Need to Know
26 : 11 : 18

A micro-living solution for California’s housing crisis, Toms joins the gun violence debate and Australia’s teens are Generation Sensible.

The Uncensored Playlist is turning news into songs

The Uncensored Playlist, Reporters Without Borders Germany

Germany – Reporters Without Borders has found a way to bring censored news articles to countries without press freedom: music.

The project, shown at this year’s Dutch Design Week, is the brainchild of Reporters Without Borders, a non-government organisation dedicated to defending the freedom of the press. The company noticed a loophole in most countries’ censorship laws: that despite bans on social media sites and search engines, music streaming services are not as strictly policed.

In partnership with DDB Berlin, it reached out to journalists from countries where press censorship is rife – China, Egypt, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam – and turned their previously censored articles into pop songs. The songs were then uploaded to Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer.

At Dutch Design Week 2018, many installations challenged the neutrality of today’s news and questioned how these stories can be told in more experiential ways.

A range of microhomes to fill the gaps on existing properties

LivingHomes YB1 by Yves Béhar and Plant Prefab, California LivingHomes YB1 by Yves Béhar and Plant Prefab, California
LivingHomes YB1 by Yves Béhar and Plant Prefab, California LivingHomes YB1 by Yves Béhar and Plant Prefab, California

California – San Francisco-based designer Yves Béhar has designed a range of prefabricated accessory dwelling units (ADU) in a bid to tackle the housing crisis in California.

LivingHomes YB1 is a line of modular, customisable microhomes that are marketed as a housing solution for young family members, ageing parents, students and others struggling to afford their own houses. They are intended to fill the gaps in availability for existing properties, taking advantage of new planning laws that allow home-owners to build ADUs in their back yards.

YB1 launches with three different floor plans and roof systems that can be customised depending on climate conditions, functionality and taste. ‘For me, the next frontier of design is to think of the entire home as a product that home-owners can shape to their needs in terms of size, usage, aesthetic and lifestyle,’ says Béhar.

By accommodating different lifestyles and living needs, the flexible building system reflects how home and family life are being reconfigured, especially as home-sharing increases.

Toms takes a stand to end gun violence

USA – The shoe brand known for its signature one-for-one model has announced a campaign to end gun violence, backed by a £3.9m ($5m, $4.4m) donation to various non-profit-making organisations.

The campaign directs users to the Toms website, where the company has created a system that enables users to send a physical postcard to their local government representative demanding new legislation on universal background checks. As part of the effort, the company will develop and permanently alter its giving model to include donations to organisations working to end gun violence.

Beyond its corporate giving strategy and social engagement, the brand has previously never taken a public political stance. ‘If we have this much power as business leaders, we have to use it,’ founder Blake Mycoskie told Fast Company. Discover how businesses are stepping in where governments are failing in our Civic Brands macrotrend.

Together we stand by TOMS Together we stand by TOMS

In this ad Australian teens challenge drinking culture

Alcohol.Think Again by Mental Health Commission and 303 MullenLowe

Australia – A new ad campaign commissioned by Curtin University flips the narrative around alcohol consumption and teenage rebellion.

The ad, which was created by the university’s Alcohol Programs Team in partnership with 303 MullenLowe, is targeted at Australian parents and hopes to reinforce the importance of delaying alcohol initiation until adolescents turn 18. Rather than using scare tactics to raise awareness of the dangers of teenage drinking, the ad shows teenagers themselves asking their parents to ‘say no’.

While alcohol campaigns traditionally reference rebellious teenagers partaking in binge drinking culture, the campaign shows the maturity of Generation Z, who are embracing moderation. A study by Deakin University and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute recently found that the number of Australian teenagers who consumed alcohol fell from 69% in 1999 to 45% in 2015.

Discover how your brand can cater for Generation Sensible by downloading our Youth Futures report, which is free for LS:N Global subscribers.

Stat: Yoga and meditation on the rise among American youth

Between 2012 and 2017, the number of children and teenagers in the US practising meditation increased by 900%. The number practising yoga also rose from 3.1% to 8.4% during the same period. The findings from a new report by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reflect a general rise in the number of people meditating and doing yoga.

While yoga stands out as the most commonly used complementary health approach by US adults, the study shows that an estimated 35m American adults are now meditating. The surge in uptake among kids and teens, however, is the greatest, suggesting this is a fast-growing market. To find out more about how today’s young people are adopting the concept of wellness, visit our microtrend, Health-conscious Kids.

Thought-starter: How are Poland’s middle class spending?

Deputy foresight editor Kathryn Bishop explores how Poland’s emerging middle class are using luxury goods and services to signify their new-found status, creating new opportunities in retail, hospitality and property.

Amid continuing recovery from the global economic crisis, Poland’s luxury market is coming into bloom, offering new opportunities for luxury brands, retailers and hospitality groups. A growing group of HNWIs and affluent consumers in Poland are driving spending on luxury lifestyle services, with domestic help (65%), high-end dining (35%) and personal trainers (24%) among the most popular amenities regularly used by wealthy Poles, according to KPMG.

Beyond luxury lifestyle services and smart homes, local Polish consumers are also treating themselves to luxury goods that signify their evolving social status. Euromonitor reports that global brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Rolex are driving local demand for spending on hard luxury, while international publisher Condé Nast launched Vogue Polska in spring 2018.

‘The number of increasingly demanding luxury goods consumers in Poland is going up [and] Poland is being targeted by more and more renowned luxury goods manufacturers,’ Kasia Kulczyk, Vogue Polska publisher, told the Financial Times.

Read the State of Luxury: Poland market here.

Kreist autumn/winter 2018, Poland Kreist autumn/winter 2018, Poland