Taiwan’s Next Media Animation, which shot to fame late last year for its animated news clip of Elin Nordegren’s alleged attack against then-husband Tiger Woods, has turned its focus again to Sweden.
This time, it has targeted Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf following the publication of controversial biography “Carl XVI Gustaf – the reluctant monarch,” which details rumours of the king’s affairs.Just in case you missed it the first time around, here’s the Tiger video.
Philips’ advertising campaigns for the wake-up light have historically challenged the prestige of the product, testing the wake-up light’s mettle in real life. In this latest campaign, the test is on an epic scale.
Watch the clip for the trailer here.
Philips travels to Longyearbyen, Norway, where winter lasts for four months and the sun doesn’t rise at all in this period. A town where the local people look with dread to the winter months: a time of little enjoyment and confusion. A period when, without the differentiation of day and night, time itself is without meaning.
Enter Philips and the wake-up light with a simple mission: to restore residents Longyearbyen’s daily routine and help them combat the negative impact of living without natural light for four months.
The wake-up light simulates sunrise, allowing users to, perhaps not surprisingly, wake up in an environment similar to a bright summer’s day. The theory behind the experiment is that this will combat the negative effects of waking, living and then going to sleep in darkness and should help the user readjust to a more natural cycle.
The full footage for the experiment will be released in November. Will it work? Wait and see.
There’s an old joke about a couple from Småland, a province in southern Sweden, who win a million kronor on the lottery. “What shall we do with all the begging letters,” asks the wife. “Keep on sending them,” her husband replies.
Perhaps, though, the Smålänningar (as the region’s allegedly tight-fisted inhabitants are known) will have the last laugh as the rest of the world braces for a bumpy economic ride.
The world’s most famous Smålänning, Ingvar Kamprad, appears to have braced IKEA for the downturn by living up to the stereotype. Instead of taking advantage of cheap credit, IKEA borrowed little. Instead of selling boom-time luxuries, Kamprad has always behaved as though every one of his customers was a stereotypical stingy Smålänning.
The words of current CEO Anders Dahlvig in this Time interview are perhaps testament to the virtues of living frugally:
This is a really good time for us. The way we’ve set up our business, we’re planning for a climate like this all the time. We have a very conservative policy when it comes to borrowing money. We basically only use our retained earnings and don’t borrow very much. We also have a very conservative policy when it comes to how we place our cash and our liquidity. We don’t place anything in equities, so we haven’t lost a dime so far. And the way we position our brand is as good value for the money. People know when they have less money what Ikea stands for.
Swedish design is making an impact in Connecticut. But it’s not the cool, modernist style that appeals to Edie van Breems and Rhonda Eleish, who are trying to bring Gustavian style to the nutmeg state.
But the peasant look also appeals – and maybe there’s a hint of social yearning too:
“I love the folk furniture,” said Eleish, cradling a rustic, patched wood bowl dating from 1820 in her hands. “That’s the heart and soul of the country. You know that each bowl was used since wood was a valued commodity.”
In Sweden, a country known for its cold, bleak winters, “wood was considered life,” explained Eleish. “Families would have one bowl, one spoon and people ate from the communal bowl.”
“People ate from the communal bowl.” If ever a metaphor was crying out to be stretched, it’s that one.
A couple of Cleveland academics who are trying to establish a design district in the city have turned to Sweden for inspiration, writes The Plain Dealer.
Sweden “is one of the great design countries,” said Cuffaro, head of the Department of Industrial Design at the Cleveland Institute of Art. “And I respect that they treat it not as an elitist activity, but that design is accessible [to everyone].”
Cuffaro and Edward Hill, Hill, vice president of economic development at Cleveland State University, have embarked upon an 11-day tour of Sweden after the local Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce heard their pitch for a 24-block design district that would make Cleveland the “Milan of the Midwest”.
“We want to help them bring some Swedish design to the district and, in reverse, bring some U.S. design to Sweden,” said local businessman Lars Traner, secretary for the Swedish-American chamber.
There’s a smart solution to Australia’s spiralling housing costs, according to Adele Horin, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald: Ikea.
Working with another Swedish giant, Skanska, the world’s favourite blue and yellow furniture firm has been producing flat-pack homes in Scandinavia for years. Soon a project will begin in the north east of the UK.
These flat-pack houses, known as BoKlok (pronounced boo-klook), are cleverly designed and energy-efficient and, judging from the pictures, look like the kind of items featured in an Ikea catalogue.
They have the hallmarks of Swedish design – modern, timber-framed, open plan, wooden floors, tall windows on three sides, higher-than-average ceilings, and fitted Ikea kitchens.
They’re cheap, too and could be just what Australia needs. Alas, Ikea has no plans to start erecting its homes Down Under, but Horin urges readers to lobby the firm:
…it might be worth calling Ikea’s head office to urge it to fast-track its BoKlok plans.
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"Sweden is a veritable smorgåsbord for UK business. I see our work as a bit like a kind of dragon’s den for both for larger and smaller British companies. It is about matching the UK companies, not with cash, but with Swedish market opportunities." READ »