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01 : 02 : 19 : Weekly Debrief

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1 February 2019

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Boo Oh, US


This week: A sensory aesthetic for healthcare, Carlo Ratti's driverless bar on wheels, Grove's luxury sustainable detergent, audio erotica for women and Sweden becomes 'The Edible Country'.

Nordic Health Lab film by Lucy Hardcastle

1. Nordic Health Labs lends healthcare a design-led aesthetic

Denmark – An experimental division of Nordsjællands Hospital that tests creative solutions to future health challenges has released a new video campaign that visualises its more holistic approach to medicine.

The animated film, created by Lucy Hardcastle Studio for Nordic Health Lab, uses visual metaphors to reframe the meaning of good health. Inspired by concepts such as the Anthropocene, the interdisciplinary studio’s shape-shifting animations are intended to give form to the three pillars of the lab’s mission: humanity, nature and community.

By adopting a sensory aesthetic, the video reflects the way healthcare brands and medical services are taking visual cues from the lifestyle industries. This more design-focused approach to healthcare not only echoes Nordic Health Lab’s experimental approach, but also a wider move to destigmatise medical products and rebrand them as human and emotional. For more, explore our Soft Aid design direction.

Guido, a project by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati with Makr Shakr, renderings by Gary di Silvio (CRA) with Carlo Turati and Marco Conte (Makr Shakr)

2. A driverless car on wheels that delivers cocktails on demand

Turin – Italian design firm Carlo Ratti Associati has revealed a design concept for a self-driving bar unit operated by a robot.

The concept for the bar on wheels, named Guido, has been developed in partnership with Makr Shakr, an industry leader in robotic bar systems. Comprising a unit featuring two mechanical arms that can precisely prepare and serve any drinks combination in seconds, the bar is mounted on a self-driving platform.

Much like ride-hailing services such as Uber, an affiliated app allows anyone to book the bar on demand. Once the bar arrives, consumers use the app to order a drink, which will verify their age and let them pay via their smartphone.

The project re-imagines the future of autonomous vehicles and reveals the potential of driverless technology to transform leisure in cities. Visit our dedicated Far Futures vertical for more on the future of mobility.

Grove Collaborative, US

5. Grove Collaborative champions eco-conscious laundry

San Francisco –A subscription service for sustainable household and personal care products has launched its own line of laundry detergent, sold in a reusable glass bottle.

Grove Collaborative’s new plant-based detergent is designed to take pride of place in consumers’ homes, while reducing plastic waste. The ultra-concentrated liquid is sold in lightweight, recyclable pouches, and comes with a sleek, refillable glass dispenser. The dispenser itself uses an auto-dosing mechanism to prevent consumers from using too much product.

The start-up claims that this combination of responsible packaging and measured dispensing reduces up to 60% of plastic waste compared to standard detergents, which are typically sold in large, bulky plastic jugs. Damaging laundry habits account for a significant proportion of clothing’s carbon footprint. But, as we explore in our Conscious Aftercare microtrend, eco-conscious luxury brands are increasingly helping consumes to adopt better habits.


4. This storytelling app empowers female sexuality

San Francisco – Dipsea is a tech company and story studio that aims to destigmatise female sexual curiosity and arousal.

Its first product is an app featuring an ever-growing library of audio content, created to support and empower women sexually, and ranging from five minutes to 20 minutes in length. By focused on a mind-first approach to sexual wellness, the library utilises a technique called mental framing, reported to better arouse women by conjuring up sexual scenarios.

'For far too long, sexuality has been defined by men as physical, rather than mental,' Gina Gutierrez, co-creator of Dipsea, tells Bustle. 'And we’ve heard so many women question whether something is wrong with them because they don’t get spontaneously horny, or because things need to feel really right for them to access their sexual feelings.'

With the conversation around sexual pleasure long skewed towards men, a host of women-led sexual wellbeing brands are emerging. For more, explore our Female Futures vertical.

Dipsea, San Francisco
The Edible Country, Visit Sweden campaign

3. Sweden becomes the world's largest restaurant

Sweden – The country’s tourism board is working with Michelin-starred chefs to encourage visitors to cook a nine-course menu in the wild.

Branded as The Edible Country, Sweden is being pitched as a 100 million-acre gourmet restaurant. Created by Visit Sweden, seven wooden tables have been placed across the country with ready-to-use meal kits and cooking utensils, with the aim of showing how accessible healthy food can be. Tables are free of charge to use and can be reserved via

According to Visit Sweden, the country is 96% uninhabited, making it an ideal destination for wild dining. ‘Our nature is filled with edible ingredients and we want to invite the world to enjoy them, and at the same time wind down in nature like us Swedes do,’ says Jennie Skogsborn Missuna, the tourism board’s chief experience officer.

Sweden is a leader when it comes to finding new ways to brand its country and appeal to tourists. In 2017, Visit Sweden listed the entire nation on Airbnb. For more on the future of placemaking strategies, book a dedicated presentation from The Future Laboratory.


To future-proof your world, visit The Future Laboratory's forecasting platform LS:N Global for daily news, opinions, trends, sector specific insights, and strategic toolkits.


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