Need to Know
03 : 11 : 20

A sustainable spa heated by data, TikTok Treats makes viral food trends available to order and remote workers are improving their homes to be camera-ready.

A bathhouse heated by the Cloud

Bathing in the Cloud by Lucas de Ruiter, Netherlands

The Netherlands – Lucas de Ruiter’s conceptual project, Bathing in the Cloud, imagines the excess thermal energy generated by data centres as a sustainable heat source for a spa.

The Design Academy Eindhoven graduate’s project explores how the thermal output of a data centre could be used to warm a bathhouse, with the concept’s aesthetics inspired by the Cloud. To this end, De Ruiter uses thermal imaging to show the vast amount of heat generated in the data centre building. Other photo techniques including photogrammetry, computational fluid dynamics and digital photography also depict other aspects of a data centre's inner workings.

Bathing in the Cloud aims to ‘demystify the invisible world of the data centre’, bringing light to the real ramifications of using the Cloud, and hopes to provide an environmentally conscious use for the ‘massive amounts of heat’ generated with the design of the spa.

The rise in Sustainable Data Centres is a direct response to the growing awareness of technology’s impact on the planet.

Restorative office furniture for sedentary workers

Pak Phon by Assani Lalitnantawat, The Netherlands Pak Phon by Assani Lalitnantawat, The Netherlands
Pak Phon by Assani Lalitnantawat, The Netherlands Pak Phon by Assani Lalitnantawat, The Netherlands

Netherlands – Assani Lalitnantawat has designed an innovative furniture collection that targets and relieves the physical strain of sedentary office work

The collection, entitled Pak Phon – after the Thai word for resting – features three pieces of stretching furniture that enable mild stretches while remaining at rest. Taking inspiration from passive stretching techniques featured in restorative yoga, the collection prompts a healthier and deeper form of relaxation for workers.

Requiring minimal effort from users, the furniture is designed to be leant on, allowing the tight muscles in people’s back, chest and shoulders to be gently stretched. ‘This series of furniture allows people to ease three main muscle groups that suffer from sitting on a chair all day,' explains Assani Lalitnantawat, a graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven.

While ergonomic office furniture has been gaining traction for a while, designers are now placing greater focus on specific tension-relieving activities like stretching and balancing. We explore this idea further in our forthcoming Fulfilment Furniture microtrend.

Postmates and TikTok deliver viral treats

Los Angeles – Food delivery platform Postmates has teamed up with TikTok on a creator-led menu that features viral food trends made popular on the short-form video app.

TikTok Treats sees Postmates working with local Los Angeles restaurants such as Dialog Café, Coffee N’ Clothes, B Sweet and Sweetfin to make this year's most popular food trends on TikTok available to order. These include pancake cereal, cloud bread and whipped coffee.

The partnership aims to capitalise on the massive reach food trends have on TikTok and celebrates how both brands ‘intersect culture in different ways’.

'As we continue to celebrate how culture starts on TikTok, we are thrilled to be partnering with leading on-demand delivery platform Postmates and beloved local Los Angeles restaurants to bring TikTok Treats to fans across the city,' says Nick Tran, head of global marketing at TikTok.

In a similar vein, our Media Kitchens microtrend explores how delivery platforms are working with social media apps to combine food with entertainment.

TikTok Treats by Postmates in collaboration with TikTok, US

Stat: Home improvements are being motivated by video calls

Cloud Housing by Lucia Tahan Cloud Housing by Lucia Tahan

New research by home improvement retailer Wickes has shown that over half (53%) of British employees working from home during the pandemic have improved areas of their homes so they look better on a video call.

With the remote working landscape ushering in new pressures for employees, some 54% admit to judging their work colleagues on their backdrop. In response, nearly a fifth (18%) have painted a wall during lockdown, while 17% have added artwork to the walls. Meanwhile, people have been integrating other lifestyle elements into their backgrounds, from musical instruments to sports equipment.

The lockdown period has highlighted new concerns for interior spaces, with brands having to take design cues informed by consumers’ mental and physical health. For more, explore Pandemic-proof Properties.

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