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24 : 01 : 20 : Weekly Debrief

Need to Know

This week: MUJI’s pre-fab home for the elderly, skincare for men of colour, Blackpool’s joyful museum, Hilton targets wellness-driven travellers and a merch store for Hinge.

Muji Plain House (Yo no Ie), Japan

1. Muji designs simple pre-fab homes for seniors

Japan – Muji's affordable single-person homes have been designed for Japan's elderly population.

With a stair-free and low-maintenance set-up, the open-plan dwellings – titled Yō no Ie – have been created in a way that complements their outdoor environment and welcomes natural light. Featuring decking with space for a vegetable garden, the entire building encourages indoor-outdoor living and offers the kind of natural setting that can be hard for elderly people to access in Japan’s urban environments.

Designed in keeping with Muji’s minimal aesthetic, the cedar-boned homes were originally conceptualised as a solution to dense city living in Japan, but have evolved into a comfortable solution for senior citizens. The prefabricated homes are even built to withstand the region’s earthquakes, with steel finishes that ensure a safe living space.

While Muji has centred its home concept around natural, simple living for elderly citizens, our Opinion piece from Future Facilityexplores an alternative future in which technology-driven homes empower older people through innovations such as voice-driven appliances.


2. Bevel creates total skincare for black men

US – Bevel is becoming a one-stop grooming emporium for black men, adding skincare and haircare products to its existing shaving range.

The company has released 11 new products across two new categories with the development of Bevel Hair and Bevel Body. Aiming to be the go-to brand for men's head-to-toe grooming, Bevel has expanded its range with the aim of increasing its presence in bricks-and-mortar stores.

Launched in early 2019, the company specialises in products specifically designed for coarser, curly hair and black skin, which are often ignored by the grooming industry. In a bid to be a breath of fresh air in the men’s grooming sector, its expanded range includes a deodorant created to penetrate through thick hair and a beard softener that detangles and nourishes.

Recognising the importance of inclusivity, brands such as Bevel and Ceylon are innovating with products that cater for men of colour’s specific skincare and haircare needs.

Showtown Blackpool

3. All the fun of Blackpool’s first museum

Blackpool – Showtown, the British seaside town’s first museum, will celebrate its history and future in delivering joy and whimsy to visitors.

Set to open in 2021, the museum will celebrate the comedians, dancers, circuses and characters that have brought Blackpool to life throughout its history. The project aims to be a hybrid museum space and visitor attraction – a fully immersive, family-friendly experience featuring artefacts and visitor experiences. Among the exhibitions planned for the museum are Beside the Seaside, which will explore Britons’ love for the beach, and Everybody Dance Now, a celebration of the town as the spiritual home of ballroom dancing.

To build intrigue around Showtown, Manchester-based studio True North has created playful, flexible branding for the museum that draws on beach-inspired motifs such as ice creams. In a similar vein, museum spaces are also being uplifted to transform novel experiences into platforms for people and brands to engage in discussions about the future. We explore this in our Post-modern Museums microtrend.

4. Tempo by Hilton courts itinerant wellness fanatics

US – Hilton is moving into the lifestyle space with its Tempo hotel concept, designed to serve travellers seeking a stay that matches their daily wellness practices.

Combining thoughtful design with a diverse range of partner lifestyle brands, Tempo promises a holistic experience for wellness-focused travellers, going beyond commonly offered on-site gyms to provide a wellbeing space for total mind and body training. Among its services are guided meditations, sleek fitness facilities and bedtime wind-downs created in partnership with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global initiative.

Tapping into the growing desire for sustainably sourced food and non-alcoholic premium drinks, Tempo aims to help wellness-led travellers to continue living by their values and rituals even when staying away from home. According to Phil Cordell, senior vice-president and global head of new brand development at Hilton: ‘Tempo by Hilton introduces a new concept by combining all the benefits and efficiencies [travellers] expect... with an uplifting dose of inspiration.’

As health and wellbeing continues to be at the front of mind for many consumers, the travel sector is innovating to support guests and provide opportunities for Wellness Tourism away from home.

Tempo by Hilton
The Hingie Shop

5. Hinge creates merchandise to celebrate Delete Day

London – Dating app Hinge has launched an online store selling merchandise featuring the brand’s mascot Hingie.

An extension of the app’s Designed to be Deleted campaign, the limited-edition Hingie shop features products for Delete Day – the day when couples choose to delete the Hinge app – including a Hingie piñata, a bath bomb and stuffed toys. While the brand’s goggle-eyed icon has been brought to life, it is in fact created as a temporary character in daters’ relationship journey. Alongside products to destroy on Delete Day, daters can also buy items to celebrate this new life milestone, including a solid gold Delete Day necklace, set with diamonds and inscribed with the date they deleted the app.

According to the brand, the Designed to be Deleted campaign has proved successful since its launch in August 2019, with an 18% increase in users ditching Hinge because they’ve met someone. As explored in a recent Viewpoint from Techfestival, brands with an end goal are embracing ways to create happy endings for products, people and services.

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