Best of Lifestyle & Culture 2012

As the New Year steadily approaches, we look back nostalgically at the innovative concepts and exciting cultural happenings that shaped a glorious year. Scroll through to see our favorite picks of 2012:

A personal highlight was Austrian athlete Felix Baumgartner’s attempts to break the speed of sound in October. After a failed jump due to adverse weather conditions, a second attempt saw Baumgartner free-fall for over 23 miles across the New Mexico desert.

We also caught wind of the humbling story of Daniel Suelo, otherwise know as “The Man Who Quit Money” – a Seattle native who decided to abandon his conventional life in Seattle to embark on a “more meaningful” existence in the Utah wilderness.

At the beginning of the year, literary marvel Alain de Botton released a religious book for non-believers entitled Religion for Atheists, and later in April, technology giants Google unveiled Project Glass, which was the company’s foray into wearable, augmented reality glasses. Designer Diane von Furstenburg even dressed her models in these innovative accessories during her S/S 13 catwalk presentation in New York in September.

Another favorite (and apt during London’s rainy period this autumn) was rAndom International’s brilliant installation, Rain Room – a motion controlled artwork that enabled visitors to control and experience rainfall without getting wet.

Other weird and wonderful marvels included insight into the future of 3D printed meat, billionaire investor, Peter Thiel’s attempts at reducing the environmental concerns of livestock farming, and the Architecture for Dogs concept, which debuted at DesignMiami/ this December – a brilliant project enabling pet owners to build and personalize structures for their beloved pets via an open-source design platform, online.

And last, but by no means least, our brilliant Influencers dinner in collaboration with The Disappearing Dining Club. Hosted at our favorite East London hangout Hurwundeki in February this year, the dinner saw a handpicked selection of industry experts gathered to discuss the key ideas and trends that continue to shape our future thinking.

Guests including Dana Gornitzki of MIEN Magazine, the founders of Something & Son and FARM:shop in Dalston, architecture collective The Decorators, Jack Gwilym Roberts from Future Human and synthetic biologist Daisy Ginsberg (to name but a handful), sat down over delicious sharing plates to explore a range of topics including storytelling, global versus local, scale and the meaning of time in a digital age. Food for thought and ideas that fed into our inaugural Catalyst report in April.

What a year! Look forward to seeing you in 2013! – Sam and Louise x

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