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22 June 2018

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: XYZ Lounge by Didier Fiuza Faustino, Belgium

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This week: XYZ Lounge explores neutral identity, Corona designs an eco-conscious shirt, Pink Fish offers quick seafood meals on the go, a concept shoe that replicates sand training, Axiom takes travellers to space.

XYZ Lounge by Didier Fiuza Faustino, Belgium

1. XYZ Lounge is an identity-neutral bar and restaurant

Belgium – Architect Didier Fiúza Faustino, best known for his work on the relationship between body and space, has unveiled a lounge, bar and restaurant space that is free from traditional markers of personal and social identity.

The physical space has been designed as a neutral environment to inspire interaction and exchanges between visitors. ‘During a time where social, sexual and gender identities are upturned and questioned, how may one provide a space which is both neutral and sensual, a space free from social markers, without tailoring to a singular identity?’, asks Faustino. Spanning a 360-square-metre area, the location is divided into three spaces – the entrance, an adjoining bar and a smaller open space – which redefine the use and the volumes of such typical social spaces.

In an age of Neutral Culture, brands are challenging rigid classifications of identity markers, replacing them with visions of identity that are more personal and nuanced.

Hawaiian shirt design by Corona and Parley for the Oceans

2. Corona weaves plastic threads into charitable shirts

Sydney – Drinks brand Corona has continued its collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, launching three Hawaiian shirts made from upcycled waste plastic.

Echoing projects from the likes of Adidas and Net-A-Porter, Corona has teamed up with graphic designer Adolfo Correa on the print of the shirts, while the designs feature Parley Ocean Plastic, an eco-conscious thread created from plastic waste.

From a distance, each shirt design evokes a Hawaiian paradise, but closer inspection reveals the pattern to include plastic items such as six-pack rings and plastic bottles polluting the ocean and affecting marine life. All proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go towards Parley for the Ocean’s sea and beach clean-up programme.

Following the launch of Clean Waves, a limited-edition collection of sunglasses made from ocean waste by Net-A-Porter and Corona, the brand continues to develop fashion-led items to bring awareness to new audiences.

Pink Fish restaurant, Norway

3. Sustainable seafood in a quick-service format

Norway – Pink Fish is a new fast-casual restaurant that offers high-quality seafood meals without compromising on convenience. The menu is formed of sustainably sourced Norwegian salmon served in various ways, from burgers and wraps to salads and hotpots.

While providing food for those on the go, the brand doesn’t cut corners on sustainability. The packaging and straws are both compostable and produced from a byproduct of sugarcane and corn, while the cutlery is made from 100% natural starch.

More and more chefs are becoming involved in the fast-casual sector to bring consumers high-quality food at a low cost. Pink Fish founders Geir Skeie and Ronny Gjøse hope to provide ‘delicious global flavours on a scalable concept’. ‘To be able to show all the exciting flavours you can pair with Norwegian salmon is great fun, and we love challenging established truths about how seafood can be used,’ says Skeie.

4. A shoe that makes performance training convenient

California – Having discovered that resistance athletes like to train in sand dune parks, designer Aarish Netarwala has developed Grit, a new concept shoe for adidas that replicates the properties of running on soft sand to ensure this training method is accessible to all.

With athletes relying on difficult sand training to strengthen their muscles for acceleration, balance and jumping, the 3D-printed trainers will be designed to ensure training is just as strenuous. The sole of the shoe features lattice structures designed to scatter energy when the foot strikes the ground, fatiguing the athlete's leg muscles faster. To support the wearer’s foot, a fabric knit sock is paired with the lattice sole, and although woven together, the two pieces are easily detachable and both can be recycled.

Despite the need for extensive testing and manufacturing before its launch as a commercial product, the design indicates the future direction of materials innovation to help improve performance. As Active Air recently demonstrated, shoes could also provide a solution to reverse air pollution in urban environments.

Grit concept shoe by Aarish Netarwala
Habitation Module by Philippe Starck at Axiom Space Station, US

5. Axiom offers luxury space travel experience 

Houston – Due to open in 2020, the world’s first commercial space station Axiom Space has announced the launch of a new tourism programme that will offer guests the chance to visit the International Space Station (ISS).

Priced at £42m ($55m, €47m) a ticket, Axiom will fly guests to the ISS for a 10-day expedition. A two-year intensive training programme at Axiom Space Station is required to ensure individuals are prepared for their time in space. French designer Philippe Starck has been enlisted to create the luxurious interior of the habitation module at the station, while Italian outerwear brand Moncler will design the flight suit. ‘The interest in space tourism for private individuals has gained momentum as our capabilities of exploration continue to develop,’ says Michael Suffredini, CEO and president of Axiom Space.

Luxury travel experiences are becoming the new collectors’ items, offering consumers access to unexplored destinations. Axiom is taking this further with an experience that also challenges consumers’ physical and mental abilities as part of their exploration.

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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