28 Apr 2012

Too cool for school...

Hunting souvenirs in a local arts & crafts shop in the Bernese Oberland, I came across stacks of Swiss Karlen bags made from recycled Swiss army blankets.

Their ethno chic, sturdy design and quality work make these bags and rucksacks a trendy accessory for the eco-fashion conscious urban dweller.

Hand-made in Toerbel, a sleep village in the Matterhorn famous Valais, Karlen's creations however will leave a hefty dent in your pocket with their bags putting you back several hundred Swiss Francs.

There I thought, I could fetch some bargain schoolbags for my kids.
Maybe a bit too cool for school ...just.

25 Apr 2012

3,800,000,000 years ingenuity

What have Biopower systems, Whalepower, Caltch, MIT (guess you know this one) and Harare's Eastgabe Complex in common?

The simple fact that with 3.8 billion years in the making, nature solved many of the challenges we're grappling with these days; the greatest being energy of course.

Hence, much of the research for the development of more efficient, ecological systems looks at nature for guidance and inspiration. A
 true frontier of bio-mimicry.

That's exactly the fascination that drove Swiss Cherry to develop novel thermal solutions based on nature's amazing thermal gem, the cherry stone. 
For more click here

Can you take the heat?

Tired of the good old thermo-therapy? Then have a go at Moxibustion, which goes back to the stone age and draws on fire to provide relief by stimulating the flow of 'qi' energy or 'strenghening the blood'. 

The small moxa-cones are made from mugwort leaves are placed on a patient's acupoints until they burn out completely or get removed just before. Guess a bit like hot stone therapy.
Click here to see what's it really great for and whether you could take the heat. Alternatively, give Swiss Cherry's massage balls a go. They don't leave scars or blisters...

23 Apr 2012

Going Green isn't that easy...

Here's a good read if you're thinking about giving your urban dwelling an eco-makeover. Entertaining, full of practical ideas and a few useful links. 

A pity Julia hasn't come across our thermal insulators. They might have come in handy to help her with her rattling sash windows..

For more, click here.

14 Apr 2012

K-Swiss vs Swiss Künzli - who's losing here?

Künzli's iconic 5 stripes were at the heart of the legendary sport shoe ever since its launch in the 50ies. Having registered its design as a patent in the US in 1964, they overlooked their export partner's (K-Swiss) registration of their 5 stripes as a trade mark in 1974.

Almost 40 years and long-drawn legal battles later, Künzli lost the right to use the 5 stripes - their invention / property - to their former partner K-Swiss.  What a sad day for Künzli, their partnership with K-Swiss and the world of legal IP (Künzle's press release). 

Softening their loss, Künzli speaks of a 'coup', having come up with the 5 Klötzli (Swiss German for blocks) design to replace the iconic stripes. I can't but feeling a tad sorry for them and their enthusiasm.  
What do you make of Künzli's Klötzlis; should one boycott K-Swiss?
What's your take?

5 Apr 2012

Switzerland's new premium exports...

Forget cheese and chocolate, Switzerland's new luxury exports are its architects... head to head with our cherry stones that is of course.

Switzerland's financial wealth, its focus on quality and precision produced an architectural style that goes back the grand master 
Le Corbusier, who not surprisingly also adorns the Swiss 10.-- banknote. 
Having escaped vast WWII destruction - for reasons we overlook discreetly for the moment - Swiss architecture developed differently to the rest of Europe. 
Out of this, a new breed of homegrown talent emerged through the doors of Zurich's ETH, which seems to have a strong emphasis on integrating both design and construction, rather than separating the two.

However, with Switzerland's limited urban building space and younger talents making their mark now, e.g. Freitags' retail store in Zurich, the future might well look a tad bit different.