4 February 2022
Author: The Future Laboratory
Hangzhou – Chinese cosmetics company Harmay is honouring the more mundane moments in life with its new store in Hangzhou. Opting for an administrative aesthetic, the shop is a playful recreation of a typical office in the 1970s.
Designed by AIM Architecture, the nostalgic shop includes ergonomic desk chairs, fake bookshelves and ‘meeting rooms’ that are all used to display make-up products. Painted in hues of yellow, orange and brown, the colour palette is a nod to popular domestic décor from the era.
Creating a memorable retail experience that can only be enjoyed in person, the design shows how imaginative bricks-and-mortar offerings can compete with e-commerce. ‘Here in China, the reality is that people shop online for everything, anywhere, any time. As physical shopping is just for fun, we wanted to create a colourful version of it,’ explains Wendy Saunders, founder of AIM Architecture.
Combining faux period design with immersive product displays, Harmay is tapping into the Office Nostalgia trend we explored in Reworking the Workplace. As society re-examines long-standing tropes in office design, nostalgia-based environments can create a point of difference from flat digital platforms.
Global – With an eye on the future of off-planet media, the Space Entertainment Enterprise has announced its plan for an entertainment production facility in space.
The dedicated module, officially named SEE-1, is set to dock on the commercial wing of the International Space Station in 2024. Backed by NASA and SpaceX, the site is slated to accommodate film and tv production as well as sports events, concerts and live-streamed influencer content for social media. The facility will also include a Space Arena with the capacity for an on-site audience and zero-gravity sports and entertainment.
The announcement follows that for the Orbital Reef business park, paving the way for the normalisation of commercial spaces in orbit. SEE-1 expands on this development, going beyond traditional business and media to include production studios fuelling the Creator Economy, extending our Sideline Studios microtrend into the solar system.
US – Folgers is launching a self-aware campaign to celebrate its New Orleans roots. The ads, created by Publicis New York, are exclusively populated by working-class local people enjoying the coffee in daily activities.
As well as leaning into its New Orleanian identity, the brand touts the idea that Folgers is for everyone, a fresh approach in a market in which coffee snobbery and connoisseurship abound. With its unapologetic standpoint, the videos and campaign hashtag #DamnRightItsFolgers aims to bring ‘some pride back to choosing something that’s not some snobby artisanal product – it’s just an all-American, well-crafted, high-quality product,’ says Erica Roberts, chief creative officer at Publicis New York.
Undercutting the brands targeting modern, hipster audiences, Folgers is showing that businesses shouldn't be afraid to preserve their original values – particularly when reaching consumers who value American localism.
New York – After 2021 was dubbed the year America’s hair fell out, hair company The Nue Co is releasing a range of supplements that target hair loss. Combining capsules and a topical scalp serum, the Growth Collection seeks to offset the damage that is caused by stress, nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances and illness.
With people across the world reporting experiencing sudden hair loss after contracting Covid, scientists have begun researching the phenomenon. A recent study, for example, reports that ‘Covid-19 infection is a major cause of acute telogen effluvium’ – the scientific term for severe and sudden hair shedding. With another report finding that 22% of patients that are hospitalised with Covid still experience hair loss six months later, urgent remedies are needed to strengthen follicle health.
Filled with nourishing ingredients like apoptogenic Reishi mushroom and Eleuthero Root extract, the Growth Collection seeks to equip the body with the vitamins necessary to deal with disruptions to normal hair routines. Drawing on scientific research and incorporating ingredients normally found in skincare, this collection aligns itself with the rise of Skintellectual Haircare.
New York – Entering the childrenswear market for the first time, underwear brand Oddobody is launching a line for kids. Extending its gender-neutral approach to 2–9-year-olds, the company is aiming to dispel design tropes in the typically gendered category.
Inspired by the Our Bodies, Ourselves movement, Oddobody is applying its gender-fluid mission to its new collection – called Oddokids – which comprises unisex tank tops and underwear made of 100% organic cotton and priced from £13 ($18, €16) to £24 ($32, €28). The collection comes with a pamphlet edited by psychotherapist Rachel E Simon featuring games and activities for kids as well as talking points to help parents broach the topic of bodies with their children.
As the Alpha generation come of age, they’re expecting a higher level of gender-inclusivity in the products they use. Aligning itself with the values of Upskilled Alphas, from our 2021 Innovation Debrief, the Oddokids line shows how retailers can incorporate education into their brand missions.
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