Need to Know
20 : 04 : 18

20.04.2018 Hospitality : Finance : Milan Salone 2018

AGC develops a new form of glass, Pigzbe educates kids on cryptocurrency, The Student Hotel expands to student accommodation.

1. Installation transforms glass into a speaker

Soundscape by AGC and Moutosuke Mandai, Milan Salone 2018. Photography by Akihide Mishima Soundscape by AGC and Moutosuke Mandai, Milan Salone 2018. Photography by Akihide Mishima
Soundscape by AGC and Moutosuke Mandai, Milan Salone 2018. Photography by Akihide Mishima Soundscape by AGC and Moutosuke Mandai, Milan Salone 2018. Photography by Akihide Mishima
Soundscape by AGC and Moutosuke Mandai, Milan Salone 2018. Photography by Akihide Mishima Soundscape by AGC and Moutosuke Mandai, Milan Salone 2018. Photography by Akihide Mishima

Milan – Glass specialist AGC and Japanese architect Moutosuke Mandai collaboration at Milan Salone 2018 celebrates a new material: sound-generating glass.

The material, currently under development at AGC, uses a new type of laminated glass that has been manufactured to emit clear sound rather have the usual characteristics of glass such as resonance and reverberations.

Soundscape features shards of glass suspended from the ceiling by metal rods. Each shard emits different sounds from nature, such as water droplets or rustling leaves. As users walk through the space, they experience a multi-layered auditory experience, where sounds can be sensed differently depending on where they are located in the exhibit.

The installation presents a glimpse into the possibilities that the glass offers as an auditory materialm especially in the landscape of a future city.

For more on Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2018, look for our forthcoming material innovation debrief.

2. Pornhub adds a host of new voices to the porn industry

Visionaries Director’s Club series, Pornhub

Global – Pornhub has launched its Visionaries Director’s Club, which will see it partner with a host of creatives ‘in an effort to diversify porn production and help create more varied content’.

The first in the series, entitled The Gift, features an all-female cast and has been directed by US rapper M.A. Young. In line with our Beyond Product Placement microtrend, the film will feature music from M.A’s upcoming album, called Her Story.

Although there is currently no indication of who the other participating creatives will be, Pornhub has stated that the initiative will pay ‘particular attention to Pornhub’s female audience’.

3. Pigzbe introduces children to cryptocurrency

Global – Pigzbe is using gaming to educate the next generation of spenders on how to engage with cryptocurrency in an increasingly cashless society.

Designed for children aged six and above, the digital piggy bank lets users collect and exchange blockchain-enabled tokens, known as Wollo. An accompanying app lets parents and relatives send payments directly to their child’s account almost instantaneously and without any associated transaction fees.

A children’s version of the app offers games that revolve around saving and spending to teach children how to spend responsibly. Each user also receives a Wollo payment card, which can be used to spend both online and in the real world.

As cryptocurrency becomes increasingly mainstream, brands like Pigzbe and Kik are helping to demystify digital currencies for younger consumers in an engaging manner.

Pigzbe Pigzbe

4. The Student Hotel launches Instagrammable dorms

TSH Campus by The Student Hotel, Barcelona TSH Campus by The Student Hotel, Barcelona
TSH Campus by The Student Hotel, Barcelona TSH Campus by The Student Hotel, Barcelona
TSH Campus by The Student Hotel, Barcelona TSH Campus by The Student Hotel, Barcelona
TSH Campus by The Student Hotel, Barcelona TSH Campus by The Student Hotel, Barcelona

Barcelona – Building on the evolution of designer bunks, The Student Hotel (TSH) has expanded its remit beyond hostels to student-only residencies that look nothing like traditional university halls.

With its first two sites in Barcelona, TSH Campus offers more luxurious surroundings and services than regular dormitories, with a communal rooftop pool and terrace, super-fast free Wi-Fi, La Forestera restaurant, and a large common area with a games room. Catering to different price points, the residency offers three room types – standard, studio and superior studio.

The co-living environment has a similar aesthetic to the rest of The Student Hotel’s hostel locations, with bold interiors and accent features that are ideal for photo opportunities. It continues a trajectory in culture of creating and curating interior spaces, whether that be a restaurant or a museum exhibition, to be attractive for social media.

5. Annual smartphone upgrades are bad for the planet

Global – A recent study published in the Journal of Cleaner Production predicts that the carbon impact of the whole Information and Communications industry (ICT) including PCs, laptops, monitors, smartphones and servers, is expected to triple over three decades.

The research suggests smartphones are particularly damaging due to the sourcing and manufacturing processes involved in developing new products. Mining the rare materials used inside the devices represents 85% to 95% of the device’s total CO2 emissions for two years. This is coupled with the fact that manufacturers are continuously attempting to outdo existing products and competitors by introducing annual improvements, resulting in a larger strain on the environment.

As consumers become more aware of the environmental impact of their smartphone, it begs the question of whether modular technology will ever take off.

6. Thought-starter: Are edible QR codes the future of medicine?

We spoke with Natalja Genina, assistant professor in the Pharmaceutical Technology and Engineering department of the University of Copenhagen, on how her research into edible QR codes could herald a new era of trust for Post-pharmacy Brands.

‘Edible QR codes are made up of an edible ink that can contain medicine. So, rather than taking a pill, a person would instead ingest the code that contains the drug as well as information that is relevant to that particular patient,’ she explains.

Discussing the product’s potential to change the healthcare sector, the professor says ‘There is now a massive problem with counterfeit medicine. The QR code helps to prevent the falsification of medicine because it is printed in a specific pattern.’

Genina also explores the ability for the products to be implemented beyond the medical sector: ‘It is possible to create personalised dietary supplements. You could make a patient-specific ink and print it in the form of a QR code, containing the required dose of each vitamin supplement.’

For more, see the full Q&A here.

Edible QR codes by University of Copenhagen Edible QR codes by University of Copenhagen