Need to Know
22 : 06 : 20

Bathing is re-imagined for LGBT+ inclusivity, Japan encourages imagination travel and Gen Z drive Black Lives Matter activism.

These baths challenge heteronormative architecture

The baths for queer defense and [de]liberation by Reily Joel Calderón Rivera, Puerto Rico
The baths for queer defense and [de]liberation by Reily Joel Calderón Rivera, Puerto Rico
The baths for queer defense and [de]liberation by Reily Joel Calderón Rivera, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico – Designer Reily Joel Calderón Rivera has envisaged more inclusive public bathrooms for the University of Puerto Rico.

The conceptual space champions protection, defence and deliberation within the LGBT+ community, using intelligent architectural design to promote relaxation and freedom. Designed as a form of protest against the university’s controversial history among marginalised groups, the space features a variety of inclusive elements, such as nooks for exploring gender performativities.

Described as a ‘protective wall’, the space is designed to protect the people inside, as well providing terraces for transgender people to sunbathe and a social media observation tower allowing people to seek transphobic online activity.

As heteronormativity loses its default position, architects are experimenting with spatial design to empower marginalised groups. For more, explore the rise of Kink Architecture in Pleasure Revolution.

Japan’s railway promotes at-home escapism

Sunset at Mount Fuji on Google Maps, Japan Sunset at Mount Fuji on Google Maps, Japan
Adachi Museum of Art Zen Garden on Google Maps, Japan Adachi Museum of Art Zen Garden on Google Maps, Japan

Japan – JRPass has launched a virtual travel initiative to encourage people to experience iconic Japanese sites via Google Maps.

Created as a way of maintaining travel momentum during Covid-19, the country's railway group announced the initiative as an Instagram challenge, inviting hopeful travellers to digitally experience Japan's top tourist destinations through Google Maps. These ‘travel testers’ can be paid £200 ($247, €218) for their review of virtual destinations.

The concept of the campaign is to entice potential travellers with future travel opportunities, while tapping into the potential for online escapism.

As travel opportunities remain limited in the inter-Covid period, tourism brands are encouraging travellers to engage in new forms of discovery and escapism. For more, read Imagination Travel.

Hanifa celebrates Congolese fashion with 3D collection

US – The fashion brand has launched a 3D collection, Pink Label Congo, inspired by traditional Congolese dress.

The collection was revealed via a live fashion show on Instagram, in place of the brand’s scheduled runway spot at New York Fashion Week. Brand founder Anifa Mvuemba created each garment as a 3D rendering and fitted these to an avatar. By hosting the show on social media, Hanifa gave viewers of all backgrounds a front-row seat to a typically hierarchical event, attracting some 10,000 viewers.

‘I wanted it to happen in real time, so that viewers could experience it the way they would at a real fashion show,’ says Mvuemba. ‘If you were there, you were there.’

The fashion industry is being forced to accelerate the creation of Immaterial Fashion solutions to sustainability issues, particularly with the physical limitations placed on them by Covid-19.

Pink Label Congo by Hanifa @hanifaofficial, US

Stat: Generation Z are at the forefront of Black Lives Matter

3D scans of protestors by Débora Silva 3D scans of protestors by Débora Silva

According to a study led by Business Insider, in collaboration with Yubo and StuDocu, 90% of American Generation Z support the Black Lives Matter movement.

The majority of this group – 77% – have also attended protests to show solidarity. Of those who attended protests, some 62% said they were willing to be arrested during a peaceful protest to support the need for racial equality. They are also taking to social media in order to pledge their alliance with black communities, with 73% using Instagram to express their support.

Reflecting this generation’s penchant for activism, Generation Z have been at the forefront of the nation’s recent anti-racism demonstrations. For brands, ways of enacting positive change include wealth distribution and improved workplace practices. To find out more, explore our resources for Supporting Black Communities.

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