03 : 12 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week: Pernod Ricard’s latest distillery, Black femmes in the digital art space, Chilly’s plastic-free future, rejuvenating soft furnishings and a metaverse scholarship.

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3 December 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Kiara Kalinda and Amirah, dis place, 2021 for Black Beyond _origins, US


THE CHUAN Malt Whisky Distillery by Pernod Ricard, China

1. Pernod Ricard’s latest distillery honours ancient China

Emeishan, China – In celebration of the whisky brand’s growing popularity in China, Pernod Ricard is unveiling its first distillery in the region, situated in the city of Emeishan. As well as being a functional distillery, the site will also bolster local tourism – with its visitor centre set to open in 2023, and a permanent art programme hosting contemporary Chinese artists.

Seeking to break away from traditional associations with whisky, The Chuan Malt Whisky Distillery takes inspiration from China’s Mount Emei – a UNESCO world heritage site that forms a backdrop for the space. Designed by architectural practice neri & hu, the design balances the opposing ideas of strength and fluidity, through continuous reference to the natural world. As part of its sustainability goals, Pernod Ricard will also nurture local terroir and circular operations.

Through this approach, Pernod Ricard seeks to firmly establish its Terroir Spirits on an international stage. Philippe Guettat, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Asia says: ‘From its refined products to design, The Chuan Malt Whisky Distillery will set new standards for single malt whisky and immersive experiences for both Sichuan and China.’

Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Mputu, control, 2019 for Black Beyond _origins, US

2. Black Beyond centres Black femmes in the digital art space

New York – Debuting on virtual art space New Art City, the first show from art collective Black Beyond exhibits new media art including cross reality (XR) experiences and recorded performances by 12 original artists.

Known as _origins, the show reimagines Black femme futures in the world of digital art. The exhibition showcases community-based art by Black femmes, women, and gender non-conforming people, exploring themes of Black femme paradise and survival as they play out at the intersection of critical race theory and digital technology. Taking cues from science fiction, many works depict imagined landscapes or realities to reflect the artists’ lived experiences and speculative futures.

The collective centres Black femmes in the space of digital art – often dominated by traditional institutions or white creators – with a focus on increasing accessibility and expanding artistic expression. Black Beyond is one of a cohort emerging artists, groups, and innovators using digital technology to destabilise the art world’s elitism and endorse young, diverse talent.

A Reusable Way of Living by Chilly's, UK

3. Chilly’s forecasts a future without single-use plastics

UK – The latest campaign from reusable bottle and container company Chilly's spotlights a future of daily routines rid of single-use plastics. Glancing ahead to 2025, the brand's A Reusable Way of Living ad proposes moments where partygoers drink cocktails from reusable cups, and people collect takeaways using their own containers.

Filmed across northwest England, the campaign takes prosaic moments linked to British identity as its starting point, with scenes depicting a lively football match and a hen party where reusable bottles are rife. By taking a hyper-local approach and aligning Chilly’s reusable products with such everyday experiences, the campaign proposes that the such bottles and containers will become second nature for all.

Countering narratives that sustainability is a luxury privilege, the campaign advocates for the widespread adoption of reusable products. ‘Cafes, pubs, food delivery services, you name it. It’s time for us all to take responsibility and work together to eliminate single-use plastics for good.’ explains Chilly’s co-founder James Butterfield.

4. Face Lift rejuvenates soft furnishings

Stockholm – Bringing together craftspeople from 12 different countries, Face Lift is a design directory for upholsterers that aims to give soft furnishings a second life. Launched by Swedish furniture manufacturer Massproductions, the service connects users in need of reupholstery with restorers across the world.

Instead of discarding worn-out sofas and armchairs, the visual database recommends nearby craftspeople that could repair the items. By taking a local approach, the service aims to minimise the carbon emissions generated by furniture transportation.

In a bid to elevate the art of repair and to demonstrate the creative potential of restoration, Massproductions tapped designer Flora Mottini to create a one-off piece to launch the programme. The resulting chair is a sculptural piece informed by science fiction, surrealism and psychedelia.

As furniture companies across the globe launch take-back schemes to address the end-of-life aspects of their products, Face Lift is taking responsibility for the environmental impact of its production processes and aligning itself with the Regenizens.

Face Lift by Massproductions, Sweden
Istituto Marangoni Miami and Zepeto, US

5. A metaverse scholarship to future-proof fashion education

Miami & South Korea – Fashion school Istituto Marangoni Miami (IMM) is launching a metaverse-based scholarship in partnership with South Korean social media app Zepeto. Offering £37.5k ($50k, €44k) of funding, the initiative aims to inspire the next generation of fashion designers to develop skills for the virtual world.

To apply, students are invited to create a capsule collection of virtual garments designed in the Zepeto app. Five winners will be selected from current IMM students, while another five will be chosen by the public. In this way, the partnership is preparing students for a future in which Immaterial Fashion is the norm. Hakan Baykam, president and CEO of Istituto Marangoni Miami explains: ‘Through this partnership with Zepeto, we are teaching our students the importance of engaging with the next generation of consumers through the virtual world.’

Such initiatives also reflect the growing need for innovation in the education sector, as the realities of longer lifespans and hyper-connected living usher in a rethink for conventional modes of teaching and learning.



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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