DIARY: The mystery of cool is revealed by a middle-aged Dutch academic

The annual Hill & Knowlton-backed Cool Hunt hit the headlines again last week, as Dutch academic Dr Carl Rohde made public the results of his quest to establish what was cool in Europe and why.

Coverage focused on the London aspect which, among other things, named Fulham as the coolest place to live in the capital and Cafe de Paris as one of the coolest bars.

Despite suggestions that the research is flawed by its subjectivity, the academic is robust in defence of his project: 'It is important to know which things have a reputation for being cool, but for companies it is more important to know why. To move it on I discuss with my clients how they can link their brands with coolness.'

Rohde is admirably frank about his own level of coolness: 'I am bald and 49 and don't go out every night. But I have a knowledge of the cultural context of cool.'


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