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 Synergy 

Wire-LESS Coffee Shops

image via Wikimedia

These days, the words ‘Wi-Fi’ and ‘coffee shop’ seem to go hand in hand, especially in America. It’s almost as if one can’t survive without the other. In this technologically advanced age, Wi-Fi Internet connection seems to be a requirement for many patrons when they go out in search of the perfect java joint. It would be absurd for a shop not to offer Wi-Fi, for free, too. But why limit the possibilities? More and more people seem to deprive themselves of social interactions at local coffee shops while immersing themselves in Facebook, BBM, Twitter or the like because of the convenient Internet connections. Perhaps it’s time we reconsider our coffee drinking ways. How about through Coffee & Games? Coffee & Haircuts? Or perhaps Coffee & Mutts!

Back to Basics Community 

Visionary: Renny Ramakers of Droog

photo via The New York Times

“Reality isn’t static anymore. It’s not a set of ideas you either have to fight or resign yourself to. It’s made up, in part, of ideas that are expected to grow as you grow, and as we all grow, century after century.” – Robert M. Pirsig, Zen: The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,1974 , as referenced by Renny Ramakers, Co-founder and Director of Droog.

Recently, we introduced you to Droog, a conceptual design company located in Amsterdam. We mentioned the various facets of the company and how the Droog Lab is quickly becoming a globally known research hub that brings relevant solutions to its clients, and people of the world. Many of us live life hoping to one day start something that we can call our own. Few, actually go ahead and do it. After learning about Droog, I was particularly interested in the projects that this company is currently involved in, and was estatic when Co-founder and Director of Droog, Renny Ramakers, agreed to chat with us about her beginnings and her vision for the future of Droog.

Back to Basics Community 

Droog Lab Researches Collaborative Efforts


Since 1993, Droog has been a budding conceptual design company that has helped Dutch design gain international recognition. They create in a way that is fresh (sometimes unusual), down to earth and iconic, with the ultimate goal of changing the way people think about their surroundings (which is what we obviously love about them here at Vidafine). Headquartered in Amsterdam under the distinctive eye of Renny Ramakers, their main office operates out of the Netherlands just above their store, while another store has sprouted in New York in 2008. In addition to designing clever products, one of the latest initiatives of this company is their Lab. The Droog Lab is definitely something worth talking about as it aims to bring together the creative design talents of the team with global issues that require further investigation.

Back to Basics DIY Sustainability 

Pushing My Buttons


Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but the accessories re-crafted by Deborah Sanderson are those shiny rock’s new rival. In her quaint live/work studio in the Artscape Wychwood Barns, Sanderson displays her work for all to see. She had an open house last month that drew in waves of fascinated shoppers.

Back to Basics On the Go Sustainability 

HydraDuo Water Bottle


The argument of whether tap water or bottled water is better for you is still floating around and while there are strong points for each side, you don’t have to stand on either side to enjoy this water bottle! It’s an idea that’s so simple, yet, it’s not on store shelves at the moment. I’ll give you a hint; think of those “Nerds rock candy” boxes…

If you’re as indecisive as I am, you’ll never know which way to go when presented with a fork in the road or having to choose from two or more choices. This creation from the Quirky community, a site where users submit creative ideas and get the chance to turn them into reality, gives people the chance to “carry one and drink two”! Apple juice or orange? Water or Red Bull? There’s no need for the “or” with the HydraDuo, it’s just “and”.

Back to Basics Sustainability Synergy The Great Outdoors 

The Body, Mind and Spirit Resort


When Geoff McCabe first drove into Montezuma, Costa Rica, he knew without a doubt that this was the place he was meant to be in. As fate would have it, the construction of his personal residence eventually turned into a full resort and yoga retreat center which has gained much attention since it’s opening. In a land where becoming the world’s first carbon neutral country is a national priority, Geoff has made it his mission to bring this priority to the international forefront with his vision for the Anamaya Resort.

Back to Basics On the Go 

Vending Machines; New and Improved


Here in North America, vending machines are as simple as they can be. There are two things that they currently supply; ice-cold beverages and light snacks. But in many countries around the world, others are supplying things that would blow your mind, or make you raise an eyebrow. Either way, they bring a new definition to “on-the-go”.

On a recent trip to Asia last year, I stopped over in Tokyo and found that many of their vending machines didn’t just consist of soda and water bottles. They supplied coffee, juice, energy drinks and many more; all in recyclable aluminum cans and covered with vibrant packaging. They were lined up on practically every corner. Something different that I spotted was a machine that dispensed video games! However, it is said that travelling through the city, you can spot many more in the machines; some more memorable than others. To list a few are condoms, pornography, vegetables, live lobsters, rice bags and eggs?!? (Why go to the supermarket anymore?)

Back to Basics Community DIY 

Face of Fashion-Joy Apparel


I often find the greatest inspiration in the people that I meet. If you listen closely enough, it’s fascinating what another’s personal journey, life philosophy, or unique personality can teach you – even if this person is an ocean away, speaking a completely foreign language, or practicing a religion totally different from your own. This is the idea behind a very cool, Toronto-based T-shirt company called Joy Apparel, which features hundreds of hand-drawn portraits of people from all over the world.