Need to know
07 : 12 : 17

07.12.2017 Wellness : Fashion : Workplace

In today’s daily digest: China’s design-centric museum, AI’s role in fashion, a members’ club tailored to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and other stories.

1. Candid Co offers at-home orthodontic treatment

Candid Co, New York Candid Co, New York
Candid Co, New York Candid Co, New York
Candid Co, New York Candid Co, New York
Candid Co, New York Candid Co, New York

New York – Candid Co is helping to democratise orthodontic treatment with its direct-to-consumer clear aligners, priced at 65% less than traditional braces. To start the process, users take a mould of their teeth at home, before posting these starter kits back via pre-paid postage. Each customer is provided with a personalised treatment plan, with all the aligners included in the plan printed and shipped at once so that the customer can continue the treatment uninterrupted once it has commenced.

‘The technology’s reached a point where, for the vast majority of patients, it doesn’t make sense to drag yourself into the orthodontist’s office any more,’ says chief dental officer Lynn Hurst. ‘Candid offers the latest in orthodontia, without the mark-up and the inconvenience.’

Consumers are looking for brands that can provide bespoke products capable of offering continuing support rather than just one-off analysis.

2. A work and wellbeing space based on Hierarchy of Needs

Mortimer House, London. Photography by Ed Reeve Mortimer House, London. Photography by Ed Reeve
Mortimer House, London. Photography by Ed Reeve Mortimer House, London. Photography by Ed Reeve
Mortimer House, London. Photography by Ed Reeve Mortimer House, London. Photography by Ed Reeve

London – Mortimer House is a six-storey Art Deco building in London’s Fitzrovia that combines work spaces with wellbeing facilities to cater for each of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The pyramid begins in the basement with a gym made to meet members’ physiological needs, while on the ground floor Mortimer House Kitchen is tailored to safety and security. Social areas include a living room, den, loft and gallery spaces, designed to encourage collaboration and spark creativity.

‘Mortimer House offers a level of hospitality that does not exist in today’s world of work,’ says founder Guy Ivesh. ‘As technology has enabled more people to work remotely, there is an increasing lack of community and belonging.’ In line with this, brands are beginning to reassess and reconfigure their work spaces to better suit the needs of their workforce.

3. Artificial intelligence to become increasingly important in fashion

Global – A new report published by the Business of Fashion and McKinsey, indicates the increasing importance of artificial intelligence in the fashion sector, with 75% of fashion retailers planning to invest in 2018/2019. Beyond the traditional areas of manufacturing, AI will be increasingly used in both the creative processes and in a customer-facing context.

With fewer than half (42%) of fashion brands now disclosing supplier information, sustainability will become an ever more pertinent topic as consumers look for brands to be open and transparent about their practices.

For more insight on these topics and how the fashion landscape will evolve in the near future, download our Fashion Futures report.

Airism by Uniqlo and Machineast, Singapore Airism by Uniqlo and Machineast, Singapore

4. V&A lends its name and exhibits to China’s Design Society

Design Society by V&A, Shenzen Design Society by the V&A, Shenzhen
Design Society by V&A, Shenzen Design Society by the V&A, Shenzhen

Shenzhen – A collaboration between the British Institution and Chinese conglomerate China Merchants Group, the Design Society marks the country’s first museum dedicated entirely to design. The museum will open with three exhibitions, including Values of Design which will feature 250 items loaned by the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum.

The V&A will collaborate for two years, after which the gallery will continue as a self-sustaining organisation showing the best of Chinese design. ‘It’s a cultural podium for China to show its creative drive to the world and to nurture its quest for international inspiration,’ Ole Bouman, the Design Society's director, told The Guardian.

As explored in our Made In China microtrend, Chinese consumers, once enamoured of the West, are now lending far more weight to their own cultural heritage.

5. Electric cars now more affordable to run than petrol cars

New research indicates that electric cars are now cheaper to run than their petrol equivalents in Texas, California and the UK, signifying that environmentally friendly models are in fact also a better financial investment. The study, published in the journal Applied Energy, found that after all costs for both vehicle types had been taken into account, including purchase price and depreciation, the cost for the electric car was less after four years.

6. Thought-starter: Could technology inspire a moral code?

In the wake of the foundation of a new religion that worships artificial intelligence as a god, senior writer Rebecca Coleman explores how this unusual approach to technological development might be beneficial for humankind.

The key belief of Silicon Valley engineer Anthony Levandowski’s Way of the Future religion is that AI will become god-like in its superiority to homo sapiens. ‘We’re in the process of raising a god,’ he told Wired. ‘So, let’s make sure we think through the right way to do that. It’s a tremendous opportunity.’

In order to make the most of this opportunity, Way of the Future will be an open-source organisation, harnessing big data and simulation programmes to help the AI god evolve. While the new religion might be alone in its desire to turn data into deity, it is not alone in believing that open source is the way forward for creating machine intelligence that benefits, rather than crushes, humanity.

How can businesses implement open dialogue, sharing and co-creation now to save us from a future dystopia living with machine overlords?

Read the full Opinion piece here.

Aleksandra Szymanska for The Future Laboratory Aleksandra Szymanska for The Future Laboratory