Europe – Architecture studio Borstein Lyckefors has designed a series of restaurants in Sweden and Denmark that centre around the game pétanque.
Pétanque, a French game similar to boules, is typically played outdoors, but the Boulebar spaces bring the game into an indoor hospitality environment. The restaurants, each with their own design aesthetic, contain a large gravel area for play, alongside spaces for meals, coffee or cocktails.
To recreate the setting of a park, the spaces feature trees in large pots, bench-style seats and playful details such as a bar mimicking an ice cream stand and a set of swings. ‘Today, [Boulebar] fits well within a larger trend of the hospitality industry where people tend to combine food and drink with activities such as bowling, table tennis and shuffle board,’ says architect Johan Olsson.
While traditional eatertainment venues are traditionally associated with children or budget dining, Boulebar introduces an element of luxury to the experience.
Natalist redesigns fertility essentials
San Francisco – The women’s health start-up has launched a bundle of products for consumers trying to get pregnant.
Natalist’s monthly Get Pregnant Bundle is a curated collection of science-backed essentials to support conception. Each bundle includes seven ovulation tests, three pregnancy tests, a one-month supply of prenatal vitamins and omega fatty acids, as well as a book about conceiving. With its sleek, evidence-based approach, the brand aims to reduce the shame and misinformation surrounding conception, while modernising outdated product offerings.
‘When I was struggling to get pregnant, I couldn’t get the answers I needed, found shopping for pre-conception products uncomfortable, and felt isolated and disconnected from my body,’ says Halle Tecco, Natalist founder and CEO. ‘Only after talking to other women, I realised this was a shared experience that needed to be re-invented for everyone.’
By demystifying fertility for consumers, Natalist joins the ranks of Life-stage Brands.
London Underground will soon heat nearby homes
London – A new scheme will soon heat hundreds of homes and businesses in the London borough of Islington.
Named Bunhill 2, the heat network is a partnership between Islington Council, Transport for London and engineering group Ramboll, and is considered the first of its kind in Europe. The source of the heat network is a ventilator shaft in the disused City Road underground station, which captures excess heat and transfers this into Islington’s heat and hot water systems.
The new system – set to be launched by the end of 2019 – aims to make London more energy self-sufficient, cut carbon emissions and reduce heating bills for local residents. ‘We believe that the use of large-scale heat in this way connected to urban district heating systems will play a major part in decarbonising the UK's heating energy demand,’ says Lucy Padfield, director of district heating at Ramboll.
Explore our Renewable Energy Market for more on the energy-efficient initiatives being launched by brands and councils alike.
Transport for London, UK
Stat: Connectivity is broadening consumers’ horizons
Smartphones and social media are changing social interactions in emerging economics, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The study, which gathered insights from respondents in 11 nations, suggests that smartphone and social media use are facilitating greater diversity in people’s social networks.
For example, 54% of Mexican smartphone users regularly interact with people who support different political parties, compared with just 30% of those without smartphones. They are also more likely to interact with people of different income levels and people of different racial or ethnic groups.
As younger consumers continue to embrace these channels, brands will need to consider how communications are evolving in emerging markets such as Mexico. For more, read our Emerging Youth: Mexico Market.