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20 December 2019

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Health-Ade Kombucha

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This week: An immaterial fashion museum, 3D printed homes, an ode to Chinese culture, Spotify's virtual archive, and SPACE10 lands in Delhi.

Issey Miyake, Virtual Fashion Archive by Superficial

1. Virtual Fashion Archive brings famed garments to life

New York – Taking fashion garments beyond the constraints of their physical form, the new online platform adds motion and interaction to virtual garments.

Created by the studio Superficial, in collaboration with The Museum at FIT, the Virtual Fashion Archive features archive pieces from innovative designers including Issey Miyake, Thierry Mugler and Claire McCardell. Taking the form of a digital museum, the Virtual Fashion Archive’s initial selection was chosen because of each garment’s pioneering construction techniques and materials, which provided an interesting basis for their digital iterations. For example, with Miyake’s iconic pleated garments and McCardell's full-circle skirt requiring movement to bring them to life, techniques such as reverse engineering original patterns and garment creation software have been used to capture the intricacies of fabric in motion.

As we explore in our Immaterial Fashion macrotrend, digitisation is offering fashion followers new ways to engage with clothing brands. And with this experimental approach to design, cultural spaces can become sites for novel experiences and pop-up concepts, as examined in our Post-modern Museums microtrend.

3D-printed community by New Story, ÉCHALE and ICON, Mexico. Photography by Joshua Perez

2. New Story unveils first 3D-printed homes

Mexico – Housing non-profit organisation New Story has launched the world’s first 3D-printed neighbourhood, now under construction in southern Mexico.

Created in partnership with construction technologies company ICON and non-profit-making partner ÉCHALE, each house is a 500-square-feet, single-storey building complete with two bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms. The project is aimed at families living in extreme poverty, with 50 homes in the works that will allow families to live with a zero interest and a zero-profit mortgage, costing about £16 per month ($20, €19) for seven years. According to New Story, a recent survey of Mexican citizens found that 74% of families said they felt unsafe in their current living conditions. By targeting these individuals, New Story hopes to offer a better quality of life to Mexican families and support the overall neighbourhood.

With economic growth proving to be largely unsustainable, initiatives like New Story’s 3D-printed housing represent an effort by brands and institutions to use technology to better support overlooked communities. For more, read our Post-growth Societymacrotrend.

Lost & Found, Airbnb, China

3. Airbnb’s latest campaign celebrates Chinese traditions

China – The home-stay platform has launched a campaign designed to connect younger Chinese travellers with their roots through the country’s cultural traditions.

Created by Mother Shanghai in collaboration with film-makers Lucky Sparks, the campaign's Lost & Found film is being rolled out across Airbnb’s social platforms with the aim of promoting local cultural experiences in China. The initiative is designed to elevate 40 Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) experiences in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Qiandongnan by showing younger travellers’ reactions to a series of Chinese traditions. ‘Our mission at Airbnb is to bring people together, sharing experiences and building communities. It’s worrying that as generations pass, culture gets forgotten. This film is our contribution to help culture be remembered,’ reads an Airbnb statement.

With many young Chinese people unaware of the intricacies of their heritage, Airbnb hopes to educate and uncover the nation’s rich history. As we explore in our Emerging Youth: China Market, the notion of the Chinese dream is on the rise as the American dream falls out of favour.

4. Spotify debuts AR to curate the at-home music experience

Global – Spotify has collaborated with Magic Leap to create a spatially aware app that lets users virtually pin albums, artists and tracks to specific locations in their home.

With the help of Magic Leap’s augmented reality headset, Spotify users can organise their music library through soundscapes that can be curated for different rooms. ‘The launch of Spotify marks an evolution in the way you can see, hear and experience the bands and artists that you love,’ explains Magic Leap in a statement. As users walk around their home wearing the headset, they can see album covers where they pinned them.

The partnership marks the first time Magic Leap has integrated with a major streaming music platform. Looking ahead, Magic Leap sees this kind of feature extending beyond music: ‘We see a time in the not too distant future when spatial computing will extend to the wider world of podcasts, audiobooks and storytelling.’

As we explore in our Programmable Realities macrotrend, new tools are extending our experience of the world, and facilitating an entirely new way of engaging with products and services.

Spotify and Magic Leap
Space10 Delhi. Photography by Deepshikha Jain

5. Space10 is bringing futures research to Delhi

New Delhi – Ikea's Copenhagen-based company research and design lab is opening in the thriving culture hub of south Delhi.

The new space is billed as a collaborative platform where experts, creatives and specialists can meet, experiment and prototype solutions to enable a better future for people and the planet, from augmented reality to clean energy solutions. It will also host community talks and exhibitions as well as offering rapid prototyping facilities for local and international designers.

While Space10 has previously popped up in cities from Shanghai to Nairobi, the Delhi location is open until April 2020, making it the company’s first semi-permanent location. ‘We want to be where the future is,’ says Kaave Pour, managing director at Space10. ‘India has a young, educated and technology-savvy population and will soon be the most populated country on Earth, with a fifth of the world’s youth living there.’

With a technology-savvy youth population that is set to outnumber China’s, India is a key market for brands hoping to explore the next generation of sustainable and scalable solutions.

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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