Retro-futuristic pharmacy Apotheke opens in Berlin
Berlin – A new high-tech, automated pharmacy with a distinctly retro-futuristic aesthetic has opened in the German capital’s Schultheiss Quartier.
Apotheke is a premium drug store that balances elements of old and new with human and machine. Designed by Studio Aisslinger, the Pharmacy of the Future mixes mid-century design details with high-tech functionality. Medicines are dispensed by a robotic arm, which moves across the shelves, picking and delivering medicines. Prescriptions are then checked by a pharmacist before being handed over.
Explaining the design on its website, Studio Aisslinger says: ‘Natural colours make clients feel snug and safe. The spatial concept follows the idea of free and unrestricted movement: no counter predetermines where the customer must go, no barrier gets in his way. Casual seating allows [customers] to sit and rest, walls made of glass bricks turn the strict separation between dispensary and laboratory translucid.’
For more on how the world of medicine is being redesigned, explore our Post-Pharmacy Brands microtrend.
Coinmine simplifies the creation of cryptocurrency
Los Angeles – The start-up's Coinmine One device uses electricity and computer power to simplify the mining and management of cryptocurrency.
While crypto mining typically requires several pieces of hardware and wallet solutions, which can be difficult to obtain, the Coinmine One offers a more straightforward way for newcomers to become miners.
The hardware product is minimalist in design, allowing it to sit on a desk or in the home. It automates the creation of cryptocurrency wallets in one place, using only electricity and computing power. It also comes with an app to further simplify the process. ‘Many people want to be a part of the crypto revolution, but crypto hardware, software and wallets are too hard and time consuming to set up, and more importantly, to update,’ reads a statement from the company.
Retailing for $799 (£624, €708), the device falls at the higher end of the market, making it a product suited to those chasing Crypto-affluence.
This restaurant serves 50 courses over six hours
Copenhagen – Alchemist, a new restaurant opening in January 2019, will serve an ambitious tasting menu comprised of 50 courses served over six hours.
Chef Rasmus Munk plans to disrupt dining conventions by introducing elements of theatre, art and chemistry to dining. The result will be a multi-sensory experience designed to stimulate patrons’ minds as well as palates. Set in a 25,000-square-foot warehouse, Alchemist will have four kitchens, more than 30 cooks and seven dining spaces catering to just 44 diners per night. The experience will cost around £510 ($650, €575).
On arrival, guests will enter the restaurant's ‘experience room’, where programmable LED panels will create a shifting panorama of cityscapes and video artworks. Later, they will be seated under a planetarium-style ceiling in the main dining room. This theatrical style of eating plays into the themes outlined in our Revelation Brands macrotrend, which examines how brands are reinventing chance, serendipity and discovery.
Helio Ray could bring sunlight back to cities
London – As our cities grow taller and become increasingly saturated with skyscrapers, design studio Haberdashery says the streets below are becoming starved of light.
To remedy this, it has launched Helio Ray, a conceptual project that redirects sunlight from above the skyline to ground level.
Mounted on a tall building, the Helio Ray projects light collected from a Helistat, a mechanised mirrored surface that reflects beams of sunlight, which the studio says resembles a ‘god ray’. The studio’s creative director Ben Rigby highlights the importance of sunlight on the health of city dwellers: ‘Sunlight has a huge effect on our physiology and wellbeing: it influences our circadian rhythms, provides vitamin D and illuminates our environment.’
To see how designers and scientists are re-appropriating existing energy sources such as sunlight, read our round-up of the top innovations.
Stat: Chinese travellers' spending is changing
Revenue from outbound tourism from China continues to grow. Figures from the United Nations' World Tourism Organisation show that spending by Chinese tourists abroad now makes up nearly a quarter (21%) of global tourism spending, driving a significant impact on the luxury and travel industries.
While findings from the Chinese Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) also show that the number of Chinese travellers is on the rise, the organisation suggests there has been a shift in their spending habits in the third quarter of 2018. The COTRI report says: 'While traveller expenditure data is not yet available for the period, trends suggest that overseas spending has plateaued, if not decreased.’
With local luxury brands and product exclusives on the rise in China, affluent shoppers are being tempted to spend closer to home. Read more about the evolution of Chinese spending with our Chinese Duty-free Market.
Thought-starter: Is community the new trend in luxury hotels?
The co-founder and CEO of Life House, Rami Zeidan, discusses how this nascent technology-driven hotel chain will unite guests and locals to create a community around luxury stays.
Life House is a hotel chain backed by Silicon Valley that is disrupting the hospitality sector. ‘We’re embracing the direct-to-consumer model, which means Life House does a very similar thing to brands such as Warby Parker,’ says Zeidan. ‘As a result, we're delivering a four-and-a-half-star stay at a three-and-half-star price point.’
The brand also uses technology to augment the guest experience with a mobile app that enables guests to see who else is staying at the same time as them.
‘If you think about hotels, they’re just big boxes filled with people that don’t know each other,’ explains Zeidan. ‘There isn’t a network of people in that location because they probably don’t live there, yet in reality, most guests are looking to meet or interact with others.’
Read the full Q&A here.