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12 : 04 : 19 : Weekly Debrief

Need to Know

This week: The world's first sustainable floating city, Puma's AR shoe, Bianco encourages Millennials to stop overthinking, an Instagram newspaper and a clinic that modernises women's healthcare.

Oceanix City by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

1. BIG envisages the world’s first sustainable floating city

New York – Architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has created a concept for hurricane-proof floating cities that are both sustainable and scalable.

Presented at a roundtable discussion on floating cities at the United Nation’s New York headquarters, Oceanix City imagines a modular system for designing and building completely self-sufficient settlements on water. The concept consists of man-made islands clustered together multiples of six to create communities of varying sizes. 

Oceanix City is a blueprint for a modular maritime metropolis anchored in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,’ says Bjarke Ingels, founding partner of BIG. ‘The additive architecture can grow, transform and adapt organically over time, evolving from a neighbourhood of 300 residents to a city of 10,000.’

Working with MIT’s Center for Ocean Engineering, BIG was commissioned by Oceanix, a company that specialises in off-shore urban infrastructure, to develop the concept as a solution to the threat of climate change and rising sea levels. For more on the future of urban life, explore our Smart Cities vertical.

LQD Cell Origin AR by Puma

2. Puma designs an augmented reality shoe

Germany – The sportswear brand has launched an augmented reality shoe called LQD Cell Origin AR, which incorporates QR codes into its design.

By downloading the proprietary Puma LQD Cell app, users can scan the QR code-enabled shoe to play interactive games, as well as access filters and add effects to pictures and videos of the product. Uniquely, users do not need the physical shoe to activate the features and can also trigger the AR content by scanning an image of the product on a screen.

According to the brand, the LQD Cell Origin AR shoe is Puma’s ‘answer to a world in which the line between reality and the virtual realm becomes increasingly blurred’.

In our Programmable Realities macrotrend, we explore how the rise of reactive new materials and technologies is transforming physical consumer touchpoints, which are increasingly no longer fixed, but in a constant state of flux.

Bianco Footwear campaign

3. Bianco’s campaign tells Millennials to stop overthinking

Denmark – Awkwardness leads two strangers to miss out romance in the latest campaign from footwear brand Bianco.

The campaign, Step Out of Your Head, encourages consumers to silence their inner critic and let go of perceived insecurities that hold them back from serendipitous life experiences. A short film entitled The Lift shows the message in action, following a man and woman who silently ride the lift together at work, both on the verge of a romantic encounter but held back by their thoughts.

The film is accompanied by a visual campaign featuring models wearing Bianco shoes, accessorised with thought bubbles such as ‘when you really like her but then you accidentally liked her picture from two years ago and now everything is ruined’.

‘In today’s society, we’re spoiled for choice and presented with thousands of possibilities every day. And in some way or another, we’ve all held ourselves back by overthinking,’ says the brand. For more on the pervasiveness of avoidance culture and why it's time for brands to help consumers step out of their comfort zones, read our macrotrend Resilience Culture.

4. A viral Instagram account becomes a newspaper

Los Angeles – The Instagram account @OverheardLA has released a physical newspaper that offers a new take on Californian culture.

The Overheard Post, which leverages the social media brand’s viral content IRL, will be distributed for free around Los Angeles. Like the Instagram account, the newspaper features the best-heard snippets of conversations around the city, as well as A Millennial Weather Report – ‘cloudy with a chance of seeing three people become engaged’ – DMs to the editor and a hashtag crossword.

Although the newspaper will be available for free, it includes a range of illustrated ads that relate to conversations about brands overhead around Los Angeles, showing how viral social media content can become branded content.

As creators of popular Instagram accounts pursue more stable revenue streams, they are in turn disrupting the status quo of the journalism industry.

Overheard, LA
Tia Clinic, New York. Photography by Kezi Ban @BlondeArtists courtesy of Rockwell Group

5. The Tia Clinic is modernising women’s healthcare

New York – The members-only women’s health clinic takes an integrated approach to gynaecology, wellness and primary care.

Championing the concept of ‘cycle-connected care’, The Tia Clinic considers how the menstrual cycle and its associated physiological and emotional manifestations should be taken into account when evaluating, diagnosing and treating female patients. In addition to a full range of health services for women, the clinic offers naturopathy, acupuncture and group wellness workshops.

Membership costs £115 ($150, €133) a year, with members able to access the clinic’s treatment services through approved health insurance coverage or cash payments. Taking a Certified Wellness approach, a proprietary app also encourages patients to track their cycles and health data, which can then by shared with the clinic’s care team. Eventually, the app will allow patients to chat with a doctor, book appointments and access test results digitally.

By taking a holistic approach to women’s health, The Tia Clinic demonstrates the evolution of Self-care Spaces.


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