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Trendspotting - Your guide to latest trends

30-03-2009 What Lurks beneath the Surface

If you’ve ever fancied a wine cellar but just cannot fathom where in the house you could squeeze one in, then fear not because Spiral Cellars specialise in creating highly functional and visually dazzling spiral staircase wine cellars. Basically they dig a hole in the room of your choosing and fill it with a staircase that works as a wine cellar. Cool air is piped in and warm air is piped out, constantly keeping party beverages cool and fresh while taking up a limited amount of space in your home. Not to mention all the various designs which can either blend in with your current decor or stand out in a funky and alternative way – and all in a seamless transition.

 Wine Cellar

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30-03-2009 Living in a Container

Prefabricated architecture just got more interesting with the emergence of container homes. New Jersey architect Adam Kalkin is taking charge of this new arena, building economical, adaptable and recyclable houses out of six shipping containers in three months. Two of Kalkin’s designs, in particular, are stirring up a lot of interest – Bunny Lane, made with a nineteenth century styled cottage inside a hanger, and Push Buttonhouse, which unfolds from a container. These innovative architectural masterpieces are a signal that the housing market could be dominated by containers very soon.

Container home

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30-03-2009 Bottled Water or Tap Water?

It’s the time old adage of bottled water versus tap water. But with more awareness over reducing our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and more concern over the future of our environment, people are starting to pay attention to researchers who are discovering that bottled water uses 2000 times more energy than tap water. Particularly of concern is how bottled water requires long-distance transportation, this requiring more energy than bottled water which is produced locally. So rather than leave a huge ecological footprint on the environment, think twice before you reach for that heavily packaged six pack bottle of water and think of the soothing sounds of water running from a tap.

Bottled Water










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26-03-2009 Shanghai Barbie

Barbie’s 50th birthday celebrations are taking over the world, with the recent opening of the first Barbie store in Shanghai. This six floor shop is dedicated to Barbie, with toys, clothing and books. There are display cases with dolls in unique dresses, showcase dolls from the past 50 years, which are available as exact replicas, and customer designed dolls as well. There’s also a hair and nail salon, a gelato bar and a top floor restaurant, promising to become a popular nightspot in Shanghai. With more superstores planned, Barbie is making sure that she’ll be around for a long time.

Barbie flagship store

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26-03-2009 Bathtub Tranquility

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a good bath, a fact that German manufacturer Käsch cater for with their array of different bathtubs. Designed to instill a serene and spiritual bathing experience, the company offers a variety of choices, including free stand tubs carved from stone. A more unique design is that of their built in bathtubs, which overflow and then direct the water back into the tub, embracing the illusion of bathing under a waterfall and connecting you with nature without leaving your own bathroom. What could be more relaxing than that?

Overflowing bathtub









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23-03-2009 Guerrilla Activism with Pruning Shears

Political gardening is growing in popularity with more and more ordinary citizens taking up non violent direct action in many countries. These so-called guerrilla activists are making cities greener by carrying out their actions at night, planting new vegetable patches or flower gardens in abandoned pieces of land which they do not own. By doing so, they are making a huge statement, as most guerrilla gardeners believe in reclaiming land that has been neglected and misused and giving it a new purpose. So if you see people clad in camouflage clothing, wheeling large wheelbarrows and yielding pitchforks, don’t be alarmed. They’re like the Ghostbusters of the environmental world. So maybe start humming the theme song as they fight the filth with forks and flowers!

Uraban Gardening

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Related trends: 'Fiction at Your Fingertips'

23-03-2009 Silent Disco Dancing

For a fun, quirky and cutting-edge clubbing experience, try silent disco. Instead of dancing to booming tunes, people dance with their own set of headphones, enabling them to control what they listen to. This fresh new way of clubbing has taken off all around the globe, including Australia, Germany, Indonesia, India, The Netherlands and The UK, and is proving a growing phenomenon, perhaps because of the ability to run well into the early hours of morning, avoiding late night sound restrictions. Intimate and fun, silent disco could prove to be the future for disco clubbing everywhere.

Silent Disco

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23-03-2009 Classic Capes Abound

Capes are the newest fashion trend to re-emerge this coming winter, with leading Australian designers incorporating the classy garment into their 2009 collections. Brands such as the Sydney based Lover the Label include stylishly cut capes as must-haves for this winter season, replacing the traditional coat. These classic fashion statements are making a comeback, and are typically designed to fasten at the neck, leaving the front partially exposed. Consider this winter accessory as your new winter fashion statement.

 Winter CapeAW09 Capes

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12-03-2009 Fancy some 'Tiny Dancer' egg carton flower fairy lights?

They sound like something straight out of the sixties or an Elton John comeback special. But with a little ingenuity, Salvadorian designer Eugenio Menjivar has turned what can originally be described as showing local artisans how to reuse materials for profit, into a passion creating lights made from egg cartons. The model shown ‘Dancer’ gets its name because it sits on an angle which allows the lights to dance, bumping along with colour. Made with a recycled iron base and held in place with recycled iron rods, you can pick your own Dancer in three different colours including violet, lime and black and take up a trend that is both ethical, economical and quite possibly all the rage of the next generation.

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12-03-2009 Giant Speaker Chair

Splurging on a 20″ iMac has never been so fun. The Sonic Chair has been revamped to include an attached iMac so you feel like you’re sitting in a giant speaker chair. Cables are hidden away in the metal base and there’s an MP3 jack as well, so the German designers have truly got all the tech-savvy appliances covered. The chair comes in 35 different colours so you can sit in your own little creative and stylish space with not a care in the world. Do try and come out every once in a while though.

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12-03-2009 Nendo puts the '!' in your Life

Japanese company Nendo has one major mission: to uncover those small ‘!’ moments. The socket deer is an innovative example of all that is ‘!’. It’s a simple add on cover for electrical outlets, so you can place your mobile phone on the wall while it charges, eliminating the annoying, stray-phone-getting-in-the-way-of-everything syndrome. Not only will things be neat and tidy but you’ll always know where your phone is (not after your mate has stepped on it). The Socket-deer is comprised of tough urethane rubber that holds the handsets tightly while also protecting the antlers from breakage for those awkward moments when you bump into them. Socket-deer can also be used to decorate light switches or as a hook for keys or accessories. Plus your wall will look stylish with some deer antlers.

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If you like this trend, you might also like this trend called USB in style or Now Your Computer Can Hug A Tree.

05-03-2009 Plant Packaging, Got Mail?

Farms and nurseries are going to love this earth friendly project from Catherine Bourdon. Germoir packaging consists of an envelope that doubles as a plant protector. It follows and assists the plant throughout its various stages of life and finishes up as a germinator. So basically it’s an envelope with dirt and the plant’s seeds and once the plant has started to grow, the envelope continues to provide the plant with life, disintegrating for years afterwards. So who said envelopes won’t get a good work out in their second afterlife? It’s a zero waste packaging system and we can guarantee it’ll be a hit at dinner parties and post offices everywhere.

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05-03-2009 Walking on Leather Belts

Only in London could you find mosaic floors made entirely from leather belts. Ting London has come up with the concept of using their recycled leather belts as a way of tiling floors. Originally the concept was a mat with the same recycled belts but the concept has since evolved to bigger and brighter ambitions. Check out the latest modular floor tiles, fabricated with vintage leather, it provides a sleek, alternative look with no two tiles ever looking the same. It’s a unique way to decorate a floor, with each reincarnated belt telling a different story...

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05-03-2009 Urban Restaurant Gazing

Marvel in the architectural genius of Office dA, a Boston based architecture firm with innovative designs. Chief partners of the firm Monica Ponce de Leon and Nader Tehrani strive for restaurant design that is both edgy and urban. They specialise in urban design and infrastructure, architecture, interior and furniture design. Our personal favourite is this restaurant here. It’s a guarantee that you’ll spend more time admiring your surroundings than all that other unimportant stuff that people do in restaurants (like eating).

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Related trends:

If you like this trend, you might also like 'Dining to Infinity and Beyond!', 'The Pop up Dining Movement' and 'A Green way of Dining'.