11 September 2020
Author: The Future Laboratory
London and Lagos – The annual Homecoming festival of Nigerian creativity is collaborating with London fashion store Browns East for a phygital 2020 edition.
Upholding the goal of Homecoming to spotlight emerging African talent across music, fashion, art and culture, this year’s iteration presents an e-zine alongside an array of digital events and in-store activations. The zine, Ni Agbaye, which means ‘in the world’, focuses on the global influence of Afro culture, exploring cultural exchange through a range of mediums and voices from the diaspora.
Combining panel talks, interviews, customised artwork and an exclusive fashion collection sold at Browns East, Homecoming gives a platform to African creatives beyond their local audience. Discussing the Browns East collaboration, Grace Ladoja, founder of Homecoming, says: ‘We're stocking 15 designers; most are from Nigeria and for some, it’s their first stockist. It was really important for us to get their products in-store so that we could spotlight them globally to a new audience.’
As the African Fashion Market continues to gain momentum on an international scale, globally-minded retailers have an opportunity to provide inspirational in-store spaces that support nascent design talents.
Italy – Lighting brand Artemide's ultraviolet technology is transforming interior lighting into a whole-space sanitiser.
Its Integralis system can be fitted into new light fixtures and is controllable via an app. This functionality enables the light to emit regular, natural light frequencies when a room is occupied, and a germ-fighting invisible UV spectrum when the room is vacant.
‘In the presence of people, emission frequencies and doses of energy that are not harmful to the eyes and skin can be used, which nonetheless act to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mould and fungi,’ explains Carlotta de Bevilacqua, CEO at Artemide. ‘The light acts mainly on surfaces but, in reality, it acts on everything it encounters in its path such as particles suspended in the air.’
Such innovations have the opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing in both the home, and public workspaces. As we identify in Pandemic–proof Properties, future buildings will increasingly integrate technologies that bring hygiene to the fore.
Global – Sports brand Adidas has relaunched its Confirmed sneaker app with a greater focus on community, creativity and storytelling.
The updated app now provides users with access to new drops, alongside the background stories to its designs and collaborative partnerships. Providing specialised sneaker content and sneak peeks into upcoming shoes, Confirmed lets Adidas fans feel part of the brand’s creator community.
‘Whether it’s working with outside partners or coming together internally to produce innovative products, at the heart of Adidas is a deeply collaborative spirit,’ explains Ebru Ercon, design director for Adidas’ statement department. ‘This collaborative ethos extends to Confirmed and we’re incredibly excited that the platform will allow us to showcase our most forward-thinking products that we’ve brought to life with our partners.’
By building this form of microcommunity within the Adidas eco-system, the company is positioning itself as more of a peer and curator than a retail brand. Indeed, consumers are increasingly seeking conversational interactions with the brands they love; in Feedback Frontiers we explore the two-way potential of these relationships.
Unlike most wearable devices, Halo doesn’t have a screen, instead connecting through an app. Featuring 3D body scanning functionality and machine learning, the app can detect body fat as well as listen to emotion in the user’s voice. Able to support users beyond their fitness needs, Halo offers a more holistic approach that also comprises mental and sleep health.
‘Despite the rise in digital health services and devices over the last decade, we have not seen a corresponding improvement in population health in the US,’ explains Dr Maulik Majmudar, principal medical officer at Amazon Halo. ‘We are using Amazon’s deep expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer customers a new way to discover, adopt and maintain personalised wellness habits.’
While veering away from tech-based solutions, consumers are slowing down their quest for The Optimised Self with devices that combine mental and physical health.
The contest challenges designers to repurpose Samsung packaging into furniture and household items. Recognising the importance of avoiding wasteful packaging, particularly as consumers continue to order products online, Samsung hopes to introduce a more circular approach to its business.
The top five designs include a rocking horse, a series of animal companions and storage solutions. Speaking on their animal creations for children, competition entrants Sarah Willemart and Matthieu Muller say: ‘The animals are made of four to five pieces only and use the existing folds of Samsung packaging... The polar bear, black rhino and sea turtle can be used as riding stools, drawing tables and secret hideouts.’
Taking an environmentally friendly and playful approach to Re-usable Packaging, these design solutions posit long-term uses for throwaway items.