16 : 03 : 18 : Weekly Debrief 

need to know
category - tourism
type - need to know
Need To Know
category - future city
sector - health & wellness
sector - travel & hospitality

This week: The Future Laboratory proposes the future of branded cities at SXSW, the next generation guidebook, Medly app opens a pharmacy, Row 7 designs seeds for flavour, Comfort Zone launches new brand at Cosmoprof.


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16 March 2018

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Medly Pharmacy, Brooklyn


Branded City visual by Inferstudio for The Future Laboratory

1. Imagining the future of the branded city 

Austin, Texas – At this year’s SXSW, The Future Laboratory launched Branded Cities - Can We Avoid an Urban Dystopia?, a proposal that explores three future scenarios for urban living spaces in 2050. Figures from the UN predict that two-thirds of humanity will be living in urban environments by 2050, demanding that cities adapt to meet the growing demands on their infrastructure.

We ask, if governments don't have the resources to do this, will the role of city maker fall entirely to private corporations? And if so, will the metropolis of the future become a branded utopia or a commercial dystopia? As we put forward the preferred, the probable and the probable future of the city.

Download the full report here to find out how you can future-proof your placemaking strategy.

Take Me to the Lakes by The Gentle Temper, Berlin

2. Guide books are growing up

At the Berlin Travel Festival, the trusty guide book got a much-needed update. As a travel essential that hasn’t changed in years and has struggled to compete with digitalisation, numerous exhibitors presented their modern alternatives to the show.

Publishing house The Gentle Temper brought its range of Take Me to the Lakes books, a series of minimally-designed guide books that highlight Germany’s lesser-known lakes. Its Berlin edition enables people living in the city to escape to serene spots as close as twenty minutes away. By clearly outlining routes by public transport and providing Google Maps co-ordinates, the books acknowledge that most young people looking to venture on day or weekend trips don’t have easy access to a car, and encourages serendipitous getaways.

Also taking a youthful approach to the physical guide book was Carl Goes, an independent publisher with city guides for travelling entrepreneurs. In its Berlin, Leizpig, Amsterdam, London and Kassel editions, the book provides information on how travellers can fit into the city as a local, find a job, an apartment and make friends.  

Medly Pharmacy, Brooklyn

3. Medly opens physical counterpart to pharmacy app 

New York – Designed by architectural design firm Sergio Mannino Studio, Medly is a pharmaceutical experience comprising of an app and a physical space, that collates the online and offline pharmacy experience.

The Brooklyn-based pharmacy recently launched an app, which aims to ease the prescription process by allowing consumers to order medication online and have it delivered to your home. Alternatively, those that still want to have a physical experience can choose to collect their prescription at the Brooklyn space and can organise face-to-face consultations with health professionals through the app.

Much like Medly, mattress specialists Casper recently opened their first standalone store featuring six ‘miniature homes’ that encourage shoppers to learn about their products through the sensory experience. Both are examples of how retailers are beginning to understand the necessity of providing a fuller in-store experience to compensate for the shift to online shopping.

4. Row 7 develops seeds that are bred for flavour

US – Co-founded by executive chef Dan Barber, ‘designer’ seed company Row 7 develops, promotes and sells seeds for new strains of vegetables and grains. With products like badger flame beets – a milder beet that can be eaten raw - and experimental cucumbers, Row 7 is the first brand to connect breeders directly with chefs.

The seeds are therefore cultivated entirely around flavour, with the chefs feeding back on each of the new varieties, before they are sold to consumers in Walmart. ‘Part of the goal of the company is not only to increase the flavor of vegetables: It’s to look at how we, as chefs, can change the culture of eating,’ Barber told the New York Times.

In line with our Anti-Intuitive Cooking microtrend, brands are helping to translate the gourmet food experience from the restaurant and into the home.

Row 7 seed company, US
Skin Regimen, Italy

5. Italian brand tackles stress of the city  

Bologna – Italian company Davines Group has launched new brand Skin Regimen to the European market at Cosmoprof 2018.

Intended to be unisex, with its minimalist black packaging, the line is aimed at city dwellers. It offers several products – from a cleanser, to booster serums to a night mask – for a multi-step regime that combats the environmental aggressors that come with living in an urban environment, including daily stress and pollution.

A key component across all the products is the trademarked Longevity Complex which includes wild indigo, spinach, maqui berry and carnosine – all extracts proven to help the skin fend off inflammation and oxidation. The Skin Regimen team worked with neuroscientist and mind-body expert Dr Claudia Aguirre to research how cortisol, a hormone triggered by stress, can specifically affect the skin.

‘The line is both intended to fight against things like pollution and stress, but also celebrate city living,’ Barbara Gavazzoli, director of communication at Comfort Zone, Davines Group's skincare division, tells LS:N Global. ‘We want to people to thrive while living in the city, and offer them products that combat the side-effects of urban dwelling like dehydration and dull skin.’

For more product launches and beauty trends from Cosmoprof 2018, look out for our daily news updates.

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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