Dutch Design (38): Pimp your Mini Rooftop

Probably you all have seen the Ipod design for the Mini Rooftop. I Love it!

You might also know Mini offers an on line tool to Design Your Own Mini Roof Top. Unfortunately it is not possible to add your own image or logo in this tool. In the USA there is another Mini site: Roofstudio. However, I cannot get it working even after downloading the correct shockwave version to check if you can add your own design….I’m yet too busy to try it in photoshop, but I might.

Anyway, a Dutch Mini Website Top of Mini has held a competition for designers up to the age of 30 and recently announced the winners. I would like to share a few with you that I particularly like, some of them are winners, some not:

The winner and also my first choice is the one with the typical Checkered Dutch linnen or cotton pattern known under the name “Boerenbont” (i.e. something as “Checkered Farmer’s” see for more info in English Babylon). I don’t doubt this pattern is known elsewhere, as Dutch Merchants seem having it introduced almost everywhere. I certainly do like the association with the checkered flag that was used on many original Mini.

My second choice is the Knitted Dutch Flag. I have already predicted that in the direct future we are on out way back to knitting under the present economic down slide.

My third choice is the Google Map Mini. Almost impossible to make a stronger statement. Satellites know to find you.

Talking about maps: This one is very Dutch with a map of The Netherlands 1:300,000 on its roof.

Also very Dutch is this Delft Blue tiles design. Delft Blue is still an very touristy item for Dutch export. The Royal Delft Factory is worth a visit and attracts many visitors annually. And do you see that when you click? There is also a Marcel Wanders collection for sale.

There is also a Traffic Jammed British Flag nicely referring both to the British legacy of the Mini and the horrible daily Dutch traffic jams.

There are many more, but maybe another time.

via Design.nl Dutch Design on the Road

Quote of the Day (7): The Future: Back to the Past – Knitting

Image from Wikipedia

This is about the only prediction I’ll make for the future: We’ll be going back to knitting

As adults discover Facebook and Second Life, the cool kids are realizing that one reality is enough for anyone and are discovering knitting.

Found it while cleaning up my drafts in a (still) interesting article in the Independent by Rupert Steiner [which unfortunately disappeared since posting].

Pop Top by Public: Never Lose Your Luggage again

Pop Top by Public 01

When, after a long flight, you are awaiting a bit groggily at the airport luggage check out for your luggage to appear, it can happen that your suitcase travels three times the carousel without you noticing it. At least that has happened to me. That won’t happen anymore when you apply the “Pop Top personalize your luggage idea” of Public, a British design studio working in a range of fields from graphic design to product design.:

Pop Top by Public 02

PopTop is a new type of hard-shell luggage. Using a matrix of multi-coloured dots to create a glossy surface graphic, the further one gets away from the piece, the clearer the image becomes. Lines will initially be limited to a few designs, but PopTop hope to make a web-based design-it-yourself range in the future. Public was charged with delivering the concept as well as a PDF presentation to take to retailers.

Love the idea.

What is a Director of Sleep of a Hotel Chain?

Director of Sleep
Director of Sleep

In my prior post I asked: “What is a Director of Sleep?”

I probed a bit further.

Usually a Director of Sleep is someone in a Hospital, a Mental or a Geriatric Institution who has specialized in sleep deprivation.

Thanks to the Learning Journey Blog and Cater Research I now know a bit more about the Director of Sleep of Travelodge.

As first Director of Sleep at a hefty UK pnd 60,000 Travelodge appointed Wayne Munnelly in January 2006: “To ensure that guests get a good night’s sleep in the hotel group’s 25,000 UK beds.” Apparently he was succeeded by Leigh McCarron.

He does not “sit on” the Board of Travelodge and he is not “married with children”. Puns intended, because although English is not my mother tongue I doubt Travelodge is using proper English on their site.

So where other hotels only have a Pillow Menu, Travelodge has real pro and he shows it:

According to an April 7th, 2008 Press Release Research by OnePoll in March 2008 carried out among 2248 Britons showed that the top 5 artists getting Britons sound asleep are:

1. Coldplay
2. James Blunt
3. Snow Patrol
4. Take That, and
5. Norah Jones

I kind of like it. I may even continue with a separate category: “The Director of Sleep Sez”

Amsterdam , The Next Web Conference and Twitter

Next Web Amsterdam Conference Logo

Again, I must have been under the rocks. This is existing and happening on my doorstep (or in my backyard): Yesterday and today The 2008 Next Web Conference is being held in Amsterdam.

What is The Next Web Conference?

The Next Web Conference is THE European conference for industry thought-leaders, leading web-companies, innovative Startups, visionaries and real Web savvies. This third edition will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on April 3rd & 4th, 2008.

How did I find out about Next Web? Recently I joined Twitter as a result of attending the ITB Berlin Travel Bloggers Summit where I felt a bit as an outsider as I observed some fellow travel Blogger busy Twittering away while I was fudzing around with my old laptop in order to get a proper WiFi connection which was not stable at ITB.

At first I was afraid Twitter would be nothing else than ICQ that I used a lot eons ago. I am still a bit proud I have a very low ICQ ID number (under 100K while the last time I looked years ago they were in the 9 mio) laying around, but I don’t use it anymore. Also because after ICQ a whole lot of similar chat programs came around. When you are concentrating behind your computer it is frustrating to see the pop up screens flying over your computer or ICQ spammers harassing you. It may have become much better nowadays, but I won’t look at it. One of the advantages is that you can spread around your new posts via Twitter Feed, which as I am writing this is temporarily out of service, from a company not related with Twitter. The Blackberry and Iphone aficionados can keep in contact with each other and SMS Twitter feeds to each other.

Via Twitter I noticed that Robert Scobler, one of the Blogging Gurus (Yes from Scobleizer) was traveling to Amsterdam to give a presentation.

Early this morning another guy made the comment that two guys were paying attention to the presentation and the other 699 attendants were playing with their laptop, blackberry or Iphone…..

This comment triggered an old story of one of the partners of my former law firm who gave a presentation in Japan for the first time. I am now talking about late seventies/early eighties. When looking to the audience he saw everybody sitting with their arms crossed and a small bag in front on their tables instead of busy taking notes. After the presentation everyone left in a hurry. This was unusual because he was used to everybody coming to him with questions or to exchange business cards…..It turned out that he had speeched to an audience of private chauffeurs of the captains of industry who he was led to believe he would be speaking to. They all had their little Dictaphones with them and hurried to their bosses after the presentation, which story brings me:

Back to The 2008 Next Web Conference
The modern times learn me that you can behave like those wise Japanese bosses from the story above:

  • Most attendants have Camcorders and record the presentations. Either they publish them on their Blogs or on Youtube, or you get streaming life video from the conference.
  • You have live feeds from conferences like this on Twitter, just follow Twitter | Next Weblog or
  • Follow the Bloggers:

There are 25 startups featured who paid a hefty Euro 2.500 for having their 5 minutes of fame.

Barcamp Amsterdam IV
Tomorrow the conference will be followed by BarCamp Amsterdam IV. You can give them a notice if you want to join here. I will see if I can hop in.

If you like you can follow me at
Twitter | Happy Hotelier.

Post Alia: Most attendants seem to stay in the Lloyd’s Hotel in Amsterdam.

Added March 5:
If you want to know the twitter people with the most followers, click Twitterholic.com

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