Not everyone is lucky to work in a cool and inspiring office, and even those who are, can become stuck in an uncreative rut, or disturbed by loud coworkers, boring music, smells of someone’s lunch, outside noise. And those who work at home have all of the distractions — and attractions — of home to lure mind and body away from productive work. No wonder coffee shops around the world look more like offices than many offices. People sitting at their computers, talking on their phones, conducting business with coffee and muffins nearby. Yet anyone who’s done the coffee-shop-as-office thing knows that it is not without problems either. Too many people, loud conversation, screaming kids, familiar faces, bad wifi, no plugs, uncomfortable chairs, line-ups for coffee, managers wanting you to leave.
Luckily, creative people have started to think up solutions to meet the very clear need of cool working spaces for mobile workers. Urban Station in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has taken the best of both office and coffee shop and wrapped it all up in a funky urban space.
Urban Station is appropriately located at Malabia and El Salvador Streets in Buenos Aires’s hip Palermo Soho where fashion, design and art mix with the densest concentration of bars and restaurants in the city. You sit at one of the wide tables, pay by the hour and benefit from the calm atmosphere and comforts of an office with plugs and locks for your computer and super-fast wifi. The coffee shop part comes in the form of unlimited coffee, tea, mineral water, fruit, croissants and cookies, all part of the fee.
In addition, the large and airy Urban Station offers art and business magazines and books to read, comfortable armchairs for lounging and casual meetings, fully equipped meeting rooms, printers, fax and scanners, plus lockers for your gear. If you get bored, or need to dash out for a moment, they even offer a few bikes at the door for you to borrow. It feels like office, coffee shop AND home. More of this, please! - Bill Tikos
Address: El Salvador 4588 Palermo Soho.
A year in the making, the new TCH marketing agency ACCESS AGENCY has been busy talking to global brands in every major city. We are setting up to unveil our latest creation for innovative brands -- the indoor drive-in cinema.
It is a super-charged, branded experience unveiled throughout the year in different cities with a unique mix of brands collaborating in each city.
In some cities, it will be branded Mini to unveil a new model (the Crossover). In others, it will be film studios launching the latest cinematic 3D release, or toy, electronics and beverage brands introducing their coolest, hottest innovations.
Each event will be completely custom-branded with its unique mix of participating brands and each experience will be completely unique to the audience.
We’re unveiling it here now for TCH readers so that you can get a preview of what it will look like.
This branded experience, and many others we have created, are our response to what we see as a mind-numbing sameness across the brands that we encounter. We are approached daily by global brands who want exposure on TCH, yet they seldom offer anything that would make you stop.
Today’s branded world is global, demanding and ruthlessly honest about what is -- and especially what is not – new, extraordinary, different, unique, surprising, bold, cool. Ordinary, bland experiences don’t cut it. They turn into YouTube parodies, or worse, are ignored completely. We tell brands to not waste their money on “creating” what has already been created. We’ve seen most of it somewhere already. As have our readers.
TCH’s reason for being has always been based on our passion for innovation, and for sharing with the world the real, exciting ideas we find as we sift through the masses of ideas we encounter – from design, architecture, travel and any other area. Over the years, we have developed a clear sense of what works and what doesn’t. We have understood that ideas are only as good as the execution, which is why we have gathered a global team of creative talent to not only come up with new branded ideas but to execute them with professionalism and finesse. That’s what ACCESS is all about.
We created it to meet the need that we encounter every day – the need to stand out in the sea of sameness. We know it is not easy. We know it is not common. And we know it is possible.
Brands wanting ACCESS experience- get in touch
Here’s a glimpse at what we are working on.
People have always wanted to climb higher and see farther. We’ve built towers and turrets, spires and steeples, lookouts and skyscrapers to see and to be seen. The achievement of height makes us proud and somehow secure. We can see all enemies from here. Our church is visible from everywhere. Our building is the tallest in the world.
There’s power and prestige in being high up but there’s also exhilaration. People want to go up, maybe even to be a bit scared, and they want to see far and wide.
A week doesn’t go by without us seeing at least one new observation deck, luxury tower, ski lift or lookout structure that meets those needs. The Stockholm Globe Arena, known as the Ericsson Globe, apparently the world’s largest round building, is not a new project, but we’ve grown fond of its brand-new addition: the cute little glass orbs that climb up the rounded skin of the structure. The pair of classic-looking orbs, called unimaginatively SkyView, carry 16 passengers each as they scale the Globe on rails operating based on ski-lift technology. The trip up takes three minutes and a round-trip visit takes 20 minutes.
The multi-use complex of the Globe includes a 16,000-seat arena that will host Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston and Rod Stewart among others this spring. Tuija Seipell
And just opened this week in Singapore is Marina Bay Sands.
The headline implies that there is a “body” whose anatomy you can analyze. The whole point of cool is that it does not have a body available for analysis. It’s like a ghost instead of a corpse. That’s why it is cool.
Just like all comments on cool, our analysis is completely individual and ever-changing. Cool is whatever you like and want. Cool is subjective. It is an opinion. But that does not mean that we — as individuals, brands, media — are not interested in or influenced by others’ views of what cool is.
In this sense cool is a bit like fashion. You decide and choose for yourself what you feel is fashionable within your peer group, your culture, your age group, at your financial level. But someone somewhere has given you the initial clue. Marketers and media have brought out the type of sneaker, the kind of jeans, the brand of handbag that you now like and want. In addition, someone you admire is most likely also wearing it. You follow fashion.
But cool is also definitely NOT like fashion. Cool is more about what the norm is NOT. Cool is elusive, indefinable, covetable. It is original, desirable, and not accessible to everybody. If everyone has it, if the brand becomes saturated, it stops being cool.
Occasionally, a brand manages to remain cool and covetable, and becomes a classic. Of the world-wide brands, examples of this include Apple, Absolut and Mini. Many niche brands have also achieved classic status in their relatively small circle. The defining characteristic of these cool classics is that they keep innovating constantly.
Visual & instant
Cool is visual and instant. When you see it, you like it instantly. If it takes a lot of work to figure out, it is not cool. This does not mean that only simple or simplified things or ideas can be cool. What it does mean is that you need to be able to see it.
This is one reason why cool and coolhunting and trend forecasting became so important to marketers as soon as the internet gave everyone instant access to images. Magazines, TV or advertisers could no longer control what cool looked like. Marketers who were used to being the ones who decided what the next trend or the next fashion was going to be, suddenly had to face this uncontrollable deluge of messages, opinions and information that consumers were passing on to each other. Viral marketing, as opposed to just word-of-mouth, emerged, and it scared traditional marketers.
Today’s consumers are sick of mass marketing and the sameness of brands. They want to be delighted, surprised and wowed by something that is authentic, different and off the mainstream. One of the reasons www.thecoolhunter.net has become so popular and influential is that we do not sell, market or create cool. We just give it an audience.
We process an enormous amount of information and identify what’s hot, exceptional, interesting, covetable. It must have an instantly obvious x-factor. Detecting it is always intuitive. There’s no formula, no rules, no parameters. We do find patterns, parallels and trends, but we do not become stuck in them and start looking for similar things. The intuitive reaction, the ability to observe the world, and the skill to process massive quantities of unrelated information is what we are good at.
All major media outlets follow us at thecoolhunter.net and fill their pages with ideas we feature. When we post a piece about an idea or a brand or a product, it gets an immediate global reaction from traditional media. Brands come to us for ideas and consultation. Individuals enjoy the fact that we prowl the world and bring original ideas to them. And as soon as we gained an audience, marketers, PR people and brands started to send us their material. So it’s an endless cycle.
For me, coolhunting is a fascinating, ever-changing process that no-one can control. You start with a blank space every day and look for something that deserves to fill it. If you don’t find it, you leave it blank. We are not like a newspaper or a daily blog that must find something to fill the space. We only put it out there if it has that elusive, indefinable wow-factor.
Indefinable & in motion
We are not in the business of defining cool, although I am asked to do that every day. Cool cannot have a definition.
But we do run into brands who seem to live under the illusion that if someone just defined for them what cool is, then they would be able to become cool, too. Then they’d know how to create it, market it, promote it, make money from it.
To a limited, impermanent extent, this is, of course, possible. We are regularly asked to come up with cool ideas, cool events, cool promotions — and we do that — but at the core there must already be a cool product, idea, cause, concept. You cannot make something cool by promo. And, if by the sheer brilliance of a cool promotion, you do succeed in creating a publicity or even sales boost for a brand, that does not make the brand cool. Coolness needs to be earned again and again.
To me, the essence of cool is motion. To become and remain cool, a brand must keep innovating constantly. It must remain in constant motion. This same is true for those of us who hunt for it.
While I don’t worry about defining cool for anyone else, I am always fascinated by how the people who follow us define it for themselves. We’ve posed that question recently on our Facebook & Twitter, and received hundreds of responses. They are such a perfect example of the fact that NOBODY can define it and EVERYBODY can. Here’s a sampling of the responses we’ve received. It shows that the definition of cool is always individual. - Bill Tikos
something sleek, simple and bold, that feels effortless.
to be the first, the original that starts a trend and is iconic.
forward-thinking, breaks boundaries, confident. Cool is the idea you wish you thought of first.
the audacity to be different for reasons that don’t need to be articulated & unconsciously achieving it.
effortless style, a hint of madness and heaps of attitude
a mindset —being informed, relaxed, and expressing it effortlessly.
the word 'cool' is just confidence in aesthetic form.
wonderful, clever and beautiful. From oh wow, ahhh, I get it! to it would make me look *good*
Cool is a person not being affected by other peoples opinons, or behaviour -staying cool in a critical situation. A cool person stick to what he/she thinks is right no matter what. A person who works hard to appear cool is the oposite. What is "Cool stuff", like on the Cool Hunter page, is defined by if it stands out, doing it's own thing.
the art of not needing to try to be it, of possessing enough confidence in your own ideas and style to turn heads.
the new ideal; it is moving confidently forward into a better future, assured that things to come will be better.
a person/place/thing pleasurable to observe as it appears to fulfill its nature effortlessly and with signature style
the time you spend to define what cool is, cool is already gone somewhere else. Welcome in the tiring cycle of coolness. :)
We see 'cool' in things/ideas/people that have an innate and untouchable authenticity about them. Things that redefine genres. Spawn global fads and inflame our insatiable appetite for originality and roads even more less travelled than the ones before.
Remaining unaffected and composed in a world which is filled with trouble and uncertainty. Living with a constant Miles Davis soundtrack in the background, acting accordingly.
Cool its everything that makes you think “WOW...“
Cool has nothing to do with the external. There is no object, gadget, fashion, or built environment which is cool by and of itself. The term is only manifest when the external thing becomes utilised and inspired by a person. Cool is merely confidence of character which is then made cool by the appreciation of an audience.
Anything within reason can be made cool by somebody with the power and subtlety to make it individual and authentic - except a Toyota Prius maybe.
Cool is not about trends or fashion, it's about being timeless and effortless.
Something that makes you feel like telling someone else about it.
Cool is only a momentary flash of brilliance ...Before it transforms to conventional.
When pessimistic people say something is cool, I pay attention and usually agree. It takes a lot to impress pessimism
If we were consultants to the two Canadian entertainment titans, Avatar director James Cameron (born Aug 16 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario) and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté (born Sep 2, 1959 in Quebec City, Quebec), we’d suggest they create a resident Cirque show in Las Vegas based on Avatar.
Those who have seen Cirque’s resident Vegas show O at Bellagio and Franco Dragone's Le Reve at Wynn know that this combination would work. These two shows are creative mind-blowers, original and fantastic, memorable experiences unlike any other theatre, circus, concert or play event you’ve ever seen.
On the other hand, Cirque’s other resident Vegas shows - The Beatles Love at MGM Mirage and Viva ELVIS at Aria and even the rumoured-to-be-in-the-works Michael Jackson show - do not have the innovation or inspiration Cirque is capable of. We don’t need another song-and-dance show.
Now that Laliberté has had his own Pandora experience, having just landed back on Earth from his $35 million working holiday to the International Space Station, we think he’d be perfectly poised to take this on. Wouldn’t you just love to step into a live 3D alien world of Pandora? We would. - Bill Tikos
Many old concepts are best left in the past, but not the barbershop. Brendan Murdock believed this statement so strongly that in May 2006, he opened Murdock, an upscale, traditional barbershop on Old Street in the funky design district of Shoreditch in East London. Murdock was right, of course, and two more of his “male grooming nirvanas” have opened since — in September 2007 in Liberty’s department store and in August 2009 among the high-fashion boutiques on Stafford Street in Mayfair. Still in his mid-thirties, Murdock has taken the scenic route to barbershopping — ambling from financial studies to a career as a lawyer, and then opening the CRU restaurant in Shoreditch in 2002. He now focuses solely on all aspects of his shaving emporiums that offer the traditional wet shave, haircuts, manicures and facials. It seems men are in for some serious pampering as Murdock has said he wants his stores in every major city around the globe, and we have noticed old-style barber stores with a modern design touch opening everywhere from Milan to Sydney and NY. - Tuija Seipell.
The Cool Hunter celebrates creativity in all of its modern manifestations. We are global in outlook, culturally discerning and a trusted hub for what's cool, thoughtful, innovative and original. We value global relevance, not trends, channelling our discoveries to our worldwide audience of 900,000 readers per month.
For a long time, we have been approached by networks and production companies from Brazil to L.A. wanting to produce a weekly TCH TV. We have now aligned the key ingredients needed to create the kind of quality and diversity that we want for what we see as a culture show, not another version of poor-quality reality TV.
We are currently looking for the right people as our presenters in New York, London, Sydney/Melbourne, the three hubs where we will start the line up that we envision expanding to all continents. We need confident people who can write and present in their own natural way. Age is irrelevant — you can be 25 or 65 as long as you are interesting and interested in meeting fascinating and innovative people around the world. If you feel you could be a TCH TV presenter, send us an image and info about yourself and explain what you would bring to TCH TV.
We are also hunting for story ideas for high-quality, intriguing, relevant and creative content — from showcasing a 85-year-old aquabics instructor in Melbourne to discussing with the scientists who have discovered a cure for cancer by mimicking the cancer-fighting properties found in cancer-proof mice. We also want to hear from advertisers who are in the process of launching a guerrilla campaign or a cool, new TV ad. We want to hear from fashion designers creating something unique for their show at Fashion Week, and event producers launching an innovative event. We want to know about business start-ups, entrepreneurs, eco designers, architects, artists, gurus. If it is creative, innovative, new and, most important, original, we want to know about it. Deadline 11 Jan, 2010 - send info to [email protected]
To create a perfume can be a very lucrative business move if you are an established fashion house, brand name or celebrity. It can be difficult to find a fragrance that is authentic, contemporary and created for those who appreciate a good quality scent.
So it is with this in mind, that we recently discovered the unique Nasomatto Project, created by Alessandro Gualtieri (who has created scents for Valentino, Versace and Helmut Lang, to name a few).
“This project is dedicated to people who have a strong interest in a distinguished perfume choice”, Alessandro says. He believes the senses are our primary instruments that guide our reactions and this project is about sharing his personal passion for perfumes. Through the Nasomatto project, Alessandro blends unique fragrances that make strong statements; so much so he’s named each blend to suit. Duro for enhancing male strength, Narcotic Venus for the addictive intensity of female sexuality, Absinth to stimulate irresponsible behavior, Silver Musk to evoke superhuman magnetism, Hindu Grass is about universal peace and love, China White reveals a sentimental journey and Black Afgano is temporary bliss. The descriptions are enhanced further with the clean lines yet organic feel of the bottle designs. We predict you’ll become addicted as well! – Kate Vandermeer
Self-described as a former frustrated David Carson wannabe, Melbourne-based Amy Moss has realized that her happiness – and her potential for design rockstardom – are dependent on her NOT being a graphic designer but her obsession about beautiful colours and beautiful things in general. She figured out she’s a stylist rather than a graphic designer, and her blog EatDrinkChic may well be her ticket to filmstardom, too, in the same way that Julie Powell’s obsession with Julia Child’s recipes, and her blog about them, took her in six years from relative obscurity to being a topic for the film Julie & Julia.
EatDrinkChic has a crafty, girly vibe but there are no crocheted polyester-yarn throw cushions or quilted tea cozies here. The blog is about interiors, parties, weddings and food and Amy Moss offers readers DIY ideas which she styles, designs and photographs and offers it all for free to her audience. It won't be long before book publishers come knocking. - Tuija Seipell
Design's love affair with bold colour inches one step further with the application of graphic art into everything from tables to chairs, bookshelves and even yachts. Cappellini gave Adam Goodrum's 'Stitch' chair the colour treatment with blocks or red, blue, white and black applied to the segments of the aluminium folding chair. Designer Enzo Berti recasts the humble bookshelf as a canvas for graphic prints with his Bar Code Street shelves. London based artist Anna James, who transforms pieces of 20th century furniture into contemporary art works, applied a clean graphic to her Genoa table. And of course who can forget Jeff Koon's 'art' yacht, released last year, which is still wowing onlookers on the Mediterranean. - Laura Demasi