Guerilla Art: Mini-Cage-Homes

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Respect for Hong Kong-based Society for Community Organisation (SoCO), and how they’re always able to raise awareness around the living conditions of our cities poorest. These mini-cage homes made by Kwing Kit and Benny Lam, were found in Central recently, by scanning the QR-code you could sign the petition against these horrible small ‘houses’ that cage the poor, often no bigger than 40 square feet. I wrote about cage-homes earlier this year here.

Hong Kong is a wealthy place, yet the city lacks a proper social safety net and remains home to the widest rich-poor gap in the developed world – and it is getting worse. Not something to be proud of and absolutely a thing to literally pause on for a while.

Trend: First One-Person Restaurant

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Two more weeks and I’m off to my hometown Amsterdam. Yeahh! Unfortunately too late to enjoy this pop-up restaurant Eenmaal: the worlds first single-seating only restaurant. But the ideas behind this social design project, done in Amsterdam by Marina van Goor, are worth a blogpost.

Eenmaal is a double play on words in Dutch, it can be translated as ‘one-time’ or ‘one meal’. Marina’s aim is to deal with the stigma associated with dining alone, an act many look at as an anti-social: ‘Eenmaal tries to give a breath of peace and quietude to what can, on occasion, be a hectic (and loud) dining culture. The restaurant relates to the impetus for disconnecting and disengaging from the hyper connected world at large.’

I think the last quote is ‘spot on’. We’re going to see a lot more similar dining concepts in the future.

Temporary Graffiti with Chinese Umbrella brush

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Designer Liu Hsiang-Ling brings back pleasures from the past that we have long forgotten; jumping into puddles or using a stick to draw in the sand! She made this Rain Brush Umbrella, designed with a typical Chinese paint-brush tip, so that you can dip it into the nearest rain puddle and start drawing water graffiti on the sidewalk. The idea of using a rainy day to create something unexpected is a wonderfully creative one, refusing to give in to the common perception of rainy days as depressing! Love it!

Liu has pointed out in her observation: ‘When people are waiting for the rain to stop, the interaction between people and umbrella is the most frequent activity. People usually use their umbrellas to leave a mark on the ground with raindrops, and those unintentional games are the consequences of a raining day; maybe they are tic-tac-toe or just graffiti on the road. When they use the umbrella tip (ferrule) to dip into a puddle, water and ground become elements for self-expression’. (Via)

Urban Art Project Makes Chinese Cities Green

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Environmental issues in China… it’s a hot topic. Every day there seems to be a new horror-story in the news about toxic farmland, contaminated rivers or smog-filled cities. But this urban art project, done by Jody Xiong of DDB China in conjunction with the China Environmental Protection Foundation, is something really positive that deserves to be highlighted too.

This wonderful outdoor campaign created a subtle visual reminder of the environmental benefits of walking versus driving. By walking, people literally made their environment greener. Enormous white canvases with a bare tree were placed across 7 crosswalks in Shanghai. As pedestrians crossed, their shoe soles were imprinted with a small amount of green ink, leaving behind a trail of leaf-like footprints. The final posters were eventually hung as billboards in several urban locations.

Involving random people this way, resulted in a very powerful campaign. Love it!  (Via)

Urban Caravan Project

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Love this crazy project, set up by a group of friends in an old factory in Neukolln, Berlin. An urban camping under a roof called Huetten Palast (shed palace) . It’s like sharing one communal space, but at night you have your own caravan to got to. There’s also a restaurant/cafe, garden and exhibition space. Plenty of room and facilities to host your own crazy project;-). I’ve some ideas myself…