smilla smiles: news of the feet project

July 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

I told you about the Feet Project a couple of weeks ago, started by my friend and mentor Lilzeon and his team at the London-based agency RE-UP. Yeah, come on, I did! There was even a photograph of my feet in their favourite environment (shoes).

It is a collaborative project in which people tell stories about their relationship to their feet. Some people love them, some don’t really realise how important they can be until they’re asked about them, some hate them. Some feet are beautiful, some are not. Well, they come in all sorts of shapes! This projects shade some new light on a part of our body that is often neglected in our western society (while fashion is damn obsessed with shoes, paradoxically enough – but aren’t feet the main reason why we should wear shoes? – anyway.) while in eastern civilisation, and I will mention China here, the importance of feet through reflexology  is common and admitted. It reminds me of that story my Mum always tell me : when her parents first welcomed Chinese guests at their table, and my mum was old enough to realise, they took of their shoes at the end of the meal and started massaging their feet. Yes, just like that, without warning. Although she found it a bit surprising, even shocking in the first place, having grown up in a relatively westernized environment herself, she soon realised they were practising reflexology : massaging the sensitive points on their feet. It was just another way to end the meal in a nice way. It’s always about cultural perceptions in the end.

Long story short, I let myself drift away. What I wanted to share, guys, is that the teaser for the Feet Project is out! And I strongly recommend to watch it before the whole thing is up! Here it is:

The Feet Project teaser from RE-UP on Vimeo.



smilla smiles: because kindness keeps the world afloat

June 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

I found this video a couple of weeks ago and was immediately attracted by the positive tweet accompanying it: “The kindness boomerang passes positivity from person to person on a single block.” Now I must admit each time I watch it, I almost start to cry, because I find it so emotional. I am a very sensitive person when it comes to acts of kindness, courage or bravery. I never loose hope that we humans have the power to change the world, our world, only if we want to. I am sure if people with evil intentions can work their way out, people with good ones can even more do so.

It is a very inspiring and touching video showing how kindness spreads from one person to another through one single deed. You don’t need to accomplish great actions in order to be filled with gratefulness from other or even satisfaction with yourself. It starts right at the corner, as soo as you step out of your home, or take up the phone. In every action you take or decision you make, there can be something good sprouting out of it, we must keep this in mind… and always try our best.

I know it’s not always easy and that most of the time, it’s easier not to think than to make an effort. It’s not that we’re evil people, it’s just that our mind is not set up on a default positive mode (cf. This is water). Let’s try and switch on, simple things don’t cost us anything, or so little. Happy day!

smilla smiles: this is water

June 3, 2013 § 1 Comment

Good morning all! Every Monday, I’m now going to try and share a positive idea. One positive idea per week, to have it start well. We all need good energy, especially if we’re working in a tiring environment. People tend to view things extremely negatively and I truly believe that if we changed our point of view on things in general (interactions, petty details, surroundings), life would be better. I think we need to be a bit more emphatic and to sympathize with people. Compassion & tolerance would help. Everybody has his problems. Well… this is what David Foster Wallace tried to make us realize in This is water.

The following video has been made out of his reflections on the question. Happy Monday!

smilla smiles: featured in the Feet Project

May 1, 2013 § 1 Comment

Thanks to my friend and somewhat mentor lilzeon, I just took part in an original project about feet. Yes, you read it well: feet.

The Feet Project aims at exploring the universe of human feet and the way people relate to their feet. Some love them, others don’t. Some are aware of their special relationship with them, some aren’t. And does a shoe-shiner relate to feet the same way a dancer would? Or a shoemaker? Or a sportsman? Some people are also fascinated by feet, some don’t care. Feet become an object and prism of social reflection.

The project is collaborative: anyone can subscribe a picture of their feet and attach a story about them. Tell the team how you feel about these 5-fingered extremities propping at the end of your legs. The final output of the project will be a social documentary about the relationship people nurture with their feet – depending on their state of mind, profession, physical condition… It is a sociological study in this sense, and by reading the Why this project? section, you will better understand why.The Feet Project

Taking part in the project made me realise 2 things.

First, how much we neglect our feet. I mean, they are there. We wrap them in shoes, we wash them, we walk with them, but do we really stop and contemplate them for a second, thinking how strange life would be without them? They take us – people who are lucky enough to have two healthy feet – everywhere: walking, but also cycling and running as far as I’m concerned. In the introduction of the project, it is very truthfullly written:

It’s strange how often we overlook our feet. It takes a conscious effort to look down at them, to consider their significance. We’re too busy thinking about how to get from A to B, it seems we forget about the feet that are getting us there.

Second, I also thought it was a very peculiar experience to actually focus and tell about my feet. As a result of the lack of attention we bear to our feet, it is also quite challenging to say something about them, to formulate clearly how we feel about them. Or maybe this is just me? For some people really love their feet and have no trouble talking about them conceptually. I had to sit for a while and think. Which kind of picture would best represent them and tell the relationship I have with them? I didn’t want something as mainstream as the holiday feet on Instagram (I forgot the name of this “trend”). I had the feeling that people actually talk a lot about shoes, but not necessarily about feet themselves, except for reflexologists or podologists maybe. The reason for this might be that shoes are separated from the body, while feet are not, and paradoxically, we tend not to be aware enough of what pertains to our own body.

And actually when I found the right cliché, it became obvious that my feet couldn’t be separated from their shoes. I love being barefoot (I’ve grown up barefoot for the longest part of my childhood). But shoes, they protect and shelter feet. They also make them socially beautiful. And above all, feet+shoes take me in places, which is why they make me feel comfortably free.

(To view my contribution, it’s here.)


To take part in The Feet Project and submit, please go there:

To follow the project on Twitter: @feetproject

Smilla smiles: some believe we can fly

January 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ladies and gentlemen, today has been a very busy day and it would take me hours to share all the things I discovered. I’ll start with the first one, which I considered in amazement. I had never heard about Festo before. Well, indeed, that was unlikely as it’s a engineering-driven company that develops automatisation systems based on pneumatic and electric technologies – a German company to be precise. Alright, if this does not sound in any way familiar to you – which I would understand to a certain extent – let me just show you what amazed the little girl living in at the bottom of my heart and the innovation craze that swirls in my mind.

This is what I was given to watch:

No, you’re not dreaming, they are real robots. In the video, they’re flying in the hall of the premisses. They can really fly and even get into water (also super impressive). They reproduce the natural movements of penguins. So technically, or rather technologically, penguins can fly. For more technical info on these robots, see the Festo website page (only available in German or French though…) These were developed in 2008, along with another animal that I find really fantastic although once I got stung/bitten really hard by one. Here’s the aquatic version of the Festo Jelly, “AquaJelly”.

How wonderful.

Why this dream of engineers will you ask? Well, simply to show how talented the Festo people are, and oh yes, they definitely are.

And now see the latest innovation, the Smart bird, which was shown in Edinburgh in summer 2011 at a TED conference:

Followed by an actual immersion into the “real” bird’s environment, just after the conference, in Holyrood park (special mention for Scotland again – it must have been amazing). See video here.

Most of the showings of the robots developed by Festo can be found on youtube, or else more simply on Festo’s channel.

Smilla smiles: hummm! creactivity

December 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Try not to panic, take a deep breath before reading this, but, ladies and gents, I have found the online place where you’re gonna shop cute things all the time. It’s also the same place you’re gonna read about nice and tender colourful stuff every week, and share the worlds of creative crafts people.

The age of arts and crafts had already reached an interesting step with the democratization of heart-shaped stickers and glittering pens your mum now uses to decorate empty jam jars. She didn’t tell you, but she was trying to imitate some very nice decorative item she saw once in that arts and crafts fair, she doesn’t remember when or where. But you obviously don’t want to take the risk neither to make such a gift for Christmas, nor to receive it – whichever is the worst. Well, then, I’d strongly recommend to skim through the pages of the used-to-be-only a magazine

So what is this? A running cupcake wearing a spotted dress? Well…. yes. Hum-Gum is all about this kind of cute universe, colourful and sparkling, creative and lovely. It’s bubbled up by bloggers who either have their own chronicle every week (design, photo of the week, funny architecture, best ideas ever to decorate your room…) or build up their own space – their own blog – under the benevolent eye of the Hum-Gum dream team. Most of them are people who master the art of making cool stuff with their own hands. Their blogs’ topics will range from yummy food recipes to funny fashion items such.

It’s a young girl’s world, but also an original woman’s. And the great news about this is that last week, hear me, the great activity of the magazine-blog has been launched: you can now SHOP everything you can see on the different creative blogs. Which totally makes sense and completes the Hum-Gum experience: after admiring and desiring the beautiful objects (jewels, lamps, clothes, cushions…) creative by gifted hands, you can now go ahead a click “Buy”. And then become the happy owner of this original piece your Mum was desperately trying to copy. It’s a French Magazine, but I guess you girls will be able to overcome this small language obstacle to acquire your fabulous gift.

To promote this new part of the website, Hum-Gum has made a selection of the best items of the moment, visible on their home page. My personal favourite tonight: the blog L’Echarlotte, feat. the white china jewels that are just delightful. Of course available to shop via the website !! Yeeeheee ! Excited?

Smilla smiles: my life is a mess

November 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

You spend at least 1h30 in public transports everyday. You work at least 8 hours a day and I’m not including the time you spend on trying to organize your organizer. Now fall is ending so you get home at least three times a week with wet shoes. Yes, the world is hostile. So, as a result, when you come home, you 1) leave your bag on the floor in the door hall and sometimes sprill the whole content right there, 2) take off your shoes in front of the shoe cupboard, just with all your other pairs of wet stilettos from the days before, 3) leave your open mail on the table without putting the torn envelopes into the trash, 4) just lay down face against the pillow wondering what the heck you were thinking about when you signed for this.

Material result: your life is mess. Well, so is mine. But luckily for us, artists like Ursus Wherli put our daily world in order (visit his website, but be warned, it’s in German — I think. He’s Swiss so I guess this would make sense).

So this is his work with a fruit salad, but there are others you can check here on Fubiz (The Art of Clean Up) but, most of all, I strongly recommend this video of his TED conference of his first book, “Tidying up Art”. ‘Cause you have to have a good dose of humour when you decide to tidy up years of artistic habits 😉

Pictures properties of their author Ursus Wehrli.

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