Need to Know
09 : 04 : 19

Target’s autism-friendly furniture, Omni Hotels launches an Instagrammable kids’ menu and men’s grooming is thriving in India.

BIG envisages the world’s first sustainable floating city

Oceanix City by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) Oceanix City by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
Oceanix City by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) Oceanix City by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
Oceanix City by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) Oceanix City by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
Oceanix City by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) Oceanix City by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

New York – Architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has created a concept for hurricane-proof floating cities that are both sustainable and scalable.

Presented at a roundtable discussion on floating cities at the United Nation’s New York headquarters, Oceanix City imagines a modular system for designing and building completely self-sufficient settlements on water. The concept consists of man-made islands clustered together multiples of six to create communities of varying sizes.

Oceanix City is a blueprint for a modular maritime metropolis anchored in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,’ says Bjarke Ingels, founding partner of BIG. ‘The additive architecture can grow, transform and adapt organically over time, evolving from a neighbourhood of 300 residents to a city of 10,000.’

Working with MIT’s Center for Ocean Engineering, BIG was commissioned by Oceanix, a company that specialises in off-shore urban infrastructure, to develop the concept as a solution to the threat of climate change and rising sea levels. For more on the future of urban life, explore our Smart Cities vertical.

Target’s sensorial furniture for children with autism

Pillowfort by Target, US Pillowfort by Target, US
Pillowfort by Target, US Pillowfort by Target, US

US – The retailer has introduced a range of autism-friendly designs as part of its Pillowfort children’s homeware collection.

The new range is designed for children with sensory sensitives, whose parents can often struggle to find functional, stylish and affordable pieces that make their children feel comfortable and at ease in the home. Target's designs include weighted blankets for relaxation, floor cushions with unique textures and a hideaway tent that allows for quiet time.

Target already offers adaptive and sensory-friendly clothing for children with its Cat & Jack and Universal Thread brands. After inviting customer feedback, the retailer realised there was a demand for bringing this spirit of inclusivity to children’s homeware.

As brands’ awareness of neurodiversity increases, retailers are creating products and services to ease the experience for those with cognitive disabilities. Earlier this month, Landsec announced an initiative to create more inclusive shopping experiences.

Bumble pursues print with a lifestyle magazine

New York – The dating app and social networking platform has announced the launch of a new print publication.

Bumble Mag, created in partnership with Hearst Magazines, will serve as a physical extension of the app’s digital platform, featuring content in four verticals that mirror Bumble’s in-app modes: You First, You + BFFs, You + Dating and You + Bizz. With celebrity interviews, topical features, expert advice and product guides, the magazine is part of Bumble’s efforts to broaden its content and develop more offline touchpoints.

‘Our users have long sought out our content, and told us they wanted more: more stories, more advice, and more real-talk about dating, careers, friendship, wellness, and life in general,’ says Clare O’Connor, Bumble’s editorial director.

By offering stories and advice that cover friendship and careers, as well as dating, Bumble Mag also reflects how brands need to consider to different kinds of relationships in their marketing, communications and product development.

Bumble Magazine, New York Bumble Magazine, New York

This hotel has Insta-friendly kids’ menus

Culinary Kids by Omni Hotels & Resorts, US Culinary Kids by Omni Hotels & Resorts, US
Culinary Kids by Omni Hotels & Resorts, US Culinary Kids by Omni Hotels & Resorts, US

US – Omni Hotels & Resorts has debuted Culinary Kids, a restaurant menu designed for the hotel's youngest guests.

Available from April 2019, the hotel is rolling out refreshed children’s menus for breakfast, all day dining and dessert. The food options are aimed at those aged 12 and under, and acknowledge the age group’s enhanced palettes and bold preferences, with options such as pancake parfait tacos, rainbow açaí bowls and salads with edible dirt – a mixture of bread crumbs and herbs.

According to Omni Hotels & Resorts, tweenage children are driving transformation in the food and beverage scene, with expectations that surpass typical sub-par hotel restaurant menus. ‘They are seeking more adventurous, internationally-inspired options and are growing up in a social media-crazed world where having that Instagrammable moment is key to their overall food and beverage experience,’ reads the hotel group's press release.

Travel brands are increasingly shifting their attention to children, creating services to empower the under-served tween market.

Stat: Men’s grooming booms in India

New research from Mintel reveals that the average Indian man spends 16 minutes grooming his body, 14 minutes on his hair and 12 minutes on his face, equating to 42 minutes each day. In metropolitan areas of India, men are spending even longer on daily grooming, with time spent on their body rising to 22 minutes, 21 minutes for hair and 18 minutes for facial care.

‘Men’s grooming, while still in a rather early stage, has been under the spotlight in India, particularly as Indian men grow increasingly image-conscious and are starting to take care of how they look,’ explains Minu Srivastava, consumer research analyst at Mintel.

As such, brands have an opportunity to develop and expand their men’s grooming offer to evolve in line with the motivations and lifestyle patterns of modern male consumers. For more, look out for our upcoming Viewpoint with men's grooming brand Ceylon.

Thought-starter: Why are gyms becoming fitness arenas?

Amid the rise of collective training, the spatial design of fitness is transforming from boutique sanctuaries to exercise arenas and destination campuses, writes deputy foresight editor Kathryn Bishop.

Gym operators are moving away from exclusive, boutique wellbeing facilities towards larger, all-encompassing spaces that promote fitness exploration.

In particular, this is being driven by the growth in popularity of functional whole-body fitness and calisthenics training. According to business platform Club Industry, this focus on full-body fitness – an approach that demands tools such as kettlebells, medicine balls, conditioning ropes and body weight training – is compelling gym owners to remove cumbersome, static machines to create more space for functional training.

In response to this trend, Third Space recently opened The Yard, reportedly the UK’s largest functional training space, which even lets people watch those taking part in fitness sessions. Fellow premium fitness brand Psycle has transformed its Mortimer Street studio in London into a 13,000-square-feet hive of activity, with each of its six floors dedicated to one workout, be it cycling, barre or yoga.

Read the Fitness Auditoria microtrend here.

The Yard by Third Space, London The Yard by Third Space, London
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