News 22.04.2021

Need to Know

The Design Museum uses groceries to spotlight creativity, a public pavilion for collective healing and Chinese women buy homes at a higher rate than men.

This supermarket sells creativity as a daily essential

The Design Museum in collaboration with Camille Walala and Bombay Sapphire, London
The Design Museum in collaboration with Camille Walala and Bombay Sapphire, London
The Design Museum in collaboration with Camille Walala and Bombay Sapphire, London

London – The Design Museum has opened an artist-led supermarket to address the importance of creativity in our daily lives.

Seizing on the fact that non-essential retail has re-opened in the UK, the pop-up Supermarket promotes the message that creativity should be as accessible to the public as groceries. Created in collaboration with artist Camille Walala and gin brand Bombay Sapphire, the colourful store features repackaged ‘essentials’ such as tea, coffee, bread and toilet paper, each featuring limited-edition label artworks designed by a group of emerging artists.

‘Our high streets, museums and galleries have been hit hard by the pandemic; this is an opportunity to get people back to enjoying our cultural institutions safely and creatively,’ says Tim Marlow, director and CEO of The Design Museum. Proceeds from the supermarket's sales will go to the museum’s Emerging Designer Access Fund – a scheme that enables burgeoning design talent to access its events and exhibitions free of charge.

This installation is an example of how an institution affected by the pandemic can take cues from – or playfully subvert – other sectors. For more, explore LS:N Global’s Inter-covid Roadmap.

Illuminated inflatables invite the public to breathe

Breathing Pavilion by Ekene Ijeoma, Brooklyn Breathing Pavilion by Ekene Ijeoma, Brooklyn
Breathing Pavilion by Ekene Ijeoma, Brooklyn Breathing Pavilion by Ekene Ijeoma, Brooklyn

Brooklyn – In light of the past 12 months, artist Ekene Ijeoma is encouraging the public to engage in a meditative experience as a form of collective healing.

Through his Breathing Pavilion installation Ijeoma invites members of the public to pause and breathe along with the pulsating lights of illuminated inflatables. The artwork is formed as a 30-feet circle of 20 columns, acting as an immersive sanctuary for reflection and reprieve. Its motive to encourage more mindful breathing is a response to the pressure and trauma of both the global pandemic and continued systemic racial injustices.

‘Between the ongoing struggles in the racial and political movements in the US and the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to find the time and space to breathe deeply and rest well,’ says Ijeoma. ‘Until then… this pavilion is here to invite the public to breathe into the change within each of us, in synch with one another.’

As we explore in the Urban Wellness Market, citizens are re-appraising wellness and demanding healthier civic spaces.

Aero lets luxurians safely take flight again

US – Aero is a luxury semi-private jet service offering a safe and exclusive form of travel in the inter-Covid period.

The company, launched by the co-founder of Uber, offers a single route between Los Angeles and Aspen, and operates in keeping with travel restrictions. Available to book for £900 ($1,250, €1,040) per flight, each Aero trip includes a kerbside greeting, a white-glove luggage service and private transfers complete with refreshments. This elevated experience also extends to the airport, with passengers arriving at a private terminal just 30 minutes before departure. To maintain health and safety standards, guests are required to take a pre-flight Covid-19 test and sit socially distanced on board.

Uma Subramanian, CEO of Aero, says: ‘We want guests to start enjoying their vacation experience even before they get on the plane, from the private lounge to the bespoke-designed plane.’

While the travel sector remains largely grounded, services like Aero are catering for the desire for Anti-social Sanctuaries, which allow affluent consumers to enjoy private, pandemic-safe excursions.

Aero, US

Stat: Home-buying in China rises among women

Xiong'an New City by Guallart Architects, China Xiong'an New City by Guallart Architects, China

Women in China are buying homes at a higher rate than their male counterparts, finds a study by the Shell Research Institute.

Its annual report shows that Chinese women accounted for 47% of home purchases in 30 key cities in 2020. By comparison, in 2016 only 14% of women in urban areas owned homes under their names. This shift is particularly apparent among younger consumers, with women aged under 24 and those aged 25–29 representing the largest contributors to China's property market.

The research also shows that women over 50 remain the most likely home-buyers in China, owing to wealth they have accumulated during their lifetimes. Meanwhile, the process of home-buying is also evolving among couples in China – today, 60% of women say they have played a key role in a purchase.

These findings reflect the growing wealth of women in the region as younger Chinese consumers reject traditional norms of marriage and property ownership.

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