Need to Know
05 : 06 : 19

A surrealist cookbook serving up sustainability, boosting the efficacy of CBD, and teens and parents are nocturnal phone users.

Loong Swim Club is the leisure club of the future

Loong Swim Club by X+Living, China
Loong Swim Club by X+Living, China
Loong Swim Club by X+Living, China

Suzhou, China – X+Living designed the swimming club, which uses playful, abstract design to target parents and children.

The Loong Swim Club, which also has branches in Beijing and Shanghai, has opened a wonderland-inspired leisure club in the city of Suzhou. Experimenting with proportion and eye-catching candy colours, architecture design firm X+Living is designed to appeal to parents and children alike.

Alongside a swimming pool, the space includes educational classrooms, a reading room, infant and adult bathing areas that feature a large flower chandelier, and a dining area with an ‘eggshell castle’ for children to play in.

The blurring lines between fantasy and reality, and adulthood and childhood are inspiring creatives such as X+Living to create spaces referencing Playscapes in order to truly enchant visitors.

This AR app helps festival-goers find their friends

Lost&Sound by Seat, Google and Wildbytes Lost&Sound by Seat, Google and Wildbytes
Lost&Sound by SEAT, Google and Wildbytes Lost&Sound by SEAT, Google and Wildbytes

Barcelona – SEAT’s Lost&Sound app enables people to locate their friends at music festivals using augmented reality (AR).

To create the app, the Spanish car manufacturer worked with experiential innovation agency Wildbytes and Google, launching the app at Primavera Sound in Barcelona. Once a group of friends has installed the app, they can simply scan the festival space with their phone camera and an icon chosen by each individual will appear on their screen, helping to identify their location and distance within a crowd. Users can also send out a signal or request that their friends share their signal, which can be customised.

‘The goal was to create something awesome for festival-goers that was equally useful and cool,’ says Laia Zanon, director of creative production at Wildbytes Barcelona. ‘This app tries to combine both elements: the cool factor of augmented reality, with a solution to a key problem that festival-goers face.’

For more on how phygital solutions are responding to consumer needs in real time, explore our Programmable Realities macrotrend.

Infused by Epic is making CBD more effective

California – The company is converting cannabidiol (CBD) into nano-encapsulated liquid and powder form.

With the human body comprising about 70% water, products made with oil are harder for us to digest and take much longer to take effect, according to Infused by Epic. In response, the company has found a way to engineer a highly potent form of CBD with faster onset.

Through the use of nanotechnology, CBD can be converted into a liquid or powder, speeding up absorption into the bloodstream. In this form, CBD can be used in any water-based product, including creams, gels, food and beverages.

With CBD fast becoming a hackneyed buzzword in the wellness industry, new innovations such as Infused by Epic demonstrate how it can maintain its efficacy. For more, read our Opinion piece: Have we overdosed on CBD?


Eat the Problem creates recipes with invasive species

Eat the Problem at Mona, curated by Kirsha Kaechele
Eat the Problem at Mona, curated by Kirsha Kaechele
Eat the Problem at Mona, curated by Kirsha Kaechele

Hobart, Tasmania – Eat the Problem is an exhibition and cookbook focused on the world’s most invasive species of animals.

Created by artist Kirsha Kaechele, the conceptual project fuses art and food. The cookbook, for example, features a collection of recipes that suggests one way to combat the impact of animals that invade and degrade native ecologies is to eat them. Dishes include crispy-skin cane toad, snake jerky and mynah bird parfait.

An exhibition at The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania celebrates the launch of the book, which includes contributions from contemporary artists and noted chefs, writers, scientists and philosophers. To accompany the exhibition, Vince Trim, MONA’s executive chef, has designed a menu that uses invasive species such as deer, sea urchin and thistle, transforming them into refined dishes for visitors.

In a similar vein, Carolien Niebling’s research project The Future Sausage explores how sustainability and culinary adventure don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

Stat: Phones are disrupting the sleep of both teens and parents

More than a third of US teenagers wake up during the night to check their phones, according to a new study by Common Sense Media. In more than half of cases, teenagers check their phones because they’ve received a notification or want to peruse social media.

Although they are stereotyped as phone addicts, nocturnal scrolling is not exclusive to Generation Z. The study found that roughly a quarter of parents wake to check their phones overnight, and 12% sleep with their mobile device in bed. The research also indicates that large numbers of consumers are ignoring sleep experts’ recommendations to avoid screen time before bed and during the night.

As we become more reliant on technology, there is an opportunity for technology brands to develop Disengaged Devices to wean us off our phones. Read our Resilience Culture macrotrend for more.

Thought-starter: What’s inspiring Chinese beauty consumers?

In order to reach Chinese beauty consumers, brands must embrace bricks-and-mortar stores, niche brands and make-up for men.

Today, any review of the Chinese business market tends to begin by explaining that the sector is experiencing immense growth, and likely to be (or forecast to soon become) the largest in the world. Beauty is no different, but brands hoping to capture the Chinese consumer need to be aware of their diverse retail preferences, interest in niche beauty and the accelerating men’s beauty market.

While it’s true that Chinese consumers live on their mobiles, online-to-offline (O2O) functionality is leading change in China, with online and bricks-and-mortar experiences increasingly going hand in hand. Despite being digital natives, Chinese consumers still favour physical retail, with 86% stating it was their preferred way to browse for and buy beauty.

Younger Chinese consumers also don’t follow the same brands as their Generation X or older counterparts. Having grown up surrounded by global beauty brands, not only are they looking for newness, they want beauty labels that support self-expression, originality and share their voice.

For more, look out for our China Beauty Market, to be published this week.

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