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Need To Know

This week: An escapist nightclub, eco labelling at Lidl, addressing the self-care gap, Kanye West’s new music gadget and Goa’s alcohol museum.

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10 September 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory



Race Club by J.H Architecture Studio, China

1. An escapist nightclub to immerse post-pandemic hedonists

Hangzhou, China – South Korean nightclub Race Club has arrived in China, bringing with it a new dancefloor experience that offers complete immersion to those who craved nightlife during the pandemic. With holograms, LED lighting and ‘fluid’ walls, the intention of the nightclub is to get clubbers lost in a concrete jungle.

Designed by J.H. Architecture, the nightclub uses stainless steel walls that light up when the sun goes down, enticing passers-by into the space. On entry, they will find no tables, sofas or seating, giving visitors no choice but to dance. These themes of immersion and escapism are also central to the interior design of the nightclub, with metallic colours of green, purple and red lending the experience a sense of futurism rather than comfort.

While safety has been a central tenet to many post-pandemic interior designs, as architects find ways to make consumers feel secure and comfortable in public spaces, Race Club offers a new proposition – total immersion. Find out more about the future of nightlife in what people are experts are dubbing ‘the roaring 20s’.

Lidl Eco Score, UK

2. Quick glance eco labelling lands at Lidl

Scotland – While customers are widely used to traffic light labelling on food packaging to denote how healthy a product is, supermarket Lidl is trialling a new system that provides shoppers with greater awareness of an item’s sustainability credentials.

Its Eco-Score system is being rolled out across Lidl’s 105 Scottish stores, using a colour-coded leaf symbol ranging from A (green leaf, low impact) to E (red leaf, high impact) based on an independent assessment of factors including production methods, biodiversity impacts and a product’s carbon footprint. Applied initially to Lidl’s own-branded goods, such as tea and coffee, a product’s rating can also be boosted by third-party certification such as Fairtrade.

Through such a system, Lidl is tapping into growing eco-awareness among shoppers, using quick-glance, innovative labelling to communicate more about a product than its nutritional properties. Further, it recognises a future in which people will be seeking to actively de-carbonise their diets, with Lidl set to share the findings from this pilot to help shape an environmental approach that works for both customers and the industry in the long term.

This Counts by Southpaw for Sanctuary Spa, UK

3. Sanctuary Spa addresses the self-care gap

UK – Recognising that conventional notions of self-care can be unrealistic for busy lifestyles, the personal care brand’s latest campaign empowers people to seek out micro moments of time for themselves. Titled This Counts, it showcases women taking self-care into their own hands. Produced by creative agency Southpaw, it challenges unattainable wellness ideals to instead recognise the importance of small moments of joy such as dancing in the kitchen or spending time in the garden.

Here, Sanctuary Spa reframes expectations around wellbeing to communicate the message that self-care should be about small, simple acts that can be weaved into people’s everyday lives. ‘By piggybacking the ubiquitous ‘five-a-day’ programme, we are helping women chunk down what can seem like an unachievable task into simple and realistic goals, that will subsequently form new habits,’ says Niki Macartney, strategy director at Southpaw.

In this way, the campaign reflects the behaviours we explore throughout Synchronised Care, as consumers increasingly reject the commodification of self-care and instead seek to embed care into routines as part of their holistic health.

4. Kanye West’s music gadget lets you customise his songs

US & UK – With a growing number of consumers expressing interest in creative ventures, the musician is unveiling a gadget that allows people to customise any song. The Donda Stem Player, developed by electronics company Kano, includes four touch-sensitive light bars that allow users to control the device and alter the output of sounds. Though it, users can adjust elements like vocals, drums and bass levels, as well as isolating elements and adding effects.

By allowing people to have an open-source control of songs in this way, the gadget taps into a growing interest in decentralised music communities – a mindset that is especially prevalent among Generation Z. Such a tool also dismantles associations with celebrity culture by expanding the realm of music creations to a broader audience.

Considering the wider implications, Kanye West’s decision to reach people in this way also reflects ongoing innovation relating to digital fandom.

Donda Stem Player, US
Endless West

5. Goa’s alcohol museum bolsters local drinks culture

Goa – All About Alcohol is a museum opening in the coastal state to preserve India’s alcohol history and elevate interest in the local drinks scene. Created by local businessman Nandan Kudchadkar, the museum centres on the heritage of Goan fermented juice drink Feni – the first indigenous alcoholic drink to obtain the Geographical Indication tag, tying it specifically to Goa.

More recently, Feni has also been named the state heritage drink by the Goan government, indicating its potential for global distribution in the future. By creating a cultural experience and destination dedicated to this traditional drink, All About Alcohol will spotlight local manufacturers to international audiences. Kudchadkar comments: ‘The cosmopolitan world traveller visits Goa and what better place is there in India other than Goa, where you can show to the world the history, respect and flavours of our colonial drink.’

To discover more around the ways that the food and drink landscape is evolving to better reflect our cultures, identities and communities, join us on 28 October for our Food & Drink Futures online event.


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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