US – Architecture practice Superficium Studio has conceptualised a modifiable commune for the biohacker community.
The speculative BioHacker’s Residence is envisaged for Utah’s Red Rock desert. The remote shared space is designed to offer privacy for visiting biohackers to explore and self-administer processes to enhance and advance their physical beings, such as 3D organic printing and gene editing technology.
Superficium Studio in turn speculates that the architecture itself will be organic and regenerative, with components that can be repurposed or replaced with bio-integrated materials grown by the residents.
Recognising that gene editing 'lies on the cusps of legality and morality', the space would offer visitors comfort by being programmable to suit their needs, while its communal areas and living spaces are designed to physically unite residents to discuss and explore their desire for self-improvement.
In a similar vein, our macrotrend Enlightened States explores how future consumers will seek to re-engineer their intelligence by hacking their emotive states to better deal with life’s challenges.
Germany and Italy – Apparel brand Closed has introduced its first fully biodegradable stretch denim collection.
Created in partnership with denim supplier Candiani, the biodegradable fabric – dubbed Coreva – is the result of a five-year internal research and development process. Coreva will be used for Closed's new sustainable garment line, A Better Blue, with the brand also exploring biodegradable buttons, yarns and labels.
As part of this development, Closed hopes to replace metal buttons and studs with vegetable corozo alternatives dyed with natural indigo, while the brand’s logo will be lasered on to its jeans in place of a leather patch. Simon Giuliani, Candiani’s global marketing director, explains: ‘There’s no plastics involved, no heavy metals, no toxicity and there’s composability, which means that we’re also testing to use the scraps to grow new cotton in order to really close the loop.’
Looking ahead, fashion brands will continue to explore materials that allow garments to be disposed of with little environmental impact. For more, look out for our fashion article exploring new directions for bio-positive materials.
An Ikea store designed specifically for New Yorkers
Ikea small store by Ikea, Queens, New York
New York – Swedish furniture brand Ikea is tuning into hyper-local needs with a smaller store format that accounts for the limited living space of most New Yorkers.
The Ikea Queens store is located in a local shopping mall and sells specifically selected home furnishings to suit the average apartment size in the borough.
Interior displays in the store portray smaller rooms and present products in a way that give Queens residents cues on how to optimise their space at home. Considerations to local shoppers’ lifestyles are also made, with the store located close to public transport, while larger Ikea goods can be delivered anywhere in New York for a flat rate. Recognising current health restrictions, customers can use self-pay services or book shopping appointments in advance.
‘Every detail was created with the unique needs of New Yorkers in mind, from the proximity to public transportation and delivery and assembly options, to the wide product range curated specifically to meet their dynamic lifestyles,' says Shahab Mollaei, market manager at Ikea Queens.
Our upcoming article Micro-mmunity Retail will further examine why global brands are downscaling from large format flagship stores to smaller neighbourhood shops.
Stat: Cheese still tempts Britain’s new vegans
0% Food by XK Studio
While many Britons are going vegan for Veganuary in 2021, most consider cheese to be the food item they will miss the most if switching to a full-time vegan diet.
Research by Elmlea Plant and OnePoll shows that 56% of British people would struggle to stick to a diet without cheese. The dairy item topped a list of 40 foods that people say they would struggle to resist on a vegan diet.
A further one in six say they would miss pepperoni on their pizza and nearly a quarter would not want to go without cream. Other foods proving hard to let go include roast chicken, and British favourites like fish and chips and bacon sandwiches.
Positively, seven in 10 adults agreed it is easier than ever to get hold of vegan products, while for vegan or plant-based food brands taste is everything: 39% would be more inclined to buy vegan products if they couldn’t taste the difference between them and animal-derived foodstuffs.
With this in mind, plant-based brands should consider how to innovate products, flavour profiles and marketing to make alternative food and drink products more appealing to a mass audiences.