News 22.10.2019

Need to Know

Artet encourages a slower approach to intoxication, Neo Fruit makes nutrition sensorial and why this holiday season will be defined by responsible retail.

Dutch Design Week 2019: Shape-shifting materials

Re:flex
Re:flex
Re:flex

Eindhoven – New customisable materials offer a glimpse of a transformative future.

Despite the fact that engineers and designers have long carried out a broad range of research into shape-shifting materials, they are still far from reaching mainstream use. The designers of re:flex are aiming to speed up that process and have developed a shape memory composite that can change its form through heat. Manufactured more cheaply than any of its predecessors, re:flex can be implemented on a large scale and be easily transformed at low temperatures.

One of the key ideas behind re:flex is to allow materials and objects to be highly customisable to suit users’ needs. While still in development, the designers see it being implemented in transport, architecture, product design and healthcare. These kinds of smart materials offer the possibility of truly responsive products and interactive environments.

Read more about self-assembling materials in our Programmable Realities macrotrend. For more on how smart materials will configure and change shape when confronted with a change in environment, also read our Skylar Tibbits Viewpoint.

Artet infuses the aperitif category with cannabis

Artet Artet
Artet Artet

New York – The zero-proof drink is crafted for slow sipping over an aperitif hour.

Artet is created from a new family recipe inspired by ‘the overlap between the social cultures of the Italian aperitif hour and passing a joint between friends’. The drink is non-alcoholic and uses a precisely dosed recipe of 2.5mg of THC distillate blended with botanicals, terpenes and spices.

The focus of Artet is to encourage slow sipping in order to refresh the mind, mood and palate. However, the drink lends itself to recipes such as a Tet and Tonic and Artet Spritz. ‘Our mission from the start has been to be the premier cannabis brand to go to on the bar cart, in your liquor cabinet and, in time, behind the bar,’ explains co-founder Xander Shepherd.

The brand also recognises the privileged position of being part of a new era of legal cannabis consumption in the US, supporting initiatives to correct the injustices of those subjected to unfair sentences related to cannabis. For more on how drinks brands are offering elixirs for those seeking alternative forms of intoxication, read our microtrend.

The fruits of the future could be artificial

Neo-fruit by Meydan Levy
Neo-fruit by Meydan Levy
Neo-fruit by Meydan Levy

Jerusalem – NeoFruit is a speculative project that imagines how common fruits will adapt to our future lifestyle.

Designed by Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design graduate Meydan Levy, the project explores how an industrialised food sector has left us with food that is lacking in nutritional value and bereft of experience. With agricultural methods reaching growing demand by using chemical enhancers and genetic modification, there is an opportunity for future foods that re-invent the concept of supplements.

Levy has designed future fruits that target our modern lifestyles while providing a psychologically sensual dining experience. Artificially produced, the NeoFruits not only provide the varied nutritional qualities that contemporary food brands have neglected, but also a vital sensory experience that is missing from the supplement industry today.

The project takes a more speculative look at how food systems are changing to reach growing demand, in turn diversifying what we eat.

Stat: Responsible retail hits this holiday season

US shoppers are looking to shop with more socially conscious retailers this holiday season, according to a new report by Accenture. The 13th annual Holiday Shopping Survey found that Americans expect to spend an average of £490 ($637, €570) on holiday shopping in 2019. However, they are swapping excess and next-day shipping for environmental responsibility.

Half of respondents said that they would opt for delivery options with a lower environmental impact, such as slower shipping or in-store pick-up. Meanwhile, 45% said they are more likely to shop with retailers that address wider social issues through their business practices and working conditions.

This Christmas, retailers must create a more socially sustainable shopping culture. For more, read our interview with slow retail expert Rebekah Matheny.

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