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category - design
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sector - health & wellness
sector - youth

This week: Ikea's latest design partnership, urban planning with Minecraft, Woodland Trust rebrands for wider appeal, the future of fashion in Web3 and the great reshuffle continues. 



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27 January 2023

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Varmblixt collection by Ikea in collaboration with Sabine Marcelis, Sweden and Rotterdam


Varmblixt collection by Ikea in collaboration with Sabine Marcelis, Sweden and Rotterdam

1. Ikea’s latest designer partnership is inspired by warm lighting

Sweden – Furniture giant Ikea has continued its designer collaboration strategy and teamed up with The Netherlands-based designer Sabine Marcelis to create the homewares collection, Varmblixt, a Swedish term meaning 'warm lighting'.

At the heart of the collaboration are four sculptural lamps that will remain a part of Ikea’s core product line in the long term. These are a pendant lamp, a circular wall lamp, a lamp that doubles as a mirror, and an orange-glass doughnut-shaped table lamp (doughnuts are a frequent motif of Marcelis’s work). Ikea hopes Marcelis's designs will encourage customers to think differently about how light can transform the look, feel and atmosphere of their homes, tapping into Marcelis's view inspired by 'objects that serve more than their functional needs but add to the artistic value of home'.

The remainder of the 19-piece collection is limited edition and includes champagne coupes, glass drink stirrers, carafes, doughnut-shaped glass bowls and rugs inspired by sunsets. Varmblixt will be available in all Ikea markets from February 2023. As consumers have spent more time at home and embraced multi-domesticity over the past couple of years, they need products that remind them that the domestic space is about more than how it functions, but also a place for relaxation, beauty and joy.

2. Students in Riga use Minecraft to learn urban planning

Latvia – Educators in Riga have turned to the virtual world of Minecraft to involve young people in urban planning.

A digital version of Latvia’s capital city was created through Minecraft Education Edition and made accessible to every student in Riga. Students were then set the task of redesigning and reconstructing 20 of the buildings in the city’s centre. The aim of the project was to help young people get to know their local neighbourhood, the city’s history and architecture, as well as to consider the challenges of building in urban spaces –including the demands of accessibility and effects of climate change. Because Minecraft is popular with young people and they understand the game naturally, the teachers believed it made lessons in urban planning less intimidating.

Multi-functional metaversal spaces are booming, from gaming to playing with new ideas, and can be used to enhance our understanding of real life. Riga's City Council is now looking for further ways to implement Minecraft into its schools' curricula, including in chemistry and biology, with the aim of spreading this method of teaching more widely throughout Europe.

Photography by Mika Baumeister
Woodland Trust: Plant More Trees campaign by Creature London, UK

3. Woodland Trust rebrands to expand its appeal

UK – The Woodland Trust has been rebranded by creative agency Creature London. The charity hopes its new visual identity will move its image away from traditional ideas of woodland conservation and engage new demographics in its eco-guardianship efforts.

The Trust’s new look embraces boldness and optimism, leaning heavily into activism and protest culture with slogans such as ‘Plant more Trees’ and ‘Let Our Streets Breathe’ featuring across its updated marketing materials. The Woodland Trust’s existing oak leaf logo in signature green remains and is complemented with an expanded colour palette of three core greens, and seasonal bright and dark hues. ‘We tend to get support from a group of people that look very similar,’ says Woodland Trust director of brand and communications Ruth Hyde. ‘But we already know from our research that there are something like 15m people who are committed and ready to act for the environment, [with a diversity] similar to the breakdown of the whole population.’

The Woodland Trust rebranding has been launched in a campaign across physical, digital and social media, including a tv advert narrated by British actor Tom Hollander.

Syky, US

4. Upcoming Web3 platform Syky envisages a more open fashion world

UK – Syky, pronounced ‘psy-che’, has hinted at a new era for luxury fashion in Web3. The start-up, which has raised £7.7m ($9.5m, €8.7m) in Series A funding led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is building a tech-powered platform to unleash creative opportunities for future fashion designers and consumers.

Founded by fashion industry veteran Alice Delahunt, Syky wants to build a fair future for fashion using a blockchain-enabled luxury platform. Serving multiple purposes, the Web3 hub will act as an incubator, marketplace and social community for designers and consumers alike. To kick-start the launch, Syky released an NFT, The Keystone, on 20 January and awarded 50 tokens to aspiring designers. Holders will join a network of creatives and get access to digital and real-life fashion events, insider information and industry reports.

In the future, any Syky user will be able to create, curate, share and trade fashion collections on the platform. ‘We build a platform that equalises creative opportunity for aspiring designers, from emerging to established brands,’ says Delahunt. Syky joins the growing list of players fuelling a tech-powered fashion renaissance and retail shake-up.

Kaleidoscopic Home by Tin & Ed for Ikea’s Everyday Experiments at Space 10

5. Stat: LinkedIn expects the Great Reshuffle to continue in 2023

US ­– More than six in 10 American workers are thinking of leaving their job in 2023, according to a new report from LinkedIn, driven by job volatility among younger generations.

As 2022 drew to a close, LinkedIn and CensusWide gauged the professional prospects of 2,000 US-based workers, revealing that recession isn’t set to affect the labour market’s fast turnover. Gen Zers, who entered the workforce during the pandemic, aren’t fazed by decreasing job stability. ‘They’re in an experimental phase where they’re still figuring out what they want out of a job,’ explains Karin Kimbrough, chief economist at LinkedIn. ‘But they’re more passionate about finding a job that aligns with their personal values, and they’re confident that switching jobs will help them get there.’

Other drivers pushing Gen Z and Millennials to switch jobs include higher compensation, better work-life balance, clear career paths and flexible working, stressing the benefits employers should focus on to retain young talent.

To stay ahead on what’s next in the workplace, RSVP to our Work States Futures online trend preview and explore our dedicated series.

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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