Need to Know
03 : 04 : 18

03.04.2018 Hospitality : Beauty : Food

Sweet Hotel takes up residence in former bridge houses, Fenty Beauty collaborates with BlameItOnKway, M&H Plastics develops sustainable plastic.

1. Sweet Hotel’s suites are scattered across Amsterdam

Sweets Hotel, Amsterdam. Photography by Mirjam Bleeker
Sweets Hotel, Amsterdam. Photography by Mirjam Bleeker
Sweets Hotel, Amsterdam. Photography by Mirjam Bleeker
Sweets Hotel, Amsterdam. Photography by Mirjam Bleeker

The Netherlands – The newly launched brand, co-founded by architecture office Space&Matter, project development firm Grayfield and the founders of Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy, comprises individual rooms located across Amsterdam’s multiple bridge houses.

The former residences of the bridge controllers – whose role has now been made redundant by technology – house the decentralised hotel’s 28 suites, each of which has a maximum capacity of two guests.

‘It is going to be a very small hotel, that is true. But the idea of a hotel dotted through different neighbourhoods of Amsterdam, with beds that all have a canal view, is amazing and really makes up for the effort,’ the brand explains in a press release.

By integrating the hotel into the fabric of the city in this way, initiatives such as Sweets Hotel and Hanare enable consumers to immerse themselves more fully in the local community.

2. Fenty Beauty celebrates male beauty

My Fenty, My Mood with BlameItOnKway

US – Since its launch Rihanna’s beauty brand has put inclusivity at the core of its values. In its latest advert, online entertainer BlameItOnKway explores different components of his feminine side to promote five Fenty lipsticks.

The comedian plays his character Titi, who he has previously said ‘represents women who get overlooked, don’t feel pretty’. Designed for Instagram, the short humorous film celebrates the tagline My Fenty, My Mood. And while some have criticised the use of a comedian rather than a male beauty blogger, it still represents a rare marketing moment with a man at the centre of a cosmetics campaign.

The social media video is part of Fenty Beauty's continuing campaign to challenge the industry’s notions about who can wear make-up. For more, see our microtrend The Make-up Movement.

3. A tooth-mounted sensor that tracks food intake

Boston – Researchers at Tufts University, Massachusetts, have engineered a wearable sensor that tracks food consumption from the surface of your tooth.

The 2mm squared device is formed of a bio-responsive layer as well as two outer gold layers that act as antennae. The bio-reactive layer reacts to the chemicals and nutrients from the food, causing the electrical properties in the layer to shift. It then sends transmission waves via the antenna to a mobile device, enabling researchers to identify the types of foods consumed.

At present, the tool can absorb information on glucose, salt and alcohol intake. In a paper published in the scientific journal Advanced Materials, the researchers note that the sensor also has the ability to detect and record a wider range of nutrients and physiological states. As such, it could represent a new wave of self-quantification and personal optimisation when it comes to our diets.

Tooth-mounted sensor by Tufts University

4. Plastic specialists develop sugar cane-based packaging

Bulldog packaging by RPC M&H Plastics

UK – M&H Plastics, which has worked on packaging for brands such as No7 and Toni & Guy, has launched a new range of sustainable plastic packaging sourced from sugar cane.

The sugar cane is grown on a sustainable farm in Brazil. By using degraded pasture land, growing the crop helps return the soil to health for future farming. Once grown, the sugar cane is transformed into ethanol that is later used to create a bio-plastic version of polyethylene. The material is formed into flexible tubes and bottles, which recently won the Packaging Innovation 2018 award.

Bio-plastic is increasing in visibility with Lego pledging in March to implement plant-based bio-plastic into all of its ranges by 2030. The launch of the UK government’s environmental strategy to reduce plastic waste over the next 25 years also highlights the need for brands to reconsider the use of traditional plastic as a material.

5. London struggles to retain the youth

London – The youth of London don’t like living in the capital city and 44% plan to leave as soon as possible, according to a study by Voxburner. ‘There is now even more of a focus on youth pilgrimage as we see young people moving to European cities,’ explains Jamie Brett, creative project manager of Youth Club.

High rent and housing costs is not the only reason that younger people are choosing to leave the city. A majority (83%) of participants stated that pollution was an issue, and 77% raised concerns about safety. In contrast to Nike’s Nothing Beats a Londoner campaign, which celebrates people’s love of the city, brands must also recognise the downsides of urbanism, how it is affecting London’s youth and consider what they can do to help urbanites.

6. Thought-starter: What will the future school look like?

As parents become increasingly frustrated by Silicon Valley’s attempts to disrupt the classroom, Josh Walker explores the educational models that do not rely on governments or technology giants.

With trust in the mega-systems of Silicon Valley nearing a tipping point, and cuts to education funding rising, consumers are looking to new educational platforms that offer alternative and holistic ways of learning.

WeWork's WeGrow initiative aims to rethink ‘the whole idea of what an education means’ by teaching ‘conscious entrepreneurship’ through the verticals of Mind, Spirit, Body and the Arts. Alongside lessons in literacy, mathematics and science, the initiative will offer classes on yoga, meditation and farm-to-table cooking.

New educational establishments that take a more civic-minded and holistic approach to education are emerging, and applying this thinking to school design. In Albania, Stefano Boeri Architetti has designed three structures that will host five schools, which will be open every day of the year, 24 hours a day.

To understand how these models will affect your future consumers, read the full Alternative Education Market.

AltSchool by A+I, New York. Photography by Magda Biernat
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