Need to Know
18 : 05 : 18

18.05.2018 Beauty : Technology : Female Futures

Crisp’s evolution of the barber shop, United Visual Artists imagine New York as an installation, Amazon opens model homes showcasing Alexa.

1. Bright and airy barber shop opens

Crisp barber shop, Montreal by IvyStudio. Photography by Jack Jerome Crisp barber shop, Montreal by IvyStudio. Photography by Jack Jerome
Crisp barbers, Montreal by Ivy Studio, photography by Jack Jerome. Crisp barbers, Montreal by Ivy Studio, photography by Jack Jerome.
Crisp barbers, Montreal by Ivy Studio, photography by Jack Jerome. Crisp barbers, Montreal by Ivy Studio, photography by Jack Jerome.

Montreal – The interior of new barber shop Crisp moves away from the traditional aesthetic of dark colours and chequered flooring commonly found in men’s grooming spaces.

Designed by Ivystudio, the concrete space strips back on any macho signifiers, and celebrates minimalism with a green marble counter that acts as a central pillar in the room and white textured walls, which separate the washing stations from the reception area. The barber stations are designed to be easily transportable, to allow flexibility, particularly during social events.

‘Our design approach constantly experiments with new forms and materials in order to continually redefine the relationship between a space and its users,’ explains Philip Staszewski and Gabrielle Rousseau of Ivystudio.

Brands such as Crisp and Hershesons are demonstrating how salons have evolved beyond functional service providers into social destinations.

2. Maverick forms online creative community for women

Maverick, US Maverick, US
Maverick, US Maverick, US

US – The next-generation social network Maverick has unveiled a digital platform that connects young girls with adult female mentors, allowing them to express their creativity in a safe space.

The app enables users to take part in various challenges posted by inspiring role models known as catalysts. The tasks include making their own superhero, creating their own dance piece and designing their own mantra. Users can gain points for interacting in various types of engagement such as posting a response, commenting on posts or giving someone a badge, which is similar to an emoji.

The company is also rolling out MaverickLIVE, a series of one-day events where girls and mentors can connect through real-life experiences. For more on why brands are investing in female talent, see our Female Futures series.

3. Amazon shows off Alexa’s capabilities

US – The e-commerce giant has announced the opening of various model homes across the US, where customers can experience the convenience of Alexa in a real environment.

With the ability to control the television, lights, thermostat, shades and more, Amazon is exploring ways in which it can demonstrate the full usage of the smart device. Customers can physically engage in the interactive experience by visiting the model homes in locations such as California, Florida, Texas and Virginia. Alternatively, they can explore the dedicated webpage where the potential of each Alexa feature is fully explained.

As examined in Subconscious Commerce, mega-systems like Amazon are reshaping the retail landscape. Through this initiative, the brand aims to further educate consumers on the uses of Internet of Things devices.

Amazon Echo Show Amazon Echo Show

4. New installation captures movement of New York

Spirit of the City, United Visual Artists at A/D/O, Brooklyn, New York. Spirit of the City, United Visual Artists at A/D/O, Brooklyn, New York.
Spirit of the City, United Visual Artists at A/D/O, Brooklyn, New York. Spirit of the City, United Visual Artists at A/D/O, Brooklyn, New York.
Spirit of the City, United Visual Artists at A/D/O, Brooklyn, New York. Spirit of the City, United Visual Artists at A/D/O, Brooklyn, New York.

New York – Spirit of the City by London-based design practice United Visual Artists is an installation that brings to life the physical and emotional response citizens experience when navigating through urban environments.

On show at Mini’s Brooklyn creative space A/D/O, the work is based on a system of revolving mirrored columns that serve as a metaphor for the underlying forces that keep cities in constant transformation. The rotating modules are pre-programmed to reflect the human activity in New York, such as energy demand patterns or traffic flow.

‘Imagination and curiosity flourish in New York City where the stark and intriguing contrast between the built environment and living eco-system dominates individual observation and behaviour. Ultimately, Spirit of the City intends to pose the question, do our activities define our urban landscapes or do our urban landscapes define us?’ explains Matt Clark, founder of United Visual Artists.

For more on how future cities might be shaped, download our Branded Cities report.

5. British youth are uninspired by their workspace

The research, which explored Millennials’ attitudes towards the workspace, found that 28% of workers felt their workplace was outdated and dull. And 46% raised concerns about little or no collaboration between departments.

As the next generation enters the workforce, new considerations will have to be made in terms of recruitment. In our microtrend, Work Zones, we examine how businesses are being challenged to rethink their office design to better serve their workforce.

6. Thought-starter: Are we too selfish to be sustainable?

Although consumers claim to want to be sustainable, their spending habits often say otherwise. We spoke to Dr Daniel Benkendorf, professor of psychology at the Fashion Institute of Technology, on how to encourage sustainable purchasing behaviour.

Dr Benkendorf says many consumers are aware of the unfair labour practices in fashion but ‘still participate in the system that perpetuates those practices because the issues seem far away, and they also seem intractable’.

In his work he has found that our behaviours don’t always align with our ethics because there are multiple factors that determine them and often convenience wins through. ‘Convenience can be a determining factor as less sustainable options are more readily available, or an item might be more fashionable or at a lower price.’

When discussing how to encourage ethically driven behaviour among consumers, Dr Benkendorf explains: ‘Storytelling is really powerful. It’s memorable and it resonates with people more than statistics. If you just tell people how many gallons of water they’re saving by buying an alternative product, that’s interesting, but if you can tell them the story of a person involved in the production process, that’s even more powerful.’

Read the full interview here.

Stella McCartney's World of Sustainability Stella McCartney's World of Sustainability