The streets like a big playground: A cluster of different playful signals

Quebec-3In a world where cities grow of population, people meet the most in the urban place. Because of the population growth, places on the street generally are becoming more anonymous, impersonal and more functional.

Mankind is questioning about the everyday life, analyzing the circumstances and want to find a playful solution to improve the awareness of life. People want to reinvent the urban place by bringing back fun and personality. Together we invent the urban place more towards a play society.

Signals as ‘ActiWait (StreetPong)’, ‘Dreamy Playground’, ‘Waterfall Swing’ and ‘Rainworks’, connect well with this. These trends are closing well with the trends Collaboration, Experience Economy and Gamification. 

What is it?

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Firstly, I want to talk about the ActiWait (StreetPong). This is a concept by Sandro Engel and Amelie Künzler of URBAN INVENTION.

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                              (Sandro Engel & Amelie Künzler)

This is a pedestrian light (touch screen) that lets you play with a wireless connection against someone on the other side of the road. A video showing this idea traveled around the world surprising millions of people, because it offers pedestrians the possibility to convert boring waiting times into positive experiences. Perhaps it also creates more safety.

The ActiWait creates urban interaction and design and art are interwoven in public spaces. After two years of development, the prototype was installed and tested at a traffic light for the very first time. It was a great success for URBAN INVENTION and now they’re working on a product that is internationally marketable. Besides they hope to change the image of cities all over the world.

Quebec-2The second signal is the Dreamy Playground designed by studio Les Astronautes. The designers turned a dark, narrow alley into a dreamy playground in Quebec City. The only thing the designers used are pink and orange colored swimming pool noodles on both walls of the alleyway. The place gets a whole new identity and experience.

According to the designers, the combination of anonymity and narrowness of this specific place inspired them to come up with this idea.

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The intervention was part of Quebec’s public art festival Les Passages Insolites, which aims to reshape our thinking of neighborhoods by questioning our relation with public space.

In challenging visuals that also create an interaction with users, the known surrounding becomes new and adventurous.

Eröffnung Höhenrausch 2014 - Bewegte Räume

Thirdly, the Waterfall Swing is an amazing signal. It’s an interactive art piece and a collaborative project between Mike O’Toole, Andrew Ratcliff, Ian Charnas and Andrew Witte. The Waterfall Swing is built by Dash 7 Design. The swing creates a water plane falling in the path of its riders. The swing is the first in a series that play with interaction in rides and installations.

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Riders pass through the openings of the swing’s waterfall. The swing is created by precise monitoring the path of the riders via axel-housed encoders, creating the thrill of narrow escaping obstacles.

For now, the Waterfall Swing has traveled the world with installations across the United States and in The Netherlands.

Finally, I would like to talk about the Rainworks that are made in Seattle by Peregrine Church (right), who is often helped by co-conspirators Xack Fischer (middle) and Forest Tresidder (left).

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Rainworks  proud-to-be-rainy-2-cropped

Church makes rain-activated positive messages, games and art on the streets, by spraying a water-repellant coating onto sidewalks through a stencil. The art only appears when it gets wet (the regular concrete turns darker while the concrete he sprayed the coating on stays dry), and it’s hidden when dry. This kind of street art is meant to brighten your day, even when it’s gray and rainy.

Why is it cool?

Some of the signals are a good example of the redesign of places. Companies and organizations are increasingly creating special activities at special places, where you do not initially expect to encounter this. Indeed, it’s a clever use of the land/space and it creates spontaneous interactions. This is why it inspires me, but I think probably also other citizens, organizations and companies. Besides I especially like the idea of Rainworks, because this would work well in the Netherlands with all the rain we have over here.

You can see the needs for Collaboration, Gamification and the Experience Economy, because of the growing anonymity, impersonality and modern technology. Individualization and the advent of the Internet have accelerated this. In the future these needs will only increase, because lots of people are looking for new places for their activities, fun and personality in the urban place.

By creating concepts and ideas like this, a city has a lot to offer to citizens. Citizens will get happier and the city is becoming more livable and durable.

People have fun and laugh more, but they also move more with some of these signals. This is good for the emotional-, physical- and social wellbeing.

Be smart and use or create something fun on the streets and you will feel happy!

  

Sources:

http://popupcity.net/play-pong-at-the-traffic-light/

http://urban-invention.com

https://vimeo.com/48514003

http://popupcity.net/turning-a-dark-alley-into-a-dreamy-playground/

http://www.waterfallswing.com/seat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS7GEWfc22U

http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/nl/blog/just-add-water-rain-activated-street-art-hits-seattle

http://popupcity.net/street-art-appears-when-it-rains/

http://rain.works

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=33&v=CBwpON6HIR8

 

 

 

 

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Coolhunts The Open World versus Quality of Life

Wederom een blogpost waar coolhunts afgezet worden tegen het Quality of Life model van Felce & Perry. Dit keer zal het thema The Open World besproken worden, waarbij we kijken op welke manier deze coolhunts bijdragen aan de kwaliteit van leven.

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Carlsberg’s Green Fiber Bottle – Beer bottles of wood

Carlsberg_BottleProject4Dit signaal speelt voornamelijk in op de sociale wellbeing. Dit doordat er veel sociale betrokkenheid plaatsvind. Er wordt geprobeerd zoveel mogelijk kennis met elkaar te delen en samen te werken om te zorgen dat er een betere en eerlijke wereld ontstaat. Het speelt dus ook in op de emotionele wellbeing, omdat het creëren van bewustzijn en de groei naar eerlijke en duurzame verpakkingen en producten toe neemt. Een betere en eerlijke wereld creëren is waar mensen zich goed bij voelen.

Going vegan?

martin-creed-x-pierre-gagnaire-5Mensen stappen steeds meer over op vegetarisch eten, omdat we steeds minder weten wat er met ons eten gebeurd. Dit geeft ze weer een stukje vertrouwen terug en verbeterd zo de emotionele wellbeing en wellicht ook wel de fysieke wellbeing op het gebied van gezondheid. Eerlijk en vers eten is belangrijk voor de consument. Je hebt zelf de keuze/controle of je nou voor een vis- of vleesvariant gaat of voor een vegetarische variant. Ondanks dat het normaler en meer geaccepteerd is om dagelijks vegetarisch te eten, voelen mensen zich hier dus ook echt goed bij. Mensen voelen zich vrij en blij dat ze zelf kunnen kiezen wat ze willen. De diversiteit aan producten wordt steeds groter. Hiernaast wordt vegetarische eten steeds luxer en speelt om deze reden in op de verbetering van de materiële wellbeing.

Scoff-ee Cups – Help the environment by eating branded cookie cups

kfc-edible-espresso-cookie-cups-psfk-962x644Ook in dit voorbeeld is de groei naar eerlijke en duurzame verpakkingen en producten belangrijk. Het milieu helpen is hier van belang. We zien in dit voorbeeld dus ook een verbetering op het gebied van sociale wellbeing en emotionele wellbeing.

Naast dat men voldoening krijgt door zo min mogelijk afval te produceren en iets goeds te doen voor de wereld, zien we dat het product ook gemakkelijk is en dat het een bepaalde stemming bij je oproept. Dit door de toegevoegde geuren als kokosnoot zonnebrand crème, vers gemaaid gras en wilde bloemen, dat positieve herinneringen bij je op moeten roepen, waarbij je denkt aan de zomer, vakantie en het warme weer. Er is dus ook sprake van een materiële verbetering doordat gemak en beleving gecombineerd worden.

Kinky Food Spoofs – 50 Shades of Food brings the bedroom into the kitchen

271358_1_800Doordat we naar een totale transparantie lijken te gaan, ontstaat er meer vrijheid. We kunnen steeds opener over dingen spreken en daar lijkt men zich ook goed bij te voelen. Dit omdat de mens altijd op zoek is naar een bepaalde vrijheid. Producten/foto’s als 50 shades of food zijn een weerspiegeling hiervan. Of het nou over sex en humor gaat of totaal iets anders, de diversiteit aan gesprekken aan tafel nemen toe. Zo is er een verbetering te zien op zowel emotionele wellbeing als sociale wellbeing. Er wordt meer gedeeld met elkaar en het voelt goed om dit te doen. Blijkbaar hebben we meer vertrouwen in elkaar Banden/relaties worden hier sterker van.

Become a seed saver

seedsIn deze blogpost gaat het om de verbetering van de gezondheid van de mens en milieubescherming. Er wordt veel samengewerkt om dit te bereiken. Niet alleen individuen proberen hier een verbetering in te maken, ook de overheid en andere instanties.

Ook hier is dus een verbetering te zien op fysieke-, sociale- en emotionele wellbeing. Dit door DIY (Do-it-yourself) projecten en promoties van een gezonder voedselsysteem op verschillende vlakken. Er wordt kennis gedeeld en bewustwording gecreëerd. 

Evaluatie

Als we terugkijken naar de bovengenoemde signalen, dan zie we dat er in ieder signaal sprake is van emotionele wellbeing. Dit leerarrangement stond in het teken van het thema The Open World. We zijn opzoek gegaan naar coolhunts rondom dit thema, waarbij transparency, collaboration, empowerment en sharing van belang zijn. Je zou kunnen zeggen dat emoties verbonden zijn met deze vier principes. Er is namelijk behoefte aan deze 4 principes, die ons voldoening/tevredenheid en vertrouwen geven, maar ook onze stemming en status/respect bepalen op een bepaald moment.

Verder zien we dat sociale wellbeing ook een belangrijke waarde is binnen de signalen. Dit omdat het belangrijk is qua sociale betrokkenheid. Het samenwerken en kennis delen staat voorop. Banden/relaties kunnen hierdoor verbeterd worden tussen verschillende mensen als individuen, overheid en andere instanties/organisaties.

Hiernaast zijn fysieke- en materiële wellbeing ook van belang binnen het thema The Open World. Fysieke wellbeing is vooral gericht op de gezondheid die in de signalen van dit leerarrangement te vinden zijn. En materiële wellbeing, omdat er te zien is dat food bijvoorbeeld steeds luxer wordt en iets kostbaars is.

 

Carlsberg’s Green Fiber Bottle – Beer bottles of wood

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Today I am giving you another example of the growth in fair packaging and products that are environmentally friendly. Creating a better and fair world is paramount. Collaboration and sharing knowledge are the key to empowerment. The ‘Green Fiber Bottle’ project of Carlsberg creates a better world in making.

What is it?

The Green Fiber Bottle is a project and initiative of the Copenhagen-based company Carlsberg in partnership with EcoXpac. Last month Carlsberg announced plans to develop and debute the world’s first fully biodegradable sustainably sourced wood-fiber beverage bottle.

The bottles are strong, from durable material and are 100 percent compliant with the strictest food and beverage regulations.

It’s great that the bottles generate 0 percent waste, because they are 100 percent biodegradable.

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Why is it cool?

It inspires me that major brands around the world seem to be working towards packaging optimization with greener methods in mind. This in order to create awareness among consumers, but also to create a better world for all of us.

Not only companies and organizations come up with initiatives, but also consumers see that something must be done. This is because the knowledge about what is happening in the world – such as climate change – is spread all over the world.

This signal is a good example of how we used to handle things in the past and how we are dealing with them today and in the future. Probably not only beer bottles will be made of wood in the future, but also other products will appear on the market. It’s to be expected that – beside wood – products and packaging will consist of materials we wouldn’t think of now.

We might be all ‘clunking’ our beer bottles in the near future instead of ‘clinking’ them!

 

Sources:

http://www.foodrepublic.com/2015/02/24/future-beer-bottles-will-be-made-wood

Become a seed saver

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Human health, environmental protection and food security are important issues for us. Whether it’s on television, Internet or in magazines, everywhere we see promotion of a healthy food system. Not only the government and other agencies are involved, also businesses and individuals are. As a consumer you have the power to make informed choices. It all starts with the seed, the foundation of the food system. We see things are going more local and the agriculture with its Do-It-Yourself urban farming is getting more important. Different signals want to show us in all openness, how important and admirable this forgotten source of food (seeds) is. They want to create particular awareness. There are a lot of signals that address to the DIY urban farming. For example the shroombox of Fungaea, that responds to the need to do things yourself. But today I would like to describe the great ‘AH Moestuintjes’ (Kitchen Garden) from one of the largest supermarket chains in the Netherlands, the Albert Heijn. And I would also love to tell you about USC Canada that has teamed up with eight Canadian musicians to promote seeds as the foundation of food systems.

What is it?

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The AH Moestuintjes is a good example of DIY urban farming and creating a particular awareness. With these pots with seeds you grow your own kitchen garden. See how nice it is to grow a seed, for example a lettuce, in only eight weeks. Discover how green your fingers are and learn all about sowing, taking care of and cultivating vegetables, fruit and herbs. The AH is responding well to the agricultural sector with local products.

From the 16th of February till the 15th of march 2015, each week you will receive by a number of promotional products a free kitchen garden jar, kitchen garden or Growth & Do booklet. You will receive free items like a kitchen garden with seeds at 15 euros of shopping. You can save for up to 20 types of plants, like basil or eggplant. Of course you can also buy these items if you want. In addition to these items, you can buy other products for example like a gardener bag or gloves.

All schools that have registered for the curriculum ‘I eat better’ of Albert Heijn receive the opportunity to pick up free at AH a kitchen garden starters kit.

The idea of AH moestuintjes shows its sustainable side, because its 100 percent naturally degradable.

Now let’s talk about USC Canada that teamed up with eight Musicians to promote a healthy food system.

USC Canada is a non-profit organization focused on establishing programs in food security, climate change and more. The most important thing they want to show us with the help of eight Musicians (Amy Millan, Tim Baker, Leslie Feist, Jim Cuddy, Tim Kingsbury, Bruce Cockburn, Ian Thornley and Sam Roberts) is that seeds are the foundation of food systems. After all, this is where it begins. All the world’s food begins with a seed.

They are successful in creating awareness of this often overlooked source and showing how important and admirable seeds are. How do they do this? They encourage people to become a seed saver through a few easy steps. This includes for example supporting seed diversity through the food eaten, planting a variety of interesting seeds from local seed producers and simply learning more about the world of seed.

They actually do the same as the kitchen gardens from the Albert Heijn, do more local and create more awareness. Not only for ourselves, but also for the future. For our children and more…

See the following and inspiring video.

Why is it cool?

As already said this signals are about human health, environmental protection and food security. We want more local products and the agriculture with its DIY urban farming is getting more important. Important in both signals is to create more particular awareness.

There is a growth about the safety of the products. Now you can grow your own vegetables, fruit and herbs in front of you. This without being sprayed with chemicals, or whatever. You don’t have to worry anymore. This is what makes it attractive and inspiring for a lot of people, at least for me. And also because it’s an instructive production process.

We surely can talk about the influence of the open world in both signals. Transparency by the need for more openness. This to knowledge, wanting to know as a basic need. This is because of the curious nature of human beings. We can also call this sharing. The sharing from AH moestuintjes and USC with the eight musicians to create more particular awareness. This particular awareness can be seen as a sort of empowerment. Businesses and agencies have the power to create this. But another reason why it’s transparent, is because you know where your food comes from. From day one you will be involved.

In certain sense, you see a kind of collaboration. Working together with nature or with others for a better environment. Sowing, taking care, cultivating, harvesting, cooking and eating.

These signals have potential in the future, because concerns like human health, environmental protection and food security will increase.

If we can work together, share our knowledge and particular awareness, be transparent and open, be strong and have empowerment about our own decisions of health, food and nature, we can take on the world. We can create a better quality of life for others and ourselves. Wouldn’t that be great?

The only thing you have to do is to celebrate seeds!

 

Sources:

http://www.ah.nl/moestuintje?ns_mchannel=adwords&ns_source=2015_moestuintje_algemeen.Moestuintje_AH&ns_campaign=AH_Thema&ns_linkname=moestuintje&ns_fee=0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cnRQSYEjvI

http://www.usc-canada.org/i-am-a-seed-saver

http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/usc-canada

http://fungaea.com/product/the-shroombox/