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INTERNATIONAL - Reedited 2021-08-28

Corona set the kitchen in the foreground again. It is not only the place where the magical transformation of food into culinary experiences takes place - as it probably was in earlier times, this was only the playground of gourmets and foodies, here our day start with the first coffee and usually they also end here, after work is done, with a good conversation

The best parties begin and end in the kitchen. But for a few months now, the demands on the kitchen have changed. After all, we spend more time here than ever before. Be it because of Corona or simply because a renaissance of our own cosiness has taken place. Without the possibility of dining in the canteen at lunchtime or ending the day at an Italian restaurant, the kitchen has to cope with quite a lot. Many have used the time to beautify their living spaces and adapt their kitchens, or instead of flying off on holiday many people have invested in a cooking island. Kitchens are thus still a central theme in the living space, or perhaps they have become even more and more central?

Holidays on Kitchen island. Trends, however, are still focused on simplicity, functionality and sustainability. Living concepts are designed to be open, the boundaries between kitchen and living space are often fluid, which is why very light, purist kitchens are particularly popular. They are adaptable and blend in well. At the same time, there is also a counter-trend: more and more daring people are opting for black kitchens. In light-flooded flats, this is very elegant and timeless. Especially when combined with light, warm wood, very dark kitchens create a homely atmosphere.

To be or not to be? Aesthetic and functional quality have a high priority and usually kitchen concepts are integrated very publicly into the living space. The strong focus on the home through home office, homeschooling, lockdown has significantly increased the importance of the kitchen. But: kitchen doesn't have to and shouldn't look like kitchen anymore." Minimalist shapes and clean lines define the look of modern kitchens. Since the furniture is kept simple and functional anyway, there are no limits to personal style in the details. Taps, for example, come in the most unusual designs, but also in copper and gold tones. Kettles, toasters and the like have long been pretty design objects that set colourful accents. Dishes and cooking utensils are no longer locked away, but proudly displayed.

Technology and convenience. While less is more when it comes to kitchen design, the opposite is true for kitchen appliances: more technology, more convenience and more features are in demand. Especially those appliances that support automated and smart cooking are very much in vogue, but dishwashers, extractor fans and the like can also do more and more. Not every innovation is an absolute must in the household. But energy-efficient refrigerators or modern trough fans are definitely good and sustainable investments, and water systems that ensure immediate descaling or deliver soda from the tap also help to generate unnecessary plastic waste.

Sustainability. The careful use of resources and environmental awareness are topics that should also play a due role in planning. A good kitchen will certainly last 20, 25 years or more. If you want to make a greater contribution to ensuring that our earth remains a place worth living in for future generations, you should use sustainable materials such as local wood, stone or concrete and energy-saving appliances. When it comes to cleaning products and accessories, there are also numerous green alternatives to plastic and chemicals that are increasingly available on the market

Text: Red. / Photo: Callum Hill by Unsplash



EUROPE - Reedited: 2021-08-27

Declared lifestyle connoisseurs of LG mobile phones will have to deal with changes in the future. The South Korean LG Group is getting out of the smartphone business under pressure from overwhelming Chinese competition.

Instead, resources will be focused on growth areas such as components for electric vehicles, connected devices, robotics, smart living and artificial intelligence, LG Electronics said on Monday. After years of losses in the division, the withdrawal of the once world's third-largest mobile phone manufacturer had been indicated for some time. The air for suppliers like LG has become thinner and thinner in recent years. The South Korean market leader Samsung and Apple with its iPhone dominate the lucrative business with expensive smartphones. In contrast, Chinese manufacturers dominate the mass market with cheaper models. Due to the size of their home market alone, they can produce large numbers of units that can earn money even with lower margins. Sony, for example, has also had a hard time in this market in recent years. The Japanese electronics giant focused on more expensive models to minimise losses.

The discontinuation of the "mobile phone business" is expected to be completed by the end of July, LG announced. It was a strategic decision to withdraw from the area "with incredibly strong competition". However, the devices that are still in stock will continue to be offered for sale. LG will also continue to support device service and provide software updates for its customers. Details on the employment situation would be settled at the local level.

South Korea's second-largest electronics company behind Samsung Electronics also announced plans to continue developing mobile phone technologies such as 6G to boost its own competitiveness in other business areas. 6G is considered the next level of super-fast mobile phone standards. LG's announcement does not come as a surprise. Most recently, representatives of the company had said that all options, including a sale of the division, were on the table. But no details were given about possible interested parties. The mobile communications division had posted an operating loss in every quarter since the second quarter of 2015. For the full year 2020, the deficit was 841.2 billion won (currently 634.5 million Euro). LG's smartphone market share even in its home market of South Korea had already fallen amid rumours of a pullback, national news agency Yonhap reported, citing market researcher Counterpoint Research. In January and February, LG's share was only 10 per cent, it said. Market leader Samsung's share rose 4 percentage points year-on-year to 69 per cent in February, it said.

LG was once among the pioneers of modern smartphones with large touchscreens, whose era began with the first iPhone in 2007. With the LG Prada model, the South Korean company already had a similar design idea to Apple back then - even if it was not as sophisticated as the iPhone. Most recently, LG tried to turn the tide with ideas such as smartphones with two displays.

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EUROPE - Reedited: 2021-08-25

Many people are likely to be working from home for the first time in these days due to the coronavirus outbreak. For others, it's just like any other week.

What's the best way to stay efficient and keep your spirits up? Here are five short recommendations, which might help you to make your home office experience more successful.

1. Get dressed. For many people, the prospect of staying in their jogging suits or pyjamas all day might be the most tantalising aspect of working from home. But getting dressed will not only improve your state of mind, it will psychologically prepare you to start work. Specially getting dressed formally is helpful and also suitable if you need to go into a video call. It’s this very important “kick” to say you now I am officially in my business routine, it is like getting online and be available for business.

2. Establish your boundaries. If you are not self-employed you will probably have set of working-hours and it is essential to stick to these when you're working from home. Be ready to start your day at the same time, as you would normally arrive in your office or workplace, and finish your day at the same time.

3. Get out and take some fresh air. Home office working shouldn't mean you stay cooped up inside your apartment or house all day long. So get your shoes on, get outside and enjoy some fresh air, meet some neighbours or go to the shop around the corner – maybe the same routine if you are working in corporate working place. This geographic movement – even for some minutes only - will also help undo mental blocks and give you a fresh point of view for any tasks you're struggling with in your business.

4. Pick up the phone. f you are working from your home office, the chances you might not get distracted by conversations or noise of others are higher. Take yourself some time to pick up the phone and have a real conversation, rather than relying on email and instant messaging. The value of a personal conversation – even for two or three minutes – might give you some input on ideas – but certainly the feeling or being into the community.

5. Take breaks. It's good to have a routine when you're working from home office, but your work should not become boring or monotonous. You shouldn't stay chained to your screen all day long. It's definitely essential to take regular screen breaks and get up from your working place and move around - just as you would do in a corporate office as well. Researchers have also found out, that short breaks throughout the business-day are more beneficial and efficient for regeneration of mind and body than less frequent, longer breaks.

Text: Red. / Photo by Luke Peters on Unsplash



GERMANY - 2021-07-23

It is summer and many travel enthusiasts may be discussing summer holidays with family or friends. It is not only a question of budget but also of health. Depending on the country, this topic is viewed in different ways and is therefore discussed either factually or emotionally.

Travel regulations, quarantine regulations and closed or open borders and last but not least the economic situation of the person or persons willing to travel contribute as arguments.

But if one takes a broad, even global view of the worldwide tourism industry, with its mass movements, hotel castles and hours of waiting time at airports, one or the other inclined observer might ask himself - is this actually still a holiday?

Should I really spend these few days a year in this degrading way? The environmentally conscious reader has usually already clarified this chapter for himself and has come to terms with himself and his environment by using the classic summer resort as a solution. No long journeys, preferably staying in small accommodations or holiday homes and then enjoying the country, people and regional gastronomy a lot by bike or on foot, or discovering that a natural pub in a natural body of water can also create a new sense of well-being.

The rest of the world must nevertheless ask itself whether the mass herd buoyancy in times of infectious diseases and economic crisis can still be expected of our world? Especially since this topic has increasingly been given a socially responsible component. Doesn't the mass tourist contribute to the exploitation of tourism workers? Doesn't the mass tourist also contribute to a considerable amount of waste on our planet? Is the underpaid employee who works endless overtime not a result of this mass industry?

That the black sheep exist and unfortunately are increasing is a fact, but is it not also a responsibility of the consumer - the holidaymaker? Is the consumer willing to pay for more quality and less quantity? Is the "cheap flight" passenger aware of the measly salary of the flight attendants, or is he blinded by the beautiful appearance of the uniforms and the - sometimes still existing smile?

Of course, this thinking cannot lead to consequences that lead to a positive change within a short time - or can it? COVID-19 has shown that a profound reflection on what tourism of the next generation could look like has at least begun, not voluntarily but by deadly force.

Text: Red. / Photo: Will Truettner by Unsplash