Need to Know
18 : 06 : 19

Monitor My Health offers home blood testing, a new visual identity for Chinese craft beer and rural America’s closing digital gap.

A modern cultural centre for Portugal’s Muslim youth

Colinas do Cruzeiro Islamic Cultural Centre, designed by Estúdio AMATAM, photography by Invisible Gentleman, Portugal
Colinas do Cruzeiro Islamic Cultural Centre, designed by Estúdio AMATAM, photography by Invisible Gentleman, Portugal
Colinas do Cruzeiro Islamic Cultural Centre, designed by Estúdio AMATAM, photography by Invisible Gentleman, Portugal

Portugal – The Colinas do Cruzeiro Centre is a modern space designed for the young Muslim community living in Odivelas.

Designed by Portuguese architects, Estúdio Amatam, the centre is intended to promote a sense of community by serving as a hub for the sharing of Islamic culture and knowledge – beyond just worship. As such, it includes an exhibition space and a meeting room, as well as a space for the dissemination of literature, and a male and female prayer space.

Updating traditional design features such as horseshoe arches and groin vaults, these spaces are separated by abstract archways and curved forms. Speaking of the centre’s minimalist design, architect Manuela Tamborino says: ‘Religion is getting more and more oriented to the essential, to the things that really matter and bring people together.’

Similarly, we explore how the aesthetic, rituals and values of Christianity are being redefined by a younger generation in our Young Believers microtrend.

Doko Bar serves theatrical desserts

Doko Bar by Waterfrom Design, Shenzhen Doko Bar by Waterfrom Design, Shenzhen
Doko Bar by Waterfrom Design, Shenzhen Doko Bar by Waterfrom Design, Shenzhen

Shenzen – The dessert bar turns the dining experience into a performance, playing on the show-and-tell behaviours of social media.

Located in the Nanshan district of Shenzen, Doko Bar draws inspiration from immersion-style theatre by placing diners at the centre of the show. Waterfrom Design have designed the expansive space as a series of frames and stages, with the first floor revolving around the chef bar, while a small red balcony on the second floor overlooks the space below.

Materials such as glass, metal mesh, galvanised sheet metal, nylon threads and stainless steel are used to varying effects, creating an interplay play of transparent, semi-transparent and opaque textures. Coupled with bright colours and bold lighting, the restaurant’s design serves as a dramatic backdrop for its menu. In this way, it demonstrates how restaurants are breathing new life into desserts, using new flavours, textures and interior design to surprise and delight diners.

The NHS launches a home blood testing service

UK – Monitor My Health is a new service that allows patients to take their own blood and post it back to a medical laboratory for testing.

The service is a paid-for venture launched by the NHS, which aims to help people take more control of their health while reducing the burden on doctors and nurses. For a fee, patients can use the service to take blood at their convenience, send it to a laboratory and receive results digitally within 48 hours. Patients can choose from one of six tests: diabetes, cholesterol, thyroid function, vitamin D, heart health or a full screening. Prices start at £24 ($30, €27) and all profits go back to the NHS.

‘At its heart, Monitor My Health is about offering people a safe and trusted way to proactively monitor their health,’ says project leader Professor Timothy McDonald, a consultant clinical scientist at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.

For more on how consumers are seeking new frameworks for healthy living, read our Certified Wellness macrotrend.

Monitor My Health by Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, UK

A new identity for one of China’s first microbrewery brands

Boxing Cat by R/GA Shanghai

Shanghai – AB InBev has refreshed its Boxing Cat craft beer brand with a new visual identity and a playful integrated campaign.

The rebrand has been spearheaded by the Shanghai arm of advertising agency R/GA, who set out make one of China’s first microbrewery brands more appealing to younger consumers. ‘We saw an enormous opportunity for Boxing Cat to be the contender that challenged expectations [around craft beer], by leveraging [its] heritage as a local upstart and creating a distinct personality for the brand,’ said R/GA’s ECD Terence Leong.

In addition to a new tagline – ‘Live with a punch’ – the agency created a clean, high-impact identity to be used across labels, packaging, point of sale and promo materials. Drawing inspiration from the logo, a superhero-like protagonist, Louie, was also developed for a series of animated films that aim to embody the brand.

For more on how the landscape for craft beer is evolving in China, read our market, The State of Craft Beer.

Stat: Rural America’s digital gap is slowly narrowing

Consumers living in rural America have made significant gains when it comes to internet connectivity over the past decade, with new research showing that the digital gap between rural and urban populations is getting smaller. As much as 63% of rural Americans now have a broadband connection at home, compared to just 35% in 2007.

However, those living in rural parts of the country remain less likely to own multiple devices or services that enable them to go online. Only 31% report that they own a desktop or laptop computer, a smartphone, a home broadband connection and a tablet computer. In contrast, 43% of suburban adults in America own all four of these technologies.

To learn how the internet is empowering rural communities in China, read our interview with Xiaowei Wang, creative director of Logic magazine.

Thought-starter: Is the future of branding sonic?

As we move towards a screenless future, junior creative researcher Livvy Houghton explores how brands will utilise sound as both an identifier and a way to stand out from the crowd.

To date, sound branding has been used as a tool for recognition and brand recall. But while companies and marketers rely on sound to connect with consumers, we can anticipate these sonic identities becoming even more relevant and necessary as communications enter the screenless age.

‘Brands are becoming invisible,’ Lauren McGuire, president at Man Made Music, tells LS:N Global. ‘We’re using voice and gestures to activate everything, which means the familiar visual symbols that help us navigate and understand the world are disappearing.’

HSBC and Mastercard recently launched audio strategies to achieve brand recognition across physical, digital and voice touchpoints. Mastercard tapped musicians and artists from across the globe to record different versions of its aural stamp for use in different situations. HSBC meanwhile continued its brand promise ‘Together we thrive’, with its bespoke sound branding recorded in multiple edits, each being relevant to the 66 markets in which HSBC operates.

Look out for the full Sonic Identities microtrend here.

Sonos speaker in collaboration with Hay
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