Need to Know
20 : 02 : 19

An AR-enabled boutique with no physical products, a resort that puts coffee at the centre of the hospitality experience and how voice assistant usage is evolving.

Rag & Bone’s concept film merges fashion and AI

A LAST SUPPER, rag & bone FW19 collection

New York – Artificial intelligence was the guest of honour at a New York Fashion Week (NYFW) dinner hosted by the luxury brand.

Rag & Bone invited guests to wear pieces from its latest collection and to attend a NYFW dinner. At the event, guests and a cast of performers were captured using a 3D camera – so they could be translated into avatars – while an AI system recorded and learned their actions during the evening.

The result is a conceptual, eight-minute campaign film that was edited by the AI, set to a score by Thom Yorke. It shows both real versions of the guests and avatar versions from the point of view of the AI. Rag & Bone is not the first brand to outsource its creative work to algorithms – car brand Lexus recently used AI to script and edit a campaign.

By exploring the relationship between fashion and technology, and translating its clothing into the digital realm, Rag & Bone is showing how designers can disrupt the predictability of fashion week.

Food packaging gets a new life as street furniture

Print Your City by Zero Waste Lab, Greece Print Your City by Zero Waste Lab, Greece
Print Your City by Zero Waste Lab, Greece Print Your City by Zero Waste Lab, Greece

Thessaloniki, Greece – Print Your City is inviting residents to recycle their plastic waste into 3D-printed furniture for their neighbourhoods.

In collaboration with Coca-Cola, Rotterdam studio The New Raw has created Print Your City, which not only offers local residents a recycling facility for their plastic waste, but also the chance to choose what the waste is turned into. A robotic 3D-printing arm then transforms the the waste plastic into street furniture.

Using a microsite, citizens can customise the colours and functionality of the furniture as well as selecting the public space in which they’d like to see it installed. The options include a planter, bike rack, bookcase and dog bowl. So far, 800kg of plastic waste has been recycled and more than 2,900 citizens of Thessaloniki have voted for how the furniture is used.

By giving residents control over the design of their city, Print Your City aims to engage Greeks with the recycling process and encourage more conscious consumption patterns. For more on how cities can encourage social good, read our macrotrend Post-growth Society.

Lego and Snapchat collaborate for AR clothes shopping

London – To coincide with London Fashion Week, the toy brand and the app created a Lego Wear pop-up store with no physical products.

Inside the augmented reality-enabled store, called The Missing Piece, shoppers were greeted with nothing but a Snapchat code on a plinth. By scanning the code via Snapchat, visitors were able to browse and buy a limited-edition streetwear collection for adults, created for Lego by Danish apparel brand Kabooki. In the app, items were displayed digitally on Lego mannequins and customers were able to make purchases through Snapchat’s integrated Shop Now feature.

Only open for one day, the pop-up was part of a campaign created by We Are Social with the intention of driving traffic to the wider Lego Wear range available on the brand’s e-commerce site. By exploring the potential for AR to power e-commerce sales in a bricks-and-mortar store setting, The Missing Piece reflects how Shoppable Social is evolving to close the gap between different retail channels.

Lego Wear, UK

A rural coffee facility that’s also a resort

Xinzhai Coffee Manor by TAO architects. Photography by Su Shengliang
Xinzhai Coffee Manor by TAO architects. Photography by Su Shengliang
Xinzhai Coffee Manor by TAO architects. Photography by Su Shengliang

China – A multifunctional complex in China’s Yunnan Province combines a hotel and coffee museum with space for processing, storing, tasting and selling local coffee.

Newly completed by Beijing-based studio Trace Architecture Office, the Xinzhai Coffee Manor processes coffee grown in the surrounding hills and is intended to provide visitors with a premium hospitality experience. The developers hope the resort will attract more tourists to the area, which is already visited for its hiking trails and nearby hot springs.

‘Resort development is growing in the countryside area in China, it’s an evolution and transformation,’ Trace Architecture Office told Dezeen. ‘New architecture in the rural space is transforming the area and enriching the local culture.’ Putting coffee at the core of the Xinzhai Coffee Manor experience is a key part of the local ambition to animate the area, while echoing some of the thinking we identify in our Bed and Beverages microtrend.

Stat: Voice assistant usage is diversifying

The number of voice assistants in use will increase from 2.5bn in 2018 to 8bn by 2023, according to a forecast from Juniper Research. In the same period, the market for voice commerce will grow to more than £62bn ($80bn, €71bn) a year. Significantly, this growth will mainly be driven by money transfers and digital media consumption, such as music and video streaming, rather than buying physical goods.

As demand for multi-platform assistants grows, virtual assistants will increasingly rely on Internet of Things (IoT) devices. ‘Connected TVs and smart displays are vital here, as they can provide a visual context that is lacking in smart speakers,’ says James Moar, senior analyst at Juniper. For more on how IoT technology is creating newly immersive brand touchpoints, read our Subconscious Commerce macrotrend.

Thought-starter: How Generation Z is set to disrupt the travel sector

Sam Blenkinsopp, co-founder of youth-driven travel collective Trippin, explains why brands must shape a new narrative around Generation Z tourism.

Trippin is a technology-enabled collective that offers merchandise, video content and an iOS app now in private beta. ‘Trippin is the new voice of today’s youth. We’re enabled by technology, we’re powered by community and we don’t want to be pigeonholed as a travel company. We focus on connecting culture worldwide and we see travel as a lifestyle,’ says Blenkinsopp.

‘Most travel brands see travel as a singular vertical. They need to look at it horizontally and see it as a blend of categories,’ he continues. ‘Travel is culture. It’s music, sport, art, food, fashion, people, and so many travel brands don’t cater for those different needs. This is what youth are looking for when they get to their destination.’

Blenkinsopp also discusses the impact of Instagram, and how it has romanticised and homogenised the travel experience. ‘We know that Instagram portrays an inauthentic view of people’s lives, but also, increasingly, of people’s travels,' he says. 'Today, there are more conversations about realism and a shift from what’s aspirational to what’s realistic.'

Read the full Q&A here.

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