Need to Know
02 : 04 : 19

Calyxt unveils a gene-edited soybean oil, Open Meals wants to optimise sushi using biodata and why the biohacking market will boom in the next four years.

The Urban Dentist is a bar-inspired dental practice

The Urban Dentist by Studio Karhard. Photography by Stefan Wolf Lucks, Berlin
The Urban Dentist by Studio Karhard. Photography by Stefan Wolf Lucks, Berlin
The Urban Dentist by Studio Karhard. Photography by Stefan Wolf Lucks, Berlin

Berlin – The dental office was designed by Studio Karhard, the designers behind infamous nightclub Berghain.

Owned by three young dentists who wanted to re-imagine the dental experience for modern consumers, The Urban Dentist more closely resembles a bar or concept store than a clinic. The space uses materials such as stainless steel, concrete, marble and backlit glass, which is programmable, meaning that lighting can be altered.

According to its founders, the dental practice uses contemporary design to distract from the sometimes anxious experience of visiting the dentist. ‘We wanted to create an atmosphere where patients could feel relaxed and fearless,’ they tell Dezeen. ‘So we tried to avoid typical dentist colours like white and glossy surfaces.’

To see how health brands are re-inventing oral hygiene, read our microtrend Dental Rework.

ZitSticka wants to put an end to spot-shaming

Zitsticka Zitsticka
Zitsticka Zitsticka

US – The direct-to-consumer brand has launched its first product: a box of translucent, stick-on acne patches.

Taking the South Korean concept of zit patches to the US, the brand has just launched Killa, a box of acne patches that uses microdart technology to deposit acne-fighting ingredients into early-stage spots. The patches are designed to be worn out and about, therefore reducing the stigma around acne-prone skin.

As well as creating products to reverse the development of spots, ZitSticka is creating a skin-positive community where people are encouraged to share their skincare journeys and advice among their peers.

ZitSticka joins a wave of brands that are rebranding acne treatment for Generation Z consumers – a group who approach the health of their skin with the same attitude as #bodypositivity.

Calyno is a healthier gene-edited soybean oil

Minneapolis – Food and agriculture company Calyxt has announced the commercial launch of a gene-edited soybean oil that it claims to have made healthier.

Now available to the food service industry, Calyno is the first gene-edited food to be commercially available in the US. While shoppers can’t yet buy the high-oleic soybean oil, which is made from plants that have been gene-edited to produce fewer saturated and trans fats, it is available as a commercial ingredient for frying, salad dressings and sauces.

In addition to claiming the product is healthier, Calyxt suggests Calyno is also more sustainable than standard commodity oils thanks to its extended shelf life. ‘Over the past eight years, we’ve remained committed to… evolving the nutrition of food and protecting the environment in order to deliver health-conscious ingredients that tackle food-related health challenges,’ says Jim Blome, CEO of Calyxt.

As such, the product is an example of how threatened supply chains, shortened food miles and a demand for more positive action from brands are dramatically changing what we eat. For more, read our Uprooted Diets macrotrend.

Row 7 seed company, US

Personalised sushi made using diners’ biodata

Sushi Singularity by Open Meals, Tokyo
Sushi Singularity by Open Meals, Tokyo
Sushi Singularity by Open Meals, Tokyo

Japan – Japanese company Open Meals has developed a concept for a futuristic restaurant that will serve 3D-printed sushi based on the individual nutritional needs of its patrons.

For its Sushi Singularity Tokyo project, the company envisages a digitised dining experience where a system of robotic arms and 3D printers create bespoke sushi using biodata from diners’ saliva, urine and stool samples. After booking, the restaurant will send a health test kit inviting guests to collect and return their samples, which will be analysed to understand which nutrients they might be lacking.

Targeting the market for Upstream Eating, Open Meals plans to open the restaurant in 2020. As the online food database works towards its ambition to build ‘a digital platform where we can store myriad food data’, the project builds on the concept of 3D-printing food that Open Meals previously explored in its Sushi Teleportation prototype in 2018.

Stat: Biohacking is losing its subculture roots

Scepticism about biohacking will decrease in the coming years as more start-ups infiltrate the sector, according to a new report by Market Research Future. The market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 19.42% between 2017 and 2023, driven by ‘rising awareness around biohacking, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and extensive demand for smart devices’.

The report defines biohacking as the use of function-enhancing drugs or implants to improve cognitive function, memory and creativity. While the act of hacking one’s body was once considered the preserve of an elite group of Silicon Valley executives or American subcultures, biohacking has had a change in identity in the past few years, with technological advances and new start-ups making it more accessible to all.

As demand for optimisation grows, sociologist Steve Fuller believes these bodily enhancements could become available on the NHS to ensure they do not become a privilege. For more, look out for our interview with Biohax founder Jowan Österlund on the future of microchip implants.

Thought-starter: Do retailers need to rethink returns?

In a bid to reduce the growing environmental impact of e-commerce, retailers are rethinking their logistics and are developing new sustainable initiatives to both deliver and return purchases.

Driven by hyper-convenience, increased choice and free shipping, global e-commerce sales rose significantly in 2018. Although this is positive news for retailers' bottom line, a surge in purchases means high volumes of consumer packages are in transit, and these personal last-mile deliveries to homes and offices are having an environmental impact.

Conscious brands are beginning to acknowledge that their digital business model and logistical infrastructure are having a detrimental effect not only on air quality but on the waste linked to such deliveries. As a result, they are developing eco-conscious ways to deliver goods and process returns.

Addressing this, Returnity creates custom-made and re-usable shipping packaging for brands. Made from a durable fabric, it can be zipped open and closed and used for multiple deliveries. Clothing, for example, can be delivered in a branded re-usable bag. Once the products have been delivered, customers post the bag back to the brand to be re-used in more deliveries.

Read the full Eco-logistics microtrend here.

Harper Wilde, US
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