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20 : 03 : 20

A lush lagoon in urban Taiwan, testosterone-led male medicare from Vault Health and China’s CO2 levels decrease as a result of Covid-19.

Tainan Spring is a lagoon for Taiwanese city-dwellers

Tainan Spring by MVRDV, Taiwan Tainan Spring by MVRDV, Taiwan
Tainan Spring by MVRDV, Taiwan Tainan Spring by MVRDV, Taiwan
Tainan Spring by MVRDV, Taiwan Tainan Spring by MVRDV, Taiwan

Taiwan – Architecture studio MVRDV has transformed an unused shopping centre into Tainan Spring, a sunken park and public pool.

Described as a ‘lush lagoon’, the project has r-worked the vacant Chinatown mall as part of plans to rejuvenate the area. Combining a lagoon for families to play and lounge in, as well as plants, playgrounds, gathering spaces and arcades, MVRDV has retained some of the existing architecture of the mall.

Built into the shopping centre’s former underground car park, the Tainan Spring aims to demonstrate how unused facilities can be transformed into more beneficial public spaces. Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV, says: ‘In Tainan Spring, people can bathe in the overgrown remains of a shopping mall. Inspired by the history of the city, both the original jungle and the water were important sources of inspiration.’

While cityscapes were initially built to facilitate a growth-centric system, as we shift towards a Post-growth Society new models are emerging and redfining consumption.

A testosterone-led approach to male wellbeing

Vault Health, US Vault Health, US
Vault Health, US Vault Health, US

US – Vault Health is introducing a telemedicine service for Generation X men, offering testosterone-led treatments for overall wellbeing.

Targeting issues such as sex drive, sleep and mental clarity, Vault offers a series of monthly medical plans built from testosterone therapy, as well as kits that target more specific health concerns. Targeting Generation X men, the brand uses accessible, offbeat communication combined with clear medical explanations.

Tapping into the rise of Certified Wellness, Vault is initially launching with more than 100 nurses and doctors on its books to provide a seamless brand experience. After signing up, customers receive an in-person examination and blood tests, after which a personalised treatment plan is delivered to their door, supported by ongoing virtual check-ups.

With many men lacking education about their hormones, Vault Health hopes to raise awareness of the body’s natural decline in testosterone levels, encouraging more open conversation in order to normalise men's common health issues.

Like Hims and Ro, Vault is helping to change the rhetoric on Modern Male Medicare, providing products and services to further destigmatise visits to the doctor.

Covid-19: JD.com takes clubbing online for self-isolators

China – E-commerce giant JD.com is collaborating with a series of alcohol brands to create a virtual nightclub experience for self-isolators.

Each week, JD.com will host a three-hour show with musicians from local record label Taihe Music, allowing people in isolation to enjoy a virtual night out.

Elevating the experience, a series of alcohol brands including Budweiser, Rémy Martin, Carlsberg and Pernod Ricard, are offering alcohol deliveries tied to the service – and have already experienced an increase in alcohol sales of almost 70% and 40% during some shows.

Launched to combat the negative impact of staying inside for long periods, the project is intended to continue as a long-term programme to enrich JD.com’s retail experience, with plans to open up the offering to categories beyond liquor.

‘By combining the online shopping experience and entertainment, JD not only provides customers with a new way to shop but also drives sales for liquor brands that are affected by the shutdown of offline channels,’ says Rachel Liu, a spokesperson for JD.com.

With brands and consumers feeling challenged by the impact of Covid-19, concepts such as this highlight the potential for live-streamed retailtainment.

JD.com and Taihe Music, China

Stat: China’s CO2 emissions fall amid Covid-19 lockdown

According to China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the average number of good-quality air days in China’s Hubei province increased by 21.5% in February 2020, compared to the same month last year.

As reported by CNN, across China, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions released by burning fossil fuels such as coal have fallen by at least 25% because of measures taken by the country to contain the Covid-19 coronavirus, according to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).

China accounts for 30% of the world’s CO2 emissions annually, which means the overall global impact is significant even for a short period, with CREA estimating that China's reduction is the equivalent of 200m tons of carbon dioxide.

As we explore in our Smog Life series, the air we breathe is a growing consumer concern, with businesses and brands innovating to tackle the negative effects of pollution in urban enclaves.

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