Temporary Spaces, Life on the Move

the-new-nomads We wrote about this trend two years ago; the nomads are back! And if (after the holidays) you feel the itch to try a nomadic lifestyle, this is the perfect read for you. The New Nomads: Temporary Spaces and a Life On The Move, written by Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann and Michelle Galindo, is a book about mobility, flexible spaces and innovative architecture.

It’s a guideline on how to live a mobile, hi-tech life in which one moment you can work in an office in Berlin, then move with a camper through Russia for a workation during summertime and then show up at a hot-desk in Los Angeles for your next project. “Aside from a functioning wireless connection and good coffee, we developers, designers, musicians, journalists, and other creative entrepreneurs need, above all, inspiration, new ideas, contacts, and international exchange.”

The New Nomads is a useful guide for those that want to literally live and think outside the box. New Nomads do not live in one part of the world; for them, the entire globe feels like home.

Babylon – Plantable Lamp

babylon planter lamp

Babylon; what a suitable name for this lovely planter and lamp in one! The hanging gardens of babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one whose location has not been definitely established. Maybe your living-room would work as a location for a modern version of these ‘gardens’:). I’m sure mine would!

Designed by Toronto based studio Object Interface. Found on shoeboxdwelling.com, super cool blog about finding comfort, style & dignity in small spaces.

My New Favorite Places #2

Vanboven

I finished Gretchen Rubin’s ‘The Happiness Project’ a couple of weeks ago and one of the  suggestions she makes on living a more meaningful life is: leave trails. If you like a place, a book or an experience, write about it and share it with others.

This way you nail down why exactly you enjoyed it so much and that way it makes you contemplate more intense on positive things in your life. You also literally leave a trail of good experiences for others to follow when you share what kind of places or things made you feel happy.

Yesterday I worked at the lovely co-workings space VanBovenEvery Friday you can climb up the stairs of a beautiful Amsterdamse School church building in the Baarsjes neighbourhood and find the perfect quiet place to get some serious work done. It’s only 5 euro’s for the whole day and coffee, tea, fruit, cookies, chocolate are complementary.

During the rest of the week they organise little indie-concerts, exhibitions and courses. Love this concept, definitely plan to go there more often.

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

lost in life?

What a great infographic done by information designer Anna Vital. Most of the people featured in this visual were considered not successful and stuck in an un-creative situation for a big part of their lives. I think it’s very important to realise how often we judge one another automatically by what we do at this moment, and not look at each others potential instead.

Especially for those of us who haven’t had the privilege of growing up or working in a stimulating environment where talents were nurtured, it’s hopeful to know ‘that not all those who wander are lost’…

BenchesCollective turns street into outdoor cafe

BankjesCollectief-1

I’m rediscovering my roots these days now I’m back in Amsterdam. One of the things I missed while living in Asia, is the European culture of eating/drinking outdoors. Naturally I was thrilled when I read this week about an amazing initiative in the city: BankjesCollectief (BenchesCollective).

The BenchesCollective takes a typical Dutch phenomenon as a starting point: the ubiquitous privately owned benches on sidewalks in front of houses. Every first Sunday of the month in spring and summer, the collective turns the streets of Amsterdam into the ‘largest’ outdoor café in the world. The owners of the benches decide what they serve and the visitors determine the value afterwards. Of course, the menu can have food and drinks, but also activities like salsa classes, knitting workshops, and (clothing) swap sessions can be spotted near benches.

“The monthly cafe stimulates new encounters. Also, it tries to encourage people to look at public space as a shared canvas that can be colored by us all”, BenchesCollective founder Jesse Jorg explains. People abroad are invited to join the collective and ‘open’ their own bench as well. On the website you can pin your location, determine your opening hours and make a brief description of the menu at your bench and you’re set to go! Cheers to old and new friends!

My New Favorite Places #1

hallen

What makes you feel at home in a city? At the moment I’m in a period of transition myself and this questions keeps popping up in my personal reflections. For me it’s not specifically my house but definitely my neighbours, and I need to have enough inspiring ‘third places’ around. Places that are not home or work where you feel like you’re part of a bigger community.

One of those places that we discovered last week in Amsterdam Oud-West is called “De Hallen” (The Halls). It’s a really cool mix of a food-court, cinema, library, coffee-shop and some artsy workshops combined in an former tram depot: “Tram depot the Halls is a national monument and has historically been a closed enclave in the late nineteenth-century expansion of Amsterdam. The Halls is a traditional, functionalistic complex build for the maintenance of the first electric trams around 1900.”

The building was in a deplorable state when we left Amsterdam 3.5 years ago. But now it’s a super lively place. I really like how they transformed this heritage building in public space that works. Especially the Food-concept: we’ve been back twice already! De Foodhallen is inspired by ‘indoor food markets’ from different metropolitan cities (like Hong Kong:)). You can enjoy a large variety of delicious bites and drinks from different stalls in an industrial-like setting.

Travel as Therapy

loog-choob2

This is one of the lovely hostels we were staying in during our travels in Thailand (loog choob). The beautiful, modernistic, open architecture was a breath of fresh air and helped me organise my thoughts after weeks of hectic, confusing life in Hong Kong. Holidays aren’t only for fun as far as I’m concerned. Travel can also play a critical role in helping us to grow in our personalities. I read an extremely interesting article written by The School of Life about that notion and I’d love to share bits and pieces of it with you while I’m having some travel experiences in Thailand over Christmas myself.

Travel can function as a form of therapy in our lives. When it corrects the imbalances and immaturities of our natures it can complement to the ‘inner journey’ that we’re on. After all we’re trying to develop our character in a certain way: “We might be searching for how to be calmer or how to find a way to rethink our goals, we might long for a greater sense of confidence or an escape from debilitating feelings of envy.” Travel experiences can help us with that, the outer journey can assist us with the inner one.

But in order to work a therapeutic effect, we need to change how we go about choosing our destinations. Instead of choosing a ‘beach holiday’ or ‘outdoor fun’, we should look how a destination can nurture our soul. “There are places that could help with shyness and others with anxiety. Some places might be good at reducing egoism and others might be good for helping us think more clearly about the future”.

The School of Life is currently writing a Psychological Atlas of the world. A great project if you you ask me. Read more about it here. Travel in the outer world can push us to where we need to go within. Happy Christmas travels, hopefully it gives you some opportunity to think which direction you want to go in 2015 (figuratively speaking:)). 

Creative Street Map

potse This summer I was back in Berlin for a few days and picked up this lovely sketched-out guide to culture, food, and shopping on and around Potsdamer Strasse. A street affectionately known as “Potse” to locals and fans. Over the past five years, Potse has quietly evolved from being a uninteresting street connecting two re-emerging western Berlin districts to the city’s most concentrated hub for visual art and the things that go with it. One of my favourite places there is: Do you read me?! (a reading room and bookshop). Such a simple and lovely idea to execute on your favourite street in your city!

How To Be Interesting

howtobeinteresting

I’ve read a book that really challanged me this month; How to be interesting, by Jessica Hagy. It combines fresh and honest life lessons with simple diagrams and graphs. Definitely one of the most ‘real’ guides (or self-help books) to leading a richer life. The content is all about ideas, creativity and risk… after all it’s what you DON’T know, that is interesting, right:)?