The Creative Waffle roundup: International Waffle Day

International Waffle Day is the 25th March — but, of course, you already knew that. Originating in Sweden, the day is traditionally celebrated by (yes, you guessed it) eating waffles. So what better occasion for us to throw another Creative Waffle round-up your way? 

Get your waffle iron warmed and settle in for our latest round up of best bits from the last few meetings. And if you missed part one and part two, go back and take a look now.

Support penguin

Got a lot on your mind? Give Wysa a try before bed

What does a penguin have to do with mental health support? We’re glad you asked. Meet Wysa, the AI chat-bot penguin that’s always available to talk — and more importantly — listen to you… night or day, rain or shine.

Times are tough at the moment, and experts always recommend talking about what’s going on in your head when you’re struggling. But even if you’re lucky enough to be able to open up to family or friends, finding someone who will just listen, without judgement or opinion, is often hard to come by. Wysa’s intelligent and compassionate chat bot is designed to listen and ask the right questions — and it’s received rafts of praise from users and industry regulators alike.

Wysa has been awarded the 2020 Best Health and Care app by ORCHA and has helped more than 2.5 million people to date. If you’re someone who struggles to switch off the racing thoughts just before bed, or you feel anxious about the world, Wysa might just be the app you need to get you through.

Shelter from the storm

The Shelter Suit. Photo from Design Week.

It’s a beautiful thing when design ingenuity and social action come together perfectly, giving hope to some of society’s most vulnerable. It’s something Bas Timmer, a fashion designer from the Netherlands, has achieved with his potentially life-saving Sheltersuit.

Unfortunately, it was a tragic loss of life that acted as the catalyst for Timmer’s invention. After his friend’s father died of hypothermia while living on the streets, he wanted to do everything he could to prevent the same thing happening to others. He designed and created an insulated waterproof jacket that doubles-up as a sleeping bag.

Using recycled materials donated by various clothing brands, Timmer is able to manufacture this ‘suits’ relatively cheaply and give them away for free. The success has allowed him to expand, and he now employs several ex-homeless people to help the cause. Amazing work!

Feel the freshness

The Mimica Touch in action. Photo from Mimica.

Sticking with game-changing inventions… eco-conscious company, Mimica, has developed a food label that can tell you when fresh food has expired.

According to its website, “60% of the food we waste in the UK is still totally edible, meanwhile the way expiry dates are calculated is not regulated… this results in good food being wasted”. The Mimica Touch food label sits on top of your milk bottle or packet of beef and becomes bumpy to the touch when the product has expired.

It has the potential to save households hundreds of pounds per year, as well as dramatically reducing food waste and the associated environmental impact.

Prestigious art prize goes virtual

Silvia Rosi, Self-Portrait as My Father, from the series Encounter, 2019.

Many events have had to go virtual, and art exhibitions are no different — no matter how prestigious the prize on offer. The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is one of the most sought-after accolades for photographers and artists, with over 5,500 submissions rolling in each year. But how can the winner be judged without being able to go and see the portraits?

The National Portrait Gallery have created a online exhibition hall where you can take a virtual tour of all the shortlisted entries. Not only can you view each portrait in great detail, but you also get a chance to read the story behind each piece. You get to understand the artist’s inspiration and vision and cast your vote while you’re there.

The arts, and the momentary escape they provide, are perhaps more important than ever, and it’s uplifting to see people willing to find a way to make things work despite the restrictive circumstances.

Bread Legs and Bean Bags

The Waffle Racket by Vanessa McKeown

To finish on something a little lighter, feast your eyes on the unique creations of Vanessa McKeown. From her work, it’s clear to see McKeown sees the world in a different way.

Burger buns in a bikini… bread sticks in boots… baked beans in a bag — she has a special ability to take two relatively mundane and unconnected objects and combine them in a way that’s anything but boring. Characterised by bright colours and a touch of surrealism, you can easily find yourself scrolling and scrolling through her work, captivated by her vision and skill of execution.

She even has an online shop, because who doesn’t have room for a portrait of some flip-flop-styled sourdough slices on their wall!?

What creative projects have caught your eye recently? Hit us up with your suggestions on our Instagram and they may even feature in the next Creative Waffle round-up.

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