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Back to Basics
As we live in the knowledge age and become exposed to fancier gadgets by the day, people tend to forget about the simplest of things that had a hand in sculpting society. It’s become more important now than ever to revisit the people, brands and philosophies that have been influential in history. In a time where changes are happening at such a rapid pace, staying true to one’s roots has become as relevant as it’s ever been.
Back to Basics The Great Outdoors 

Electree Solar Charging Station

Inspired by nature and the process of photosynthesis, this usb charging station has been designed to look and act like a bonsai tree. Electree as it is called, was designed by French designer Vivien Muller based in Metz. It has taken Muller 3 years to perfect this design as he wanted to incorporate as much of his ecological inspiration, aesthetic vision and practical functionality prior to its release. I love the look of this product and the meaning behind it.

Back to Basics Community 

Ecriture Infinie

We’ve all heard of time capsules, those tin boxes that people bury with their most prized possessions only to dig them up years later. The items inside the capsule bring meaning and life to days passed, mostly to the individual who buried it in the first place. But what if you could leave your mark in the world for all to see? Something that you or those who come after you could look at and learn from?

Back in 2006, artist Bili Bidjocka and curator Simon Njami began travelling the world and inviting various creative personalities to write in blank pages of enormous books. They started in Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum and from there, went on a journey around the world.

Back to Basics DIY Sustainability 

Paper Punk

When I was in high school (x amount of years ago), one of the biggest crazes was origami. Origami is the art of folding pieces of paper to make it look like a 3D structure. The most popular ones are either the crane, stars or boats but there are various others and you’d be surprised with what a sheet of paper can create.

This fad, like any other, has since died out but it isn’t completely gone. You may still receive a glass bottle of a thousand cranes on Valentine’s Day or be involved in a project where you fold them for a cause.

Grace Hawthorne is ready to bring it back to life with her Paper Punk building toys. It’s paper-based and the only thing you need is a little imagination.

Back to Basics Synergy 

OCADU Series: Eat+Learn

Dear Readers, Vidafine had a chance to visit the OCAD University Industrial Design Thesis show in May and is excited to share with you some cool finds! The scope of their thesis topics were broad, ranging from innovative products to holistic systems and services “that would change the way we live, think, work and play”. The overall success of the show demonstrated the amount of hard work the students have put in the last 9 months. It was a difficult choice, but we have selected two projects to showcase. We hope that these posts inspire you to think creatively and also to gain a new perspective in the role design plays in your everyday life.

Eat+Learn – Ansis Kalnins

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As a student working around tight timelines and schedules, it is difficult to maintain a balanced diet and nearly impossible to find the time to go grocery shopping. That is why I was drawn to this particular project by Ansis Kalnins that aims to help many young students to learn how to eat properly. One of the main challenges is the multitude of food planning decisions that happen when they go grocery shopping. Eat+Learn is a food suggestion platform tailored specifically for these students. It clearly and simply shows them how to assemble complete meals right there in the grocery store.

Back to Basics Community 

Students Fold Paper Cranes for Japan

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Part of my job as an educator is to teach students how to be proactive citizens who stay informed about what’s happening in the world around them. My goal is to teach them that anything is possible and that they have the power to bring change. After learning about the devastating earthquakes and tsunamis that struck Japan this past March, I felt it was important to inform my students of the tragic events and encourage them to make a difference for the people of Japan.

Back to Basics Sustainability The Great Outdoors 

WeWOOD Watches are on a Mission

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We at Vidafine love design and innovation with a cause. In a time when environmental initiatives are guiding principles for many organizations, we love how companies, through simple acts, are helping to replenish our planet with its natural beauty. That’s why we really appreciate how companies like WeWOOD are sharing their mission of creating a more sustainable future with the help of their customers.

Back to Basics Community The Great Outdoors 

Visionary: Natalia Kantor, Roads Less Traveled

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“Imagine The Alternative” suggests the tagline for upcoming TV and online documentary series Roads Less Traveled. Launching on March 24th at The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, the multi-part series is set to give viewers a glimpse into the other ways that people live.

When I first met Natalia Kantor, producer and director behind “Roads Less Traveled”, in a café in Toronto in the summer of 2010, we clicked immediately. What she was referring to – the existence of sub or counter-cultures and communities that offered alternatives to the conventional life – was something that I had already been exploring.

For some time I had felt that the familiar, conventional lifestyle that involved getting a degree, and then a salaried job, and then married with children, just did not work for many people. I’d seen evidence of this in my own life – with friends, work colleagues and family. As you may have also experienced “the formula”, does not guarantee happiness.

Back to Basics On the Go Synergy 

V-Day Love(s) for 2011

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I came across a bunch of really neat products the other day and I was deciding how I should share them with you. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought why not make a Valentine’s Day gift guide to showcase these awesome goodies! Mind you, I wanted to buy all these things for myself, and creating a gift guide is my way of justifying these purchases.. (Wasn’t Christmas just two months ago? sigh.) Anyway, here is my round-up of some great gift ideas that are practical, yet fun to have!