International Lifestyle Studies – Trend Research – Concept Development

Vacant lots

In Philadelphia there are over 40.000 vacant lots (Peters, 2015). Tim Baird, a professor of landscape architecture at Pennsylvania State University and his partner Deenah Loeb, the executive director of City Parks Association in Philadelphia came up with the idea of planting trees in these empty lots that can be transported through the city in a later stadium. Initiatives like this describe the need for greenery or even woods that future cities have. There are a lot of empty spaces and accommodations. Planting urban forests is the answer to the question for this need of greenery.


What is it?
Urban regeneration is the movement of reposition for certain spaces and brings more sustainable and green functions into them. By reshaping the city and its neighborhoods, the meaning and function of vacancies and underused streets get redefined. The planted trees will be able to grow in the city’s climate because they are produced there. Also linear parks, urban farms, and bike trails work as the active interface between forested areas and the urban fabric.


Why is it cool?
Productive urban forests are not only conducive for the biodiversity of the urban environment but they also lower the costs of the real estate market for Philadelphia. So they are very positive for the economy. In about 50 years the vacant buildings are actually broken down by the urban forests and because of this movement and its ecological aspects cause in a way that Philadelphia can be reborn.

Chunk 01

Chunk 01

Chunk 01

Chunk 01

Future growth potential
Urban regeneration stretches nature into the heart of the city. By this initiative, in de long run, urbanization isn’t moving from countrysides to cities anymore because of all the greenery that is integrated into these cities. The meaning of urbanization will not be that static anymore. Cities can be reborn and this is what makes the initiative from Tim Baird and Deenah Loeb interesting.




The Dutch Windwheel

20% of all households in the Netherlands are dependant on wind power (nwea, 2015). So the demographic importance to receive this energy is 1 out of 5 households. Probably in future sustainable cities this number only will rise. Innovations are needed in these cities and scientists and designers like to overdo this. Accommodation, education, sustainability, recreation and amusement are all things that get combined in future buildings and concepts. I found an innovative example from architecture studio DoepelStrijkers that designed a sustainable windmill for Rotterdam that could be built in 2020.


What is it?
It looks like a sketch from a project for Dubai but the Dutch Windwheel from Doepel Strijkers, Meysters and BLOC is a new architectonic landmark for the view of the city Rotterdam in the future. The building contains 160 hotel rooms, 72 apartments, a restaurant, a panoramic deck, a rollercoaster and many more. So the Dutch WindWheel provides Rotterdam with accommodation and recreation. Visitors or people who live in the Dutch Windwheel and Rotterdam are offered new facilities thanks to the building. Their daily ‘Human Movement’ will change because of this.



Why is it cool?
It is predicted by the designers that the Dutch Windwheel will attract 1.5 million tourists every year so the building will boost Rotterdam’s economy being a one-of-a-kind tourist attraction. It will be the ‘business card’ of Dutch Clean Technology. The Dutch Windwheel has no wind-propelled sails like any other traditional windmills and it is the first windmill people can actually live in. the building uses EWICON (electrostatic wind energy convertor) technology that was developed by TU Delft researchers Johan Smith and Dhiridj Djairam. Their technology could bring TU Delft more to chart. Speaking about Universities and education, the ”outer section of the Windwheel would be dedicated to educating visitors about the Netherlands’ social, political, and technological relationship with water, both in the past and heading into the future” (Brownlee, 2015).





Future growth potential
The Dutch Windwheel is still in concept stage and already a social phenomenon. People are very impressed by South African architect Duzan Doepel. With the fast growing commercial economy we live in, projects like the Dutch Windwheel fulfill the needs of future cities of having a real ‘eye-catcher’. Considered the environmental approach and that the building will provide more energy than it will use, the Dutch Windwheel could become an iconic bridge between accommodation and integrating sustainable resources in our daily lives. Also in the Netherlands people need to become more proactive in embracing new technologies so they can survive. So initiatives like the Dutch Windwheel are not only cool but also a necessity.




Environmental benefits


Often new concepts get integrated with the knowing and opportunity if they are beneficial for the environment where it is located in or where its target group is and what their needs are. Considering International Lifestyle Studies and its sectors, architecture and the industries of Health, Leisure, Appearance, Food and Sports of future cities come together. The businesses, which are included in these sectors, can only form a whole and are efficient if the environment where they are located in is consistent.


3 examples and why they are cool
In London there now is a self-cleaning swimming pool which is located in a so-called ‘regeneration zone’. The experience of being in a swimming pool with an environment, which is constantly changing, is different because this ‘movement’ implies the building excavations. Swimmers can now experience the health of their own and the health of the environment. In a new swimming pool in London swimmers can now experience the health of their own and the so-called health of the environment. This is cool because it causes a connection between inhabitants and cities and by creating a pool that cleans itself; swimmer’s needs of being healthy and active are fulfilled by the city.



There also is an urban tree house that protects residents from air and noise pollution. It is a cool answer to the negative aspects of cities. In this way 25 Verde is beneficial for and with the environment. People who live there can escape to nature in the middle of the city. In future cities, greenery probably needs to find alternatives to find its way into the city. The way of living 25 Verde delivers is the opportunity to customize your own home. Every residential unit is, in fact, different and if we take a look at the experience behind the concept, it is an example for the ‘wonderlust’ trend (Penda).



The 3D-printed solar cars are an innovative new way of Human Movement and the cars make good use of the environment because of the solar panels on the body that help to collect the sun’s rays. It is cool that they also have low energy consumption so it’s sustainable for in the near future. 3D printing is getting more integrated with the environment we live in if more of these cars are designed and manufactured. The solar car has a futuristic design with new techniques such as silicon solar cells. These new techniques can form a new basis for future (and sustainable) cities.



Future growth potential
These 3 examples are already in concept or realisation stage so at consumer level they have a lot of potential. Future cities will change from time to time and the appearance of products, accommodations and facilities will change also. People have a lot of different needs and these initiatives can be looked at from different perspectives what causes the fulfilment of these needs. In future cities bridges need to be build between technique, products, needs, practical reasons and sustainability. ‘Environmental benefits’ is not a trend but a necessity so these bridges actually can be realized.



Driverless cars or other vehicles are a common understanding when people think about future cities. It is just a matter of time and an amount of trust that has to be build towards the concept before these kind of vehicles will be seen in our daily lives. The technology, in fact, is already developed. Cities are getting more and more crowded nowadays, so businesses in for example the food service industry need to provide more output towards the needs of their customers.
Domino’s pizza is a company that wants to keep up with its devoted customers consuming habits and also wants to push boundaries. For this reason Domino’s does now have a driverless pizza delivery service! This initiative is a small start for what is yet to come: autonomous vehicles for a more sustainable environment in the future.


Domino’s driverless pizza delivery vehicles!
Domino’s is a pizza company with a very modern and online image. Besides its fast service and customer convenience way of providing people with loads of different pizzas, Domino’s took their service to a whole new level. They are now giving people a glimpse in the future with driverless pizza delivery vehicles: the ‘Domi-No-Driver!’
The Domi-No-Driver is just an example of an autonomous vehicle, which probably will be seen more often in the future.


Why is it cool?
Autonomous vehicles are beneficial for the environment because with the censored technology they could drive in trains, which may reduce traffic jams. Traffic jams cause 2.9 billion gallons of fuel spilled every year. So if the Domi-No-Driver vehicles are electricity based with sustainable resources, the emission will reduce a lot. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, connected vehicle technology enables the exchange of anonymous, vehicle-based data regarding position, speed, and location. Vehicle-to-vehicle communications enable a vehicle to detect threats and hazards with a 360-degree awareness of the position of other vehicles (Siva R. K. Narla, 2013).
So driverless cars can provide road safety in future cities. The Domi-No-Driver saves manpower and delivers not only pizzas but also a lot of convenience to Domino’s customers.



Future growth potential
If the technology behind autonomous vehicles is explained more to the bigger mass of society, people could feel more at ease by the thought of driverless vehicles. Airplanes already take off and land on autopilot so this form of trust towards these new kinds of vehicles is already present. It is only a matter of time that people start to realize that our current ways of driving definitely need some change. The Domi-No-Driver is just the start.


Sustainable Urban Agriculture

In the future our habits towards the environment we live in definitely will change. Because of the fact that more and more people will live in fast growing cities, ways need to be found that living in such cities will become as efficient as possible. The question I can’t get out of my head is the following: ‘’where do we need to start changing our habits at a small scale so these immense cities will actually be sustainable?’’


Environmental education
There is a growing business in hydroponics and aquaponics. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil and is an ancient method in agriculture. Small water farms in a household are getting possible now because of modernised techniques, which use plastics that can be designed in decorative ways. Now there are already at least 10 High Schools That Teach Hydroponics and Aquaponics as Sustainable Urban Agriculture so the importance of it is noticed by a more influential mass like local authorities and schools. The educational part is new and important for fast growing cities.



What is cool about hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a very old initiative but it can now lead to a movement: sustainable hydroculture. People can grow their own healthy crops in their living room, balcony or rooftop. This is already happening but not in a large scale. If this happens the appearance of a city will change. Personalisation is an important aspect by determining the setup of your own hydroponic garden. People will move to cities to learn new skills and abilities (Triumph of the City) after they already learned to optimize their living environment.



How it will emerge in the future
Sustainable Urban Agriculture is already an initiative that is getting more well known by a bigger mass. Hydroponics and aquaponics are educated in schools now. If more schools will teach such things that are beneficial for a more sustainable environment, students will take this knowledge with them if they buy their first apartment. In this way the regular households will change into more with crops and agriculture filled ones what leads to better sustainable cities.



Democratising food

I wrote about the Food Port in West Louisville and I still think that it has potential. But I have to contradict my opinion about small-scaled food projects. I stated that I was getting tired of them because they aren’t original anymore. Now I think that they can be very valuable because I have found an initiative that helps starting food producers to get their products from their kitchen to the crowd.
This initiative is called Wetailer.



A cooperative digital platform
Thanks to collaborative production Wetailer helps to democratise food and it offers consumers the opportunity of choosing locally produced products by people with a real and trustful story. Small food makers and starters can open their own digital store and get some samples of their products tested by locals. If someone likes it, you can let him or her reserve your product so you don’t have to worry about the investment in production. In the end, if products can get produced in a larger scale, you can also find catering industries and creative packaging designers. These collaborations can help someone to get their traditional at home produced products at the market.


Why do I like Wetailer?
The locally produced food products are very trustful and thanks to collaborations people can help each other to get their little businesses started. Also the quality is better than in the supermarkets because the products are freshly made. It is like the Airbnb for local food production.



Future growth potential
If people are able to produce their own products locally, maybe we can make money in traditional ways. Making money in our own kitchen doing something that we like. Locals provide their own neighbourhood in the products that are needed. In this way all the bigger ways of transport and infrastructure for supermarkets will decrease and Wetailer can help to create a more sustainable environment.


Where vision gets build

Currently a lot of product designers are using 3d-printers for new innovative ideas. Often these ideas help us to make our lives easier and more sustainable. This may give our quality of life a positive boost. Our needs for a more healthy and productive way of life is getting bigger and bigger, so product designers and experts from other fields have to come up with these mentioned new innovative ideas. I want to talk about one of these innovations which contributes to our own and our environments wellbeing.


Edible growth
Edible growth is a new product by food and concept designer Chloé Rutzerveld where living organisms get 3d-printed: a structure of seeds, spores and yeast forms a bridge between new technologies and authentic practices of growing and breeding food. ‘’After this structure is 3d-printed it will fully grow into a completely edible compact ecosystem.’’ – Chloé Rutzerveld said.



Why it is cool?
I think edible growth is really cool because during the project 2 principles from ‘the open world’ came together: collaboration and empowerment. The fields of science, technology and product design were inspired by nature and each other. So they made a new innovative product. Edible growth is 100% natural, healthy, sustainable and nutrient and has a lot of environmental benefits.



Which benefits does it have for the future?
– It will reduce agriculture’s footprint;
– It will reduce food miles & CO2 emissions;
– It doesn’t need to be stocked so it is an absolute fresh product;
– Food waste will decrease;
– The taste of the product will change because the entire eating experience will change over time. A consumer becomes also a farmer so you can choose when to harvest yourself.
A lot of stages in the food chain will disappear after all. Consumers will become completely aware of the whole process and which nourishments they actually consume. They will get more involved and conscious about the food they eat. This transparency is important because people nowadays often are suspicious about which additives our daily food consists.


Data driven knowledge

In the world of marketing there are a lot of developments and also a lot of trends. It is important for marketers to stay up-to-date about what is happening in today’s world.
The 4th and 5th of February this year, the Marketing & Insights Event (MIE) in Utrecht (Media Plaza) took place.

What is MIE?
It is an event where you can get master classes, lectures, workshops and inspiring cases in the field of marketing. Different people like marketers, strategists and researchers visit the event and also give presentations. They are working for well-known companies like Rabobank, Twitter, HP Autonomy and many more.

The speeches gave insight about how research in different companies is done regarding to what marketing strategies are used and how they are anticipated on consumers.

MIE 2015


Some interesting points…
Spokesman William Cook, VP Multichannel Marketing at HP Autonomy stated that data driven knowledge is obtained through the online behavior of (potential) customers.
Smart self-learning programs analyze the data and divide customers in different dynamic segments where specific relevant contents for them get linked.

For example Kleenex keeps an eye on people tweeting about flu symptoms, so they can ascertain in what target group the most tissues are needed. In this way they can adjust their marketing strategy.
Also by taking tests or giving consumers the opportunity to co-create, marketing strategies are adapted in different ways that fulfil customers’ needs the most.



Why is MIE important for marketing research?
MIE shows us how the world of marketing uses strategies for creating a more ‘’open world’’ – it’s almost all about data and the fact that different spokesmen are coming up with this is interesting. It says something about society’s online behaviour and that information easily can be used to espy what is most needed by different target groups.

This event will create some kind of base in marketing research and the fact that all the information given there is so easily available for the outside world makes it transparent. Knowledge and intelligence are both used in new marketing strategies so companies empower themselves by this.

Future growth potential
If consumers getting more and more insights and information about what happens during such events like the Marketing & Insights Event, trust will be gained again and even more openness will be reached. Co-creation now happens on a smaller scale but maybe in the future it can happen also on a much larger scale.


Food industry networking

Nowadays there are a lot of small-scaled food projects where small businesses or even households work together and share their (mostly self-made) products. It adapts to our needs in finding an initiative what is more personal than all the overproduced groceries you can find in the supermarket in your neighbourhood.
Well a lot of people are very positive about these initiatives but I am not because in every square kilometre you can find them. My opinion is that bigger ‘food projects’ also adapt in our needs to do something in our free time. In West Louisville they are planning on a new Food Port where a lot of these mentioned small-scaled food projects come together in a much larger scale what is interesting considering that it is positive for consumers social and material wellbeing.


Something bigger and better
This Food Port includes: an urban farm, edible garden, market and food truck plaza, retail space, classrooms, a recycling facility and much more. It is a form of collaboration between businesses and the information they have about food (so it’s not very high-tech and it doesn’t exchange data or something). This information is given away in an easy accessible way.


In my opinion…
… something like the plan in building a food port for West Louisville is better because it takes a lot of time and it gives the opportunity to personalize your shopping trip. As a whole, the large Food Port is nothing but personal. But because of all the different located smaller businesses, consumers can get information (and even education) about their products. Consumers like it when they can get everything at one place, but they are also tired of the non-sustainable mass production of food. The Food Port will be a place where producers and consumers meet: prosuming. It is transparent because the Food Port includes several key programs that serve and provide for all stages of the food chain, from farming, to processing, shared community kitchen spaces, retail, and recycling.



In the future
Maybe in the future a lot of the little food projects in our neighbourhoods which can’t get off the ground, can work together with a Food Port like the one planned for West Louisville. We can go back to the essence of making our own personal products in a more sustainable way. If the collaboration between a Food Port and consumers works, little food projects can be done in a much larger scale. I think in the end also larger-scaled initiatives can be personal because all the information about the products is right there on the spot.



Smoking horror

This February, I went on a vacation to Thailand. Before I left I watched a TED talk from Don Tapscott about the ‘’open world’’.

The open world means that due to all the information sources we have and the technologic aspects that are linked with these sources our need for information about what happens in today’s world is getting bigger and bigger. And so is the access to this information. We don’t want to be fooled any longer and we are demanding for the truth. This open world is developed even more due to 4 principles: collaboration, sharing, transparency and empowerment.

During my vacation I looked for little signals that I haven’t seen in the Western economy yet. I got a little bit lost in the cultural chaos in Thailand and the ways information was given there.
When my boyfriend bought a pack of cigarettes I was shocked about the way some information was given on the package.


(Not so) plain cigarette packaging
I know that since December 2012, in Australia the branding on all cigarette packages is removed so the health warnings appear better (there was a lot of fuss about it). I also know that this will happen also in Europe in the near future so smokers are also attended in a ‘’better’’ way here.
On the cigarette packages I saw different images of diseases and other consequences that someone could get from smoking.


Do I think this marketing strategic works?
For a non-smoker I think it would hold him or her back from buying a pack of cigarettes because the images really grossed me out. For a smoker I think the need for a cigarette is bigger than actually paying attention and stand still by the fact (what he or she probably already knows) that smoking is very bad for your health.
The use of a very often bought and seen ‘’tool’’ like a pack of cigarettes, for putting a message out there can lead to a wide range of people receiving a message. This enables cigarette companies to ‘’empower’’ their brand: empowerment (principle, Don Tapscott). It can also have collective reactions as a result (which may be a goal from cigarette companies or governments). The very offensive way in which it’s done made me think about what our desire for information has led to. In this case, the fabricants of cigarettes fulfil our needs of getting the truth about a product that is offered to us. We want the truth, so we get the truth, although it’s very shocking.



Future growth potential
I came up with my own trend/principle, named: intruded information.

Because of our need for information, we are getting now more open-minded about receiving information. The mind-set of producers also has changed so offensive marketing is now more used, without having to think about the consequences really.

If information about a product is given in a positive or negative way, it always leads to critical reactions among its consumers. Making a statement is something that companies are doing for quite some time but now and in the near future it can be done in more different (offensive) ways.

I wrote this coolhunt 100% from my own perspective and I only looked for some pictures on Google Image so I didn’t write this information regarding to an article