News 13.01.2022

Need to Know

Intergenerational play comes to the V&A Dundee, TikTok’s virtual kitchen concept delivers trending dishes and active consumers indulge in alcohol.

V&A Dundee invites families to listen for joy

Listening to Joy by Yinka Ilori at V&A Dundee, Scotland
Listening to Joy by Yinka Ilori at V&A Dundee, Scotland
Listening to Joy by Yinka Ilori at V&A Dundee, Scotland

Dundee – Listening to Joy by artist Yinka Ilori is an experiential, audio-first playscape at design museum V&A Dundee. Featuring colourful, interactive elements such as a maze with zippable mesh walls, the space invites visitors to adapt and change the environment.

It also offers a sound-making area, using two circular xylophones for experimentation. Sounds will be recorded, mixed and transformed into a series of musical pieces that capture the enjoyment of being in the maze. By placing a focus on sound experiences, the playscape demonstrates the ongoing importance of Connective Audio – and how aural design can bolster relationships both in person and from a distance. Ilori says: ‘Play should be collaborative, so I have created this installation for visitors of all ages to explore sounds, colours and patterns in a shared space.

While we’ve previously explored how connective furniture can enhance intergenerational play in home environments, this project shows how similar strategies can be applied to the design of public spaces.

Strategic opportunity

Public venues from retailers to hospitality spaces should take note of this concept and design placemaking strategies with a sensorial focus. How might you integrate intergenerational play into your existing space?

A DIY laptop designed to last a lifetime

Framework, US Framework, US
Framework, US Framework, US

California – Joining the Right to Repair movement, consumer electronics company Framework is releasing a modular laptop that grants customers full access to its hardware system. Permitting consumers to fix and upgrade their computers as desired, the company hopes to reduce e-waste and maximise the longevity of its products.

Combatting the planned obsolescence strategies practised by many tech giants, Framework’s laptop offers consumers a chance to build, repair and service their own products. Available for pre-order in the UK, France and Germany, customers can decide whether to build the laptop themselves or opt for a pre-assembled version. Each computer comes with a screwdriver and spudger that will allow consumers to customise and upgrade their machines.

At the heart of its mission, Framework is aiming to increase circularity in the tech industry. ‘We've gone from 44.4m tonnes of e-waste per year in 2014 to 53.6m tonnes in 2019. As an industry, we can't keep moving in this direction,’ explains Nirav Patel, CEO of Framework.

As eco-conscious consumers grow tired of having to replace their pricey electronics on a regular basis, and governments introduce strict regulations on the Right to Repair, tech brands must prepare for a newness backlash.

Strategic opportunity

As the Right to Repair movement grows, consumers are keen to learn more about DIY and repair. Why not consider offering open-access educational resources?

TikTok is bringing viral recipes to your doorstep

US – The short-form video platform is moving into the food space, with the launch of a virtual kitchen and delivery service. TikTok Kitchen, a partnership with restaurant supplier Virtual Dining Concepts, will use about 300 ghost restaurants to prepare meals based on the platform’s viral recipes. Available in the US from March, the platform hopes to expand to more than 1,000 locations by the end of 2022.

To begin with, TikTok Kitchen will offer the viral baked feta pasta dish, as well as a smash burger and pasta chips. The menu will change each quarter, with TikTok also planning to give a cut of its profits to the creators of the recipes it features. Here, the platform is recognising the success of food and drink trends on its platform and bringing its influence to the real world.

Through this concept, TikTok demonstrates the growing potential for digital platforms to influence the food and beverage sector through physical dining concepts.

TikTok Kitchen

Strategic opportunity

Restaurants can take inspiration from this concept and design food experiences based around social media trends. To engage young audiences, consider creating a rotating menu featuring ingredients or dishes from popular culture

Stat: Link found between exercise and alcohol consumption

Pangaia Activewear Pangaia Activewear

Contrary to popular beliefs, physically fit individuals are more likely to indulge in alcohol than people who are less in shape. A report by The Cooper Institute in Texas has found that active individuals in the US are twice as likely to be heavy or moderate drinkers as their less athletic counterparts.

Indeed, the report found that the fitter people are, the more they tend to drink. According to the data, women who qualified for the fittest category were twice as likely to be moderate drinkers as those who did not exercise. Equally, the fittest men were also twice as likely to be moderate drinkers as those with low aerobic capacities. Men who fell into the highly fit category were 63% more likely to drink regularly, while for highly fit women the chances of being a heavy or moderate drinker doubled.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, the 38,000-person study demonstrates a clear link between exercise habits and alcohol consumption. Taking the emphasis away from productivity to enjoyment, the findings support the idea of a rising Pleasure Revolution, as people seek balance in their lifestyles.

Strategic opportunity

Narratives around indulgence are changing. Food and drink companies should align their messaging to reflect the rise of guilt-free gratification

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