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Snapchat’s next frontier is gaming, a new community-driven platform for styling advice and consumers turn to physical retail to reduce their digital data footprint.

Milan 2019: Freitag wants you to confess your consumption sins

Unfluencer – De-sinning the Designer by Freitag and Georg Lendorff at Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019 UNFLUENCER - De-sinning the Designer by Freitag and Georg Lendorff at Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019
Unfluencer – De-sinning the Designer by Freitag and Georg Lendorff at Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019 UNFLUENCER - De-sinning the Designer by Freitag and Georg Lendorff at Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019
Unfluencer – De-sinning the Designer by Freitag and Georg Lendorff at Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019 UNFLUENCER - De-sinning the Designer by Freitag and Georg Lendorff at Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019
UNFLUENCER - De-sinning the Designer by Freitag and Georg Lendorff at Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019 UNFLUENCER - De-sinning the Designer by Freitag and Georg Lendorff at Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019

Milan – Bag manufacturer Freitag has collaborated with film designer Georg Lendorff on an installation at Milan Design Week that generates dialogue around bad design in the 21st century.

Hoping to provide visitors with a more honest and more inspirational experience, the Unfluencer - De-sinning the Designer installation states: ‘Just for once, instead of talking about good design, why don’t we take a look at bad design?' The space is designed for both designers and consumers to admit to their design and consumption transgressions, and face up to their flawed behaviours.

Visitors are allocated a numbered ticket on entry. When their number appears on a digital display, they are summoned to a confession booth. Here, they are encouraged to confess their design and consumption sins to a fellow sinner, discussing issues such as unsustainable purchases or resource-heavy designs in the hope of finding ways they could improve.

Lendorff’s immersive video installation is central to the experience; thousands of digital threads hanging from the ceiling are designed to sweep away the sins of anyone who walks through it.

Designers are adopting a more critical approach to Milan Design Week and are questioning the show’s excessive approach. Keep an eye out for LS:N Global's dedicated show review and further coverage this week.

Milan 2019: AI and robotics come to life at Sony exhibition

Affinity in Autonomy by Sony at Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019 Affinity in Autonomy by Sony at Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019
Affinity in Autonomy by Sony at Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019 Affinity in Autonomy by Sony at Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019

Milan - At this year's Milan Design Week, Sony is exploring a future in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics forge empathetic connections with humans.

The Affinity in Autonomy exhibition showcases a series of conceptual prototypes that challenge the existing perception of robots and AIs as unemotional entities. ‘When robotics have evolved so far that we feel like they’re alive, then humans will begin to feel an affinity toward them’ the brand explains.

Highlighting its expertise in sense technology, Sony takes visitors on a journey of five interactions with AI. In the exhibition's Awakening area, an AI entity is represented on a screen and responds to visitors' movement with ever-evolving, morphing shapes and colours. Further through the space in the Accordance area, automated spheres move independently on the floor, inquisitively interacting with the visitor and cooperating with one another.

By envisioning a more human relationship to robotics, Sony demonstrates a symbiotic AI connection between man and machine, evolving the key themes in our Neo-kinship macrotrend.

Snapchat launches a social gaming platform

Global – The photo-sharing app is rolling out a series of games for friends to play together in real-time.

Snap Games, which sit in the app’s chat bar, have been designed for ‘high-fidelity, synonymous gameplay’. Created exclusively for Snapchat, the multiplayer games allow users to rescue friends from zombie-infested cities or race cars, playing as their individual Bitmoji or Snapchat avatar.

To monetise the gaming service, the brand users can opt-in to watch six-second ads that reward them with in-game currencies or bonuses. ‘We wanted to build something that makes us feel like we’re playing a board game with a family of over a long holiday weekend,’ says Will Wu, parent company Snap’s head of gaming. ‘Something that makes us feel like we’re sitting with friends, controllers in hand, looking at the same screen.’

In Next-generation Apps, we explore how young people are moving away from narcissistic platforms and towards apps that emphasise community.

Snap Games Snap Games

H&M creates a peer platform for fashion advice

Itsapark by H&M, Berlin Itsapark by H&M, Berlin
Itsapark by H&M, Berlin Itsapark by H&M, Berlin

Berlin – The retail group is looking to engage consumers with new online platform Itsapark, a community-driven space for styling and shopping recommendations.

Based on a simple question and answer format, users can ask fashion-related questions on the website’s Discussion page, which are answered by assigned creators that H&M says are ‘rewarded by us to answer your questions’. Answers are formatted in the style of an Instagram post, with a video or picture accompanied by text and product recommendations.

In this way, Itsapark aims to deliver personalised guidance and connect users with shoppable products. ‘Our mission is to create a meeting place where people can exchange ideas and advice around fashion,’ reads the website.

Still in beta mode, the platform will continue to be developed in 2019 in collaboration with its digital community. For more on the rise of peer-to-peer influence in retail, look out for our new retail macrotrend, launching in April 2019.

Stat: Shoppers buy in-store to limit their online data footprint

Consumers over the world are taking action to limit their online footprint, according to findings by Dentsu Aegis Network. The study, which took place across 24 countries, found that only 23% of people have taken no action to limit their online footprint in the last 12 months.

The most common action for consumers is to reduce the amount of data they share online, either through clearing search history and opting out of geo-location sharing. Perhaps more surprisingly, given the power of the e-commerce market, consumers are alleviating their anxieties around privacy by purchasing products in-store rather than online, thus bypassing the act of handing over personal data.

In an era of Morality Recoded, brands are being tasked to achieve a modern morality that combines our digital habits with the need for more embedded ethics.

Thought-starter: Will child-free living become a priority for brands?

In this month's Scenario, we ask how brands in 2030 will support couples who forego parenthood to protect the planet.

The UN projects that the world’s population will rise from 7.7bn today to 11.2bn by 2100. With research by the Global Footprint Network showing that we already need the equivalent of 1.7 earths to maintain current consumption levels, the link between addressing the ecological crisis and parenting is increasingly weighing on the minds of today’s climate-conscious consumers.

As this new generation questions the ecological impact of parenthood, brands will have to address not only how they move away from traditional messaging in order to appeal to this expanding demographic, but also their ethical obligation to support couples who choose to forego children on ecological grounds.

Robin Maynard, CEO of Population Matters, argues that there is some cognitive dissonance in brands promoting a sustainable agenda alongside stock family-orientated messaging. This is ‘largely driven by the advertising industry supporting the current dominant paradigm of growth economics, which fits rather uncomfortably within a finite planet’, he tells LS:N Global.

Read the full Scenario here.

Fonts used: Sporting grotesque by  Lucas Le Bihan, Le Murmure by Jérémy Landes, Compagnon Medium by Sébastien Riollier Fonts used: Sporting grotesque by Lucas Le Bihan, Le Murmure by Jérémy Landes, Compagnon Medium by Sébastien Riollier
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