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31 : 05 : 19 : Weekly Debrief

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31 May 2019

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Perfect Reality, Samsung, by Six N. Five


This week: Postmodern desserts, anti-choice homeware, Highsnobiety enters e-commerce, Atmos explores sustainability through art and a family-first member's club.

Eat Darling Eat, Hong Kong

1. Eat Darling Eat is a laboratory for desserts

Hong Kong – This colourful dining space is reinventing Chinese desserts for the modern era.

Located in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay, Eat Darling Eat challenges the conventional flavours, shapes and colours of local desserts, creating visually arresting alternatives such as Sichuan pepper ice cream with candied bacon and papaya soup with snow fungus and mascarpone.

Deviating from the often nostalgic identity of dessert bars, the space has a postmodernist interior punctuated by concrete details and fluorescent-coloured abstract art. ‘We wanted to create a provocative setting that would mirror the imaginative and experimental desserts,’ says architect Nelson Chow. ‘A postmodernist desserts laboratory provides the perfect backdrop.’

While some restaurants have downsized their dessert menus to save both business costs and customers' waistbands, others like Eat Darling Eat are exploring sense-driven ways to reintroduce excitement to sweet menus.

Bundle by Resident

2. An anti-choice furniture brand for modern living

US – As part of its rebranding program, home furnishing retailer Resident has launched a streamlined sofa brand called Bundle.

The direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand has launched with just two seating options: a simple sofa available in four colourways and a beanbag. It is the most recent addition to parent company Resident's portfolio, which includes other niche brands dedicated to offering a single, practical and high-quality product, such as Awara mattresses and Wovenly rugs.

‘Our approach is unique to the direct-to-consumer space because we offer multiple brands in any given category, like our four mattresses,’ says co-founder Craig Schmeizer. ‘This DTC brand-building model lets us cater to specific consumer needs better than our competitors.’

At a time of peak stuff, home decor brands like Bundle and Clare are removing excessive choice from the buying process in favour of giving shoppers a more focused experience.

Highsnobiety x Prada by Aldona Kwiatkowski

3. Highsnobiety is now a shopping platform

New York – The media brand has launched an e-commerce vertical that will offer curated product drops in collaboration with luxury and streetwear brands.

To kick off the launch of its shop, which will merge e-commerce with editorial storytelling, Highsnobiety will be the only platform to sell the Prada Linea Rossa Spring/Summer 2019 collection outside of Prada’s own channels. Each drop will be available worldwide for seven days, making the collections highly covetable.

‘We want to expand on our status of being cultural curators and an endless stream of discovery of the new, and truly close the loop by giving you access to the very best across the many different categories, cultures, markets and products that we operate in,’ says David Fischer, Highsnobiety CEO. The brand has also created an accompanying Instagram account dedicated to the product drops.

Highsnobiety may be an inspiration source for consumers immersed in the Hype Market, but becoming a retailer in its own right could further cement brand loyalty among streetwear fans.

4. Atmos magazine explores sustainability through art

New York – The climate and culture publication investigates how communities and designers around the world are adapting to climate change.

The first issue of Atmos, which will publish biannually, looks at current climate challenges through photography, interviews with artists such as Yoko Ono, and immersive journeys to destinations such as rural India and the island of Kiribati. Its editorial content ranges from a fashion spread featuring biosynthetic materials to profiles of female scientists leading advancements in clean meat.

Atmos' inaugural theme, Neo-Natural, refers to the merging of nature and futurism, a concept that lends itself to the magazine’s surrealist aesthetic. ‘At its core, this is an exploration of how nature, and our role in it, continues to evolve,’ explains William Defebaugh, editor-in-chief. ‘As a publication about climate and culture, what better place to start than exploring where these two forces intersect?’

The visual identity of sustainability is in flux, as creative practitioners such as Atmos approach climate change with a more vibrant, engaging and design-led aesthetic.

Atmos magazine
The Wonder, New York City

5. The Wonder is a play space for imaginative families

New York – The high-spec play space aims to provide families with a space for quality time oriented around creative and educational activities.

Founded by Sarah Robinson and Noria Morales, two mothers who recognised a gap for innovation in kids’ play and classes, The Wonder is described as a space for recreation, experiences, and human connection for all ages. With an annual membership subscription of £3,780 ($4,800, €4,290) per family, its classes focus on discovery and creativity and include art classes exploring the work of Yayoi Kusama and visits from entomologists, complete with bug zoos to study.

Tapping into modern parenting mindsets, The Wonder provides a stroller cleaning service, has bathrooms stocked with organic nappies and natural baby care, and beers and board games for parents. ‘This is not a daycare. This is a space where families can create a sense of community with other people,’ Morales tells Fast Company.

As explored in our recent micro trend Co-economy Childcare, services for families and children are evolving, with the emergence of crèche-first co-working and child-friendly urban residences.


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