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In the Press : January


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3 February 2020

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Co-exist by Six N. Five


In January: Are you breathing properly? on Financial Times; Vogue Business discusses our microtrend Demand-Led Design; Vogue Australia explores what it means to live in times of eco-anxiety and Thomas Koch discusses the partnership between The Future Laboratory and the Corinthia Hotel in Hotel Designs

Animation and illustration by Wang & Söderström. Animation by Bielke & Yang for Oslo Design Fair, 2019

Financial Times

Are you breathing properly?

How’s your breathing right now? I’d wager it starts somewhere around your chest and makes your shoulders rise and fall. The bad news is that most of us are performing the regular business of inhaling and exhaling all wrong. The solution lies in “breathwork”.

Quite unlike the unconscious, involuntary breathing we do all day, every day, the clue here is in the “work”. Conscious breathing requires active engagement in performing a specific pattern of breathing – one that has, until recently, been associated predominantly with yoga and meditation. But with the tantalising possibility of increasing focus, unlocking creativity, reducing stress and anxiety and even potentially affecting longevity (while making us look younger in the meantime), 2020 may just be the year we all catch our breath.

“The rise of breathwork is spurred by consumers who realise that the pursuit of wellness has been complicit with societal burnout,” says Jessica Smith, senior creative researcher at The Future Laboratory. “In response to the narrative that we must be fitter, faster, busier and ‘better’, breathwork gives us the physical and metaphorical space to slow down and build long-term endurance.

“What feels new is the growing link between breathwork and science,” she explains. “Where once it was seen as a spiritual, ‘woo woo’ pursuit, it’s now increasingly understood as a functional practice with certified benefits.”
Read the full article on the Financial Times here.

For more insight on the Health & Wellness sector check out our latest Health & Wellness Report as well as our LS:N Global articles:

The Conscious Decelerators

Modern Therapy

Virtual Cleansing

Sharewear by Atacac

Vogue Business

Buzz builds around made-to-order fashion manufacturing

Anomalie sells made-to-order, custom wedding dresses that usually cost less than $2,000. Customers begin with an online dress builder, which has codified thousands of modularised variables. They then finalise their design with a stylist and send it to one of three factories in China.

Because the core of the dresses — the fabric, bodice construction and skirt lining — don’t vastly differ, the customised elements are primarily added by hand at the end. Here, the innovation is in the design process, rather than automating construction. “The way we have thought about it is, how can tech help the process that is already there?” says Leslie Voorhees Means, co-founder and CEO of the San Francisco company.

Production and delivery take about four months. Wedding dresses are well-suited for this model, as customers are willing to wait, says Means. But a higher order volume would shorten customer wait time because Anomalie could group similar styles and wouldn’t have to wait to run the factories until enough orders are placed.

“In a convenience and efficiency-driven industry, it may take a shift in consumer mindset to adjust to longer delivery times,” says The Future Laboratory senior creative researcher Rachael Stott, who has identified “demand-led design” as a microtrend. “If we educate the consumer on the ecological and environmental benefits of this approach, then it has the potential to be adopted.” Read the full article on Vogue Business.

Read our microtrend Demand-led Design and other articles discussing fashion and retail: 

Fast Fashion Rental

Circular Store Design

Microbes Will Make Manufacturing Transparent



Atmos, Synthesis by Alexandra von Fuerst

Vogue Australia

Global warning: how to overcome eco-anxiety and reduce your own personal carbon footprint

We’ve been looking at the technologies and apps which are designed to de-stress, control, re-boot,” says Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory and editor-in-chief of LS:N Global. “This has been about resilience … We’ve had 10 years of nannying and comforting and universities removing contentious things from their curriculum. But now, there’s a push back against that. Young people are seeing anxiety isn’t just a legitimate response, but something that comes from actually not understanding the mechanisms needed to survive in a changing world.” He adds: “They’re saying: ‘Actually, we’re panicking because we’ve lost the accoutrements of engagement and how to be robust and resilient and fight back.’” This is why the snowflake trope is dead and there is hope: an entire generation is now fighting for its future and as Thunberg so reminded us, they are watching us all.

“The ship is gone and we’re now stuck with the lifeboat,” says Raymond, noting that the silver lining is there, albeit a threadbare one. “And that’s the reality. The doubters now will feel the crunch and no longer be respected because, while you’re entitled to your opinion, you’re not entitled to the facts.” And climate change is a fact. “Every scientist of intelligence and note has signed a declaration that the planet is dying. We know that. What the fuck are we doing about it?” Read the full article on Vogue Australia.

For more insight on sustainability-related trends check out the articles below:

Death Positivity Market

Tourism Decelerated

The Future Laboratory

Hotel Designs.

Marriott to open 30 luxury hotels in 2020

Last year, Corinthia London was the backdrop of a BBC docuseries entitled: A Hotel for the Super Rich & Famous. The two-part series, which echoed a similar format of another series that featured Kochs when he was General Manager of Claridge’s, gave consumers a window into the inner workings of a luxury hotel.

As well as following the day-in-the-life of housekeepers, florists and the concierge, the cameras were also given access to creative meetings with the hotel’s Futurists-in-Residence, The Future Laboratory. The trend forecasters, who began their partnership with the hotel in 2018, believes the future of luxury is about intelligent encounters – think cool cultural exchanges, and the kind of exemplary food for the mind, body and soul that stimulates thinking. “These are dear friends of ours,” Kochs explains. “The Future Laboratory were trying to make the point that that consumers are too busy with themselves, to the point that only severe disruption would make them talk to each other.” One option suggested was to deliberately shut down one of the lifts. “That’s all well and good,” Kochs adds, “but that just doesn’t work in hotels. The aim of the partnership was to position ourselves as a forward-thinking hotel that also respects our history and brand values.” Read the full article on Hotel Designs.

The Future Laboratory have planned a series of Futurists-in-Residence events at the Corinthia London for 2020. Sign up to our newsletter below, to find out more about the events launching soon.

Every month, we publish the best articles that feature The Future Laboratory in the press, read our most recent articles below:

In the Press: December

In the Press: November

In the Press: October

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