Need to Know
14 : 12 : 18

A day spa to combat London’s pollution, emerging designers take on the world of fast fashion, Airbnb doubles down on Africa.

The Other Place offers a surreal hotel experience

The Other Place, Guilin, Maze by Chao Zhang
The Other Place, Guilin, Maze by Chao Zhang
The Other Place, Guilin, Maze by Chao Zhang
The Other Place, Guilin, Maze by Chao Zhang

Guilin, China – Architecture firm Studio 10 has redesigned two of the hotel’s guestrooms in the surrealist style of M.C. Escher.

Complete with pastel colours and stairs leading nowhere, The Other Place is a ‘mysterious, infinite and impossible space’ that explicitly references the Dutch artist’s drawings and prints. To maintain the hotel’s minimalist aesthetic and ensure that guests are completely immersed in the visual illusion, fixtures such as mini fridges and power outlets have been hidden behind small doors.

The purpose of the redesign is to encourage visitors to escape the hustle of the city. The area surrounding the city of Guilin, known as Pingle, is a scenic nature reserve where guests can engage in activities such as hiking and fishing.

Studio 10’s interiors have been optimised for Instagram, a strategy that many retailers have considered when designing their physical stores, and is now being translated for the hospitality industry. With its playful, child-like approach, The Other Place is embracing the Wireframe Architecture aesthetic.

Natura Bissé opens an anti-pollution spa in London

Natura Bisse anti-pollution spa, Westfield The Village, London Natura Bisse anti-pollution spa, Westfield The Village, London
Natura Bisse anti-pollution spa, Westfield The Village, London Natura Bisse anti-pollution spa, Westfield The Village, London

London – The luxury Spanish skincare brand has opened a new spa in Westfield London that will offer wellness and skincare treatments to combat the stresses of urban living.

The space, designed by Spanish architect Juan Trias de Bes, has three treatment rooms which each benefit from 99.9% pollutant-free ‘pure air’. Alongside a range of treatments that aim to balance body and mind, the anti-pollutant filtration system is designed to counter environmental aggressors from the city outside.

Combining luxurious facial and body protocols with results-driven treatments, Natura Bissé has created a complete menu of services, including an exclusive treatment developed especially for its new location.

Increased awareness of the effects of poor air quality and pollution is driving new innovations in the beauty industry. In addition to creating anti-pollution products, beauty brands like Natura Bissé and Dr Jart+ are providing clean retail experiences for consumers, as we explored in our Sensitised Living market.

A new trust mark for the Internet of Things

Berlin – A new tool created by ThingsCon, a community and event platform for Internet of Things (IoT), will help consumers to identify connected devices that respect their privacy and security.

Developed with support from the Mozilla Foundation, the Trustable Technology Mark will evaluate the truthworthiness of connected devices. The intention is to highlight the work of companies committed to security, transparency, data protection and robust design.

Device makers are invited to complete a self-assessment, answering questions about product features, data management and security, which are then reviewed by ThingsCon experts. In this way, the trust mark is not a baseline certification, but is intended to differentiate organisations that are following best practices. Verified products will be able to use the Trustable Technology Mark on their packaging and website.

The launch of the trust mark comes at a time when data breaches and the rise of data rights laws are changing attitudes towards technology and the internet. For more, explore how Future Trust Marks will help consumers make informed choices.

Trustable Technology

This platform lets influencers create micro-merch


New York – Cala links emerging designers with manufacturers, enabling them to seamlessly control their own supply chain.

Those who wish to use the service are required to submit sketches and specifications of their collection, allowing manufacturers to bid for their business. They can then use Cala’s design interface as an ecosystem in which to organise costs, source materials, communicate feedback and track the progress of their collection.

Cala offers a number of features that allow designers to get ahead of the market and release their designs before fast fashion companies can co-opt them. Small batch, quick-turnaround production means that designs can go from first sample to sale in less than six weeks. Demand is high for the platform, meaning Cala is initially available on an invite-only basis, with a waitlist of over 1,500 designers.

As fashion business models change to allow for fast-moving trends, we’re seeing a rise in digitised tools that deliver designs to the end consumer almost instantly.

Stat: Airbnb is thriving in the African market

More than 3.5 million customers have stayed with Airbnb hosts in Africa since the company began operating on the continent, with around half of these people visiting in the past year, according to Reuters. Although the majority of these guests are staying in South Africa, emerging countries have seen huge growth.

‘Three of the top eight fastest-growing countries globally are in Africa: Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique,’ Velma Corcoran, Airbnb’s South Africa manager, told Reuters. Nigeria in particular is experiencing a surge in popularity – Airbnb recorded a 213% rise in year-on-year guest arrivals as of July 2018.

Airbnb has been working to boost its African business, while keeping profits from leaving the local economy. To do this, it launched Africa Academy, a project that provides under-resourced communities with the tools they need to become hosts.

Thought-starter: Should we rethink sex care as a beauty category?

With the global sexual wellness market set to grow to more than £23.3bn ($29.4bn, €25.8bn) by 2019, foresight writer Rhiannon McGregor explores how the beauty industry is turning its attention to female personal care.

Traditionally relegated to the shelves of sex shops, pharmacies or sexual health brands’ websites, lube is now moving into the mainstream as the definition of bodycare widens to include more product sectors. One brand spearheading this movement is Nécessaire, which was launched in November 2018 with a capsule collection of multi-vitamin body wash, body lotion and sex gel.

And as vaginal health becomes an increasingly prominent part of holistic bodycare, a whole range of new products are emerging. One range, which uses Scandinavian-sourced ingredients known for their high levels of skin-brightening vitamin C, includes a gentle wash, exfoliator, beauty sheets and a mist.

Another brand, The Honey Pot, has created three feminine care collections, one that focuses on cleansing, another on menstruation and one that addresses the needs of mothers-to-be. According to its founder, Beatrice Feliu Espada, ‘the vagina is the next big thing’.

Read the full listicle here.

Nécessaire, US
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