News 26.10.2022

Need to Know

Dutch Design Week delivers a sensory dining experience connecting eaters to living soils, a smart device for period care and women leaders are ushering in the Great Break-up in the US.

DDW: Dish the Dirt explores the relationship between soil and humans through food

 Dish the Dirt by Gabby Morris, Eindhoven
 Dish the Dirt by Gabby Morris, Eindhoven
 Dish the Dirt by Gabby Morris, Eindhoven

Eindhoven – Highlighting the relationship between the food society consumes and the soil it is grown in, creative designer and researcher Gabby Morris showcased Dish the Dirt at Dutch Design Week 2022 as part of the BioArt Laboratories Foundation exhibition.

Presenting a multi-sensory tasting experience, the installation featured soil and food side by side through a six-course tasting menu that evoked the smell, taste, sound and feel of soil. Alongside the menu, ceramic plates inspired by different traits of soil guided the eating experience. The Digging Deeper plate encouraged diners to have a conversation around no dig policies, which allow soil’s eco-system to heal and grow better food. In contrast, the Broken Systems plate was designed for an uncomfortable eating experience, mimicking the broken relationship between soil and humans.

Aiming to reconnect food, agriculture and sustainability, the installation was designed to educate and empower people with the knowledge of why living soils are vital, and how farming and dining can have an enormous impact on soil degradation and perpetuating problems with the food system.

To further understand the environmental impact society has on the food system, join our Food & Drink Futures online event on 1 December, where we’ll explore the next frontier for nourishment.

Strategic opportunity

Environmental messaging or projects can often feel intangible. Reflecting on Dish the Dirt’s educational and experiential installation, how can your brand or business inspire hope and delight to help people engage with complex topics such as sustainability?

DDW: An interconnected care ritual for menstruators

The Soothing Cup by Lucrezia Alessandroni, The Netherlands The Soothing Cup by Lucrezia Alessandroni, The Netherlands
The Soothing Cup by Lucrezia Alessandroni, The Netherlands The Soothing Cup by Lucrezia Alessandroni, The Netherlands

Eindhoven – Lucrezia Alessandroni, a graduate from Central Saint Martins, is advocating a more synchronised approach to care with a menstrual routine that better connects people to their cycle.

The conceptual project comprises a menstrual cup and an incubator. The incubator enables users to grow their own anti-inflammatory bacteria on their personal menstrual cup. Designed to be used when menstruating, the living cup reduces any inflammatory discomfort that people with periods might experience. The purpose of the project, however, is to encourage a mutualistic relationship between the product and experiencer, and so requires some care and attention from the user as well. Users are asked to care for both the product and the bacteria: by adjusting the UV sterilisation level to avoid overgrowth and unwanted organisms; by maintaining humidity levels to keep it hydrated; and by altering temperature levels to preserve the humidity if it drops. The ritual should be repeated by users after every menstrual cycle.

The level of care required in this ritual creates an intimate connection between the menstruator and the cup, and thus reduces the desire to purchase single-use hygiene products. It also helps increase awareness of periods and challenges the societal stigma.

Lucrezia Alessandroni’s project is one of the thousands of exploratory projects that are being presented at Dutch Design Week 2022. Follow our online platforms as we continue to spotlight the most interesting and insightful projects and discussions from Dutch Design Week over the next few weeks.

Strategic opportunity

As our lives move faster than ever before, products are becoming increasingly dispensable. It’s important for brands and businesses to consider how to be more relevant and essential in people’s lives. For beauty, health and wellness operators, this means creating routines or rituals around certain products so users develop an emotional connection.

Calm now offers condition-specific mental healthcare

US – Calm has announced its new mental health programme, Calm Health, connecting users to clinical condition-specific care. Self-insured patients can get access, first completing an in-app survey that identifies how it can best meet their individual needs. Once completed, users are given a personalised mental health plan and tools such as medication and symptom-tracking, supporting people living with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Calm hopes the programme will ease pressure on patient referrals, as many primary care physicians in the US are currently unable to refer patients to mental health services related to physical conditions.

Calm Health is bridging the gap between innovative technology, clinical care and ‘increasing access to quality, evidence-based mental health resources’, says Martha Temple, former CEO at Optum Behavioral Health, meeting the growing demand for digital wellbeing solutions. Explore our Synchronised Care macrotrend for more on the changing face of healthcare.

Calm, US

Strategic opportunity

As technology plays an ever-increasing role in our wellbeing, consider how the apps and platforms we use every day can help monitor and improve our health

Stat: Women leaders are ushering in the Great Break-up in the US

New Office by Anna Zimmermann, 2020 New Office by Anna Zimmermann, 2020

US – American women are initiating a new workplace trend. The Great Break-up is here, according to the Women in the Workplace report, with unprecedented numbers of women leaders choosing to leave their companies for employers more aligned with their values.

LeanIn.org’s and McKinsey & Co’s annual study polled over 40,000 women across 330 organisations to evaluate how the pandemic has changed what women want from their companies, looking at flexibility, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion. Only one in 10 women want to work predominantly in an office, compared to 18% of men.

Flexible work allows women, often primary care-givers, to achieve a better work-life balance, while also lessening the risk of suffering micro-aggressions at work. LeanIn.org's co-founder and CEO Rachel Thomas says: ‘Women aren’t asking for flexibility because they want to do less, but because they’re doing more. This idea that flexibility makes work easier is preposterous – flexibility just makes it doable. Women know that’s what they need to be successful.’

At LS:N Global, we are tracking ever-evolving women-specific lifestyle and career challenges in our Women Futures series.

Strategic opportunity

Supporting your women workforce goes beyond offering flexible working arrangements. Make sure you are not penalising remote workers by focusing on what they’re achieving, not where they are working

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