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20 : 05 : 20

Ovolo’s socially distant hotel dining, recipes for responsible materials and Instagram celebrates kindness with #MonthofGood.

Ovolo’s luxury private dining experience

The Restaurant in Room Experience by Ovolo, Australia The Restaurant in Room Experience by Ovolo, Australia
The Restaurant in Room Experience by Ovolo, Australia The Restaurant in Room Experience by Ovolo, Australia
The Restaurant in Room Experience by Ovolo, Australia The Restaurant in Room Experience by Ovolo, Australia

Australia – Ovolo has launched a private dining experience in its Canberra branch, to allow visitors to safely dine outside of their homes.

The dining concept allows customers to have a change of scenery in one of the hotel’s rooms, while enjoying a three- or five-course set menu. Called the Restaurant in Room experience, it is currently available to book on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights for private dining only, or for both private dining and an overnight stay.

Launched in line with the nation’s gradual easing of restrictions, Ovolo branches in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are already set to follow Canberra’s offering. Vincent Lombino, food and beverage director of Ovolo Group, said: ‘We are even looking to collaborate with our creative culinary partner Ian Curley from French Saloon at Ovolo Laneways in Melbourne and even one step further working with our fellow restaurateurs to potentially do pop-up Restaurants In Room.’

The travel industry has been particularly hard hit by Covid-19, and brands that are able to responsibly cater for demands for escapism and new experiences are likely to resonate with consumers.

A cookbook for creating biomaterials

The Chemarts Cookbook by Aalto University, Finland The Chemarts Cookbook by Aalto University, Finland
The Chemarts Cookbook by Aalto University, Finland The Chemarts Cookbook by Aalto University, Finland

Finland – Aalto University in Finland has created a cookbook to allow people to experiment with and create their own plant- and wood-based biomaterials.

The Chemarts Cookbook takes readers through four sections, allowing people to gain a better understanding of where materials come from as well as learn about their own material usage. Encompassing different themes, including hard, soft, flexible, transparent and printed materials, as well as paper-making and fibre-making, the ‘recipes’ are intended to be both informative and enjoyable to make.

Created to educate and draw attention to some of the current issues with common materials, Chemarts hopes to inspire engagement in a more circular economy. Pirjo Kääriäinen, editor of the cookbook, says: ‘The world might become digitalised, but our need for materials will not disappear; they will nurture us, cover us, comfort us, delight us and keep us alive.’

In Material Far Futures, we explore how innovators are using transformative techniques to turn environmental excess into valuable new resources.

Instagram #MonthofGood celebrates young believers

Global – Instagram has launched a #MonthofGood initiative to celebrate the month of Ramadan and inspire a sense of community.

Recognising that the arrival of Ramadan in 2020 is unusual and challenging for many people, the platform is encouraging reflection and connection with friends and family – even if we can’t physically be together. Introducing the hashtag #MonthofGood to encourage Instagram users to share their acts of good, the platform has also compiled a document of ideas around how to spread kindness.

Instagram has also introduced an AR Ramadan Lantern effect, featuring iconography associated with Ramadan. With over 2bn people observing Ramadan – making it one of the biggest cultural moments of the year – the platform recognised the opportunity to help its community come together and connect.

As we explore in Young Believers, religious rituals are being adapted to suit the changing behaviours associated with faith.

#MonthofGood by Instagram #MonthofGood by Instagram

Stat: Americans less likely to use public transport post-pandemic

Lime scooter, US Lime scooter, US

A study by IBM has revealed that nearly 20% of Americans who regularly used buses, subways or trains before the Covid-19 pandemic said they would no longer do so.

Meanwhile, another 28% said they were likely to use public transport less often. The ride-sharing industry is also set to be hit hard, with more than half of ride-sharing app users planning to use these services less or to stop completely.

‘There are long-term implications of the new consumer behaviour for industries like retail, transport and travel among others. These organisations need to quickly adapt their business models to serve the new consumer behaviour in order to survive and thrive,’ explains Jesus Mantas, senior managing partner at IBM Global Business Services.

Post-Covid-19, consumers will be increasingly conscious of their Urban Wellness and the ways they can remain safe while navigating through cities.

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