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Virtual Fashion Archive offers a platform for digital garments, McDonald’s coffee waste is being used for car parts, and the impact of negative word of mouth.

Virtual Fashion Archive brings famed garments to life

Issey Miyake, Virtual Fashion Archive by Superficial Issey Miyake, Virtual Fashion Archive by Superficial
Issey Miyake, Virtual Fashion Archive by Superficial Issey Miyake, Virtual Fashion Archive by Superficial
Issey Miyake, Virtual Fashion Archive by Superficial Issey Miyake, Virtual Fashion Archive by Superficial

New York – Taking fashion garments beyond the constraints of their physical form, the new online platform adds motion and interaction to virtual garments.

Created by the studio Superficial, in collaboration with The Museum at FIT, the Virtual Fashion Archive features archive pieces from innovative designers including Issey Miyake, Thierry Mugler and Claire McCardell. Taking the form of a digital museum, the Virtual Fashion Archive’s initial selection was chosen because of each garment’s pioneering construction techniques and materials, which provided an interesting basis for their digital iterations. For example, with Miyake’s iconic pleated garments and McCardell's full-circle skirt requiring movement to bring them to life, techniques such as reverse engineering original patterns and garment creation software have been used to capture the intricacies of fabric in motion.

As we explore in our Immaterial Fashion macrotrend, digitisation is offering fashion followers new ways to engage with clothing brands. And with this experimental approach to design, cultural spaces can become sites for novel experiences and pop-up concepts, as examined in our Post-modern Museums microtrend.

This Brooklyn waterfront is designed for resilience

River Street by James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management River Street by James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management
River Street by James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management River Street by James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management

US – Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and James Corner Field Operations have joined forces to design a riverfront that will thrive even as water levels rise.

The development project, known as the River Street Waterfront Masterplan, will include two apartment towers with 250 units of affordable housing and 750 market-rate apartments on a Williamsburg plot owned by developer Two Trees. As well as creating more living space, the initiative will also turn a large portion of the land into public space, excavating some of the area to reduce future flooding.

With the sea level set to rise by as much as 75 inches by 2100, according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the masterplan has been created with resilience and longevity in mind. Bjarke Ingels, founder and creative partner at BIG, states: ‘By making this part of the waterfront more resilient… we’re actually making the water more accessible and more enjoyable to the people living there.’

As architects and city planners wake up to the need for resilient, climate-proof design, new Smart City developments are emerging that will shape the future of our urban environments.

McDonald’s coffee waste becomes Ford car parts

Global – Fusing their shared eco-values, Ford and McDonald’s are zeroing in on the benefits of coffee waste, using this unlikely material for vehicle components.

Taking the chaff – or skin – of coffee beans, Debbie Mielewski, senior technical leader of materials sustainability at Ford, recognised this by-product could have other uses and began experimenting with how it could be used in vehicle manufacturing.

When heated and mixed with plastic, the coffee chaff proved to be 20% lighter than materials previously used by Ford in its car headlights, shedding weight from the overall vehicle, in turn improving fuel economy. Considering the benefits of using coffee waste in this way, Mielewski notes: ‘You’re making a higher-end material rather than putting it back into the ground or worst-case, creating CO2 by burning it.’

As explored in our macrotrend Whole-system Thinking, such cross-brand collaboration demonstrates how the boundaries between innovation, sustainability and natural resources continue to blur.

Ford and McDonald’s Ford and McDonald’s

Stat: Word of mouth is causing brand boycotts

Negative word of mouth is damaging businesses across the world, according to a new study by Ford and Harris Insights. The study, which takes an in-depth look at how declining trust in institutions is transforming the role of brands in society, finds that an average of 49% of consumers have boycotted a brand because their values did not align. Of the 13 markets analysed, these boycotts are most common in India and the Middle East.

Increasingly, peer influence plays an important role in brand boycotts. The study found that 40% of consumers have tried to dissuade their friends and family from doing business with companies they don’t like, demonstrating how word of mouth can affect a brand’s reputation and business.

As we enter a new decade and peer-to-peer recommendations become ever-more impactful, consumers will be hyper-aware of purpose-washed marketing campaigns.

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