12 : 08 : 22 : Weekly Debrief

need to know
product design
health & wellness
category - fashion
category - female futures
sector - food & drink
type - need to know
Need To Know
category - design
category - mobility
category - sustainability
sector - health & wellness
sector - youth

This week: Wine-tasting as art, an ethical coffee line, AI that captures the taste of cognac, Saatchi & Saatchi stands up for abortion access, and McLaren dips its toe into footwear.

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12 August 2022

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Liberland by Zaha Hadid Architects, Croatia & Serbia


Vertical Panorama Pavilion at the Donum Estate by Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann’s Studio Other Spaces, US

1. A pavilion positioning wine-tasting as an art

California – The Donum Estate, one of California’s finest Pinot Noir producers, is adding a pavilion by Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson to its illustrious art collection. The 200-acre winery already has a sizeable collection of sculptures, but Eliasson's contribution serves a more practical purpose.

The Vertical Panorama Pavilion, which was completed by Eliasson’s collaborative design practice Other Spaces, intends to translate the winemaking process into a physical experience. A conical canopy with a 14.5m diameter and 832 vibrant glass tiles that depict the seasonal weather is the pavilion’s distinguishing feature. ‘It’s about celebrating the ephemeral, bringing to your attention everything that’s often unquantifiable, and therefore often forgotten,’ says Olafur Eliason.

Built to accommodate up to 12 guests, Allan Warburg, the co-owner of The Donum Estate, says: ‘I will bet that our wine, if you taste it in here, will taste better than if you are tasting it anywhere else.’ By becoming an arts destination, The Donum estate is comparable to Château La Coste, another winery placing art and architecture centre stage.

Crooked Coffee by Crooked Media, US

2. This media brand is rolling out an ethical coffee line

US – Progressive independent media company Crooked Media is adding an ethical coffee line to its portfolio of services, marking its first foray into the food and drink sector. Operating with the name Crooked Coffee, its first product is called What A Morning, which plays on the brand’s popular What A Day newsletter and podcast.

It arrives as a partnership with coffee company Akira Coffee and women’s voting organisation Register Her. This initial launch includes a medium roast and dark roast, both available in whole bean or ground, but the company also plans to unveil new blends, products, and philanthropic partners later this year. By creating a product that its audience will enjoy in tandem with its media content, Crooked Media diversifies its revenue streams while also bolstering its values-driven credentials.

‘It was important to us that this consumer product launch was authentic to Crooked values – bold, responsible and contributing to the greater good,’ says Crystal Ponzio-Busto, senior vice president of marketing at Crooked Media. In this way, the company uses Elastic Brand strategies to enhance its original product offering.

A Taste of Passion by Rémy Martin 1738 in collaboration with Usher, US

3. AI artwork that captures the taste of cognac

New York – Cognac brand Rémy Martin is teaming up with the singer Usher to create a sensory campaign that merges spoken work with artificial intelligence (AI). Designed to celebrate the launch of its limited edition 1738 bottle, the campaign features Usher poetically describing the tasting notes of Rémy Martin cognac, using phrases such as toasted bread, vanilla and brioche. His words are then translated into digital artworks as a way to visually depict the flavours.

To support the campaign, titled A Taste of Passion, an AI-inspired bottle will also be available for a limited time, purchasable as a non-fungible toke (NFT). A multi-sensory experience will also be hosted in Las Vegas to promote the launch. Here, Rémy Martin demonstrates how physical responses to flavours can be captured and translated through several different activations.

Usher comments: ‘I am so impressed by the visuals that came out of the AI process – they truly represent the medley of tasting notes captured in the flavour.’ By visualising the ways this drink can make people feel, the brand also leans into the tenets of our Psychophysical Identities microtrend.

4. Saatchi & Saatchi stands up for abortion access

UK – Saatchi & Saatchi is speaking out about the anti-abortion rulings in the US. Some 52 years on, the advertising agency is reviving one of its most popular ‘pregnant man’ campaigns from the 1970s, this time replacing the original image with a picture of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who has consistently voted against abortion rights.

The original ad depicted an image of a pregnant man and featured the tagline, ‘Would you be more careful if it was you that got pregnant?’. In response to recent anti-abortion rulings, the new campaign features Samuel Alito’s photograph and asks: ‘Would you be more careful with your vote if it was you that got pregnant?’.

Although the first campaign was run many decades ago, its message is still relevant today. ‘The question of how men would behave, think or even vote if they were the ones who got pregnant is a conversation that is unfortunately more timely,’ says Saatchi & Saatchi.

By releasing a public statement, Saatchi & Saatchi is joining the ranks of companies like Gucci who are taking a public stance against the rulings.

Saatchi & Saatchi, US
APL | McLaren HySpeed™, UK

5. McLaren applies its automotive expertise to apparel

Los Angeles – Luxury automotive company McLaren is dipping its toe into the footwear sector. Through a collaboration with Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL), the company is introducing its performance expertise to the world of sneakers.

The APL McLaren HySpeed is inspired by McLaren’s supercars and hypercars and comes equipped with APL’s signature Load 'N Launch technology, which is designed to maximise vertical lift. The shoe comes in five distinct colourways and features a fitment system with a three-piece cushion heel padding and an outsole inspired by performance tyres.

Given that both companies are known for their commitment to performance, speed and efficiency, the partnership was a natural crossover. ‘It perfectly embodies both our own McLaren and APL’s DNA and design philosophy. APL has developed new technologies specifically for this shoe – inspired by our ground-breaking work’ says Goran Ozbolt, acting design director at McLaren.

In the past, we have seen automotive companies partner with luxury fashion brands to create capsule clothing collections that apply eco-credentials. Looking ahead, this collaboration points to a future where performance-driven companies can align with different industries to create new innovations.


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