Monday, February 18, 2013


Europeans are famed for their love of the good life, but the influence of global commerce and always-on tech toys and tools (plus the need to improve productivity in the wake of the eurozone crisis), has compromised their easygoing pace. While connectivity is key for harried midlifers and three-screen teens alike, they can have too much of a good thing. In February 2012, we identified a key shift in the US: More consumers were opting to go offline, Pulling the Plug to find a little quiet. Now we see a host of European services helping consumers to recharge by switching off.

On technology holidays, remote Scottish isles and Alpine resorts encourage (or even force) guests to keep their gadgets switched off for the entirety of their stay. At Volkswagen HQ in Germany, management switches off the BlackBerry email servers at the end of the working day so that workers can have a silent night. Other brands are using lack of connectivity as a selling point to consumers. In Amsterdam, Kit Kat has launched Free No-WiFi zones, which block WiFi signals within a 5-metre radius so that consumers can enjoy a rest from constant connectivity. Even retailers are hoping to offer shoppers some serenity. The No Noise concept store, open at UK department store Selfridges during January and February, strips branding and logos off famous products from Levis 501s to Heinz ketchup, also offering “no-brand” products from minimalist fashion labels like Maison Martin Margiela, Jil Sander and Acne. The no-Muzak space also includes meditation services and a Silence Room for an escape from the bustle of shopping.

Consumers asked for anywhere-anytime tech, and they got it. Now, overwhelmed and overstimulated, many are beginning to recognize that there’s such a thing as too much connectivity. The response is a conscious movement toward activities that emphasize undivided attention, community, balance and real-life experience. Marketers, take note: While your brand can offer more features and more choices to consumers, sometimes all they want is a stress-free and straightforward shopping trip, without all the noise.

By Iconoculture |

January 30, 2013 – 6:42 am
by Gwyneth Holland
Desire- By RUMI

A lover knows only humility, he has no choice.
He steals into your alley at night, he has no choice.
He longs to kiss every lock of your hair, don't fret,
he has no choice.
In his frenzied love for you, he longs to break the chains of his imprisonment,
he has no choice.

A lover asked his beloved:
- Do you love yourself more than you love me?
Beloved replied: I have died to myself and I live for you.
I've disappeared from myself and my attributes,
I am present only for you.
I've forgotten all my learnings,
but from knowing you I've become a scholar.
I've lost all my strength, but from your power I am able.

I love myself...I love you.
I love you...I love myself.

I am your lover, come to my side,
I will open the gate to your love.
Come settle with me, let us be neighbours to the stars.
You have been hiding so long, endlessly drifting in the sea of my love.
Even so, you have always been connected to me.
Concealed, revealed, in the unknown, in the un-manifest.
I am life itself.

You have been a prisoner of a little pond,
I am the ocean and its turbulent flood.
Come merge with me,
leave this world of ignorance.
Be with me, I will open the gate to your love.

I desire you more than food or drink
My body my senses my mind hunger for your taste
I can sense your presence in my heart
although you belong to all the world
I wait with silent passion for one gesture one glance
from you.