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23 : 10 : 19

Humans could hibernate to reduce their planetary impact, Shackleton Whisky champions Britain’s rural escapes, and home rental hits a peak in the US.

Dutch Design Week 2019: Philips Design envisages human hibernation

Hiber Nation
Hiber Nation
Hiber Nation

Eindhoven – Philips Design has used its appearance at Dutch Design Week to imagine what healthcare could look like in 2050.

Presented at the city’s Embassy of Health, Philips has teamed up with students from various universities to imagine scenarios for the future of healthcare. Its resulting research and design concepts were produced using a methodology that encompasses Philips’ different guiding philosophies, potential geological developments and possible future socio-economic paradigms, with the aim of getting visitors to think about emerging futures in healthcare.

The designers behind its Hiber Nation project propose a future in which humans sleep for three months straight to reduce our impact on the environment. In this yearly hibernation, body temperature is kept low and the metabolism is slowed down, causing people to enter what Philips terms Therapeutic Hypothermia.

A second possible future product from Philips, Green Walks, proposes an AI avatar bracelet that gives plants a voice to lure people outside to improve physical and mental wellbeing. For more on how health-conscious consumers are adapting their lifestyle choices to be more measured, explore the Foresight section of Conscious Deceleration.

Shackleton Whisky is encouraging off-grid adventures

Shackleton Whisky Off The Grid initiative Shackleton Whisky Off The Grid initiative
Shackleton Whisky Off The Grid initiative Shackleton Whisky Off The Grid initiative

UK – The premium whisky has created an interactive map that urges the public to head outdoors and undertake a digital detox.

Shackleton Whisky, a brand from Whyte & Mackay, is spotlighting the UK’s most picturesque rural areas, including Scottish lochs, Lake District caves and forests in Dorset. The areas are purposefully intended to provide an off-grid experience for consumers, because most will struggle to find phone service and online connectivity in these regions.

As part of the campaign, the brand is working to protect Creeside Farm in Galloway Forest Park – one of the UK’s most popular offline spots – from the introduction of 3G, 4G and 5G networks in the area. ‘As the world gets more hectic, these places have become real offline sanctuaries for people. This initiative sets out to celebrate and protect them, helping consumers have proper adventures,’ says Kenny Nicholson, head of modern spirits at Shackleton Whisky.

An increasing number of premium brands are placing themselves in the centre of a movement that celebrates the luxury of finding tranquility and immersion in nature. Read our microtrend The Elevated Outdoors for more.

Lidl customers can open an at-home micromarket

Lidl micromarket

Sweden – The supermarket’s latest campaign invites loyal customers to open a Lidl shop in their own home.

The campaign encourages Lidl shoppers to request their own Micomarket box, which contains items to help them set up their own dinner party using Lidl products. The box includes fresh food for a three-course dinner, Lidl-branded workwear and baseball caps, store signs and even a Spotify album featuring the store’s soundtrack.

Targeting loyal fans of the supermarket, known as ‘Lidlers', the campaign encourages shoppers to convert sceptical friends into Lidl customers. ‘Lidl Micromarket means that Lidlers, our best friends and brand ambassadors, will have the opportunity to promote our brand in a memorable, quirky and fun way,’ says Bella Goldman, head of marketing at Lidl Sweden.

In this way, Lidl is tapping into our Community Commerce macrotrend, which explores how decentralised retail concepts are transforming the act of shopping and turning customers into brand representatives.

Stat: New households are bolstering US home rental

Rented apartment occupancy is at a near-record level in the US, with occupancy rates sitting at 96.3% according to new statistics from real estate analysts RealPage.

The insights, focused on Q3 of 2019, reveal apartment demand has pushed annual rent growth up by 3%, with average monthly rent in the US reaching $1,416 (£1,080, €1,255). According to RealPage, such accelerated demand for rental properties is the result of warmer weather and ‘new household formation’, alongside a limited number of renters becoming home buyers.

As explored in our Millennial Money Market, the desire to keep up with certain lifestyles has caused some younger consumers to slide into debt. Now, however, analysts say they are aiming to offset the expense of urban living with home rental in sometimes less desirable districts. As Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research at America’s National Association of Realtors, says: ‘Housing costs are rising and rising. Rents outpacing income growth is evidently forcing some to seek [apartments] in affordable areas – even at the psychic costs of not being near the happening area and likely longer commuting costs.’

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