Need to Know
26 : 02 : 21
A virtual home reflecting future visions of Black communities, a design agency’s energy efficient website and brands with a strong purpose are most memorable.
A virtual house imagining Black family life in 2025
US – The Obsidian Experience is a new virtual interior design concept set in Oakland in the year 2025, reflecting a future vision for domestic settings among Black communities.
Its design, by members of the Black Artists and Designers Guild (BADG), is a large-scale collaborative effort envisioning a creative expression of Black family life. Each participant in the project has contributed a room or design element to the house, with its purpose informed by the mental, physical and spiritual needs of Black families. Alongside futuristic meditation areas, dedicated spaces for hair styling and various outdoor areas, a Legacy Wall showcases the family’s ancestral history, visible from multiple locations across the house.
‘When Black people dream what do they dream about? This critical question has directed the programming, layout and detailing of every aspect of the house,’ comments Leyden Lewis and Nina Cooke, architectural designers for the Obsidian Experience.
As our lived environments face transformation and redefinition, the Obsidian Experience represents a form of design that embraces the future-thinking that is key to more autonomous, Equilibrium Cities.
Kulfi Beauty inspires self-expression for South Asians
Kulfi Beauty, NY
Kulfi Beauty, NY
New York – Cosmetics brand Kulfi Beauty, has launched a line of colourful kajal liners which takes cues from South Asian culture, aiming to shift South Asian beauty past its traditional roots.
Kulfi Beauty has taken kajal’s historical origin, warding off the evil eye, and modernises this philosophy for a younger and inclusive audience. The brand’s liners are available in five bright shades based off colours used for Indian ethnic wear. With product names like, purply pataka and cheeky chiku, the brand pays tribute to popular South Asian colloquialisms, reframing them for a global audience. In tandem, Kulfi’s campaign, ‘Nazar no more,’ symbolises averting the evil eye and male gaze in a playful way.
‘If you wore makeup [in South Asia], people would think you’re trying to attract male attention or you’re trying to look more fair,’ shares Priyanka Ganjoo, founder of Kulfi Beauty. ‘We want to change that conversation…yes, traditional kajal has been used to protect you from the evil eye, but it's also a tool of self-expression,’ she continues.
By framing their products as tools for self-expression, Kulfi Beauty is deconstructing Asian femininity.
A low-impact website taking visual cues from Wikipedia
Formafantasma website by Studio Blanco, Italy
Italy – Research-based design studio FormaFantasma has redesigned its website in order to decrease the carbon emissions produced while people browse its site.
The updated website, designed with agency Studio Blanco, takes a stripped-back approach, visually influenced by Wikipedia. Features of the website include smaller images, basic typefaces, a dark mode and a logo created from type-based symbols like Unicode characters. Combined, this reduces the time it takes for the page load on computers and smartphones, therefore lowering FormaFantasma’s digital carbon footprint. This extends to the site’s host, GreenGeeks which uses renewable energy to power its servers.
FormaFantasma’s website redesign ‘started from a personal urgency and questions we had about pollution connected to the internet,’ explains Andrea Trimarchi, founder of the agency. ‘We felt it was an excellent design task to use new, more sustainable parameters as limitations for the website,’ he adds.
To cut online carbon emissions, brands are simplifying websites to make them more energy efficient. For more, discover Low-Impact Interfaces.
Stat: Purpose-driven brands are most memorable among consumers
Homecoming and Browns
Companies who show a strong sense of purpose are most likely to have a memorable impact on consumers, with people increasingly making purchases that align with their values.
A small study by communication firm Porter Novelli reveals that 78% of consumers are more likely to remember a company with a strong purpose, while the same percentage are also more likely to want to work for such a company. This mindset also extends to consumers’ sense of loyalty. Some 72% of respondents are likely to remain loyal to a company with a strong purpose – and the same percentage say they would be willing to forgive the company if it made a mistake.
With the study methodology requiring participants to respond in a short time, the researchers were able to uncover the ‘subconscious associations that consumers have with brands and their attributes’.
While companies are increasingly pushing back against traits like greenwashing, a wave of Post-purpose Brands are connecting with customers through long-term initiatives and a focus on betterment.
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