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29 : 03 : 19 : Weekly Debrief

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29 March 2019

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Zalando #Sneakernet by Superimpose

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This week: IAM Weekend explores the future of the internet, Apple’s first credit card, a poly-reality sneaker site, Move Studios prioritises mindfulness and Equal Lens promotes the female gaze.

Made in China Stickers at Huaqiangbei Electronics Market, Shenzhen, for Logic Magazine

1. The internet is empowering rural populations

At IAM Weekend 19, several speakers discussed the importance of rural communities, and why brands should open their minds beyond Western metropolises.

Creative director of Logic Magazine, Xiaowei Wang, examined the places in rural China and Mongolia in which the internet is physically made; places that are typically overlooked for their innovation. In her talk, she shed light on the areas of Mongolia in which copper is mined for iPhones, the rural Chinese consumers who are live-streaming for a living, and the country’s thousands of Taobao villages – communities that are dedicated to producing products for the online shopping site. ‘In China, the labour of clicking feeds [a] family,’ Wang said.

Applying this concept to the Americas, activist Alejandro Mayoral-Baños spoke about his grassroots organisation Indigenous Friends. The platform, which hosts networks based in Canada and Mexico and is currently in talks with Facebook, acts as an alternative social media platform for indigenous people, reconnecting aboriginal youth with their land and people.

According to Mayoral-Baños, this traditional knowledge has been undermined by academia over the years. ‘It’s important for knowledge that indigenous people can use digital tools in conscious ways, in order to decolonise this technology.’

Apple Card

2. Apple's credit card prioritises simplicity, transparency and privacy

California – The technology company has announced a first-of-its-kind of credit card that builds on the success of Apple Pay.

Available in the US this summer, Apple Card will combine the functionality of Apple Pay with the ability to manage the branded card through users’ iPhones. The card aims to transform the entire credit experience by simplifying the application process, eliminating fees, offering low interest and providing a new level of privacy and security.

While the card will offer rewards through its Daily Cash programme and use machine learning to help users better understand their spending, unique security and privacy architecture means Apple will not know where a customer shopped, what they bought or how much they paid.

Designed for shopping at locations where Apple Pay is not accepted, privacy also informs the design of the physical card, which is made from titanium and does not bear a card number, CVV, security code, expiration date or signature. As Apple expands to offer a new range of services, it signals a future where private enterprise will create Branded Cities.

Zalando #Sneakernet by Superimpose

3. Zalando's website becomes a virtual world for sneakers

Berlin – The fashion e-commerce site is focusing on the sneaker market with a campaign that celebrates the online network for sneaker fans.

Created by London agency Superimpose, Join the Sneakernet employs a playful visual identity that uses CGI to build a series of virtual scenes. Each scene depicts a moment associated with sneaker shopping, from queueing to photographing the perfect shoe shot.

The campaign invites Generation Z sneaker fans to buy from Zalando rather than partaking in traditional streetwear drops, in which shoppers must compete with others for limited editions pieces. With the campaign, Zalando is not just experimenting with an eye-catching virtual aesthetic, but is making hype culture accessible to all.

Read our Design Direction Poly-reality to explore this new aesthetic that celebrates all things digital and artificial, and challenges notions of authenticity.

4. This fitness studio swaps sweat for mindfulness

London – Move Studios is a new fitness studio and wellness space that takes a mindful approach to functional training.

Housed above Market Hall Fulham, the fully equipped studio offers yoga, strength, endurance and interval training, as well as a rotating schedule of workshops and wellness talks. As an antidote to the rise of get-fit-quick regimens, Move Studios promises a more sustainable form of training, with specialist trainers leading sessions on breathing work, calisthenics and stretching, in addition to various forms of yoga.

‘We believe in creating a space that delivers beyond measures of sweat and soreness,’ says founder Christian Pratt-Lewis, who adds that the light, airy space is a departure from dark basement studios, nightclub-inspired environments and strobe lighting that have come to signify the boutique fitness experience. Inspired by the rhythm and gestures of human movement, the studio exemplifies how wellness interiors are embracing a more stripped-back aesthetic. For more, explore our Raw Movement design direction.

Move Studios, London
Equal Lens

5. Equal Lens champions women photographers

Global – New platform Equal Lens is on a mission to promote women photographers in a bid to redress the gender imbalance in commercial photography.

Created by Jaki Jo Hannan, a producer at Adam&EveDDB, the platform is a response to the fact that women accounted for less than 25% of those represented on the books of 70 leading commercial photography agents.

It was launched with work by 100 women photographers across categories such as conceptual, fashion, humour, sport and technology. ‘We are calling for agencies to pledge to include women and men in every photographers list. We are encouraging clients and agencies to request and produce inclusive lists. And to make these lists easier, we are championing the work of women photographers on our website and beyond,’ reads a statement from Equal Lens.

In due course, the initiative will expand with mentoring programmes and portfolio reviews for female photographers. For more on the brands and individuals rewriting narratives around gender and career progression, explore our Female Futures vertical.

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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