04 : 06 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

type - need to know
Need To Know

This week: Algae’s architectural future, Galaxy’s live-stream thrifting, John Lewis’s new Anyday range, Beat’s first reality show and a cultural public playground in Manhattan.

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4 June 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Little Island, New York


Bit.Bio.Bot by EcoLogicStudio, Italy

1. An exhibit exploring algae’s architectural future

Venice – Algae could play a vital role in the future of urban architecture, according to the latest exhibition from design practice EcoLogicStudio.

On show at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the studio’s Bit.Bio.Bot exhibition invites visitors to grow their own algae and consider future use cases for the biomaterial in urban design. Having worked with the resource for the past decade, EcoLogicStudio is further experimenting with the architectural applications of algae – presenting the idea of ‘living cladding’ that allows walls to become air purifiers, and vertical gardens for algae farming.

‘Bit.Bio.Bot contributes to questioning and redesigning… which led us to the current health crisis,’ explains Claudia Pasquero, co-founder of EcoLogicStudio. ‘If we, collectively, daily and locally, will contribute to transforming air pollutants and water contaminants into highly nutritious aliments, there will be fewer opportunities for unbalanced viral ecologies [to] cause us harm.’

By highlighting the multiple use cases of algae in architectural design, this exhibition points to an urban future imbued Air-purifying Algae.

Thursday App, London

2. Galaxy lets thrifty Gen Z live-stream their old clothes

US – The fashion resale app is tapping into the eco-conscious mindsets of Generation Z by combining resale with live-stream commerce.

Galaxy will initially host about 50 merchants, who will each have individual broadcast channels within the app. Each seller has been selected by the e-marketplace to cover a variety of fashion styles, such as high-end men’s t-shirts and summer dresses. Live-stream broadcasts will be fully interactive, encouraging a sense of community around the shopping experience.

Targeting Gen Z, the app combines several trends – including their interest in second-hand fashion, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for interactive live-stream entertainment. ‘Galaxy exists to enable the next generation of fashion entrepreneurs to find and build their community in a way that’s just not possible on today's platforms,’ Danny Quick, CEO and co-founder of Galaxy, tells LS:N Global.

Live-steaming is becoming a tool for Gen Z to connect with like-minded others as well as buy and sell fashion, ushering in a new era for Community Commerce.

Anyday campaign by John Lewis, UK

3. John Lewis democratises homeware with Anyday range

UK – The retailer is diverging from its long-standing premium retail strategy with a more accessible everyday range.

John Lewis’ Anyday collection includes a range of over 2,400 products across homeware, technology, baby care and baby clothing, with prices about 20% lower than its flagship collections. The more accessible price point allows the retailer to target younger customers and families seeking more affordable branded products.

To promote the Anyday launch, John Lewis has made a relatable tv advert which, in a first for the brand, reveals the prices of the products featured in the campaign, starting at just £2 ($2.83, €2.32) for a coffee mug. According to Claire Pointon, customer director at John Lewis: ‘The campaign feels different in tone and creative from our usual adverts because we really want to showcase how customers live their lives, and highlight the role we can play in their everyday lives.’

As we identify in our Accessible Premium microtrend, unexpected retailers are exploring how they can democratise quality and bring premium products to the mass market.

4. Beats hosts Brazil’s first Instagram reality show

Brazil – Beats, a beverage brand by Ambev, is driving new forms of fan support through a reality show on Instagram.

Marking a first for the brand and for Brazil, the Instagram reality show, Islanded with Beats, was led by Brazilian pop star Anitta alongside 10 influencers. Broadcast live on Beats’ Instagram, the show featured participants taking part in several challenges – with all content encouraging viewer interaction via Stories, Live and IGTV.

By merging entertainment with the travel and parties that young Brazilians are missing out on, the show was hugely successful. Beats gained 1.3m new followers within just 72 hours of the show being broadcast, and the three days of live coverage reached a total of 10m views.

By taking a creative approach to social media marketing, Beats was able to boost loyalty among customers, using interaction opportunities with stars to tap into the market for digital fandom.

Beats Zodiac Instagram TV reality show by WMcCann and Endemol Shine Brasil, Brazil

5. A cultural public playground comes to Manhattan

New York – Little Island brings discovery, exploration and free cultural programming to city residents.

The park, which is built on the original grounds of Pier 54 on the Hudson River, includes various nature spaces as well as an amphitheatre, a central plaza serving food and beverages, and an intimate stage, allowing Little Island to host a variety of performances and events, from late-night DJs to cabaret-style performances.

In addition, the island will host four artists-in-residence who will take turns performing, directing events and curating festivals. ‘I hope Little Island will serve as a whimsical oasis for everyone who visits, a place to wander around and be happily surprised at every turn, to lounge and graze the landscape, and to be entertained, educated and stimulated by our programming,’ said Barry Diller, founder of Little Island.

With urban spaces preparing for a post-pandemic rebirth, many are introducing Blended Cultural Realms to entice people back to city centres. Discover more in our macrotrend, Equilibrium Cities.


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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