a great gift idea for a fashionista of a dot commer.


As a woman who loathes toting a purse around on nights out and, in some cases, during the day, I love the Bucklette! It holds all of the basic essentials: a tube of lipstick, a bit of cash, an ID and credit card and a key. One might expect a belt buckle that functions like a wallet to be gaudy, but the Bucklette has a pretty design on the front, making it a great fashion accessory. The Bucklette comes in two versions; a belt buckle and a clip-on.

You'll always know where your items are, they're in reach and your hands are free to dance and hold a drink as well! I love this and think it is a necessity. (seeprettythings)



New York brand Beck(y) designs bags and accessories made out of recycled skateboards and plush high-end fabrics. Beck(y) chops used skateboards and makes edgy designs such as clutch bags and belt buckles. For each board received by Beck(y), $3 is donated to organizations dedicated to building and maintaining skateparks across United States



Walk into the Target to Go pop-up shop and you just might think you’ve walked into some Holiday-themed McDonald’s which doesn’t sell cheeseburgers, but diffusion fashion. The holiday shop, which features some pre-launch Rodarte for Target pieces (including a few dresses and belts), is set up like a fast food counter. The 50 items available are displayed on menu-like tablets behind the counter with their prices, with some items displayed in the windows as well. The delivery of items at the Target to Go pop-up shop, however, is a bit different from a fast food restaurant. Shoppers line up to check off what they want on a clipboard, then receive the gifts—already wrapped—at the front window.


If you’ve always longed for a twin you could match outfits with, brands Griffin and Threadless will bring you one step closer. Griffin Technology has joined forces with the online apparel store Threadless to create matching iPhone cases and tees. Griffin and Threadless are offering iPhone cases—polycarbonate shells that will snap onto your phone for protection—that feature one of two designs from the Threadless t-shirt images. One is called ‘Cloud within the Thunder,’ the other ‘Birds of a Feather.’


No more cold fingers in winter when you have to use your finger tips… just keep on your gloves, “The secret to these $45 gloves are three “stylus pen point-like grasps” that are sensitive enough to use on touch screens, trackpads and other surfaces that require digital dexterity. The thumb has an adjustable Velcro band which frees up your thumb so you can manipulate your technological gadgets, take a call, or just dig for change in your pocket for change. Try that with wool mittens. They come in 4 different styles, and 3 leather colors, and are quite stylish.”


If you fancy treggings, you might also want to try on a scoodie. A scoodie is a term coined to refer to the newly popular scarf and hoodie combination. It was originally spotted years ago, but it never reached high popularity status among fashionistas. In this age of 2-in-1 products and hybrids, brand Kasil could soon achieve high popularity status. Scoodie is a dream come true for anyone who wants to go out a few garments lighter on a chilly day. Kasil also added a pocket to stash your mp3, credit cards, cash or other no-larger than-i-pod essentials. Kasil’s scoodie retails for $50 and is available in several colours. For another fashion hybrid, check out “treggings,” a huge hit for this fall and winter season:


Users of devices with touchscreens—like iPod, iPhone, iTouch, Nintendo DS, point-of-sale systems, and laptop trackpads—know full well how uncomfortable and inconvenient it is to operate these devices when it’s cold. Dots Gloves are simple knit mittens that make using a touchscreen device easier in cold weather. They feature tiny curved metal dots that won’t scratch surfaces. You can specify which hand you want the dots on, the amount of dots you’d like, and the fingers on which they should be placed. Best of all, they cost just $10 per pair. Last year a similar chilly modern-day problem caused by the smoking ban in the UK was solved with the invention of smoking mittens—mittens made with a cigarette-sized hole in them.


This hilarious product, called the ‘Immersion Scarf,’ was designed by three students who operate under the banner of an outfit called ‘The Play Coalition’. The Immersion Scarf is similar to a product introduced by TrendHunter a couple of years ago called the Privacy Scarf. The difference between the two funny-looking products is that while the Privacy Scarf was bigger and better suited for those fat screen computers, the Immersion Scarf was designed for smaller personal gadgets such as iPods, PSP’s, cell phones and the like.


Forget those fingerless mitts! Freehands gloves really do keep most of your fingers and hands warm by letting you expose only the fingers you need for using all sorts of mobile devices. The Freehands gloves’ patent pending design allows the user to flip back the caps of the thumb and forefinger so they can text, choose some music or game away. Small magnets (not powerful enough to affect watches or other gadgets) hold the caps in place. Father and son Stanley and Josh Rubin of Cool Hunting are the designers of Freehands gloves.


I’m inclined to buy these Piano Hands gloves out of sheer curiosity. They’re equipped with sensors on each fingertip that correspond to different notes. You can shift up an octave by pressing down with the heel of your hand, according to the Piano Hands product description. The Piano Hands gloves come with ten demo songs, seven other types of synthesized instruments, thirty packaged rhythms to play along with, and an adjustable tempo control.



websites and blogs.

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