19 : 03 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

type - need to know
Need To Know

This week: elevated fast-food interior, Apple's activist-tainment, Zalando’s shoppable Google Street View, a psychedelic meditation app, and Middle Eastern micro-mmunities.

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19 March 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Woodacity by Quadpack


Masquespacio, Milan

1. This hamburger chain elevates dine-in experiences

Milan – Italian hamburger chain Bun has given its Milan restaurant a makeover to appeal to younger customers – and reframe fast-food branding.

The interior design project by design studio Masquespacio subverts the retro and industrial visual elements commonly featured in burger restaurants with a pastel coloured walls, flooring and tiles. Combining gold-tone finishes with terazzo tiles, exposed brick and colour blocking, the overall effect communicates a higher-quality dining experience.

To elevate the Bun from a fast-food restaurant to desirable destination, Masquespacio has focused on pre-existing spatial elements, integrating additional arcs for a uniform aesthetic. ‘When we saw the beautiful bricks and arcs in the space it was evident to us that we would use these two elements as the starting point of the design,’ comments Ana Hernández, creative director at Masquespacio.

More expressive design is augmenting fast-food interiors focused on efficiency, giving way to sensations around nostalgia, escapism, and pleasure. We explore this further in our Frivolous Foods design direction.

Malala X Apple, UK, Global

2. Apple and Malala partner to produce activist-tainment

UK and global – Women’s rights activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai is partnering with Apple TV+ on a series of inspirational programming.

Malala and her new production company Extracurricular will join Apple’s growing roster of creators. Yousafzai’s multi-year partnership will result in a range of dramas, comedies, documentaries, animations and children’s series – all taking inspiration from her own motivations to ignite global change.

The move builds on a long-standing relationship between the technology company and Yousafzai. In 2015, Apple produced a documentary about the young activist, and has sponsored research at her organisation, the Malala Fund, since 2018.

‘I believe in the power of stories to bring families together, forge friendships, build movements and inspire children to dream,’ says Malala Yousafzai. ‘I’m grateful for the opportunity to support women, young people, writers and artists in reflecting the world as they see it.’

With many young people engaging in activist-tainment, platforms like Pluc TV are ushering in more purposeful narratives to showcase global realities.

Street It All by Zalando and Google Maps, Spain

3. A streetwear lookbook on Google Street View

Spain – Fashion e-commerce site Zalando is using Google Street View for its latest campaign, Street it All, transforming the platform into an interactive retail space.

Users can click through the geolocated lookbook on Google Maps to discover and buy clothing. The pieces are worn by Spanish influencers in major cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga and Valencia. Billboards have also been erected in these cities, each of which features a QR code that can be scanned to reveal the location on Google Street View and specific fashion pieces chosen for each city.

‘Taking into account the pandemic, we wanted to make use of technology by moving the campaign to a virtual environment, hand in hand with Google Street View and Google Maps, reaching our consumers in a totally innovative and creative way,' explains Riccardo Vola, general manager of Southern Europe at Zalando.

In our macrotrend Community Commerce, we explore other fashion brands that are embracing unconventional online spaces like Google Street View, as a way to re-imagine the path to purchase as a Phygital Quest.


4. Lumenate app mimics the effects of psychedelics

UK – Start-up Lumenate has created an app that uses the light from smartphone torches to put people into a meditative state.

Lumenate app users are instructed to close their eyes and face the flashlight of their smartphone towards them. The app then creates stroboscopic light sequences that put users into an altered state of tranquillity. According to the company, people using the app experience effects akin to taking psychedelics, such as a reduction in body awareness, sense of time, and reduction in sense of self, all of which are designed to reduce mental stressors.

Aiming to facilitate an effortless way to explore the subconscious, the company’s founders believe the effects of the app will result in people feeling greater life purpose. Having carried out an internal study, Jay Conlon, co-founder of Lumenate, says: ‘Participants have attributed to experiences with the app [ranging] from changing jobs to pursue their passions, through finding new solutions to creative challenges, and to getting up earlier each morning to do yoga.'

Discover more start-ups that are applying psychedelic experiences to modern therapy in our Enlightened States macrotrend.

Lumenate app
Net-a-porter Middle Eastern platform

5. Net-a-Porter localises luxury for the Middle East

MENA – The luxury e-tailer is expanding its global reach with a localised platform for Middle Eastern consumers.

Available on Net-a-Porter's website and via its app, the Middle Eastern storefront allows consumers in the region to shop a curated selection of garments, specialist beauty brands and fine jewellery. The website’s editorial content also taps into the interests of local shoppers, and is available in both Arabic and English. Dual-language product search and item descriptions, alongside pricing displayed in local currencies, further optimise the Net-a-Porter experience for Middle Eastern luxurians.

‘As the leading luxury platform, the launch of the localised Arabic site allows us to celebrate the unique beauty and talent of our community in the Middle East, bringing Net-a-Porter even closer to its customers,’ says Nisreen Shocair, CEO of Yoox Net-a-Porter Middle East.

While we’ve recently been tracking the rise of Micro-mmunity Retailthrough the lens of bricks-and-mortar stores, this example shows how e-tailers can similarly adapt to better suit the needs of specific consumer groups.


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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