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21 February 2020

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Herbal Stimulant, Three Spirit Drinks

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This week: Retail residences, the Barbican rethinks masculinity, designing climate solutions, anti-odour wipes, and a playful Thai hospital for kids.

PIECES Maine Home by An Aesthetic Pursuit

1. Pieces Home is a shoppable Airbnb

Brooklyn – Design agency An Aesthetic Pursuit has created an Airbnb rental house in Maine with furniture and products available to purchase.

Pieces Home is a shoppable stay that ‘is an experience designed to uplift traditional Airbnb stays,' as an alternative to outdated furniture showrooms. Available to rent via Airbnb, the property has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and both indoor and outdoor living spaces – all featuring furniture available for guests to buy.

Among the colourful space's purchasable products are rugs, chair and tables, including pieces from Swiss furniture brand Vitra, and designers Jasper Morrison and Alvar Aalto. Jenny Kaplan, co-founder of An Aesthetic Pursuit, says: 'This affords our guests a unique opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a space filled with the beautifully designed products from our incredible group of partners and from each of our Pieces collections.’

For more on how Home-Tail has matured, dive into In-Situ Showrooms, which explores the stores allowing customers to test the full functionality of their products before purchasing.

Adi Nes, Masculinities at Barbican, London

2. The Barbican questions modern masculinity

London – The Barbican Centre’s latest exhibition considers how masculinity has been socially constructed over time, through the medium of film and photography.

Featuring examples from the 1960’s until the present day, the Masculinities exhibition zooms in on the idea of toxic masculinity, particularly in the wake of #MeToo. Drawing attention to the often complex representations of the modern man, the exhibition considers how the idea of masculinity has evolved over time, touching on themes including power, partiarchy, queer identity, and female perceptions of men, among other ideas. With a primary focus on the medium of photography in relation to masculinity, the exhibition brings together the work of over 50 international artists, photographers and filmmakers including Laurie Anderson, Sunil Gupta and Catherine Opie.

As we uncover in our vertical on New Masculinity, brands are increasingly evolving to adopt new mindsets around what it means to be a modern man – and how the future is becoming increasingly genderless.

IAM Weekend 2020

3. IAM Weekend 2020 to spotlight the climate emergency

Barcelona – Next month’s annual creative summit will focus on the vital need for brands to respond to the global environmental emergency.

Over the weekend, 400 designers and creative thinkers will tackle the 2020 theme The Weirdness of Interdependencies. The aim, according to co-founders Lucy Black-Swan and Andres Colmenares, is to evolve the digital economy and understand its role as a strategic eco-system to address environmental concerns, in turn producing viable solutions.

Speakers such as Katja Bego, principal researcher at Nesta’s technology futures team, and Christie Morgan, art director and founder of Pitch Studios, will address the theme, as well as IAM Weekend’s overarching Everything Manifesto. According to Black-Swan and Colmenares, the manifesto is ‘a thought experiment for the next billion seconds’ and ‘a collection of proposals for changing humans’ complicated relationship with change’.

LS:N Global will be reporting live from IAM Weekend 2020, on 19–21 March. For more information on the speaker line-up and tickets, click here.

4. Surface Deep is an acid peel deodorant

US – Surface Deep is redefining traditional deodorant with the launch of acid peel pads for armpits.

The brand’s Anti-Odorant product uses glycolic acid to block underarm odour, rather than blocking sweat entirely. Developed in a similar way to peel pads for the face, the pads are individually wrapped and are intended to be thrown away after each use.

Anti-Odorant will initially be sold on both the Surface Deep website and Amazon, amid growing interest in natural deodorants among everyday consumers. According to Carlos Timiraos, a consultant for the brand, the product was developed with an awareness of the downsides of traditional antiperspirant. He says: ‘I think most consumers understand that antiperspirants have a downside. Exfoliating and cleansing is the key differentiator [for Anti-Odorant].’

For more, read our Multisensory Beauty microtrend to discover the personal care brands offering new sensory touchpoints and application processes.

Surface Deep
EKH Children Hospital, designed by Integrated Field, Thailand

5. A pastel-hued, child-friendly hospital

Thailand – While hospitals have traditionally been places subject to sterile, clinical aesthetics, EKH Children’s Hospital is rethinking medical institutions with its playful design.

Created by Integrated Field after extensive research into hospital design, the organisation noticed a growing trend towards luxury institutions – but decided that a children’s hospital should prioritise fun over high-end features. Incorporating many components of playground design, the space welcomes children with a giant slide in the entrance hall, along with waiting areas that double up as playgrounds.

Also challenging the traditional signifiers of a medical space, EKH features soft pastel interiors and wayfinding that veers away from prosaic room names to instead title spaces based on animals such as whales, turtles, lions and rabbits, which each have their namesake animal emblazoned on the ceiling. The design of the in between spaces are also created in a user-sensitive way, with details such as seating and doorways made in child-friendly proportions.

As we explore in our Soft Aid Design Direction, healthcare brands and medical services are increasingly taking inspiration from lifestyle brands to rebrand the sector as more human and emotional.

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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