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mycoocoon: Color Immersion Pod

Pantone Universe founders create a chromotherapy pod for sensory stimulation and relaxation at London restaurant Sketch

by CH Contributor in Design on 31 October 2014

Collaborations, Furniture, Health, Innovation, Light Design, London, Pantone, Technology, Visual Art

by Caroline Kinneberg

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Experimental chef Pierre Gagnaire's Sketch restaurant, a London design haven currently featuring work by beloved artist David Shrigley, has welcomed a new installation—a color therapeutic pod called mycoocoon, designed by Lanzavecchia + Wai and Marine Peyre.

Before entering the pod, visitors are instructed to choose the color they're most attracted to on an iPad. Another set of three colors appears, and they're again asked to select one. After one more set, a final color is revealed: red (representing passion, vitality and enthusiasm), orange (extroversion, creativity, cheerfulness), magenta (love, kindness, emotion), yellow, green, turquoise, blue or purple. Next they hop into the pod, splaying out on the super-soft leather lounge. Users are removed from their surroundings by the overhead hut and bluetooth headphones that play soothing natural sounds, singing bowls and vocals. Six light sources are hidden behind the headrest, enveloping the visitor in nuances of the chosen color.

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"We wanted to create a relaxing and energizing experience that associates ancestral techniques with today's technology," mycoocoon co-founder Valérie Corcias tells Cool Hunting. Color, she explains, has been used for healing and spiritual strengthening around the world, from Egypt to India and China. Color is a form of energy, and each shade has a specific rhythm and wavelength, giving it a unique vibration. Chromotherapy specifically revolves around the theory that each person is drawn to the color that best balances the individual's energy levels and stimulates the senses.

Corcias and her partner Dominique Kelly, who launched the Pantone Universe licensing brand together in 2000, united a team of notable experts in furniture design, color therapy, music and lighting to create mycoocoon. After three years in development, the prototype at Sketch—priced at £37,000—is the only one in existence. An "immersion wall" of lights (₤7,000) is also available for smaller spaces or massage salons. Corcias and Kelly are exploring different environments for the pods, including airport lounges, hotels and offices. The pod can also be rented for events, where guests receive a pin button of their color. According to Corcias and Kelly, the experience makes an easy icebreaker by connecting people via their colors.

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Their ideas for mycoocoon are expansive. "In the long run we want mycoocoon to involve all five senses," explained Kelly. The team has worked with aromatherapists to produce scents and are talking with nutritionists to develop color-coordinated foods and juices. A portion of mycoocoon's profits will go toward Contramundo, an incubator for sustainable projects involving women and education founded by Corcias and Kelly in a Brazilian fishermen's village. Corcias says the inspiration for mycoocoon comes in part from Contramundo. "It's about taking the time to reenergize."

As the guestbook attests, visitors at Sketch have enjoyed the immersion pod. The only complaint was from someone who fell asleep for 20 minutes—and missed his dinner reservation.

Visit mycoocoon at Sketch (9 Conduit St, London) through 20 November 2014.

Images courtesy of mycoocoon

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Sidetracked Magazine: Adventure Travel

Rich photography, heartfelt writing and journeys beyond the beaten path

by Hans Aschim in Travel on 30 October 2014

Adventure, Adventure Travel, England, Exploration, Magazines, Media, Photography, Print, Sidetracked Magazine

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Spirited travelers know the value of immersing oneself in the unknown. Getting lost is a real possibility, if not a given. Dubious roadside food will no doubt be consumed alongside the most memorable, high-quality meals. While travel guides and local tips all have their place, some trips require a different kind of exploratory impetus. UK-based Sidetracked Magazine is an ode to the intrepid journeys that place inspiration over itinerary—highlighting some of the most offbeat locales and the enlightening ways to experience them. Whether it's bikepacking across the Hardangervidda in Norway or skiing in Afghanistan, Sidetracked inspires adventure with honest accounts and awe-inspiring imagery.

Sidetracked founder, producer and designer John Summerton has been working in web design for over 12 years, and telling inspiring stories of adventure and exploration has long been part of his to-do list. Summerton started Sidetracked as a website three years ago, and quickly gained a reputation for its sleek layout and original photography. However, with a penchant for print, Summerton decided to make a material version of the popular site.

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The first edition was released earlier in 2014 and sold out within a few weeks. "Holding a physical copy in hand, flicking through the smooth, uncoated stock is an experience that cannot be replicated in the digital domain," Summerton tells CH. "The independent print scene is thriving so it’s great to be a part of it." A key component of Sidetracked's success is an unwavering focus on what Summerton says matters most: the content. "The key is to create something timeless, something that oozes quality and deserves to be kept on the bookshelf or the coffee table," Summerton continues.

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A brief look at Sidetracked's digital edition and it's easy to see why Summerton saw the potential in print. Far from throwaway content, a less-is-more aesthetic and content direction is apparent with travel featured that is equal parts ingenuity, creativity and intensity with perhaps a sprinkling of madness. Running across the Namib desert and cycling across the northern reaches of Europe isn't everyone's idea of "vacation" but for those looking to learn as much about themselves as they are the world around, discomfort can be just another part of the experience to be relished.

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Volume Two (currently available online for £10) explores the emotional side of adventure travel. Balancing accounts from the far reaches of the world with reflective prose, the issue does more than just entice readers with peregrine locales it attempts to explain what draws us into these places. Highlights from the issue include tracking wolverines in Mongolia, surfing in Alaska and solo climbing with out oxygen in the Himalayas—all featuring frame-worthy photography.

Visit Sidetracked Magazine's elegant digital edition to browse past and online exclusive content including features, gear reviews and cooking tips from the field. Be on the look out for Volume Three due to drop in the coming months.

Images by Cool Hunting

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Affordable Frames from Seneca Eyewear

Unisex styles, including sunglasses with Carl Zeiss lens, starting at $100

by Nara Shin in Style on 30 October 2014

Affordable, Eyewear, Frames, Glasses, Sunglasses, Carl Zeiss, Optical

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While Warby Parker has been the indisputable leader of the affordable designer eyewear movement, a new wave of like-minded brands (David Kind, for example) have quickly caught on—resulting in even more choices for the discerning customer. Seneca Eyewear, which launched this past summer, is one that's offering quality unisex frames, including sunglasses with Carl Zeiss Vision lens—which can normally retail for $300 to $400. By operating direct to consumer, Seneca Eyewear can offer frames and prescription lenses from $100. "The goal was to deliver a better price-to-quality ratio than traditional designer houses, while not giving up our principles for being a true premium product," the brand tells CH.

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Each frame comes in a variety of colors, and those interested in the sunglasses with polarized lenses can select green, yellow, ruby or pink tints, for a feeling of customization. Inspired by the frames James Dean donned in the '50s, Seneca's Plato model would flatter most face shapes, while those wanting a more distinguished look may consider the rounded Theodor. If the traditional frames are a little too minimalist for your taste, the Seneca the Younger capsule collection offers some more adventurous styles, like frames wrapped in lambskin leather.

The brand hinted to CH of what's next to come, revealing that they are currently developing a Japanese titanium featherweight collection for "a new range of products unheard of in the affordable market."

Seneca Eyewear frames are available online starting at $100, which includes prescription lenses.

Images by Cool Hunting

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