Identity Crisis In British Design?

An Identity Crisis In British Design?
Is British design in the midst of an identity crisis? In a piece for the New York Times, Alice Rawsthorne wonders why so many British design icons have lost some of the impact and relevance their predecessors possessed, and ponders the challenges of capturing a nation’s identity and psyche in design, when that identity is increasingly complex.


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Kenya Slum Photos, Air Cleaning Plants, Colgate Ice Cream, Cheetos Bloggers, Pepsi Piss-Take, Penguin Climate Change, FML

Self described “undercover photographer” JR has created a giant photo exhibit in Kiberia, Kenya. The photos taken of women from the slum cover 2000 feet of roof tops, as well as being wrapped around the local train service (which completes the image twice a day). The exhibit, which also doubles as a second roof for the shacks it covers, is part of the photographers 28 Millimetres project.
Cleaning the air with plants is not necessarily novel news, but a TED 2009 presentation has shown just how powerful this natural method can be. Kamal Meattle explained his experiment which used 3 plants known for their air detoxing capabilities to scrub up the polluted interior air at the Paharpur Business Centre and Software Technology Incubator Park in New Delhi, India. The results were nothing short of amazing. The New York Times explains: At about four plants per occupant (1200 plants in all), the building’s air freshened considerably, and the health and productivity results were staggering. Eye irritation dropped by 52 percent, lower respiratory symptoms by 34 percent, headaches by 24 percent and asthma by 9 percent. There were fewer sick days, employee productivity increased, and energy costs dropped by 15 percent.
Colgate wanted to remind people about the dangers of sugar with regards to their dental health when they least expected it: as they were enjoying something sugary. Instead of giving out product samples, Colgate promotional staff in Thailand gave out ice creams and lollipops. The stick carrying the sweet goods is shaped like a toothbrush and carries the message “Don’t forget” along with Colgate branding. This is only revealed once the ice cream or lollipop has been eaten.
Mass marketers have generally taken a wary stance toward blogs, but Frito-Lay isn’t just embracing bloggers, it’s letting them define their brand. The snack-maker is sponsoring seven blogs in a sizable ad buy through Federated Media for its Cheetos brand, including the flagship tech/culture blog Boing Boing, several Next New Network channels, tech-news website Mashable, Makezine and Outblush. But here’s where it gets interesting: Cheetos is asking the bloggers themselves to create sponsored content integrating the brand, over which Cheetos and its ad agencies, Omnicom Group‘s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and OMD, will have no creative control.
A document dubbed “Breathtaking” purportedly presents the Arnell Group’s rationale behind its recent revamp of the Pepsi-Cola logo. However, some point to its grandiose comparisons as evidence the document could be a hoax, or possibly a viral promotion by Peter Arnell’s eponymously named Omnicom Group agency.
McVitie’s Penguin has signed a deal with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to help fund an expedition to Antarctica to research how climate change is affecting penguins. The brand will market the tie-up through a 12-week promotion on packs of Penguin biscuit bars, cake bars and mini rolls starting this month. McVitie’s Penguin will donate up to £50,000 to the ZSL, which will be used to send ‘Penguinologist’ Tom Hart to visit remote regions of Antarctica, home to millions of the birds.

F*** My Life – FML : Your everyday life stories.
hink you’ve got it bad? Check out this site where anyone can post a quick venting blurb about something in their life that’s gotten them down. From tales about discovering that nail polish remover is flammable to people bemoaning lost jobs or cheating spouses, it’s easy to let go of any recession worries when you read about other people’s disappointments. Hilarious, irreverent, and highly topical, click in to read FMLs and add your own.

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