News 11.05.2020

Need to Know: Covid-19

Continue to navigate Covid-19 with confidence. A round-up of LS:N Global’s latest articles, opinions, and future-gazing scenarios in response to the outbreak.

Future-gaze: Pandemic Proof Properties

Cloud Housing by Lucia Tahan demonstrates a future in which the home will be transformed into a platform for digital content.
Cloud Housing by Lucia Tahan demonstrates a future in which the home will be transformed into a platform for digital content.
Cloud Housing by Lucia Tahan demonstrates a future in which the home will be transformed into a platform for digital content.

Living through the 2020 lockdown, it's become clear that the lack of space in our residential homes poses a risk to both our physical and mental wellbeing. In this excerpt from our latest Scenario, we forecast how the design of our future homes and interiors will strengthen human wellbeing.

‘In 2030, living spaces support our physical and mental wellbeing. Antimicrobial paints and finishes are common throughout home interiors. Frank Chou’s sterilisation lamps are also found in every house since he collaborated with Ikea on a whole collection.

‘Open plan living is actively discouraged. Our Woods Bagot AD-APT interior means we can reconfigure our apartment into spaces that seal shut – especially desirable if my housemate happens to get sick. That's where the Iso-room comes in. Most new homes have these now after developers and big pharma struck up partnerships to encourage at-home recuperation, in light of the NHS being sold off to Chinese and American corporations back in 2024.

‘We use our Iso-room a few times a year. It's kitted out with everything you might need for two or three weeks alone: a temperature-controlled bed to help you ride out fevers, a VR headset to immerse yourself in multi-sensory meditation or a group chat with your mates. You can order personalised meals too – I usually choose something to support my immune system in line with my annual epigenetics test.’

To envisage how our homes and interiors could evolve by 2030, dive into Pandemic Proof Properties.

Read: Urban Wellness Market

The Tide at Greenwich Peninsula, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, London The Tide at Greenwich Peninsula, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, London
Parc de la Distance by Precht Parc de la Distance by Precht

The Urban Wellness Market explores the reawakening of Wellness Architecture, as people reappraise what it means to be well in towns and cities. Post-Covid-19, citizens will demand higher levels of collective urban health. ‘Covid-19 awakens us to an alternative, truer reality: each of us in our home ecosystems is part of an interconnected system that we have the power to change,’ says James Rogers, CEO at Apeel Sciences.

With the possibility of social distancing in place until 2022, according to Harvard researchers, urban planners must consider how a more dispersed city can thrive. In the Urban Wellness Market, we unpack how city streets and parks could evolve to support social distancing and the wellbeing of citizens who are anxious about time spent in public spaces.

Potential future sanctuaries such as Studio Precht’s maze-like park will guide visitors on 20-minute solitary walks, with only person entering each lane at a time, while Shift’s Hyperlocal Micromarket proposes a low-risk street food market that allows people to shop local and remain safe.

Examine the opportunities that lie ahead for our streets and public spaces in the full Urban Wellness Market.

Consider: What lies in store for retail post-Covid-19

In a recent interview with Jeff Kindleysides, founder of design studio Checkland Kindleysides, we discuss the impact of the pandemic on retail, from the future of experiential stores to consumers' shifting buying habits and appropriate brand communications.

‘For retailers, Covid-19 is an opportunity to build new bonds with customers, and create new connections ready for when they re-open,’ Kindleysides tells LS:N Global. ‘Community is currently happening at home; retailers can tap into this by changing the role of sellers to entertainers to create deeper personal engagement, using live commerce or creating wonder and intrigue.’

Looking ahead, Kindleysides states that physical retail needs to be more agile and less structured, and anticipates a re-appreciation of slow culture and local community retail.

‘Future store environments need to be full of wonder, fuelling discovery, learning and falling in love with things,’ he says. ‘We will need to think in terms of a collective of people and places, brands, products, emotions and fulfilment, which has no boundaries and is intensely agile. Covid-19 has been a catalyst for innovation.

Consider what lies ahead for physical retail – read the full interview here.

Slowear18 by Slowear, Milan, an integrated concept store merging retail, theatrics and a bar experience for better customer service and connection

Discuss: The productivity paradox of self-isolation

Working From Home Fits by wfhfits, Instagram Working From Home Fits by wfhfits, Instagram

Penned by foresight writer Abi Buller, our most-read Opinion piece in recent weeks questions whether brands spouting self-improvement and productivity during Covid-19 are actually doing more harm than good.

‘With global societies having to navigate new ways of living and working, the sudden constant pressure to be tuned in and logged on is – among some – aggravating feelings of underachievement and low self-worth,' Buller writes.

‘While initial reactions to the slower way of living brought on by Covid-19 tapped into opportunities for self-reflection, productivity-toting brand activations and spiralling social media chatter concerning sourdough and spring cleans are heightening people’s anxiety. This is being compounded by the wellness industry, as invitations to disconnect and unwind manifest in an increasing number of services for practising mindfulness and self-care.

'But while live-streamed yoga and wholesome baking tutorials seek to quell feelings of unease, this content also risks placing unnecessary pressure on people who wouldn’t ordinarily engage in these activities – or have the means to do so. Only those who can afford to be bored right now can, in turn, be productive in the ways brands' marketers want them to be.’

Read the full Opinion piece and open up discussions with your team as to whether brands should now work towards new metrics of productivity and success.

Covid-19 Series

In a time of international chaos, follow LS:N Global's Covid-19 Series for regular case studies, insights and innovations, and the steps businesses can take to champion new scenarios and build future-fit strategies to turn today's uncertainty into action.

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