The Future Laboratory invites you to choose your futures
Choose Your Future, Global Futures Forum 2018, animations by Nikita Iziev for The Future Laboratory
London – On 17 October, 100 delegates attended the Global Futures Forum, The Future Laboratory’s annual festival of ideas, at our Elder Street home.
This year, we customised the experience by inviting attendees and brand representatives to choose their own futures. With more than one possible future available to them, guests could firstly discover the Future of Brand Purpose – uncovering how consumers’ moral values are changing their expectations of brands – or the Future of Gender, which explored how masculinity and femininity are being reframed for the decade ahead.
In two further sessions, attendees were guided through the Future of Wellbeing amid the convergence of wellness and health, and the Future of Youth – including the premiere of our youth macrotrend The Anxiety Rebellion. The Global Futures Forum also welcomed a number of global disruptors, who presented keynote speeches and took part in guest panels, helping to shape and elaborate the conversation around each topic.
To choose your brand’s potential futures, explore our Global Futures Forum microsite.
Nike opens its first House of Innovation
Nike House of Innovation, Shanghai
Nike House of Innovation, Shanghai
Shanghai - The new store collates fashion and retail innovations in one place, embodying the concept Nike has spearheaded in recent years.
The House of Innovation is a cross-category retail space set over four levels, offering products that are hyper-local to the needs and desires of Shanghai customers. A digitally enabled Centre Court sits among the retail space, where customers can attend speaker sessions, workshops and interactive product trials. In addition, members of the brand’s NikePlus scheme can book personal shopping experiences with store assistants.
The space also offers the Nike by You service, which brings members and designers together to customise shoes and create one-of-a-kind footwear, adding a human touch to the brand’s digital Nike ID platform.
This year, the sports brand has further explored the use of technology to transform bricks-and-mortar retail. In July 2018, Nike opened a concept store in Los Angeles that uses the real-time data of shoppers to build a localised product offering.
All Mondelez packaging will be recyclable by 2025
US – The maker of confectionery and snack brands such as Oreo and Ritz will switch to entirely recyclable packaging in the next seven years.
According to an announcement by Mondelez, the company will reach this goal by providing packaging manufacturers with design guidelines and a list of materials to use or avoid. By 2020, the brand says all of its paper packaging will be sourced sustainably, supported by a company-developed waste management infrastructure that will improve consumers’ recycling rates.
Mondelez says that it has already made steps to ensure its packaging is more environmentally friendly – 75% of its wrappings are glass, paper or metal, while Oreo packaging in the US was recently made 23% thinner.
With consumers increasingly concerned about plastic’s environmental impact, companies are exploring or integrating plastic alternatives into their packaging to offer more eco-friendly options, with examples including materials created from crab shells.
Ekoplaza Lab Plastic Free Aisle, Amsterdam. Designed by Made Thought and A Plastic Planet
This font can improve your memory
Melbourne – A team of researchers have developed Sans Forgetica, a typeface that draws on the principles of cognitive psychology to help readers remember their notes.
According to the researchers at RMIT Behavioural Business Lab, Sans Forgetica makes use of Gestalt’s Law of Closure, which hypothesises that our brains fill in the gaps when part of an object appears unfinished. As such, the letters in the typeface are left incomplete, rendering them hard to decipher at first sight. As a result, the brain works harder to complete the letters, pushing it to engage its cognitive abilities in order to digest the written content.
Although primarily aimed at students with the intention of helping them improve the revision process, the font can be download free, which means it can help with the wider learning of typed materials.
At a time when consumers often scan content rather than take time to read it, designers are adjusting their typography to fit. The emergence of such Quick-glance Design is explored in our macrotrend The Focus Filter.
Stat: Our homes no longer provide a sense of belonging
Ikea’s latest Life at Home report, which surveyed 22,000 people in 22 countries, explores what it means to be at home. Touching on issues of loneliness and urban living, the study found that 53% of people don’t get a sense of belonging from their residential home.
This may be due to a lack of privacy. With more people in home-sharing arrangements, 33% of those living with friends or strangers feel they have to leave the house in order to have alone time. The study also questions whether a car could be considered a extension of the home. Almost half of Americans (45%) go to their car to have private moments to themselves.
Brands need to consider how they can improve people’s relationship with their home and inject a sense of belonging and security in a space that’s often shared with others. For more on this subject, read our Far Futures series.
Thought-starter: How can innovation empower the elderly?
Kim Colin, co-founder of Future Facility, speculates whether the Internet of Things and data-driven smart homes can support the mindsets and capabilities of ageing consumers.
Technology companies are moving products and services into our homes at an alarming rate thanks to our new-found desire for networked products, aka those that operate on the Internet of Things (IoT).
But how will these devices – even entire, voice-driven smart homes – fit with the needs, mindsets and capabilities of ageing consumers? Since the 1950s, when US post-war prosperity resulted in the mass-production of goods for the home, we have, as consumers, been lured into acquiring ever-more products that implicitly promise to make our lives better.
But we need to rethink how technology and data exchanges will be used in the future, to potentially simplify daily chores and activities specifically for a growing, older population. Future Facility’s speculative Amazin Apartment illustrates how living spaces might change and how the products in our homes would too – in particular in a future when care-givers are in deficit and the older population is living longer.
For more, read Kim Colin’s Future Home opinion piece here.