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2 October 2020

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Ocean Community by Wojciech Morsztyn

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This week: Escapist music merchandise, sleek and sustainable beauty packaging, omnipresent offices, life-long homeware, and pandemic wayfinding

Pure & Wondrous Sounds Collection by SoundCloud x GRVTY, US

1. SoundCloud merch amps up music as a healer

US – Music platform SoundCloud is launching a fashion collection with designers at GRVTY, an independent broadcast company.

Conceived at the start of the pandemic as a way to capture and communicate music’s ability to empower, escape, cope and heal, the Pure & Wondrous Sounds collection includes items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts and vinyl slipmats.

To promote music as a source of healing and an outlet during tougher times, the collection features phrases such as: ‘There will be a new day and a new song, play on’, ‘Exalted, sonically’, and ‘Endless loop harmonix’. Taking the platform's merchandise offering further, SoundCloud plans to work with creatives whose ethos aligns with that of the streaming service – a DIY-spirited, innovative and forward-thinking outlook.

While SoundCloud and GRVTY are focusing on apparel, music-led healing is increasingly being recognised within the health and wellness sector. We explore this further in Music as Medicine.

Plastic-free packaging by Verity, US

2. This packaging tackles wasteful cosmetics practices

US – Packaging supplier Verity is responding to the issue of wasteful cosmetic packaging by offering a plastic-free solution.

Its new aluminium and stainless steel vessels are designed for a variety of cosmetics products, shunning the default choice of plastic with the aim of transforming the sustainable packaging landscape. The metal containers are instead reusable and also fully recyclable. In turn, Verity positions metal packaging as elevating both the brand and user experience through aesthetics, form and function.

‘At Verity, we pride ourselves on performance and style. Our sleek packaging can transform your brand and can be integrated seamlessly with your product portfolio. Every hour of engineering spent creating our products is working towards one goal – a more sustainable future,’ says Kerri Leslie, its CEO.

As the cosmetics industry continues to explore more sustainable practices, brands are continuing to focus on both eco-credentials and aesthetic concerns. For more, explore the Refined Refillables microtrend.

Infinite Office by Facebook, US

3. Facebook envisions an infinite office via VR

US – Facebook is building on the functionality of its virtual reality (VR) software as an alternative solution for remote working.

Infinite Office, as the product is known, is intended for use with the Oculus headset and aims to replicate a physical office environment. While wearing the VR headset, users will be able to customise multiple displays – controlled by gestural hand movements – as well as type using a physical platform and have virtual meetings via AR platform Spatial.

Infinite Office also offers Passthrough, a mode that allows users to toggle between full VR and mixed VR, so they can simultaneously view their virtual and physical surroundings. As workers adapt to the long-term reality of remote working, new innovations are emerging to allow people to live and work in different way, using technology for both connection and efficiency.

In the inter-Covid period, businesses are having to adapt and explore virtual headquarters – something we explore in Reworking the Workplace.

4. Ceramics designed to last a lifetime

London – The Raami dining collection by Iittala is designed without new raw materials and is intended to last for decades.

Integral to the ceramics collection's design is a timeless aesthetic as well as functionality, with each piece embodying the brand’s commitment to sustainability. Designed by Jasper Morrison, the range contains no new raw materials but is made out of recycled glass tumbler, which has been sourced from the Iittala glass factory. The brand also demonstrates is longevity by still producing designs originally created 80 years ago.

'We believe people have the right to expect the design they buy to last a lifetime. We also see that the world is becoming more and more aware of the value of long-lasting design,' explains the brand. The Raami collection was showcased as part of the Dezeen x Planet collaboration, which presented a series of projects championing sustainability at this year’s London Design Festival.

As sustainability becomes non-negotiable for today's homeowners, there is an emerging Anti-choice Homeware movement taking place, in which brands eliminate the paradox of choice for customers.

Raami dining collection by Iittala, UK
Good Measures, UK

5. Good Measures uplifts pandemic wayfinding

London – Good Measures is a new company offering design-first wayfinding for the inter-Covid period.

Set up by vinyl print house Puck Studio and interiors company Interesting Projects, Good Measures aims to challenge the clinical and unwelcoming signage that has become a familiar element of the pandemic. The company takes a warmer, more welcoming approach to functional messaging around hygiene and social-distancing with a range of colourful vinyl stickers. The range includes 2m distance reminders, sanitation signs and patterned tape to be applied to flooring.

'We realised pretty quickly that people would need social-distancing signs and we started to see the usual hazard-style, health-and-safety versions cropping up in various places,’ explains Dave Gibbons, director at Puck Studio. ‘The problem is that not only does this tend to be a bit depressing, but there is so much of this sort of signage around that it becomes white noise, and loses its impact as a result.’

As we explore in our Positive Barriers design direction, the need for enhanced health and safety measures is prompting designers to reframe the visual language of public messaging.


 

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