05 : 11 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week:  Nike’s recycled basketball court, bringing literature into daily moments, Carhartt’s tribute to manual labourers, a pleasure platform for those with cancer and elevating hygiene travel accessories.

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5 November 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Park Lane Hotel rebrand by Mother Design, New York


MTZ Blok 70 by Accept & Proceed for Nike, Serbia

1. Nike turns recycled shoes into civic placemaking

Belgrade – As part of the company’s Move to Zero campaign, Nike has renovated a basketball court in Belgrade using 20,000 sneakers destined for landfill. To achieve this, the sports giant teamed up with B-Corp-certified creative agency Accept & Proceed.

Block 70 is a recreational centre in New Belgrade that draws on the area’s rich history with basketball while creating a contemporary space for local athletes and sports enthusiasts. Every new piece of equipment in the park has been made using old sneakers donated by members of the community, and Nike has also repaired and repainted the park's existing fitness apparatus and public furniture, restoring the area as a source of local pride.

‘We evolved the visual language we had developed for Nike’s Move to Zero identity by incorporating bespoke Serbian lettering in the court markings to celebrate New Belgrade’s local community,’ explains Nigel Cottier, principal designer at Accept & Proceed. With the pandemic making outdoor spaces more vital than ever, Civic Placemakers are using community-centric practices to help re-energise public spaces.

The Author Clock by Mechanical Design Labs

2. The Author Clock brings literature to daily moments

Pasadena – The Author Clock uses quotes from novels to announce the time, transforming the digital clock into a discovery tool for contemporary and classic literature.

Creator Jose Cardona designed this home clock to present the time through literary paragraphs that mention specific moments throughout the day. Serving as both a literary archive and a conversation-starter, the clock aims to expose home-owners and their visitors to a broad range of genres, from contemporary novels to classic tales. ‘Our hope is that Author will help readers discover new books, authors and even genres,' explains Cardona.

As the product is meant to appeal to readers who enjoy the tactility of books, its simple design adheres to the unobtrusive principles of Discreet Tech. Combining a sustainably sourced white oak frame with two sizes of display – 4-inch or 7.5-inch – the Author Clock manages to evoke a more analogue aesthetic.

Fit For The Next Frontier by Carhartt, US

3. Carhartt pays tribute to manual labourers

Michigan – As labour shortages continue to hit global supply chains, apparel company Carhartt is encouraging individuals to join the American workforce with a campaign that pays tribute to the importance of manual labourers.

As Carhartt is one of the oldest workwear companies still around today, the brand is well positioned to join the conversation on the current labour shortage crisis facing post-pandemic North America. In a bid to help fill the 3m job vacancies in the country's manufacturing industry, the Fit for the Next Frontier campaign takes the form of a film featuring over 50 different tradespeople, including a farmer, a mechanic and a solar panel technician, each representing the new realities of a highly misunderstood industry.

Acting as a recruitment drive for skilled workers, the campaign is an example of how companies like Carhartt can use the language of American Values Marketing to reach everyday citizens. ‘We exist to serve and protect all hard-working people, and right now, we need them more than ever. That’s why for us, this isn’t just an ad, it's a call to action,’ explains Brian Bennett, vice-president of creative at Carhartt.

4. A pleasure platform for people with cancer

London – Sex with Cancer is an integrated sex shop, art platform and public campaign devoted to opening up conversation and confidence around its namesake. The initiative aims to provide people with cancer or in recovery, as well as their sexual partners and loved ones, with practical and creative resources focusing on pleasure and ownership of their sexual wellbeing.

Sex with Cancer’s ambitions are supported by a bright visual identity and multimedia approach. Its website showcases online performance pieces and documentaries such as Unexpired Pleasures, alongside practical advice and sexual wellness products. Co-founder Joon-Lynn Goh states: ‘I hope people come away with a sense of community, knowledge and a greater confidence to reclaim their bodies and relationships on their own terms.’

Goh’s statement highlights the underlying relationship between community, healing and physical empowerment, as explored in our Radical Relief microtrend. As a further addition to such community-led, creative and accessible platforms for people living with health conditions, Sex with Cancer bridges wellness and pleasure, while also sitting at the intersection of e-commerce, advisory and social spaces.

Unexpired Pleasures by Sex with Cancer, UK
Never Go Alone, UK

5. Never Go Alone elevates hygiene travel essentials

UK – As personal protective equipment (PPE) becomes a regular facet of everyday life, nascent wellbeing brand Never Go Alone is expanding its offering of design-led hygiene essentials to help people travel more confidently during the inter-Covid period.

Prioritising style and safety, Never Go Alone has added a hand sanitiser to its travel hygiene range, made with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, green tea, ginseng and chamomile. The result is a lightweight formula with a subtle, unobtrusive fragrance. Taking inspiration from the natural world, the recycled plastic bottle is shaped like a stone to make it feel tactile in the hand. This is in line with Never Go Alone's wider inspiration, sandstone, known for its strength and adaptability in harsh climates, something the brand hopes its products will help users achieve as they re-navigate the world.

As global travel regulations are relaxed, health and wellness companies are following the principles of Wanderlust Beauty to create products that help consumers to feel safe. ‘Hygiene has always felt like it belongs backstage – but cleanliness doesn’t have to be boring. I want to re-imagine the world of personal wellness and create a beautiful, functional and affordable collection of products,’ explains Nga Nguyen, co-founder of Never Go Alone.



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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