Carl rohde's serious trendwatching part 2


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For this book ‘Serious Trendwatching’, Carl Rohde has selected the 25 best examples of Cool that can enhance people’s Quality of Life. These examples were all spotted by the best Coolhunters from various academic years at International Lifestyle Studies as part of an ambitious Quality of Life research project. In cooperation with the students, Rohde analyzed these examples thoroughly.
His main objective was to make this valuable methodology more transparent for students. Secondly, he wanted new generations of students to understand how the academy perceives Quality of Life, and to inspire students to embrace the subject.
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Carl rohde's serious trendwatching part 2

  2. 2. Contents A brief introduction to International Lifestyle Studies Introduction Quality of Life at the heart of International Lifestyle Studies 5 9 15 25 of the best Coolhunts regarding Quality of Life Health 1 Scanadu: a doctor in your pocket 2 Pain squad: hunting down pain 3 Lapka: the personal environment monitor 4 Only ten pounds: losing weight online, together 22 26 30 34 Food 5 Beyond eggs: a new kind of egg 6 Buurt toetje / thuis afgehaald: meals from nearby 7 Fresh Connect: connected food in the future 8 Diagnostic kitchen: the online personal kitchen 40 44 48 52 Appearance 9 Granny’s finest: designed by the new, produced by the best 10 Schorem Haarsnijder & Barbier: men’s clubs, new and retro combined 11 Electronic tattoo: stick it on 12 Me-Ality: a better fit 58 62 66 70 2
  3. 3. Leisure 13 Friday afternoon couscous: eating together to live together 14 Three ‘Sweet Nothings’: it’s the little things that matter most 15 Realitree: collective gaming for a better environment 16 Cool pissing competition; pissing as a clean game 76 80 84 88 Living 17 Solar energy everywhere: here comes the sun 18 Algae will save the world: creating innovative hope 19 Peer-to-peer banking: the next step 20 Peru billboard: produces drinking water 94 98 102 106 Human Movement 21 Nike+ fuelband: moving together in more playful, exciting ways 22 Fc247 laser beam soccer fields: play wherever on demand 23 Automatic: superefficient, online driving 24 Solar roadway: beyond tarmac 25 Hottug: quality time in a tub 112 116 120 124 128 Summary of the most important mentality trends that influence Quality of Life Contributions Acknowledgments Colophon 132 137 138 140 3
  4. 4. A brief introduction to International Lifestyle Studies International Lifestyle Studies is a four-year bachelor program that welcomes prospective Lifestyle Professionals. Since 2010, these future professionals have been learning how to develop new products and services that resonate with many people’s lifestyles. Before they can accomplish that, however, students first need to know everything about social trends. This knowledge can then be used to invent creative ideas (concepts) for new services/products attuned to the needs of various groups of people. Lifestyle as a field of activity The field of activity linked to lifestyle is very versatile, because people can express their Lifestyles in many ways. The program distinguishes six sectors: • Human Movement • Health • Food • Leisure • Appearance • Living Program outline The program begins with a 2.5-year general foundation phase, during which students get acquainted with all six lifestyle sectors. They also focus on four skills: analyzing trends, developing lifestyle concepts, realizing products/services, and giving advice during the implementation. The final 1.5 years are dedicated to specialization in minimally two sectors. Quality of Life Students learn to apply their knowledge of trends and lifestyle to new lifestyle concepts that contribute to the Quality of Life of the people the concepts are designed for. They can make people more vigorous, for example, healthier, more relaxed, happier, 5
  5. 5. or more confident: the products and services developed by our students can make the world a little bit better. And that is an important mission. Professional environments At International Lifestyle Studies, we believe in the importance of getting acquainted with your future profession as soon as possible. Students enrolled in all of our programs work on assignments from the field. In the Lifestyle Factory (a learning environment managed by the program staff,) students gain work experience within the context of companies and organizations. Furthermore, students complete two internships, which both last 18 weeks. This is the best way to gain experience as a trend analyst and a developer of concepts. Future employment The future career of a Lifestyle Professional revolves around analyzing trends, developing and introducing lifestyle concepts. Students can find employment in marketing, innovation, RD, but also in New Business Development. In addition, there is a growing number of companies that use the knowledge of trends and consumer needs to develop new concepts for their customers. Finally, students can become self-employed as a creative entrepreneur or similar. More than one hundred companies have indicated that they would like to work with interns and graduates. Companies such as Achmea, De Efteling, Fair Trade Original, GGD, Hema, Leolux, Mundial Productions, Nike, Hutten Catering, Philips, Thermae 2000 and The Sting. Well-known academic trendwatcher Carl Rohde works for International Lifestyle Studies. He has made Trendwatching his profession. He belongs to the top of Dutch trendwatchers. During their first year, students participate in an international research project, International Cool City Hunt, under the direction of Carl Rohde. In cooperation with students from other business 6
  6. 6. schools and universities abroad, they seek out new concepts that might be considered Cool. Not Cool hip but Cool that is attractive, inspiring, and has future growth potential. The products and concepts discovered during these Coolhunts are analyzed to detect future trends. For this book, Carl Rohde has selected the 25 best examples of Cool that can enhance people’s Quality of Life. These examples were all spotted by the best Coolhunters from various academic years at International Lifestyle Studies as part of an ambitious Quality of Life research project. In cooperation with the students, he analyzed these examples thoroughly. His main objective was to make this valuable methodology more transparent for students. Secondly, he wanted new generations of students to understand how the academy perceives Quality of Life, and to inspire students to embrace the subject. And finally, to show representatives of organizations and companies what ILS and the readership Trendwatching do with trends in this course. 7
  7. 7. Minor Trendwatching International Lifestyle Studies offers the minor Trendwatching twice a year. All students who are enrolled at Fontys, or another University of Applied Sciences, and who would like to learn more about trends, and seek to use this knowledge in their future profession, can take this minor. This minor teaches students how to systematically track, analyze, and interpret mentality trends. Students discover how the consequences of these worldwide developments will impact their future professions. After completing this program, students will be able to apply trend insights specifically to the sector in which they work. This book contains a discussion of some examples that have been observed by our students. Enjoy reading! Anja Sparidaans Team leader ILS Brochures and further information on this program are available at and 8
  8. 8. Introduction Today, a decent mobile phone can provide a villager in the heart of Africa with more information than the president of the United States could have hoped for about twentyfive years ago. With a smartphone connected to Google, such a villager has better telecom capabilities than the president did just fifteen years ago. To keep the light on for an hour, people with an average income today only need to work for about one second. In 1880, it would have cost us fifteen minutes of work to keep the darkness at bay for the same amount of time with a kerosene lamp. One hour of candlelight in 1800? Six hours work. An hour of light from a sesame-oil lamp in Babylon in 1750 BC: fifty hours. All in all, we are doing pretty good. The vast majority of the current world population has better housing, is better protected from disease and disaster, has better entertainment, has more food, and lives longer than most generations before us. In the course of the centuries, the Quality of our Lives has clearly improved. The examples mentioned here were taken from a well-documented book on this subject by Diamandis and Kotler. Its rather optimistic title: Abundance: The Future is Better than You Think. Dread None of this means that we live in paradise on Earth. The newspapers and literature remind us every day. All over the world, the income gap is growing, which puts a lot of pressure on the social cohesion of many a society. One in four mammals is threatened with extinction. Worldwide fish stocks are almost 90 percent depleted. This warrants concern and gloom. And yet, there is no need to despair. The Internet and the Social Web have greatly enhanced humanity’s organizational capabilities. Twitter abounds with nonsense, but it is also a mighty protest machine, that also acts as an early warning system for danger and injustice anywhere in the world. All over the world, a myriad of innovative technologies explore a more durable coexistence with our planet and each other. Alongside the Social Internet, an Industrial Internet is now emerging. The trappings of the Industrial Internet include microchips and sensors, that are attached to many lifeless objects – think cars, refrigerators – enabling them to communicate with one 9
  9. 9. another. The consequences of this revolution cannot be guessed. Without a doubt, it will provide new opportunities to improve the quality of our lives. As explained in an issue of Wired Magazine: “When the objects around us can talk to one another, the elements of our physical universe will converge and spring to life. In time, this network will grow to fulfill our needs, understand our desires, and enable our dreams.” Challenges Certainly, there is good reason to be cautious of these new trend developments. Are we witnessing the dawn of a Brave New World? How is this going to affect our privacy? And who is going to be in control of all these new possibilities? Us, the people, or a handful of immensely powerful ‘Googles’? Despite all of these questions, there is no doubt that this revolution offers challenges and possibilities to make a quantum leap towards further improving the quality of our lives. They need to be embraced and studied. We must not allow despair to paralyze us. No pessimist has ever made a positive contribution to the world. Admittedly, dread may be locked within our genes. For a caveman, it was indeed wise to wonder if a bear may be lurking behind the next boulder. This self-preservation reflex is still written in our DNA. But do we therefore equal this little piece of fearful DNA? Life is too exciting and challenging for that. Our Quality of Life has increased tremendously over the centuries. Why would we stop here? Quality of Life International Lifestyle Studies does not foresee an end to progress. On the contrary: all of the sectors our students are mastering – Health, Food, Appearance, Leisure, Living en Human Movement – revolve around improving Quality of Life. Quality of Life is one of the pillars of the trend research carried out by our students and the lifestyle concepts they develop for these sectors. The fact that students anticipate Quality of Life is one of the reasons why the concepts developed at International Lifestyle Studies are contemporary and innovative. This book explains how such is accomplished. It contains an overview of Trendwatching 10
  10. 10. activities carried out by our students for an ambitious Quality of Life research project. The best Coolhunters from all academic years were preselected to participate in this project. Following a trend presentation by the author of this book – focused on trends connected to Quality of Life – they went in search of the best Examples of Cool. During a number of master classes, the students perfected and further analyzed these examples. Twenty-five magnificent examples have been compiled in this publication. Each example is accompanied by an explanation as to why they are so attractive and inspiring. Their potential for the future and relation to Quality of Life are also explored. Finally, the interrelatedness of the examples is explained. This, in turn, shows us which trends have future potential, and may alter our existence. Not only our existence, but also our search for improvement of the quality of our lives. Coolhunting and Quality of Life Trendwatching as a profession is gaining importance. International Lifestyle Studies is proud to be the first and only program in the Netherlands to place Trendwatching at the core of its curriculum. Trendwatching can be done in many ways. At International Lifestyle Studies, Coolhunting is the first method the students learn. This method was developed in the Netherlands by trend research agency, and is practiced at International Lifestyle Studies. Starting from a number of solid mentality trends – general or sector specific – first year students seek out the newest and Coolest examples of these trends under the guidance of their teachers. And thus, the students become Coolhunters: hunting for the Cool things in life. Cool, in this context, is defined as attractive, inspiring, and imbued with potential for the future. No matter which Examples of Cool the students bring forward, they need to illustrate why they are attractive and inspiring. And why their Example of Cool has future potential. Examples of Cool are our basic research units, of which hundreds are gathered. Their meaning is then analyzed by teachers and more senior students. New examples can give existing trends a new twist. Brand new trend insights may also emerge from the material. We do not focus on overly hip, gadgety trends. Such trends are too short-lived 11
  11. 11. to serve as the basis of a solid education. We concentrate on megatrends and mentality trends. Which mentality trends are ‘hidden’ within the Examples of Cool gathered by out students? Which mentality trends emerge when we perform ‘cluster exercises’ on all of our Examples of Cool? And how will they influence the future of the sectors selected as study subjects at International Lifestyle Studies? The answers can be found in this book. The guideline and main subject of this book: How does this contribute to the quality of our lives? For this book, we have selected our students’ best Examples of Cool. They have been itemized according to the six sectors of International Lifestyle Studies: Health, Food, Appearance, Leisure, Living, and Human Movement. An investigation of the underlying trends reveals that most trends have meaning and growth potential across the sectors. In the back of this book, you can find an overview of trends that signify the most important developments. Each of the 25 Examples of Cool in this book is explicitly linked to these trends. Dr. Carl Rohde Dr. Carl Rohde is one of the best-known trendwatchers in the Netherlands. He has his own trend research agency: or In 2011, he was named Trendwatcher of the Year. From the very beginning, he has been involved in the creation of International Lifestyle Studies at Fontys Hogescholen. For four years, he served as professor of Trendwatching and Innovation, and was named Professor of the Year 2012 in this capacity. He also works as a lecturer at the Hotel Management School of Hogeschool Zuyd in Maastricht. In addition, he is a professor of Trendwatching and Innovation in China, at the Shanghai Institute of Technology. 12
  12. 12. 14
  13. 13. Quality of Life at the heart of International Lifestyle Studies International Lifestyle Studies trains students to become Lifestyle Professionals: highly educated people who know everything about Lifestyle. People who can develop new products and services that suit the lifestyles and Quality of Life of various individuals. To accomplish that, students need to know about social trends. This knowledge can be used to generate creative ideas for new concepts and products that fulfill the needs of various people. What is Quality of Life? In the course of their training, students are acquainted with various dimensions of Quality of Life. Felce and Perry discerned five dimensions: physical, material, social, emotional and productive wellbeing. Quality of life is an overall general wellbeing that comprises objective descriptors and subjective evaluations of physical, material, social and material wellbeing together with the extent of personal development and purposeful activity, all weighted by a personal set of values” (Felce Perry, 1995). Quality of Life, therefore, is firstly a subjective notion. One individual may deem Quality of Life to be very low, under certain circumstances, whereas another may not. More than fifteen years later, the amount of research and publications regarding Quality of Life has grown tremendously, but there still is no definitive definition for Quality of Life (Barcaccia, 2013.) Depending on the context, phrases such as Quality of Life, Happiness, Quality of Existence, Wellness and Wellbeing are used interchangeably. What we know about Quality of Life A great amount of research has yielded much information on the various factors that influence Quality of Life. Firstly, Quality of Life depends on adaptation. This means that we get used to a situation that improves Quality of Life, such as winning the lottery. The happiness generated by such a change does not usually last long. This adaptation process, for that matter, also applies to situations that decrease Quality of Life, such as losing one’s job, or getting injured while practicing sports. 15
  14. 14. Secondly, Quality of Life is influenced by social comparison. We constantly compare ourselves to others; our Quality of Life improves when we compare our situation to those who have less, and our Quality of Life suffers when we compare ourselves to those who have more. Thirdly, Quality of Life is tied to our aspirations. If our aspirations are too high, the chance of disappointment, which leads to decreased of Quality of Life, is great. To accomplish a good Quality of Life, it is important to have aspirations that fit our skills. This also applies to getting into a so-called FLOW (Jackson, Csikszentmihalyi, 2001.) Remarkably, people who get into a FLOW are often unaware of what they did when they experienced this FLOW. Evidently, optimal Quality of Life cannot be described using objective data. Fourthly, Quality of Life is tied to people’s needs. Maslow (1943) developed a categorization model, according to which physiological needs form the basis, and the ultimate need pertains to self-realization. Fifthly, personal factors play an important role. Some people feel that they have a lot of control over what happens to them. This sensation is sometimes described as ‘internal locus of control’. Conversely, people who feel that they have no control, that the circumstances run away with them, that everything that happens is beyond their control, are described as having an ‘external locus of control’. People with an internal locus of control have a better Quality of Life. We know which factors influence Quality of Life, but we have also learned more about the advantages of a good Quality of Life. People with a good Quality of Life are healthier, live longer, and are more productive at work. Furthermore, they recover more quickly from physical injury, and are better at dealing with serious life events such as losing a job, or losing a partner. It would be safe to say that people with a better Quality of Life have and experience more success in their lives, both at work and in their free time. Measuring Quality of Life It is not easy to make a concept measurable, if we cannot even determine an unambiguous definition of Quality of Life. Since we are on a scientific quest for ‘the truth’, we have no 16
  15. 15. choice but to use numbers to express Quality of Life, in order to make it more objective. The government also has an interest in hard data for making policy that contributes to the optimization of Quality of Life for the inhabitants of a country. Having numbers on Quality of Life at one’s disposal helps when verifying the success of government policy in this regard. The easiest way to measure Quality of Life is to ask people a simple question: “How would you rate the Quality of your Life at this moment, all things considered, on a scale of 1 to 10; 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest score.” A more expensive technique is to measure cerebral blood flow, or measuring the level of activity in the laughing muscles. These more expensive measuring techniques are closely linked to the question regarding Quality of Life. Therefore, the question is the preferred method in many research projects (Morse, 2012.) Various research institutes are engaged in research regarding Quality of Life and happiness. In the Netherlands, all this research on Quality of Life and happiness is accumulated within the World Database of Happiness, which is led by professor Ruut Veenhoven at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. The research shows that Denmark has the highest happiness score (8.1), and that the Netherlands ranks 14th with a score of 7.6. The purpose of Quality of Life A growing number of people regard Quality of Life as the ultimate goal in their existence. Now that our Western world appears to have already met every material and social need, there only seems to be one goal left to strive for: optimal Quality of Life, giving meaning to life, self-realization, and happiness. Setting a course for Quality of Life can be accomplished in many ways, and at many levels. Various factors that influence Quality of Life, such as age, family situation, and socioeconomic status, need to be taken into account. This not only concerns individual Quality of Life, but also social and public Quality of Life. Our social environment changes continually and changes fast, both at home and at work. In order to accommodate these changes, social innovation that includes everyone is of great importance: a different organization of our immediate (work) space and our society, 17
  16. 16. and working in smarter ways. This process of change has already been initiated in recent years by means of distance working and flexible offices, for example. Companies are devising ways of working and work spaces, in which the distinction between work, home, and free time becomes ever more vague. This development places high demands on government, entrepreneurs, education, as well as (future) employees. New concepts are required to create an environment in which we can continue to be productive in a sustainable way, together, an environment in which we can expand the ‘network society’, and in which we can also ascertain a good Quality of Life. This way, we can create an environment in which everyone can participate, and contribute to a high-quality, sustainable society, in which social return on investment will be at least as valuable to companies as financial return on investment. International Lifestyle Studies trains professionals who can help organizations realize social innovation, their ambitions, and their dreams for the future. A good example of an innovative and contemporary concept is the inspiration park ‘My Future Works’ (Mijn Toekomst Werkt) in the city district ‘Spoorzone’ in Tilburg. The role of the Lifestyle Professional International Lifestyle students use the definition by Felce and Perry (1995) in order to fathom the broad spectrum that is Quality of Life, and, based on this insight, to optimally develop their core activities: Trendwatching and concept development. This way, they learn how to improve the Quality of Life for various target groups in the capacity of future Lifestyle Professional, accounting for the various parties concerned, such as government, entrepreneurs, and education. During their training, students come in contact with entrepreneurs and government in the field in various ways. Trends are mapped out and analyzed, concepts are prepared, developed further through co-creation, and then implemented in cooperation with entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs are advised on various possible scenarios. Theory and practice go hand in hand all through the training, within a stimulating environment for entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity. In this way, students have developed trend analyses for Nutricia (sector Food), concepts for ANWB (sector Leisure) and 18
  17. 17. Fitland (sector Human Movement), and, based on current ‘Living’ trends (sector Living), new concepts that were worked into an advice for Fontys Hogescholen in its new building in the Spoorzone district in Tilburg. Drs. John Matthijs Teacher Quality of Life at Fontys International Lifestyle Studies in Tilburg Bibliography Barcaccia, B. e.a. (2013), Defining Quality of Life: A Wild-Goose Chase? in Europe’s Journal of Psychology, Vol. 9(1), pp. 185-203 Felce, D. Perry, J. (1995), Quality of Life; Its definition and Measurement, in Research in Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 51-74 Morse, G. (2012), The Science Behind the Smile, in Harvard Business Review, January-February 2012 Jackson, S.A. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2001), Flow in de sport, optimaal presteren en welbevinden, Bres BV, Amsterdam 19
  18. 18. 20
  19. 19. Health 21
  20. 20. SCANADU Mara Stork Qol for me is: Happiness, joy, passion 22
  21. 21. Health 01 SCANADU: A DOCTOR IN YOUR POCKET by Mara Stork The Scanadu is designed to be a medical grade Tricorder, using your smartphone and Bluetooth. The Scanadu will be able to measure your heart rate, your skin and core body temperature, your oxymetry, respiratory rate, blood pressure, ECG and your emotional stress level – and in the future probably even more. Simply place the Scanadu on your forehead for ten seconds, and in a snap, your stats are displayed on your smartphone. In this way, you will gain access to the valuable data which your body provides every day. If you wish, you can share them with relevant people such as doctors or significant others. With the Scanadu, you will have an emergency room in your pocket! “Don’t let your precious information get lost. Use Scanadu to analyze, track and trend your vitals with unprecedented simplicity”, as proclaims. “Who’s the first responder when your vital signs are in flux? You!” With Scanadu, we are the last generation to know so little about our health. “more personalized advice can be given and received” 23
  22. 22. The Scanadu is still under development. Currently, there is only a prototype available. The designers are using crowdfunding for the further development of the idea via Their claim, that the Scanadu will provide us with more information on our bodies than any generation before us ever had, is real and credible. Moreover, all this new, intimate knowledge regarding our bodily functioning can be shared with whomever we choose, most importantly our doctors. Quality of Life Relevance Even though the writings on may appear somewhat too commercial and American for European tastes, the concept behind the Scanadu is undeniably revolutionary. Having a Scanadu is like holding a doctor in the palm of your hand. A doctor who is in contact – online, naturally – with many other doctors. They can conveniently view the history and fluctuations of our bodily functioning at a glance. This lends all parties involved a more profound and more detailed understanding of our bodies. And with this information, more personalized advice can be given and received, enabling us to handle our health better. That is Quality of Life. Trend Context This is the kind of revolution this book is permeated with: new means to store all kinds of information regarding our personal performance; not on handwritten documents, not on our own PC’s, but somewhere in the Online Universe: in The Cloud. This also enables others – with our permission of course – to access said information. Medical personnel for instance, 24
  23. 23. Health C.K.Prahalad and Venkat Ramaswamy, the authors of The Future of Competition, were among the first to recognize the immensity of the Cloud Revolution – even though they did not coin the term. As the title suggests, the authors in the case of the Scanadu. The Cloud therefore implies that we will be able to share countless personal details with relevant people. The Scanadu is an excellent example of things to come. The opportunities for improvement of our Quality of Life are irrefutable. And for that matter, so are the risks of (over)commercialization and even abuse. We cannot weigh the advantages and disadvantages with absolute certainty. Such is the nature of a revolutionary trend. The Rise of the Cloud can certainly be classified as such a trend. focus on new business models that will accompany this revolution. “The most basic shift will be in the role of the consumer: from isolated to connected, from unaware to Trends The Rise of the Cloud, The Quantified Self, Facilitate My Life, Cool Personalization informed, from passive to active.” A quote regarding our collective health – and a taste of how the Scanadu and other online medical instruments will shape our future: “Traditional medicine ( “curing sickness”), preventive medicine and improvements in the quality of life are rapidly merging into a Wellness Space”. To fathom, adapt and personalize this Wellness Space in accordance with our needs: therein lies the future of the health sector. The Future of Competition C.K. Prahalad Venkat Ramaswamy (2004) Harvard Business School Publishing, ISBN 1578519535 25
  24. 24. PAIN SQUAD Maud Brock Qol for me is: Selflove, sharing and safety 26
  25. 25. Health 02 PAIN SQUAD: HUNTING DOWN PAIN by Maud Brock Children with cancer carry a heavy burden. They are often in pain. Pain that drains their energy as well. Hospitals do what they can to minimize their pain. To achieve this, it is essential to determine how pain works. Only then are doctors able to prescribe optimal medication. For this reason, all young cancer patients have to keep a detailed pain diary. Easier said than done, especially when you feel exhausted after a treatment session. What makes it even harder, is that the diary entries have to be made every single day, because not doing so, renders the information useless to doctors and scientists. To help them, patients at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, can now join the so-called Pain Squad. Their motto: Hunting Down Pain. Members of Pain Squad receive an iPhone featuring the Pain Squad app. The hunt for pain is thus stimulated in a ‘playful’ way. The actors of a popular Canadian police series are associated with Pain Squad. They welcome the children. They encourage them to participate and to keep it up. Twice a day, they remind the children to write their pain report. They also notify them upon promotion, which they receive when they consistently write their pain reports over a certain period of time. How bad is your pain? For how long has it been like this? Where do you feel pain exactly? All these questions can be ‘intuitively’ filled in using the app. After the last report has been filed, the Pain Squad member in question receives a certificate from the police show. Pain Squad (app) is now being extended to various other hospitals in Canada and the United States. 27
  26. 26. Quality of Life Relevance Children’s cancer is a horrible disease that can never be made Cool by means of a popular police show and the Pain Squad app. But it is effective. It makes it easier for the children to write their indispensable pain reports. It all begins with giving sick children a pleasant moment, by getting them in touch with their television heroes in virtual reality. Subsequently, essential information required for maximally personalized treatment is gathered. All of the information gathered in this way is assembled within The Cloud, at the disposal of doctors and scientists. This enables them to advise and prescribe medication for the brave young patients of Pain Squad more efficiently and effectively. This is about improving the Quality of Life for a target group we wish the very best for. Trend Context The trends that join forces in Pain Squad make it undeniably Cool and attach a lot of future potential to the idea. First of all, Pain Squad is the progeny of the Rise of the Apps Culture. Within this Apps Culture, we are building a virtual paradise filled with mobile applications .You will find other examples further on in this book. Together, they will make our lives easier, more pleasant and at times also healthier. But there is more to this story. The information collected by means of all these mobile apps will not remain isolated; it will be brought together and merged within The Cloud, the revolutionary trend that also appeared in the previous example. The massive amount of Big Data gathered within the Cloud enables us to add value to the quality of our further existence, using the power of untold new knowledge. In combination with the Rise of the Apps and the Rise of the Cloud, Pain Squad features a third trend: Pain Squad also adopts Gamification for the encouragement of patients to accomplish their tasks. Playful competition is interlaced with next level reward systems and immediate ‘celebrity’ compliments as soon as a task is completed. All of these tactics have been used in the games industry with enormous success. Now, they are finding more serious applications. The Rise of the Gamification Culture does not always draw positive comment, especially from older people. But no one can deny that Pain Squad effectively applies a number of gamification elements. 28
  27. 27. Health The Rise of Apps Culture, The Rise of the Cloud, Cool Personalization, Trends Cool Willpower and Resilience, The Rise of Gamification Culture “The hunt for pain is thus stimulated in a ‘playful’ way” In Reality is Broken: Why Games Makes Us Better and How They Can Change The World, Jane McGonigal evaluates the Gamification Culture in a refreshingly unorthodox manner: “Game design isn’t just a technological craft. It’s the 21st century way of thinking and leading. And game play isn’t just pastime. It’s the 21st century way of working together to accomplish real change”. Pain Squad shows how this can be accomplished. It is a powerful instrument for supporting the willpower and resilience of sick children by means of techniques perfected by the games industry. Reality is Broken Why Games Makes Us Better and How They Can Change The World Jane McGonigal (2011) Penguin Books, ISBN 9780143120612 29
  28. 28. LAPKA Lieke Dols Qol for me is: Freedom, respect, self esteem 30
  29. 29. Health 03 LAPKA: THE PERSONAL ENVIRONMENT MONITOR by Lieke Dols The Lapka can be used to measure environmental factors, such as humidity, temperature, electromagnetic radiation and the nitrate content of your food. At home, at the office, on a plane, at your holiday destination, or at a playground located too close to a busy freeway. Lapka (currently) consists of four beautifully designed sensor cubes that can be connected to your smartphone using the Lapka app. This way, you can store data, and document changes over time. You can also share your data with others. As far as room temperature and humidity are concerned, the Lapka is all fun and games. The electromagnetic radiation of your (old) microwave oven, however, can be important. And for those who like organic food, the Lapka nitrate sensor is a useful tool. The nitrate level of a tomato, for example, gives an indication of the product’s organic quality. Taken from the website “The Lapka Organic Sensor is designed to look for significant quantities of nitrates in raw food and drinking water in order to detect residues of synthetic fertilizers”. When the Lapka sensors are connected to a smartphone, all data are visualized in an attractive and easily accessible way. 31
  30. 30. Quality of Life Relevance The Lapka has not been on the market for very long (for a few hundred dollars), and is not a big hit yet. But it certainly has potential. Especially if Lapka succeeds in adding more sensors. For hay fever allergens in the summer, for example. Or for atmospheric particulate matter. Or, more generally and farther away, to measure the carbon dioxide levels in many megacities in the developing world. We are at the beginning of what is sometimes referred to as the Sensor Revolution. The Lapka may evolve into an excellent tool for all who want to monitor the health of their environment and their food. But Lapka’s importance stretches further than an avant-garde niche of what some call ‘health freaks’. It would be unwise to underestimate Lapka’s potential importance to the developing world, with its dramatic big city air pollution; where the quality of food is often subpar. The great thing about the Lapka is that data can be measured at any point on our planet – and can be shared with the rest of the world. In this way, the Lapka empowers everyone, from health freaks, who seek control over their own food, to worried young fathers and mothers 32
  31. 31. Health who live underneath the smog of cities like Beijing, New Delhi, Mexico City – all these people receive facts and figures via the Lapka that they can use to validate their environmental protests. Lapka puts our fate in our own hands, more than ever. That is unusual in a world in which trust in authorities has crumbled, a world in which we prefer to take care of our own affairs. Trend context What begins as a measuring device for the healthiness of our personal environment, could well blossom into a collectively shared device used for addressing dangers and wrongs worldwide. A multitude of highly personalized data collections can, after being merged into Big Data within The Cloud, be transformed into an immensely powerful knowledge base that documents the quality of our existence, and has the capability to elicit improvements at the micro, meso, and macro level. Trends The Rise of the Cloud, The Rise of the Apps Culture, Self-organizing Self-sufficiency, Growing Mistrust, Deep Sustainability “data can be measured at any point on our planet” Wired is the best magazine about trends such as The Rise of The Cloud, The Rise of the Apps Culture, and the progress of the Sensor Revolution. Many of its contributors also write books. Some of them make their appearance further on in this book. Even though the tone of Wired is downright optimistic, there is also some room for indispensable criticism. Wired on our app driven, immensely efficient and connected world, for example: “Everybody is amazed. Nobody is happy”. Wired: Why How to be a Geek Dad, issue. June 2012 Wired Magazine (2012), The Condé Nast Publications Wired: Raspberry Pi conquered the world, issue July 2013 Digital, UK Edition, David Rowan (2013), Onbekend 33
  32. 32. fotografie: © Gettyimages ONLY TEN POUNDS Ramon Stinges Qol for me is: Social, connectedness, freedom 34
  33. 33. Health 04 ONLY TEN POUNDS: LOSING WEIGHT ONLINE, TOGETHER by Ramon Stinges The idea behind is simple, playful and serious: lose ten pounds in ten weeks time. How it works? You sign up and pay a hundred dollars. This is not a fee, this is a deposit for the bet you are about to place: to lose ten pounds in then weeks time. After you sign up, you will receive an email stating the time and location – in your own city – where you shall officially be weighed. After that, the bet is on. You are obviously supposed to fight your own battle against weight, but in the website’s ‘Meet the Players’ section you can (virtually) meet other contestants. You can compare your own progress to theirs. You can encourage each other, and exchange weight loss strategies. Ten weeks later, your weight is officially established once more. If you succeeded in losing ten pounds, you get your money back. If you lost less than the amount of weight you committed to, you lose your money. The money left behind by the losers is divided among the winners – after allowing a sum for the organization. Simple, playful, smart and quick. You could say: Cool. Quality of Life Relevance For beauty or for health, the battle against weight is being fought by many. This is not a new battle, but it has become more urgent – approximately one third of all Americans is medically overweight. New and innovative methods have been thrown into the battle. is one example. It is a place where people interested in losing weight can find each other (virtually). This cultivates togetherness, which makes the battle against weight a little easier. Simultaneously, 35
  34. 34. adds the element of competition – every person’s weight loss results are visible to everyone else, the whole time. Am I doing better or worse than my fellow players? Am I doing better or worse than the average player? Willpower and self-control are thus mapped out and exhibited over the course of the entire program. This encourages people to dedicate more effort to the fight against fat – and to keep it up. Trend Context The recession may have thrown many of us upon our own resources. We may think the permissive culture, in which everything goes and everything is allowed, has gone too far. We may think that our children are being raised too weakly: a growing trend, where mentality is concerned, is the New Focus on Discipline, on Willpower. Recent research has shown that willpower must not be considered to be an innate character trait. That would be way too ‘permissive’. Willpower must be thought of as a muscle. A muscle that can be trained. (“I cannot control myself. I have no willpower. It is not in my character” no longer counts as a valid excuse!) Whether you are dealing with alcohol abuse, problems raising children or losing weight: the muscle of willpower can be trained. The first step towards effectively training willpower is to consistently record personal improvement and failure. The second step is to review your personal record regularly. This is known as self-monitoring. The next step is to share your personal record with significant others. Peer group pressure emerges, which helps you to further develop your willpower and become more disciplined. facilitates all of these steps in a playful and profound way. 36 “This cultivates togetherness, which makes the battle against weight a little easier”
  35. 35. Health Trends The Power of the Social Web, Cool Willpower Resilience, The Rise of the Gamification Culture An impressive book on this subject is Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister en John Tierney. “When psychologists isolate personal qualities that predict ‘positive outcomes’, in life, they consistently find two traits: Intelligence and Self-Control. So far researchers still haven’t learned how to permanently increase intelligence. But they have discovered … how to improve Self Control.” “They discovered that Willpower, like a muscle, becomes fatigued from overuse but can also be strengthened over the long term through exercise and training”. Willpower. Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. Roy F. Baumeister John Tierney (2012) Penguin Books , ISBN 9780143122234 37
  36. 36. Food 39
  37. 37. BEYOND EGGS Lisa den Teuling Qol for me is: Peace, love, chocolate 40
  38. 38. Food 05 BEYOND EGGS: A NEW KIND OF EGG by Lisa den Teuling Why did soy burgers never conquer the masses? Because they claim to taste like the real thing, and they don’t. Therefore, soy burgers, as well as other animal replacement foods, are mostly embraced by vegans and vegetarians. They have the ideological stamina that helps them cope with the disillusion of less than real meat. Many others simply do not. Beyond Eggs is different. The eggs don’t come from chickens, but taste as good as the ‘traditional’ chicken-produced ones. Beyond Eggs is made from powder, mimicking the physical and textural qualities of eggs, such as foaming, coagulation and color, to perfection. Moreover, Beyond Eggs are about 19% cheaper, have a longer shelf life and are safer to use. Unfortunately, the notion of munching something that has been concocted in a laboratory is somewhat appalling. Josh Tetrick, the 32 year old founder of Beyond Eggs, based in Silicon Valley, is working hard to ensure that his recipe will fool even the most critical foodies. There is a telling YouTube clip featuring Bill Gates tasting Beyond Eggs, the scrambled version, and not being able to distinguish them from real ones. That makes Beyond Eggs confident enough to aim for the mass market – for the great variety of omnivores who occupy our planet. Why would anyone bother to make an egg replacement? Firstly, there is the ethical dimension: many chickens are mass-produced and mass-destroyed like lifeless objects, denying them any quality of animal life. More and more people feel bothered by this. Beyond Eggs offers an alternative. Secondly, extracting protein from meat and other animal-based products is horribly inefficient. By the time the world’s population reaches 9 billion in 2050, we will need better ways of producing edible protein. Beyond Eggs leads the way. Processed food has a bad reputation, because most of it comes with fillers and preservatives, and is loaded with sugar, salt and fat. By contrast, Beyond Eggs is made from ingredients that include peas, sunflower lecithin, canola, and natural gums. They are also gluten free and cholesterol free. In fact, they are healthier than the real ones. 41
  39. 39. “we cannot escape innovative forms of artificial food production” Quality of Life Relevance Beyond Eggs focuses on adding value to the Quality of Life of us humans – especially in a future world with more hungry mouths to feed than ever before. Furthermore, Beyond Eggs is extending the aspiration for Quality of Life to the animal kingdom: a concern shared by an increasing number of people. Trend Context Deep Sustainabilty: this is the trend Beyond Eggs can be associated with. In a world of nine billion people, we cannot escape innovative forms of artificial food production – Cultured Food is the popular term for this. Although we may have to get used to it, the pressure to enjoy this new type of food will increase. There are commercial considerations: ‘natural’ food will become too expensive. Efficiency considerations: Cultured Food can be produced faster, in higher quantities. Human considerations: world hunger has to be challenged. And consideration for animals: stop animal suffering. Trends 42 Deep Sustainability
  40. 40. Food Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler wrote Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think. One chapter is devoted to the production of food. Urban Farming will go ‘industrial’, so they predict. Why? Simple. Because it is more efficient, and yields more profit. “One thirty-story building, one square New York Block in foot print, could feed fifty thousand people a year. One hundred fifty vertical farms could feed everyone in New York”. A further leap into the future takes us to a time in which meat is produced artificially. “By growing beef in bioreactors, we will become less vulnerable to emerging diseases – 70% of emerging diseases come from livestock – and less vulnerable to contamination – something that occurs when workers in slaughterhouses accidentally open an animal’s intestinal tract”. Abundance, The Future is Better Than You Think. Peter H. Diamandis Steven Kotler (2012) Free Press, ISBN 9781451614213 43
  41. 41. fotografie: © Gettyimages BUURT TOETJE / THUIS AFGEHAALD Lisa Wife Qol for me is: Growth, love, discovery (curiosity) 44
  42. 42. Food 06 “New, online civilian initiatives are a trend” BUURT TOETJE / THUIS AFGEHAALD: MEALS FROM NEARBY by Lisa Wife (neighborhood desserts) is charming, and operates on a very small scale. It started with one person who moved to Bos en Lommer, Amsterdam, where he did not know many people. The newcomer’s hobby: baking cakes and creating very tasty desserts. More often than not, too much food is made, and, sadly, some of it ends up in the garbage. Enter Everyone in the neighborhood who signs up, can collect a piece of cake or some dessert. In the next phase, each cake collector will be asked to bring an ingredient, as compensation, for desserts that are on the menu within the next few days. is not about big, important matters. It is about desserts. The underlying principle, however, concerns a momentous revolution within our society. It has become easier to get in touch with people from your neighborhood via the Internet – since everyone is now online – than it is too meet them ‘offline’, in the street. Not every neighbor in the street is interested in cake. But the ones who sign up for are. A charming and very small-scale civil initiative - “what’s in a dessert? - can grow into something big on the Internet. There, it can spread out to everyone who may like it. is very small. But (home-made meals from your neighborhood) is significantly bigger. Via this website, you’re invited to share your home-cooked meals with people from your neighborhood. Whether you create gastronomic masterpieces or macaroni and cheese … you can use the website to share your food with your neighbors. Don’t feel like cooking? See what’s on offer in the immediate area, and you will soon have something delicious on your plate. For a price that no restaurant can compete with. And you will also meet people from your neighborhood. 45
  43. 43. Quality of Life Relevance We do not claim that cake and desserts improve the quality of people’s lives. That is for each to decide. and are part of something bigger and better. Online empowered, civilian initiatives like these bring new life to the neighborhood. Therein lies the Cool power of these websites. New, online civilian initiatives are a trend. And this trend is not limited to desserts and meals. Cars, ladders, drilling machines, even spare rooms and repair services are offered and requested, shared and traded via this ‘Social Web.’ There are economic advantages to this trend, because products and services can be acquired for less than you would pay in stores. And only when you really need them. There are social advantages: the local exchange trading system helps you get to know your neighborhood better. That is one of the things our hyperindividualistic society yearns for. It contributes to the quality of our existence. Trend Relevance This trend is sometimes referred to as The Rise of the Sharing Economy. Local initiatives receive new opportunities to grow, facilitated by the Online Universe where we all meet. People can make contact in new ways. Efficient and fun, and beneficial to social cohesion. A year from now, may not exist anymore. But the Sharing Economy trend will persist. What will also persist: people taking matters into their own hands, in ways that did not exist before. These options have now been made possible by the online universe. Trends The Power of the Social Web, The Rise of the Sharing Economy, Self-organizing Self-sufficiency 46
  44. 44. Food Decades ago, Jane Jacobs wrote a famous book: The Death and Life of Great American Cities. The book became a classic. Her vision on neighborhoods and neighborhood life persist in more recent literature on cities and neighborhoods. Primarily concerning the development of cohesion and trust. “Trust is formed overtime from many, many little public sidewalk contacts. It grows out of people stopping by at the bar for a beer, getting advice from a grocer and giving advice to the newsstand man, comparing opinions with other customers at the bakery and nodding hello to the two boys drinking pop on the stoop, eying the girls while waiting to be called for dinner, admonishing the children, hearing about a job from the hardware man and borrowing a dollar from the druggist, admiring the new babies and sympathizing over the way a coat faded… Most of it is ostensibly utterly trivial, but the sum is not trivial at all”. This sum makes us feel connected to each other. That is Quality of Life. The quote is reminiscent of neighborhood life in the nineteen fifties. That particular neighborhood life is mostly lost, but we would like to get some of that feeling of interconnectedness back. ‘Trivial’ websites such as contribute to its return. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Jane Jacobs (1992) Vintage, ISBN 067974195X 47
  45. 45. FRESH CONNECT Désiree Laureijssen Qol for me is: Health, progress, balance 48
  46. 46. Food 07 FRESH CONNECT: CONNECTED FOOD IN THE FUTURE by Désiree Laureijssen Fresh Connect is how the Whirlpool company envisions the future of food delivery and food conservation. Fresh Connect transforms the fridge as we know it into an advanced and differentiated cooling system. A cooling system that is connected: ‘online’. The system ensures that there will never again be too much or too little inside the refrigerator of the 21st century. Fresh Connect: beyond trash. The backbone of the Fresh Connect phenomenon is its central cooling system. It regulates the humidity level and temperature of all the accessories connected to the system. The central cooling system is to be shared among various apartments. This helps to save energy. Various storage accessories are connected to the central cooling system. Not only do they look good, their design is also cleverly attuned to the food items they will hold. Take the Fruit Baskets, for example. They have two levels. The upper level is meant for fruits that benefit from light. The basket’s handle has a light on the inside, that stimulates the ripening process and also helps to maintain freshness. There are two kinds of light involved. There is a visible light, meant for enhancing the nutritional value of the fruits. And there is also an ultraviolet light, meant for killing harmful bacteria. The lower level of the fruit basket is designed for onions, potatoes and other vegetables that require dark conditions for preservation. And then there is the Herbarium. It is designed to create an atmosphere in which spices and herbs can be grown year-round. The Herbarium is equipped with an integrated light to give the herbs and spices the right amount of light at all times, even on cloudy days. The system will remind users to water the herbs on time. This invention also boasts a bread bin, a wine cooler – where all wines are stored at the exact right temperature -, and coolers for products such as meat and fish. More than that, Fresh Connect taps into a unique ordering and delivery system. Food is delivered directly to consumers by a network of suppliers specialized in fresh food. The middleman disappears completely. Being connected to a network of services, consumers can order food from anywhere, using their computers, smartphones or tablets. An online system keeps track of the food supply at home. This will empower consumers to compile a superior shopping list. The online system will also create a community network. This enables group ordering, which will be stimulated by means of discounts for bulk orders and by means of community points that can be redeemed for other benefits. 49
  47. 47. Quality of Life Relevance This is food product management fit for the 21st century. Facilitated online and therefore more efficient and user-friendly. And environmentally friendly as well, because less food will be thrown away. With these arguments and advantages, Fresh Connects contributes to our Quality of Life. But there are also some concerns with regard to Fresh Connect. If all products are delivered to people’s doorsteps, and must initially be stored inside a communal cooling room in the hallway: can it still be considered energy efficient? Is it not more environmentally friendly to cycle to your neighborhood store? And can the neighborhood store, which is essential to the liveliness and security of our immediate environment, even continue to exist if only a fixed group of food producers ‘receive permission’ to supply? Despite these potential disadvantages, on which Fresh Connect does not care to comment, this example does hint at the radical changes our kitchens and refrigerators are facing. Trend Context Fresh Connect features three interconnected trends, vibrant, brimming with potential for the future. The first trend is known as The Internet of Things (1): if our wine coolers, bread baskets, and food suppliers are all equipped with microchips and sensors, and start to communicate with each other, a new world will come into being. The Internet of Things will result in an optimally programmable world that used to be unthinkable. (2) All the information that is being communicated will be stored within The Cloud, a core phrase we encountered earlier. The information gathered there will be available to anyone who wishes to supply us with goods and services. Or rather: to those who bought ‘access’ to the personal information we stored in The Cloud. And that leads us to a third discernible trend: in the future, many things are going to take place online; better facilitated and attuned to our personal preferences – you could say: Cool Personalization, Next Phase (3). This may also have its disadvantages: will our new reality become overcommercialized? Trends The Internet of Things, The Rise of the Cloud, Cool Personalization, Facilitate My Life, Growing Mistrust and Deep Sustainability 50
  48. 48. Food Two books approach the ‘Fresh Connect’ future of our kitchens and cooling systems from conflicting angles, even though neither of the authors mentions this particular example. Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, authors of The New Digital Age, jubilantly outline the Internet of Things trend. In Who Owns The Future, Jaron Lanier emphasizes the potentially disadvantageous consequences of the ‘Fresh Connect’ Brave New Kitchens of the Future. What happens to our neighborhoods if the shops disappear? Who is going to control our lives, holding the keys to The Cloud in their hands? “This is food product management fit for the 21st century” The New Digital Age. Eric Schmidt Jared Cohen (2013) Knopf Publishing Group, ISBN 1848546211 Who Owns the Future. Jaron Lanier (2013) Simon Schuster, ISBN 1451654960 51
  49. 49. fotografie: © Philips DIAGNOSTIC KITCHEN Jennifer van Woerkom Qol for me is: Enjoyment, life, love 52
  50. 50. Food 08 “The ultimate goal is to reach equilibrium” DIAGNOSTIC KITCHEN: THE ONLINE PERSONAL KITCHEN by Jennifer van Woerkom A paradigm shift in the science of food is underway. Fifteen years ago, proper nutrition meant augmenting the types of food we ate. Buzzwords such as low-carb, low-cal, non-fat, low-glycemic, organic, and natural made their way into our food vocabulary. Yet we are becoming fatter and unhealthier. Philips Design envisions a range of products that not only identify the true contents of our food, but also determine how it affects our individual bodies. The Diagnostic Kitchen enables people to take a much more accurate and personally relevant look at what they eat. The system is comprised of a tabletop, a scanning wand, and a swallowable sensor. The wand is an interactive device that provides you with real-time data on what’s happening inside your body, such as its salt to water ratio, hydration, fats, proteins, etc. If you dock the wand, and place a food item you might eat on the tabletop, the wand will calculate how this item is going to affect your body. The ultimate goal is to reach equilibrium. As you continue to use the system, you’ll gain an understanding of how food really affects you. While you search for balance, the wand keeps a visual record of your progress and displays it across its surface. This is a provocative and unconventional approach towards food, but one that may have a profound effect on how we eat. 53
  51. 51. Quality of Life Relevance Obesity is connected to eating behavior and health. It represents one of the growth problems of our 21st century world. Certainly in the richer parts of the world. In poor countries, but also in a country like China, which is developing into a rich country, huge scandals occur with regard to poisoned baby formula, cooking oil, eggs. From very different perspectives, people are worried about what they eat. Philips Diagnostic Kitchen’s technology and approach towards food thus have a lot of potential for the future. It does more than assessing the quality of the food products we use. The meaning and the impact of these food products are also calculated for each person within the Diagnostic Kitchen. This results in food and health advice that is more personalized than what can be offered now. More so, because the advice integrates all of the physical information from the past, present, and future (based on you DNA, for example) than can be extracted from the individual in question. These data are collected by the Diagnostic Kitchen itself – but also via data systems connected to the Diagnostic Kitchen – your doctor’s, for example. Or via the Scanadu, the first example mentioned in this book. Trend Context The most important trend associated with the Diagnostic Kitchen is The Quantified Self. It will become customary to measure everything related to our personal performance. The Diagnostic Kitchen will accurately and systematically measure our behavior with regard to food. The Quantified Self movement also implies danger - Neurotic Self Measurement may be one of the mental disorders of the future. Such excesses put aside, The Quantified Self movement, the Diagnostic Kitchen being one example, will allow us to monitor ourselves better. Monitoring our behavior will offer us a deeper understanding of ourselves, which we can use to change the course of our lives for the better. Furthermore, we will not be monitoring various aspects of our behavior on our own. We are going to upload our information into The Cloud, and share it with others. 54
  52. 52. Food Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, and Jared Cohen, director of Google Ideas, wrote an optimistic book about a future in which we are served by Quantified Selfs and The Cloud (or, for more critical minds: where we serve them): The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business. Schmidt and Cohen are very positive, but how can they not be, they belong to Google’s top. “The devices, screens and various machines in your future apartment will serve a purpose beyond utility – they will offer entertainment, wanted distraction, intellectual and cultural enrichment, relaxation and opportunities to share things with others. The key advance ahead is personalization. You’ll be able to customize your devices to fit your needs, so that your environment reflects your preferences.” This could stimulate us further to make positive changes to our behavior., as described in a earlier chapter, works according to the same principle. Further on in this book, in the chapters about Human Movement, you will encounter Nike+ Fuel, which bears similarities to the Diagnostic Kitchen. All three examples share a common trend: The Quantified Self. When the Quantified Self rises up into The Cloud, the consequences are going to be revolutionary. Trends The Quantified Self, The Rise of the Cloud, Facilitate My Life, Cool Personalization, Deep Sustainability The New Digital Age. Eric Schmidt Jared Cohen (2013) Knopf Publishing Group, ISBN 1848546211 55
  53. 53. Appearance 57
  54. 54. fotografie en styling: Rossi Blake - fotografie: Milan Boonstra GRANNY’S FINEST Anne Gielens Qol for me is: Love, embracing life 58
  55. 55. Appearance 09 GRANNY’S FINEST: DESIGNED BY THE NEW, PRODUCED BY THE BEST by Anne Gielens “Traditional handicraft returns in innovative, sustainable ways” There are many older people (65+) in the Netherlands. Some of them surely feel lonely. Granny’s Finest, an online store, seeks to change that in a productive way that benefits everyone. Many senior ladies have been knitting and crocheting as a hobby for decades. In doing so, they have gained great expertise in this area. Granny’s Finest gets the elder experts in touch with young Dutch designers. Together, they create clothing and accessories. They are then sold via The young teach the old. The old teach the young. Granny’s Finest is growing. Fashion designers are no longer the only ones associated with the initiative. Photographers, make-up artists, stylists and models have joined. They all find the intergenerational learning experience unexpected and fascinating. Many creative young people have trouble finding work at the moment, 59
  56. 56. because the economy is doing poorly. Granny’s Finest provides a stepping stone, for creativity, professional growth, organization skills and entrepreneurship. The grannies feel appreciated for their knowledge and experience. Some of them are freed from social isolation. The good thing is that this is not about charity, charity often has a paternalistic flavor. Granny’s Finest is all about activities and initiatives that benefit everyone involved. The money generated by these superb, high-quality products will be used to start up or support new social projects. Quality of Life Relevance Granny’s Finest touches upon various dimensions of Quality of Life. The products are not only top quality, most of them are also sustainable. Traditional handicraft returns in innovative, sustainable ways. Granny’s Finest is also a strong and sympathetic example of socially responsible entrepreneurship. Creative young people are offered a challenge. In times of recession, opportunities are provided for people about to start their careers. Older people are drawn back into society in a meaningful, practical way. And lastly, not all of the profit ends up in the owner’s pockets, but is also used to support Granny’s Finest and other good initiatives. 60
  57. 57. Appearance Trend Context We lives in times in which the government increasingly withdraws from society. Times in which abundance is no longer self-evident. The social fabric of our society is losing flexibility and resilience. While the not so enterprising become more susceptible to doom and resentment, creative minds and intrepid optimists converge at phenomena such as Granny’s Finest. This growing trend is called Self-organizing Self-sufficiency. Times may be hard in our western economies, but there is definitely room for optimism. “When the going gets tough, the tough get … creative”. Granny’s Finest radiates a passion that makes people enthusiastic. And that is what we need; not just the participants of Granny’s Finest, but society as a whole. Trends Self-organizing Self-sufficiency, Deep Sustainablity Paul Alofs wrote a book that perfectly suits Granny’s Finest: Passion Capital, the World’s Most Valuable Asset. The following three quotes say it all: “Without passion you don’t have energy. Without energy you have nothing.” “It isn’t just passion. It’s the values behind that passion.” “Passion Capital = Energy + Intensity + Sustainability.” Passion Capital, the World’s Most Valuable Asset. Paul Alofs (2013) Signal, ISBN 771007485 61
  58. 58. fotografie: © Schorem + Jelle Mollema Fotografie Joris Boelens Qol for me is: Knowledge is power 62 SCHORUM HAARSNIJDER BARBIER
  59. 59. Appearance 10 SCHORUM HAARSNIJDER BARBIER: MEN’S CLUBS, NEW AND RETRO COMBINED by Joris Boelens Book stores, fashion stores, music stores, technology stores: they are all doing badly. But there is one line of business that is going strong. Hair salons, mainly men’s salons, have boldly succeeded in warding off the crisis. In England, the number of barbershops has even risen this year. This is probably due to the relative ease with which a barbershop can be established. And also, because you can’t get a haircut online. But there is more to the segment of men’s salons. A proud barbershop has been opened up smack in the center of São Paulo – on the Avenida 9 de Julho. Only for men, and consistently inspired upon the atmosphere and barber techniques of the 1940s and 1950s. It is a place where men of all ages can experience a bygone era of sartorial gentlemen. No frills, unlike the standard salons. You can have your beard shaved with a razor and hot towels, or indulge in any of the other ancient techniques. This place exudes all-male coziness. In the UK, the online comedy series Smokey’s Barbers has become a (cult) hit. The comedy revolves around cocky young barber Jazzie, and his friends. They talk girls, and work under the watchful eye of their volatile boss, Uncle Adot. Smokey’s Barbers does not only feature in the comedy series. It is also a real (offline) place, where raucous male laughter dominates a female-free atmosphere. In Rotterdam, Schorum Haarsnijder Barbier has opened up. Only for men. Appointments cannot be made. That is a woman’s thing. Just step inside, have a good time with the other men, and wait your turn. The word hairdresser is off-limits at Schorum: too unmanly. Barber, that sounds better. It does more justice to “A men’s ‘me moment’ is somewhat different” 63
  60. 60. the male condition. In a time in which men also do the dishes, change diapers, go shopping with their girlfriends or go drinking with them, Schorum offers a social alternative, just like Smokey’s Barbers and the barbershop on the 9 de Julho. Men among men. Enjoying a beer. Quality of Life Relevance Women have taken up the habit of savoring a ‘me moment’ from time to time, a little pampering moment just for themselves. No stress, no commitments. Television commercials entice women to spend these moments enjoying some chocolate, or a Magnum, or to go shopping. A men’s ‘me moment’ is somewhat different. A visit to the barbershop, for example. Having a beer there. To enjoy the company of other men. Obviously, men go to a hair salon to come back out looking better. But the feeling of visiting a ‘social club for men’ certainly contributes to the quality of a modern man’s life. Trend Context At first glance, the emergence of butch, men’s barbershops, that double as social clubs for men, corresponds to the social and cultural development of men taking better care of their appearance. The emergence of the type of man who knows how to pamper himself, and who, just like the ladies, also likes fashion, shopping, and personal care, is known as: The Rise of the Metrosexual. This has been going on for more than a decade. A new generation of hair stylists, or better yet: barbers, goes against this 64
  61. 61. Appearance current. In our metrosexual era, men are no longer by definition the leading gender, and they all perform tasks that used to be considered women’s tasks. This is why moments and places where men can be among men, and have some hard-boiled fun together, are making a strong comeback. These moments are no longer selfevident in our politically correct world. On the contrary: they are becoming a rare commodity. (At Smokey’s Barbers, for example, smoking is allowed – something that has become extremely rare.) The barbershops in this chapter bring virile new life to men’s ‘me moments.’ That is Cool, and there is a market for it. Trends Experience Economy There are many books in existence that tackle this broad subject. In The End of Men and The Rise of Women, Hanna Rosin reports on the American man, especially the poorly educated, who is gradually losing status, power, and money. The barbershops in this chapter could provide a safe haven for this type of man – for now. In Branded Male: Marketing to Men, Mark Tungate takes this phenomenon to the next level. He explains how these increasingly insecure men can be ‘marketed.’ “The shaving ritual is the ultimate all male ritual. Therefore: link male skincare products to the shaving ritual. Further: choose authentic male role models. Add a pinch of retro luxury to it all: think traditional barbershops…”. The End of Men and The Rise of Women. Hanna Rosin (2012) Riverhead Hardcover, ISBN 1594488045 Branded Male, Marketing to Men. Mark Tungate (2008) Kogan Page, ISBN 749450118 65
  62. 62. ELECTRONIC TATTOO Sanne Konings Qol for me is: Happiness, personal growth, loving 66
  63. 63. Appearance 11 ELECTRONIC TATTOO: STICK IT ON by Sanne Konings “The Electronic Tattoo may be little in size, but it represents big trends and changes” Taking advantage of recent advances in flexible electronics, researchers have devised a way to ‘print’ devices directly onto the skin, so people can wear them for an extended period of time, while performing normal, daily activities. It is called epidermal electronics and it looks pretty Cool. The devices consist of ultrathin electrodes, electronics, sensors and wireless power and communication systems. In theory, they could be attached to the skin to record and transmit electrophysiological measurements for medical purposes. Secondary purposes are imaginable as well. Earlier generations of on-skin electronic devices were easily washed off. The latest generation, however, researched extensively in the lab of John Rogers, University of Illinois, is far more resilient and therefore useful for longer periods of time, and in a wider range of environments than just the daily office. Some quotes from the Net commenting on the stick-on electronic tattoo: “As a runner, I can use it to monitor my heartbeat”. “Sometimes, I pass areas with sulfuric acid. I’d like to monitor what I am breathing there”. “I’d love to use it on my kids. I am so 67
  64. 64. worried that something happens to them, God forbid”. “Great for divers. They can measure their exact depth, their blood gas saturation, increased sonic accuracy.” But criticism and worries abound as well, not always expressed in the politest of manners: “This in 1984! Microsoft and its palls will always track where I am.” “It’s the end of privacy, and only the extremely stupid ones don’t see or think that they don’t have to care.” “What kind of sick bastard would think that this could lead to anything but evil?” Quality of Life Relevance Without a doubt, this is an important technological invention with impressive Future Growth Potential. We may call it: the Rise of Stretchable Electronics. A lot of good can come from them. For instance, it will increase our capabilities of monitoring the health of our bodily functions, but also of our environment. Furthermore, all these measured data can be uploaded into The Cloud, where they will be analyzed, and then returned to us in the form of health advice that is more personalized than ever before. We call this broader trend the Rise of Intelligent Systems in Healthcare. In addition, the use of Electronic Tattoos will find many consumer niches such as runners and divers, and the worried mums mentioned above. In the next phase, the Electronic Tattoo can grow into a fashion accessory as well. It all adds to the quality of our lives. However, concerns arise as well. Can we ‘protect’ all the personal information that we stream up into the Cloud from unwanted use? Who will cash in on these new developments? What if our insurance company learns that our health is in decline, and demands a higher monthly fee? When do we give up too much of our personal privacy, and become vulnerable to information abuse somewhere in the future? In that case, it might even diminish our future Quality of Life. Trend Context The Electronic Tattoo may be little in size, but it represents big trends and changes. Firstly, this is another example of how very personal and physical information will enter the Online Universe to be analyzed in The Cloud. This will give us the opportunity to 68
  65. 65. Appearance live our lives more effectively and more efficiently, in better health, and even with more wisdom. Having said that, ‘we’ are not the only ones gaining revolutionary new possibi-lities – to which the Electronic Tattoo shows the way. Also, companies that are in a position to use and commercialize all the information we have generated and uploaded, will gain revolutionary new possibilities to generate enormous new profit. It will converge into a mentality trend that is steadily growing: the Culture of Mistrust we are already experiencing - especially in the Western countries, that have been hit hard by the banking crisis. Distrust will also seep into the Online Universe. Who can we trust with the information we have uploaded? How many of us will still be naive enough to believe that Google never does evil – since they have occupied ‘our’ online information universe? Stick-on Electronic Tattoos can become a fashion gadget. But they are so much more. Trends The Internet of Things, The Quantified Self, The Rise of the Cloud, Facilitate My Life, Growing Mistrust In Who Owns The Future?, Jaron Lavier is very critical about the impending, digitally enforced Brave New World, dominated by Big Brothers like Google, Facebook, Twitter. “The effect of digital technologies is to concentrate wealth not in the hands of the people, us, but in the hands of the companies behind these digital technologies… Progress should mean rewarding more people, not fewer. At present, corporations with the biggest computers, using data gathered for free from everyone else, are able to earn immensely. They are also able to calculate avoiding risk and earning money for themselves and their clients, thus making society riskier and poorer for everyone else.” Who Owns the Future. Jaron Lanier (2013) Simon Schuster, ISBN 1451654960 69
  66. 66. ME-ALITY Inge Muijshondt Qol for me is: Enjoyment, comfort, beauty 70
  67. 67. Appearance 12 ME-ALITY: A BETTER FIT by Inge Muijshondt All women know it (men don’t): shopping for designer denim is a frustrating affair. Sizes, for instance, are far from consistent across brands. This predicament is especially acute when it comes to jeans for women. Enter Me-Ality: a “digital sizing station”. It was recently installed in five Bloomingdale’s department stores in the United States of America. The stations take 10 to 15 second body scans of shoppers, matching their measurements against those of in-store and online merchandise, to recommend brands, styles and sizes likely to fit and flatter them most. After completing a scan, customers are provided with a printout and an online profile they can consult to find the recommended sizes and styles for present and future purchases. Only brands that have provided sizing information to Me-Ality will be included in the list of recommendations. Me-Ality isn’t the only company trying to tackle the fitting problem. Startups like TrueFit, which works with Macy’s and Oscar de la Renta, and Clothes Horse, which works with Bonobos and Nicole Miller, have also developed algorithmic tools that help shoppers choose sizes based on how clothing from multiple other brands fits them. 71
  68. 68. The Me-Ality at Bloomingdale’s is the first of this type of scanner to appear in a department store environment. Until now, the spread of the scanners had been impeded by brand integration, and the cost of the scanners themselves. As the cost of scanners has decreased in recent years, pilot programs like the one at Bloomingdale’s will probably start to boom soon. Quality of Life Relevance Fighting to overcome frustrating moments is an obvious and pervasive ingredient in our striving towards better Quality of Life. Even when the subject of our frustration is as mundane as not efficiently finding the right sizes for the designer jeans we like. Here, Me-Ality steps in, with its digitally empowered measuring service, amongst other digital body scanning solutions, as we saw. Me-Ality is still in its pilot phase. However, we can expect to see more technological initiatives that could make our shopping experiences smoother and more pleasant. Trend Context Many of us lead hectic lives. The desire to live life as serenely and pleasantly as possible is strong. That certainly applies to retail. The retail business is well aware of the fact that present day customers are not likely to return to their stores, if they do not receive optimal, pleasant, and swift service. And that they may turn to online shopping. Me-Ality is an attempt to counter this trend. The scanner can be categorized within a broad trend we may call Facilitate My Life. As is the case with many other examples in this book, Me-Ality uses the online world to make offline processes easier, in this case, inside a department store. If a customer uses 72
  69. 69. Appearance “Here, Me-Ality steps in, with its digitally empowered measuring service” the Me-Ality repeatedly, the machine gathers more knowledge, which can be used to give more accurate advice. Thanks to the algorithmic analyses based on all of the information that has been gathered. As indicated on the Me-Ality website: “Algorithmic tools have been developed to help shoppers in optimal manners to choose what clothing and brands combinations fit them best.” Trends Facilitate My Life, Cool Personalization, The Rise of the Cloud A good book about what the forthcoming Reign of the Algorithms over our lives will mean is Christopher Steiner’s Automate This: How Algorithms Came To Rule Our World. “They are faster than us. They are cheaper than us. And when things work as they should, they make fewer mistakes than we do.” Automate This. Christopher Steiner (2012) Portfolio Hardcover, ISBN 1591844924 73
  70. 70. Leisure 75
  71. 71. FRIDAY AFTERNOON COUSCOUS Ilse Schoonenberg Qol for me is: Self realization, love, enjoyment 76
  72. 72. Leisure 13 FRIDAY AFTERNOON COUSCOUS: EATING TOGETHER TO LIVE TOGETHER by Ilse Schoonenberg For Christians, Sunday is a special day. For Jews, it’s Saturday. Muslims have Friday. Friday afternoons are their special time for togetherness, solidarity, and contemplation. Oftentimes, a couscous meal is consumed together. In the Netherlands, a Moroccan foundation called MarocBridge has been revitalizing this traditional custom in innovative ways. Everyone who wants to join these Friday afternoon couscous meetings is welcome, regardless of religion, origin, and skin color. As long as people are willing to participate in conversations that inspire and unite. Couscous Friday afternoons are characterized by an intrepid atmosphere. How can we work together? How can we help each other? How can we start businesses? The emphasis lies on young people, but certainly not exclusively. Because eating is something you do together, often with people of various generations. Everyone is seated at long tables. There is always a special guest, who ushers in the 77
  73. 73. evening’s main theme by means of a lecture. At the end of the evening, the Friday afternoon chairman visits all of the tables to recapitulate what has been discussed, and to see where the conversations at each table have led. Radio FunX then reports on everything. Friday Afternoon Couscous is a recent initiative. The first session took place in May of 2013. The phenomenon is now spreading over to various Dutch cities. Not all Moroccan youths are harmoniously integrated into Dutch society. They regularly receive bad press. Couscous Friday Afternoons counters this with community gatherings. There is too much discord already. Let’s concentrate on what binds us. And use something that has always united us: eating – couscous – together. Quality of Life Relevance Our cities grow, and become increasingly anonymous. All over the world, the income gap widens, and as a result, so does the social gap. This problem lies at the core of diminishing solidarity, as perceived by many. It strains the social fabric of our society. 78
  74. 74. Leisure “They seek to parry the social erosion eating away at our solidarity” Friday Afternoon Couscous meetings strive to counter this development. They try to bridge the differences. They seek to parry the social erosion eating away at our solidarity. This will contribute to our gross national happiness, and thus to our mutual Quality of Life. Trend Context Obviously, eating together is not going to instantly solve all of society’s problems. But it does something, and it means something. Phrases such as ‘community-building initiatives’ regularly pop up in public debates and matching literature regarding the social erosion within our overindividualized society. Evidently, there is a need for them. That comes as no surprise. Cutbacks abound in Western countries. We are also starting to realize that hyperindividualization may not necessarily be beneficial to our Quality of Life. In emerging economies – from China to Brazil – the gap between rich and poor grows, and the ascending middle classes find it increasingly difficult to accept traditional wrongs. Here, too, ‘community building initiatives’ are being organized. As a form of protest, but primarily to build something good together, on a small scale. The Friday Afternoon Couscous Meetings belong to this movement. They want to make society more resilient. Trends Self-organizing Self-sufficiency, Cool Willpower Resilience Handmade Urbanism (ed. Marcos L. Rosa and Ute E. Weiland), describes and analyzes community-based initiatives in Mumbai, São Paulo, Istanbul, Mexico City, and Cape Town. The lesson learned is the same every time: society needs them and benefits from them. “Increasingly, people across the globe are engaging in improving the urban/social environments they live in. They act in response to urgent issues and needs… Community-based initiatives indicate the ability of citizens to present solutions to challenges posed by everyday life, and use creativity to transform and multiply existing resources.” This also holds true for the Friday Afternoon Couscous meetings. Handmade Urbanism. Marcos L. Rose Ute E. Weiland (2013) Jovis, ISBN 3868592253 79
  75. 75. Lucca Ristorante THREE ‘SWEET NOTHINGS’ Charlie Neijenhuis - den Teuling Qol for me is: Rest, cleanliness, regularity 80
  76. 76. Leisure 14 THREE ‘SWEET NOTHINGS’: IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT MATTER MOST by Charlie Neijenhuis - den Teuling People like to be surprised when they go to a restaurant. That can be done in a grand way, in upscale restaurants for example, but the bill is usually steep. Its can also be done on a small scale. As long as there is an element of surprise. Lucca Ristorante, at Plaza Pedregal in Mexico City, for example, sets a small yet significant example. Desserts arrive at your table inside cheerful little flower pots. Its doesn’t change anyone’s life, but it does give you a nice “dessert experience.’ “The connection is a desire for experiences that are somewhat special” Mexican jewelry brand Huella Cero fabricates highly original necklaces, that may even be a little provocative. (Huella Cero, by the way, means Zero Footprint.) Their selection of concrete necklaces is an exciting example. They are made out of concrete waste, generated by the remodeling and construction of apartments and houses. In order to produce the least amount of waste possible, 81
  77. 77. Huella Cero recovers these materials and transforms them in original art. Lastly, there is a shop in Monterrey, also in Mexico, that sells transparent toilet cisterns with fish inside. And no, the fish do not disappear when you flush. The design is not only beautiful, it is also surprisingly fish friendly. Highly unusual, clearly, but it does provide a ‘flushing experience’ that is hard to forget. Quality of Life Relevance What do these desserts, necklaces and cistern aquariums have in common? And how do they relate to Quality of Life? The connection is a desire for experiences that are somewhat special, a little more unusual than what daily life has to offer. They are surprising, refreshing. In that capacity, they add to the quality of our lives. Admittedly, desserts, necklaces and cisterns are incapable of transforming our lives. But sometimes, it’s the little things that matter. And that is what this is all about. Trend Context The age of the Experience Economy dawned upon us a few years ago now. The power of this trend was recognized years ago, but it still shows no signs of abating. 82
  78. 78. Leisure Each year, new Examples of Cool pop up, that underline how attracted and inspired we feel by pleasantly special things and surprising, special things. Within this wonderful kaleidoscope of inventions, we only focused on three adorable, little examples here. Sweet nothings, you could say. But the underlying idea – give us something special and unusual, however small – keeps the world economy turning. Trends Experience Economy Ten years ago, Joe Pine and James Gilmore wrote a book that is considered to be one of the most influential business books of the last century. Recently, they published the sequel to The Experience Economy (The Experience Economy, Ten Years Later): “One of the best business books of the 20th Century. Now renewed for the challenges of the 21st one,” according to one critic. “When a person buys a service, he purchases a set of intangible activities carried out on his behalf. But when he buys an experience, he pays to spend time enjoying a series of memorable events – that a company stages… to engage him in an inherently personal way.” Experience Economy. B. Joseph Pine James H. Gilmore (2011) Harvard Business School Publishing, ISBN 1422161978 83
  79. 79. REALiTREE Jalisa d’Hont Qol for me is: Togetherness, student life, travel 84
  80. 80. Leisure 15 REALiTREE: COLLECTIVE GAMING FOR A BETTER ENVIRONMENT by Jalisa d’Hont “Realitree is an idea that needs your help to grow. Realitree will be a game that counters all the politics and disinformation about climate change. Together, we can help to reframe the conversation, and help our communities at the same time. Realitree was one of the top ideas chosen by Al Gore and his organization: The Climate Reality Project. They’re championing the idea. Realitree’s vision is to make fifty Realitrees a reality in fifty cities around the world. Realitree’s aim and ambition? To get people focused on the facts about the world’s climate in a fun and productive way. How? That is the fun part! Realitree will be a game that you can play in person, online, or on your phone. Each Realitree will be fed two types of data. Real climate data from the community the tree is planted in. And another set of data: your game play, in the form of tweets, FaceBook updates and actual, real-world activities, like choosing clean energy for your home, or recycling. Each time you make a green choice, “They include an online dimension, which has become a must in our time” 85
  81. 81. and spread the word, you help the Realitree grow in your community. Realitree will play like a big Tamagotchi, a digital pet that you can play with your friends, your community, and the world. Groups can compete against other groups. Cities against cities, or countries against countries. Donations from you and other sponsors will help the cause. And when people win, they win real money for real environmental projects in their own communities.” This is how Realitree is presented on The next piece of text is also from the site. It expresses how effective communication works in the age of the Social Web: “We need your help and we need donations. Go to the sign up page now, and let us know who you are. Are you a game designer, a lawyer, a civic leader? We need all kinds of people to help us run the Realitree organization. Like us on Facebook, and please consider making a donation. Realitree is coming to your town and we want you to be one of its caretakers.” Realitree combines a playful, leisurely approach with serious work for a better environment. Quality of Life Relevance A worldwide, online facilitated gaming initiative to raise environmental awareness. One that actually helps to improve the environment – in your local neighborhood, for starters. There is no need to explain how this initiative can be linked to Quality of Life. 86
  82. 82. Leisure Trend Context Fun, green gadgets are often appreciated. But our planet needs more profound and ubiquitous initiatives. Superficial Eco does not contribute to the quality of our lives in the long term. Deep Sustainability is more sophisticated, as well as ‘cradle to cradle’. This trend can actually make a difference. And that is what Realitree is betting on. They include an online dimension, which has become a must in our time. And there is a dimension of Gamification: people compete with each other in a ‘playful’ way. The results immediately become available to all other participants, which stimulates people to undertake new activities. Trends Deep Sustainability, The Rise of the Apps Culture, The Rise of the Gamification Culture, Self-organizing Self-sufficiency When it comes to Deep Sustainability, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by Michael Braungart and William McDonough is the most iconic book available. The ecological emphasis in this book never lies on trendy and gadgety things, but always goes deeper. And that is what we need: “When your plastic bottle becomes your parka… and in five years time, the parka goes exactly the same dead-end cradle-to-grave where a few years earlier the bottles would have gone: that is not the kind of recycling we must focus on.” Cradle to Cradle, Reaking the Way We Make Things. Michael Braungart William McDonough (2002) North Point Press, ISBN 865475873 87
  83. 83. COOL PISSING COMPETITION Stijn van Arendonk Qol for me is: Dreams, experiences, realization 88
  84. 84. Leisure 16 Cool pissing compettition: pissing as a clean game by Stijn van Arendonk For decades, the people of the Netherlands celebrated ‘Queen’s Day’ on April 30. On this day, the streets turn orange, the Dutch national color. This year, Queen Beatrix abdicated, and we welcomed a new king: Willem-Alexander. A record number of visitors flocked to our capital city, Amsterdam. Although the visitors, almost a million of them, probably never gave it much thought, the Amsterdam city council did worry about the following logistic concern: all those visitors need to pee from time to time. They needed to prevent people, especially those in a giddy or tipsy state of mind, from peeing against the walls – ‘peeing in the wild,’ as we call it in the Netherlands. If too many people do that... On Queen’s Day – from now on: King’s Day – the Amsterdam city council did more than installing mobile public toilets everywhere. They even did more than launching an app, helping everyone to find the nearest public toilets (urinwaar, or: urinewhere? was its name.) They also tackled the act of peeing itself, by adding a cheerful, competitive dimension. “Challenge your friends to a pissing contest, and win a prize,” as they marketed it. Mobile public urinals in the Netherlands consist of four separate compartments, allowing four men too pee at a time. When they did so, a nearby screen indicated their score: the force with which they performed the activity, as well as the resulting amount of centiliters. Let’s call it an unusual form of masculine hilarity. In any case, the idea proved to be an adequate way to stop ‘peeing in the wild’, and turn 89
  85. 85. “even something like going to the toilet can be transformed into a memorable experience” it into a game instead. The streets remained dry, the walls didn’t stink. The simple act of peeing was thus transformed into a cheerful and memorable experience. Quality of Life Relevance Each contribution to a clean, healthy city is a contribution to the Quality of Life in that city. Each contribution to the well-being of roughly one million partying visitors is a contribution the the Quality of Life in that city. Such a thing manifests itself on a grand scale on a day like King’s Day – the music stages, the cheers for the new royal pair, the fireworks. It also manifests itself in the little things, all the way up to managing the pee of countless, partying visitors in an original yet adequate way. Trend Context Here, too, we come across the wish of many people to turn a normal act into something special; to make it into something a little more than a banal, everyday (non)experience. We already encountered the Experience Economy two chapters ago, in the form of three Mexican ‘Sweets Nothings.’ This chapter proves that even something like going to the toilet can be transformed into a memorable experience. The Cool Pissing Competition also refers to another trend: The Rise of the Gamification Culture. If we want to elicit a certain behavior, we could use threats, force, or punishment. But human beings can also be playfully tempted into desirable behavior. If you add elements of Gamification the dimension of temptation, the results can be miraculous. Even on the toilet. Trends 90 Experience Economy. The Rise of Gamifiction Culture