Take a Cucalu

Ever since I discovered that space invaders are found all across the globe, I realized what can make my day: something small, that’s easily overlooked. It’s especially rewarding when you’ve made some effort. Shit in, shit out – they say. Time in, time out – I say.

Each space invader I discovered (from Melbourne to Amsterdam, Bangkok to New York) whilst scrutinizing rooftops, obsolete viaducts and desolate alleyways would leave me daydreaming about who picked that spot and type of invader. A moment of discovery as a time-out from the present.

That’s how Cucalu works, too. Cut short, it’s  a smartphone game that invites you to stretch your creativity by taking photos. Photos containing basic, geometrical shapes. You know, that circle or triangle you subconsciously spot day in, day out.

By really looking out for them, you embark on a visual adventure in a familiar environment. Bonus: a new perspective. Combine your photos into unique short movies and go Dutch: share the creative effort by releasing it into a pool of new friends.

Daniel Disselkoen coined the idea, and we’ve collaborated for two years on the launch, copy and communications. That runs from Thinking Biggy about its PR to Writing Tiny for the in-game instructions. A message is everywhere. Just as triangles, circles and squares. Go hunting.

The Crusoë Company

When cold and wet nights set in, there’s nothing more tempting than revisiting memories of a French summer’s bright and starry skies. So, that’s what I’ll do. Now, yes. Since it was quite an extraordinary summer. Having spent the beginning half of 2013 working on or with my supplementary limb – the laptop – I was in dire need of some physical routine, cooking and making. Did I know there was an island for that. In France, even.

So I swapped eight (possibly) sunny weeks in Amsterdam for eight stove-bound weeks in Rémalard. But one does not end up in Le Perche for no reason. It’s really devoid of standard travel-entertainment. Some serendip here and there led me to the single darn pearl in the Perchean woods: d’une île. There, you can sleep, eat and wander.

The driving force behind this ‘island in time’ are Michel + Sofie. They manually turned the old countryside manor(s) into eight apartments, where unwinding is unavoidable, and desirable. Love, dedication and beauty are the main ingredient of e v e r y t h i n g you see, touch, hear, feel and taste.

I crusoëd along with Michel + Sofie for the 2013 summer season, and witnessed a unique process of creation. Where many of us might feel they’re overflowing with ideas, but find too little time to realize them, I discovered it’s not (only) about time, but about space. Atd’une île, there is space.

Space, because:
– you overlook les fôrets from your window, making ideas grow whilst musing.
– le terroir of Le Perche rewards entrepreneurial efforts that offer quality.
– there’s always work to do and mainly your own pool of creative solutions to tap from.
– moments of buzz and business are alternated with time for reconsideration and reflection.
– time takes what it needs to grow d’une île organically.

What most fascinated me was that, although the space-statements above might evoke some sense of ‘slowness’, the opposite is true. The design, reconstruction and interior ofd’une île were realized within a time-frame any architect or contracter could only dream of.

To me, it feels as if the key lies with a vision rooted in the courage of two talented personalities taking some space.