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Culture Vulture

Ikon NZ's pulse on the Then, Now, and how it will affect our Future.


We highlight three fields that we've observed change or disruption in. We pick two stand-out stories from each field and share our thoughts on them, ranging from the professional to the outright fan-boyish (or fan-girly). We invite you to learn, discuss, and share your thoughts too. Remember to download pictures for the best experience.
Click on pictures for links to the source

ART & DESIGN
Curated by Christina, Planning Team

The craft industry booms as a result of a wider well-being trend. 2015 saw a colouring craze take off, but in 2016, forget felt-tips! Origami, with its Zen-like calming qualities, presents an artistic and practical challenge for adults seeking a break from technology.

Christina: Technology makes life easier, but for many it only seems to get busier. With the urban population seeking stress release and a creative avenue, 'joining the fold' has become a trend. Going back to basics, Paperchase has recently launched origami workshops in its larger stores, creating a social environment where customers can learn how to make their own creations and share via social media.


Emojis have come a long way since they were first made possible in 1999 by Japanese mobile provider NTT DoCoMo. They were the first pictographs to debut in mobile communication and continue to be a rising and unstoppable trend. It's no wonder New York's MoMA has just added the original set of 176 emojis to its permanent collection of "humble masterpieces"

Christina: Some may think emojis are a lowbrow form of communication, but they're attention grabbing, they tell a story and they're better than 'just words'. Kurita's 12x12 black-and-white pixel designs were the start of the explosive growth of a new visual language. Competitors have since jumped on the bandwagon, with Apple - 12 years later launching a far larger emoji set - driving a new form of global digital communication.

LISTEN
Curated by Nick, Social Team

22, A Million - Bon Iver's first album in five years - takes an unexpected turn toward the strange and experimental. That said, behind the arranged glitches and processed voices are deeply felt songs about uncertainty.

Nick: While I consider myself a Bon Iver fan, a five year hiatus has somewhat forced them off my musical radar. However, the eclectic sounds of their third studio album really showcased Jason Vernon's emotional song writing ability. The album talks of profound uncertainty through a technologically enhanced sound, which seems all too close to the current state of the world we live in.


Countless better-known acts have come out of Canada - but if the nation ever had a true musical spokesperson, it might be Gord Downie. Gord is the front-man and primary songwriter of the Tragically Hip, known for his lengthy and raucous tours. Over their 32-year history, the band has delivered countless hits - including 11 Top 10 Canadian singles - that many in the country can recite by heart.

Nick: Live streaming tech continues to advance, and in doing so making events such as Tragically Hip's final concert accessible to all Canadians. The concert was broadcast live back in August, shortly after the announcement that Gord Downie was undergoing treatment for brain cancer. These guys have been the soundtrack to Canadian life for so long now and I, for one, will be the first in line to watch the documentary about this group of incredibly inspiring people

TECHNOLOGY
Curated by Ella, Planning Team

The roll-out of 5G - the fifth generation of wireless broadband technology - is just around the corner. One of the bigger concerns lies in how the increased number of transmitters (and consequently their transmissions) i will affect the well-being of people.

Ella: In a world where a large percentage of us have come to expect ubiquitous connectivity, we don't often consider (or have chosen to ignore) the potential impact this may have on our health and environment. Whether this is because we don't see connectivity as a physical commodity, or due to a lack of understanding, we should question what the wider effect of 5G will be.


Mallory Soldner shows us how private sector companies can help make progress on big problems (from the refugee crises to world hunger) by pitching in untapped data, technology and decision scientists as resources. For example, imagine planning three meals for 500,000 people - Soldner has created a tool that allows decision makers to weed through 900 million options to find the most efficient way of doing this in just a matter of days.

Ella: Companies have the opportunity to to play a major role in corporate social responsibility, fixing the big problems in our world without requiring business dollars in donation. By simply contributing their data resources, they could help drive better decisions and more efficiency in helping communities around the world.