Global Futures Forum: Meet our disruptors of 2017

19.10.2017 Wellness : Retail : Food & Drink

We explore how six disruptors are challenging thinking in their fields and changing the future landscape through their work.

Martina Rocca: Concept designer

Emovos by Martina Rocca, London Emovos by Martina Rocca, London
Emovos by Martina Rocca, London Emovos by Martina Rocca, London
Emovos by Martina Rocca, London Emovos by Martina Rocca, London

Martina Rocca’s work envisages a future of post-material consumer experiences in which brands sell emotional experiences to consumers.

How are you challenging thinking in your field?

By re-engineering a system that no longer functions properly. Consumerism was created in an era of environmental unawareness and it still relies on an obsolete mindset. The consumers of tomorrow will be equally motivated by the forces of desire and the drive for a new, sustainable consciousness. It will no longer be about what we consume, it will be about how we feel when we consume. We are moving towards an economy based on experiences, and this is an opportunity for the industry to re-invent and redesign the systems that they are based on.

What is the goal for your practice in the future?

I aim to propose valuable alternatives to the unsustainable practice of material consumption. Rather than adding a new range of products to the market, I am proposing a fresh strategy to limit the environmental implications of that market. The goal of my practice is to inform and inspire both the industry and members of the public. Emovos impacts the way we think today and invites us to explore how we can live more sustainably tomorrow.

What big shift do you think will have an impact on your work and the sector you work in over the next five years?

Immateriality and digital experiences. The blending of the physical and material worlds is opening up immense possibilities. Creatives, makers and advertisers are already exploring new ways of crafting, producing and communicating digitally, while consumers are increasingly prepared to shop for digital products in digital environments.

Universal Everything: Digital art and design

Screens of the Future by Universal Everything, Sheffield

Universal Everything is a digital art and design collective that designs new forms of moving image for the screens of the future.

How are you challenging thinking in your field?

Research and development is at the heart the studio, developing artworks and prototypes that enable us to create immersive experiences using future technologies.

What is the goal for your practice in the future?

To create new forms of moving image for the screens of the future – emotive, ever-evolving, multi-sensory works that embrace the emerging technologies of tomorrow.

What big shift do you think will have an impact on your business and the sector you work in over the next five years?

The continued escalation and integration of screens into products, environments and architecture, will redefine human relationships and the relationship between people and places.

Accept & Proceed: Creative strategy

Accept & Proceed Accept & Proceed
Accept & Proceed Accept & Proceed
Accept & Proceed Accept & Proceed

Accept & Proceed uses creative strategy and collaborative design to deliver connected experiences.

How are you challenging thinking in your field?

The project we are sharing at the Global Futures Forum, Explorations in Running, explores the gap between knowledge and understanding. We have taken data, which in its raw form does not offer a global understanding, and translated it into a visual representation of running. We have taken this thinking further in our exploration as we investigate the emotions linked to ownership of the data that we react to and interact with each day. Imagine a world in which your personal pace is set by your training ambitions and your breathing or heart rate are set through an augmented pacer. Technology is increasingly going to be a tool that serves rather than one we serve, but more needs to be done to humanise the experience to be compelling and effective.

What is the goal for your practice in the future?

We want to continue to evolve and become one of the truly ground-breaking design practices, using design to unite communities, drive environmental awareness and have a positive impact on health and wellbeing. We believe it is our responsibility to be a positive activist for good, helping people to cut through the noise and engaging audiences with clear and beautiful messaging that helps them to make sense of the world around them.

What big shift do you think will have an impact on your business and the sector you work in over the next five years?

As always, the way we connect and communicate will evolve as technology offers us more immersive ways to build communities. This gives us a great opportunity to build brand moments and engagement across emerging platforms. The way we understand personal data and big data is in its infancy. We want to continue to investigate how we can bridge the knowledge and understanding gap for a future audience.

Blanch & Shock: Creative catering

Blanch & Shock Blanch & Shock

Creative catering duo Blanch & Shock use food to explore and illustrate ideas, focusing on the British palette of ingredients.

How are you challenging thinking in your field?

One of the main issues in the food and drink industry is the poor working conditions faced by kitchen staff and chefs in particular. We strive to work in a way that makes everyone around us feel valued and challenge the strict hierarchy of the kitchen where possible. Kitchens are often seen as closed-off places, but we always seek to make ours open to discussion and welcome outside input. Some chefs are known for guarding their recipes, but we endeavour to share as much information as possible, teaching those we work with because they in turn teach us.

What is the goal for your practice in the future?

In some ways we are not that goal-orientated. Rather, we are very much interested in process. One of our goals is simply to keep moving, to continue to do fulfilling work that leaves our guests satisfied. Our main goal is to have lots of conversations with people working in other fields to ultimately enrich the work of both parties. We want to involve lots of new voices in our practice in the years to come.

What big shift do you think will have an impact on your business and the sector you work in over the next five years?

One of the biggest shifts in food and drink will come as a result of Britain leaving the European Union. This will likely pose problems regarding staffing and the availability of some ingredients. It poses a significant challenge to the food security of Britain, which must be tackled.

Ma-tt-er: Future materials studio

Exploring Spaces of Tomorrow by Space10, London Design Festival

Ma-tt-er works across industry and education to explore past, present and future materials.

How are you challenging thinking in your field?

Through materials and their purpose across industry and education. By considering identity, lifecycles and systems thinking, we propose an alternative approach to applying materials, encouraging positive economic, environmental and social change, and revealing the truth of how we live today and might live tomorrow.

What is the goal for your practice in the future?

To get us to understand what we’re made of. Our world, ourselves, our products and our surroundings. We advise and support the implementation of responsible materials to shape the immediate, near and far future, examining their potential over the next 1–5 years, 5–15 years and beyond. Having this future roadmap approach enables us and the people we work with to feel able to implement change and make a positive impact.

What big shift do you think will have an impact on your business and the sector you work in over the next five years?

How materials can provide a service. Materials have traditionally been categorised by type – wood, metal or plastic. This system only allows us to include material thinking towards the end of a project or design process when we should really introduce it at the beginning. The installation we have created for the Global Futures Forum explores how materials can nourish, purify, self-heal, repair, soothe and alter states through digital mediums. Understanding the properties of the materials gives us a chance to appreciate and value their purpose.

Demi DemiMa Mseleku: Spoken word artist

DemiMa Mseleku DemiMa Mseleku

Demi DemiMa Mseleku is a singer-songwriter and poet who explores themes of identity, divine femininity and Afrofuturism through her multi-sensory performances.

How are you challenging thinking in your field?

Using the forces of word and sound, combined with finding love in technology and its potential, I present provocative concepts that I’m passionate about. Divine femininity, Africa and collective consciousness are ideas I enjoy exploring. To present myself as a conscious Anglo-Zulu woman is to challenge one-dimensional patriarchal thinking.

What is the goal for your practice in the future?

To celebrate concepts that have been tucked away systematically. To present a more balanced perspective regarding identity, gender, race and conscious relations. To assist with the progression of the creative movement in a collective way. I believe that storytellers are coming out of the woodwork and that consciousness is rising.

What big shift do you think will have an impact on your work and the sector you work in over the next five years?

We are no longer bound by systematic borders. The freedom of choice that the internet has delivered is truly amazing. Groups form and grow instantly, especially movements that relate to global progression. We now relate to each other rapidly – look at the rise of the #metoo movement – and are able to heal and push for wellbeing for ourselves, other people and the planet. We are also progressing in terms of self-awareness in a global way. This interconnectedness is helping us to think collectively again, healing and solving global issues rather than being force-fed unwanted information. The age of information is wonderful for an activist.