Crowd Culture Trip

The annual Amsterdam Dance Event is an experience close to our hearts. Here's what happened when Crowd DNA went out, out...

There are a couple of reasons why we wanted to write about the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) this year. First, we’re very proud to call Amsterdam one of our homes, and we like to get a chance to talk about what’s happening on our doorsteps. 

Secondly, we’re strongly inspired by all of the DIY energy at the core of dance music. Blending things, improvising, getting tech to do things it wasn’t meant to do, grassroots creativity – it’s all very much in our (Crowd) DNA.

ADE has been bringing cutting edge music, club nights, industry seminars, film screenings, art exhibitions and record store happenings to the Netherlands capital since 1996 and is attended by over 400,000 people, reveling in this mix of sub-cultural expression. Here is a taste of our experiences at the five-day event this year…


Last Night A (Female) DJ Saved My Life – Andy Crysell, CEO & Founder

DJs/writers/dance music historians Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton staged a talk and party at ADE, marking the launch of the second edition of their highly definitive Last Night A DJ Saved My Life book. For anyone who hasn’t encountered it, Last Night… heads deep into the psyche of after dark culture and the role of the DJ, telling an inspirational underground story that weaves from reggae to disco to house and beyond.

The big shift in the new edition comes from Bill and Frank’s acknowledgement that, in the first, the input from female-identifying DJs was glaringly light. They’ve put that right this time – recognising the impact of many women DJs across many genres, including the fascinating story of Celeste Alexander, the only female DJ ever to spin at Chicago’s The Music Box, the iconic home of Ron Hardy and year zero house music.

They noted in their talk how they now aim for 50/50 female and male line-ups at their own parties and that, on top of everything else, it simply makes business sense: “doing this has completely renergised who turns up for our nights.”

Spearheaded by the likes of Charlotte De Witte and Amelie Lens, female DJs have made a monumental impression on dance music over the last half decade. But there are those, less known, who came before them. Telling their story – and thus the origins of modern sub-culture – is important to do. Props, while on the subject, to the women DJs who had a big impact on me in the past. Smokin’ Jo, Kelli Hand, Princess Julia, Nancy Noise, Lisa Loud, DJ Paulette, to name a few.


Beats And Burgers – Joey Zeelen, Director, Amsterdam and Stockholm 

After the success of the pop-up PAINDEMIE, the restaurant specialising in toastie burgers recently opened a permanent location in Amsterdam Oud West. The building on the Kinkerstraat consists of two floors. The interior downstairs is inspired by a Japanese subway station where burgers, sandwiches and grilled cheese are served. Upstairs is an art deco, Japanese listening bar where vinyl records are played all weekend.

The restaurant has gained a true cult following over the last few years due to its surprising food, interior design, humorous Instagram posts and collaborations with in-vogue chefs.

During ADE the owners decided to host an early evening rave with upcoming Dutch DJs JEANS and Mairo Nawaz. Both played psy/Goa trance and techno for four hours, while the restaurant staff continued flipping burgers. The result is best described as a Blade Runner-dystopian-retro-futurism party… with amazing food. 

Normally, we would be sceptical of these types of concepts. Rave culture doesn’t easily get appropriated, and brands showing up almost always seem desperate. But this was a great example of how a brand connects and amplifies underground music culture in a way that doesn’t feel contrived. Success is dependent on a symbiotic relationship, where the artists, the culture and the brand all benefit. And that’s what happened here.


EDM Wellbeing Escapes – Irina Dimitriade, Associate Director 

For the metal-head in me, dance music has always been something that other people did. Until ADE 2022. There were so many amazing things about it, like seeing an entire city come together into a giant party for five days and nights. But what really did it for me was discovering EDM as an instrument for wellbeing.

ADE is a great reflection of how electronic dance music is expanding and becoming a holistic instrument for inner peace. It started with Mark to the Music, a mindful art experience at the Museum van de Geest (aka Museum of the Mind). Here, Jolien Pusthumus, a neuro-sensitive mindfulness trainer, guided us into a deep meditative journey while we created art to the amazing atmospheric beats of DJ Marcelle. 

This journey continued with Reflections – a live music and meditation experience at Delight Yoga, one of the most beautiful studios in the city. For one long hour, the voice of Kat Pither from Yogi Bare and the live electronic music of Jesse Marcella guided us into a deep meditative state. The sense of expansion I felt when I woke up was out of this world!

And finally, my journey ended with a complete let-go at Nxt Museum x Transmoderna AiR, immersed in audiovisual dance culture, with sounds, pixels and NFTs. I never expected that an intimate escape into my own mind in museums and yoga studios would actually lead me towards a new tribe.


Creative Curations – Eleanor Bickers, Cultural Strategist

Located at the old military base Het Hem in Zaandam, this industrial backdrop was the ideal place to find an exhibition about the history of rave. Here it felt like we were lost in a radical alternative to contemporary society. It was reminiscent of trying to find a rave – getting lost in the tree-lined routes that snaked around the outdoor event, and all seeking out a collective experience.

With this type of energy, the exhibition had begun before we had even arrived. As cultural researchers, it was a highly interesting and immersive route into an event. Inside the old bullet factory, Sweet Harmony: Out of the Underground told the story of the history of the Dutch rave scene in the eighties and nineties, with contemporary perspectives of queer techno politics and resistance.

It explored the idea that rave culture shouldn’t (just) be romanticised, as it’s a complex ecosystem of liberation, togetherness, and unmediated human interaction. We were encouraged to select our own path through the exhibition. The event curation kept us on our toes – such as with the absence of lengthy descriptions. Rave culture may have been talked about many times before, but the experiential nature of Sweet Harmony helped us look at it with a fresh narrative.

As part of our ongoing commitment to workplace diversity, we’re partnering with the 10,000 Black Interns initiative…

As a global agency with offices in seven cities, working at the intersection of brands and culture, people – and all their many, wonderful, kaleidoscopic backgrounds – form our foundations. Diversity, therefore, is a huge part of what we do, and what we stand for as a team. 

But we’re aware of our limitations. Building a truly diverse company is something we constantly have to work at – and sometimes we have to call in help from elsewhere. 

That’s why we’re excited to partner with 10,000 Black Interns, a charity dedicated to creating opportunities for underrepresented young Black talent talent. We’ll be joining a line up of businesses promising to cumulatively hire 10,000 Black interns amid a push to improve the diversity of the UK’s professional industries. Last year, 70 percent of the applicants said they wouldn’t have received an internship if it hadn’t been for the programme.

Our partnership with 10,000 Black Interns means we will be offering three paid intern opportunities in 2023 through our Culture Club programme (a significant number of Culture Clubbers go on to permanent roles at Crowd DNA). If this is something that interests you, head here to apply. And please share this news with anyone else who might want to hear about it. 

 You can read more about 10,000 Black Interns here; our own internship scheme, Culture Club, here and our commitment to the MRS Pledge here.

Crowd DNA In Los Angeles

Hello Los Angeles. We're so happy to be opening there today and Crowd DNA founder/CEO Andy Crysell explains why...

It’s a proud and exciting day at Crowd DNA today, as we lift the curtain on our seventh office. This time our adventures take us to Los Angeles and we’re delighted to welcome on board David Stewart as our head of agency.

Why Los Angeles? Well, first up, why anywhere? We could do much of the global work that we do just from London, our original base. But we know we create a more compelling and human business by being about more than that. By placing ourselves closer to people and to the source of culture. We are more interesting for our clients and we bring together a more interesting team, too; one with broader perspectives, reference points and stories to tell.

London, Amsterdam, New York City, Singapore, Sydney, Stockholm – we’re proud of our leadership and of our teams in each of these locations. The mind-blowingly good work they create, the purposeful collaboration between them, and just how passionately they all dive into the inherent messiness of our culturally charged commercial advantage ethosThey have made Crowd DNA so very much more energized and thrilling than anything I could’ve cooked up just from London alone.

Yeah, but why Los Angeles? It’s a fascinating place – its origin story through to the distinct sub-cultures it’s created. My first visit was in 1997. I was there, as a journalist, to interview Wu-Tang Clan (who’d decamped to the city in the hope of getting their album finished) and, within three hours of me landing, what became known as the Real Heat (as in the movie) Bank Robbery kicked off, with the sky full of smoke and helicopters, and wall to wall coverage across every TV channel.

I’ve been back multiple times since – sometimes for a day or two, sometimes working there for four or five weeks. No other bank robberies of note, but it really is a place that gets under your skin. Some people from the UK and Europe get kind of sniffy about Los Angeles, thinking it soulless or center-less. I think it’s a place of limitless possibilities. Fabulous communities and people making new things happen, often from scratch. Los Angeles has its own kind of creativity.

We expect the briefs that Crowd DNA Los Angeles receives to be as varied – and amazing – as across our other offices. But we are particularly excited about the opportunities we will have here to dive deeper into the future of entertainment, a space that’s always been strong in our work. Web3, fandom, platform disruption, game-changing new content and ever more immersive experiences. So much of this is of interest to our clients (both in media/tech, and across other categories) and we’re keen to get closer to it all in Los Angeles.

Why David Stewart? We’ve had some fantastic conversations with David over the last couple of months and we can tell that he cares about the right stuff, the important stuff – both in the work and in our culture. His brilliant experience at agencies such as Kelton, Coherency and Jigsaw International helps too. We think he’ll be a wonderful addition to our senior team and we can’t wait to get to know him better.

And if you’d like to get to know him better, you could always check the Los Angeles openings on our careers page. We’re looking forward to now building out our team there.

Or if you’d just like to learn more about what we’ll be doing in Los Angeles, perhaps how we could collaborate in some form or fashion, do reach out to me or to David. ( /

Crowd DNA Los Angeles – a nice way to start the week.




Local Love In APAC

Download a copy of our Local Love In APAC report - produced in partnership with our KIN network

Part of our KIN Connects series, Local Love In APAC is a project from our Singapore and Sydney teams that illuminates an interesting cultural tension in the region – a kind of cognitive dissonance between the inescapable desire to be citizens of the world and an innate sense of place, connection and pride in localism.

Working with contributors from KIN, our network of creators and connectors, based in China, South Korea, India, Indonesia, and Singapore, we’ve identified three emerging shifts within this new wave of Asian representation.

Shift 1: (From) Homogenised cultural ideals → (To) Remix culture

Shift 2: (From) Simplistic narratives → (To) Enriched & nuanced

Shift 3: (From) Passive consumption → (To) Cultural co-creation

Want to find out more? Download the report here: KIN Connects | Local Love In APAC to do just that.

The Practice Of Slowness

Slowing down has become a life goal for many, but also a goal that's easier said than done. Crowd DNA New York's Kara Tullman takes a long, patient look at how people are tuning into slowness, and what the outcomes are of this change in pace...

It’s no secret that there has been a rising fascination with slow culture over the last few years. Whether it be through slow food, Scandinavian ‘hygge’ culture, or the language around mindfulness, there is an evolving trend of managing a fast external world by turning inward and winding down. The benefits of a slower pace have been confirmed by health practitioners. Just take a look at the Blue Zones, where a slower pace of life is correlated with greater life expectancy.

But slowing down is easier said than done. And while people might talk the slow talk, do they walk the slow walk? 

We wanted to take a closer look at different techniques people use to integrate slowness into their lives, unpacking the ‘aha moments’ that occur as a result. Ultimately we want to consider how we can apply these learnings to our own research practices, in an industry that is, by necessity, often fast-paced. 

Let’s meet three individuals that regularly employ slow practices.

Jordan – Baking

Jordan is a New York-based millennial copywriter who (like many) found a love for baking during the pandemic, something she has continued to integrate into her life. She now bakes at least once a week and has found enjoyment in an activity in which she previously had no interest. Baking offers Jordan light stimulation where her hands are in use and her mind has space to be self-reflective. Some of her best ideas come while baking. “I feel like I have really positive phone conversations with people during or after baking because I’m still sort of in that self-reflective mentality.”

Mark – Box Breathing

Mark is an American Wall Street veteran and decorated author who practices what he calls  ‘check-ins with humanity.’ Each morning he carves out time to do a four-part breathing exercise called box breathing and check in with his body. Throughout the day when business speeds up around him, he takes a moment to slow down his internal pace and box breathe, and he’ll finish the day off with another round of it in the evening. Mark says that these moments of slowness allow him to sharpen his focus and quiet the noise around him, increasing his overall ability to achieve his daily goals.

Per – Fika

Per is a born and bred Swede who partakes in the daily ritual of fika, a collective and somewhat obligatory break for coffee and cake. “Fika is a tradition, it’s always been there. When my parents grew up, they had three collective coffee breaks during the day. It’s something that is imprinted in our culture.”  Without a formal invitation or announcement, Swedes know that there is a co-worker waiting to socialise during fika time. In addition to partaking in daily fika breaks, Per opts to make his coffee with a traditional coffee thermos, a less convenient and slower process than a modern coffee machine.


What are the common themes?

1. Purpose

Intentional slowness provides a directed sense of purpose. Whether it be connecting to rooted culture through traditional rituals or producing a physical product through a labour of love, these intentional slow practices induce a feeling of personal productivity and accomplishment that can be lost when things are moving quickly.

2. Permission

In each of the examples above, there is a carved block of time where the guest has given themselves permission to be slow. Jordan says of baking, “there’s no real way to rush it; you can’t speed it up or the thing won’t bake.” This regulated time for slowness opens space for self-reflection and creativity. A permissive break away from a task-based mindset sparks free-flowing thought and conversation. 

3. Prescription

Following the bullet above, intentionally slow rituals often have prescriptive rules that promote a singular focus. There is a clear starting and stopping point that bookends the slowness; measurements and time windows for baking, four counts for box breathing, and an implicit 3PM coffee and cake are rules that provide order and predictability in contrast to a rather messy day. 

4. Physical Shift

Lastly and most concretely, there is a change of space that prefaces these slow rituals, signalling to the body that it is time for a shift. Jordan sets up her kitchen to set the mood with a lit candle and French jazz, while Mark moves to a quiet space better suited for box-breathing. Per mentions the relaxed social environment of daily fika builds more intimate relationships with coworkers and makes it easier to approach them about work topics later on. Adjusting their environment induces positive realisations from a place of comfort.


How About Slow Research? 


The goal of our work as cultural strategists and researchers is to uncover insights and ‘aha’ moments for our clients. However, this can be quite challenging with the quick timelines of short-term ethnography. Even on longer-term trends projects, insights tend to be dictated by the continuous change of fast culture. What would it be to use the principles of intentional slowness to aid in our own ethnographic practices? 

1. Between project handoffs and redirection, cultural strategists can often lose sight of a project objective. Taking a moment to recognize purpose throughout the project lifecycle can help with motivation and guidance internally, while also focusing clients and participants.

2. The above study reiterates the value of ‘go-alongs’ or activity-centred ethnography. When participants focus on a singular and slow moving task, they have greater available mental space for reflection and creativity that helps us unpack deeper findings.

3. The benefits of slow practices prompts the question: can we as strategists be more intentional about fieldwork design? Perhaps including a slow activity in task assignments and asking for a video diary can help capture that natural and relaxed state.

4Physical shifts of slow practices place emphasis on the importance of meeting participants in comfortable environments for more free-flowing and natural conversation. It also reiterates the value of meeting clients and coworkers in new environments to prompt fresh ideas.

Realistically in an industry where cultural changes move at lightning speed, we won’t have time to fully immerse ourselves in the lives of participants. However, taking learnings from slow practices can help us better perform our research (and perhaps help us slow down in our personal lives as well.)

First published in Research Live, Crowd DNA CEO/founder Andy Crysell explores how you design research that embraces the complexity of DEI...

Issues of DEI (diversity, equality and inclusivity) have rightly been dominant in market research in recent times. As with all industries and professions, there is a pressing need to bring improvement to the workplace.

But for many of us, there is a further focus, and one that’s more unique to our line of work: the opportunity we have to conduct research that explores DEI for our clients. Research that can go towards creating meaningful change in how brands communicate with, and shape products and services for, those who are marginalised or excluded.

To be in a place to make a difference like this is quite a privilege; something for the industry to be proud of. But equally, it is quite a responsibility. There is much that needs considering in how we design projects and how we set expectations with clients.

In the last 12 months, we’ve been exploring DEI for clients in contexts as diverse as dance music, dating apps, gaming, sports apparel, mobility and representation in media. We’re sure we’re not alone in this sudden uptick of DEI work – nor in starting to comprehend just how much complexity there is to navigate.

We certainly haven’t got everything right. And what’s written here comes from the perspective of ‘we’re learning’, not ‘we’re experts’. But these are some of our focal points when reviewing how we design and conduct research in DEI – and indeed, much of what’s covered here is important in ensuring inclusivity in all market research, not just that which has DEI in the title of the RFP

Embrace The Complexity

Intersectionality is a term that gets bandied around quite loosely, but acknowledging that many experience overlapping and interdependent forms of discrimination is key to how brands can make changes – be that to products and experiences, or campaigns and communications – beyond the superficial.

Gender, race, identity, disability, economic status – whichever dimensions you choose to consider, there will always be others. We cannot use this complexity as an excuse to dodge the issues, to say it’s too complicated. But it does have a profound impact on how we manage DEI projects, guide our clients and avoid box ticking exercises.

Who Tells The Stories

We must check our working practices to ensure that we are relaying narratives that are true and unvarnished. That, of course, means making sure we’re hearing from the right people. But also that we’re not filtering or distorting stories through only picking the aspects that make sense to us, or that correspond with our assumptions of what the challenges are.

We also need to be aware that we’re often placing a great deal of weight on a small number of participants to speak on behalf of whole communities. You could say these points are true in all market research, but the responsibility becomes paramount with DEI work.

The other side to who’s telling the stories is who’s asking the questions. And therefore consideration to if we, as a team, are best placed to relate to the lived experiences of others, or if we should call on outside expertise from those who can better identify with the discriminatory factors we’re exploring.

Method Challenges 

All research methods have flaws, but mitigating against them is a priority in DEI work. We’ve discussed story-gathering and interpretation above, but quantitative research throws up particular issues.

Quantitative research is intrinsically about putting people in boxes, which runs about as counter to acknowledging intersectionality as is possible. Tackling this means allowing people to give breadth of experience within their answers. For example, when understanding intersectional experiences, not asking participants to reflect on just one part of their identity, but on their lived experiences as a whole.

Another area where we have encountered issues is with recruitment screeners. Preparing these to adequately address factors ranging from identity to neurodiversity isn’t yet the norm in our industry. Special measures are required in their creation for DEI projects.

All Links In The Chain

Particularly when conducting multi-market projects, we need to know the DEI stance of suppliers and partner agencies before we can credibly introduce them as a contributor to our work. To not expect differences when working with partners around the world is ill-judged.

Careful briefing of partners runs alongside this. Local context needs to be laid out and appreciated upfront – including where it might sit counter to finding the common global story that clients are often seeking. Moreover, translation – from descriptive terms used to interpretation of very personal stories – needs attention.


In DEI work, the need to safeguard both participants and our project team is crucial. Projects should be set up with procedures in place for what to do if triggering language or actions are encountered. We need to avoid anyone being left uncertain what they can do, or who they should speak to, if the work is causing them concern.

Clients are as much part of this as anyone. We hope to have an equitable relationship with our clients on all projects, but here it is vital that we can have frank conversations – and raise it loudly and confidently if we feel the work is putting people at harm.

What Success Looks Like

Research is generally expected to provide tidy ‘answers’. Projects to reach agreed results. Clients make the call on if the work has been a success or not. But all of these basic principles of a buyer-seller relationship are put under pressure in the case of DEI work. Here, is success defined by the client or by those who are marginalised? Clients need to give away more power and license than they would normally expect to. Reciprocity between brand and those disempowered is essential.

All of this makes for a steep learning curve for our industry – and not to overlook, all of the refinement of project design won’t count for much unless we can bring greater diversity and inclusivity into our industry, too. But there’s also an incredible opportunity here, for us all to contribute to meaningful change. Let’s embrace it.

Exploring the tensions between local and global cultures, Crowd DNA APAC - alongside members of our KIN network - are organising a Local Love webinar Come along! All welcome...

In our work across APAC over the last four years, we’ve observed an emerging cultural tension between the desire to ‘plug in’ to the pulse of global culture, and the need to retain and celebrate local identity.

To understand this tension, the factors at play and how brands can and are responding, we turned to our KIN network across the region, and as a result we’re excited to invite you to the first instalment of our new webinar series, KIN Connects: Local Love 

The session will be presented by three of our Crowd APAC team Elyse Pigram, Ariel Malik & Caranissa Djatmiko, and they’ll be joined by guest KIN panellists Bonnie Wang and Jun Bae.

Date / Time: 27 July 2022 (Wednesday), 12:00-13:00 SGT / 14:00-15:00 AEST 

Format: Zoom Webinar – Presentation followed by Q&A with KIN 

RSVP for the webinar by emailing and we look forward to seeing you there!

Simple is probably best, as the Crowd DNA value goes. But let’s listen to that ‘probably’ for a moment, as Freddie Mason takes a look at when ‘complicated’ could be what we’re after…

Simplicity To The Point Of Invisibility 

It’s often assumed that the hallmarks of great design (whether it be UX or product) are seamlessness and simplicity to the point of invisibility. As is often said of cinema editors, the really great designer is one that all but disappears, connecting you to your goal, story or information as if by magic.

But there are certain things that this seamlessness lacks. For users there are times when a snag, a complication, a bit of friction not only gives them something to remember, but also a chance to reflect on what they’re actually doing. Complications can even be, dare I say it, pleasurable. 

In the era of the doom scroll, the odd bit of blockage goes a long way.

The Anti-Design Aesthetic  

This graphic design aesthetic for the Dutch design studio Studio Push is known as anti-design: 


Studio Push
Studio Push


At first it feels like a scramble of text and image. The experience of reading is far from seamless. In fact, it feels unreadable, full of snags. But then you realise it isn’t. And as you start to read, you dive into each image as the text bounces through textures. The design asks you to stay a little longer, to pay more attention, and you’ll be rewarded. The effect of the design’s complicated, noisy aesthetic is a heightened engagement with the interface. And as a result, you’re more likely to remember it.

This draws our attention, then, to something frictionless, seamless design lacks – memorability. Complicated-ness resists the infinite, infinitely forgettable, homogeneity of cookie cutter websites.


A cookie cutter website
A cookie cutter website


Anti-design webpages can draw you in through their mystery and disorientation, as is the case with a glitch aesthetic site design like Studium Generale’s Take A Walk On The Wild Side. Simple mouse motions bring the chaotic glitching into coherence and clarity, as the user learns the secret rules of the page. It’s a discovery. It’s exciting.


Take A Walk On The Wild Side, by Studium Generale
Take A Walk On The Wild Side, by Studium Generale


Anti-design sites are also super original, and allow for a greater sense of brand identity to translate to the visitor.    

A Marie Kondo Kick Back

It’s no doubt that anti-design aesthetics in digital design are trendy right now, as a reaction against the dominance of slick, minimal sites that may work very, very well, but fail to challenge or surprise. It’s a trend that is reflected, too, in the joys of maximalism in domestic interiors. While we’ve seen Marie Kondo’s rigorous decluttering find immense appeal, counter trends that indulge in sheer visual cacophony are also in full swing. As with all parts of life, it sometimes feels these days, it’s the moderate middle ground that can be seen gasping for cultural air time.


A maximalist interior
A maximalist interior

Positive Friction

Coming back to UX design, we can see how carefully curated complicated-ness introduces frictions that result in a whole range of positives for users. In very practical instances, interfaces introducing elements that ‘get in the way’ can save us from, for example, making unwanted money transfers by mistake or forgetting to attach documents to an email. While these might not be the most thrilling things digital tech has to offer, it’s all part of a more mindful and reflective approach to tech that increased friction encourages.

Or, we can look to the way the ‘pages’ of ebooks pause momentarily when ‘turned’, mimicking that split second of contemplation afforded by their physical counterparts. Ebooks could, of course, transition between pages seamlessly, but this, in fact, would make their content or story line harder to absorb for readers. This is in line with the discoveries made by a study conducted way back in 2010, which showed that information expressed in harder to read fonts was more memorable. ‘Disfluency’ is the term used to describe the struggle associated with a difficult mental task. And it is disfluency, rather than fluency, in our interfaces that helps us learn.

Deep Satisfaction 

Ultimately, though, friction, not endless flow, is what so often gives us a deeper sense of satisfaction. The contemplative moment of turning a page, that tactile pause, is fundamental to the joy of reading a book. It is the absence of such a moment when scrolling through the heterogenous matter of social media feeds that can summon doom.

IRL, designers have been experimenting with this sort of thing for years, and with great success. Legend has it that instant cake mix packs didn’t sell until buyers were required to provide their own eggs. People needed that extra step to feel they’d made the cake. And IKEA realised many moons ago that people assembling their own furniture not only made shipping easier, but their customers happier, feeling more involved.


Because you add the eggs yourself
Because you add the eggs yourself


All this helps us to remember that a world of perfectly engineered convenience (if such a thing were even possible) would bore us to tears. I have a friend who loves to cut his facial hair with scissors, rather than an electric beard trimmer, because he enjoys the sound, and will go so far as to get up early in order to partake in this considerably trickier and time-consuming self care routine.

If I can, I will always take the bus in London (even at rush hour) rather than the tube, just to get that visceral feeling of the city. Or, it’s Edward Tenner’s (author of The Efficiency Paradoxdecision to hand grind his coffee in the morning, because there is a “slowness and deliberateness to the task that is intrinsically satisfying.”

And most recently – Netflix are planning on making people wait for episodes of their favourite shows, slowing down the binge-till-infinity trend that’s recently dominated.

Mental Health

It’s fair to say that all this sits right at the core of improved mental health. And apps in the business of helping people with this are also experimenting with positive friction. The new app imi, for example, is there to guide LGBTQ+ teens through their mental health. The app’s content can be ‘extremely heavy at times’. As a result, the guide is carefully paced, with buffers strategically placed for users to log off and reflect. This isn’t a scroll-through, ‘two min read’ thing. And thank god it’s not.

Here’s to blockages. Long may they be there for us to overcome.