1. Modebelofte envisages the future of digital identity
Eindhoven – Studio Harm Rensink and Heyniek have curated a group exhibition at Dutch Design Week that explores the impact of digital design on the physical world. Featuring the work of 18 graduate designers, Modebelofte: Digital Realists examines whether the two worlds can ever be considered separate and celebrates the digital age as an enabler of creative innovation.
The collection of works draw on the aesthetics of the digital world and its impact on consumer behaviour. A project by designer COL invites visitors to embody their digital identities in real life, while Christian Stone’s B-movie-inspired Mutant Artisanal fashion collection explores the notion of bringing outdated and obsolete technologies back to life.
2. Furniture company Floyd furnishes Airbnb apartments
US/Canada – Furniture retailer Floyd has joined forces with the owners of selected Airbnb listings to instal its beds on location. Owners Kyle Hoff and Alex O’Dell fitted the beds in six homes in the US and Canada.
The pair hope that by allowing guests to trial the product for a prolonged period it will raise brand recognition, encouraging people to buy one for themselves. ‘Floyd really goes anywhere – in any kind of space, with any style – and we were excited about the idea of showing that by giving people the opportunity to check out Floyd where it’s really meant to be: in the home,’ O’Dell told Architectural Digest.
Floyd offers a forward-thinking approach to the showroom experience, demonstrating the versatility of its product in a real living environment. For more on the evolution of the showroom, read our In-situ Showrooms microtrend.
3. eBay offers luxury consumers a handbag authentication service
Global – E-commerce corporation eBay has launched eBay Authenticate, a new verification service for sellers of handbags and wallets worth £380 ($500, €420) or more. The service is part of eBay’s plans to expand into the luxury sector.
Sellers send a product to a participating FedEx Office location where it is packed and shipped to an industry expert who authenticates, lists and sells the item to a buyer, with eBay receiving 20% of the selling price. Items marked with an Authenticity Verified label in the eBay marketplace are backed by a 200% money-back guarantee.
Brands are developing new services to tackle the rise of counterfeit culture. Read our Countering Counterfeits microtrend to find out more.
4. TUI brings a more emotional element to high street travel
UK – Following Thompson’s recent rebranding as TUI, the travel company has joined forces with Realeyes, producer of emotionally intelligent technology, to create a new tool that suggests holidays based on holidaymakers’ emotional needs. The Destination U prototype uses facial coding and emotion measurement technology to track people’s facial responses to various images of locations and experiences.
‘Traditionally, brands have sought to understand consumers’ responses through verbal or written feedback,’ says Realeyes CEO Mihkel Jäätma. ‘Emotion measurement technology captures and delivers unfiltered emotional responses in real time, delving much deeper and detecting non-conscious signals to stimuli.’ Until now, emotion-based travel has been pioneered by luxury travel company Black Tomato, but this marks a shift towards more mainstream adoption.
See our macrotrend The E-motional Economy for more on why consumers are demanding more emotionally intelligent products and services.
5. Study shows the importance of a safe working environment
A new study by ComRes for the BBC of more than 2,000 people, both men and women, has found that many have been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. The report shows the scale of the problem for both sexes and the need to create an environment in which employees feel more supported in speaking out. In Brand 2020 we propose a future in which brands take a more human-centric approach, placing the mental and physical wellbeing of their staff at the heart of their company’s ethos.
6. Thought-starter: Have we reached peak narcissism?
With the launch of a new app that wants to turn selfies into ‘elsies’, LS:N Global insight editor Daniela Walker explores whether consumers’ narcissistic tendencies are waning.
Are we there yet? Have we reached peak narcissism? The other day a new app, ElsiePic, was released. The premise of the app was that instead of taking selfies, you use the app to find someone in your vicinity to take an ‘elsie’, a picture taken by someone else.
The need to document what we are doing, where and with whom has become so rampant that our cultural institutions are becoming slaves to spectacle, with new museums opening that aren’t so much museums but studio backdrops for selfies. Both the Color Factory in San Francisco and the Museum of Ice Cream are designed not for contemplation but to enable visitors to get the perfect shot.
Thinking about how our behaviour may change as we enter a new decade, it is worth considering whether our culture can maintain this level of narcissism.
Read the full Opinion piece here.