Need to Know
15 : 09 : 21

Yuri Suzuki’s sound playground unites Londoners, Lumo offers green rail travel to the masses and luxury shoppers opt for unbranded jewellery.

This installation connects strangers through sound

Sonic Bloom by Yuri Suzuki, UK
Sonic Bloom by Yuri Suzuki, UK
Sonic Bloom by Yuri Suzuki, UK

London – Artist Yuri Suzuki is connecting London residents and visitors through an interactive public installation. The sculptural activation, Sonic Bloom, in Mayfair’s Brown Hart Gardens invites passers-by to speak into its colourful horn shapes for others to listen to from another area of the installation. It also captures surrounding sounds such as birdsong and rustling leaves.

To complement the activation, a web portal – launching as part of the London Design Festival – will transform voice recordings into floral animations that will populate a map of Mayfair. Through the multi-sensory installation, Sonic Bloom creates a sense of community in what would typically be an impersonal, busy urban space. ‘We aim to encourage connections with friends and strangers, creating serendipitous audible moments that create a sense of community, shared creative ground and sociability,’ says Yuri Suzuki.

The installation's Mayfair location also reflects the ideas we explore within Equilibrium Cities, with urban centres integrating Blended Cultural Realms to entice people back to central districts for human interactions.

Strategic opportunity

Tap into emotional cues as a way of encouraging footfall in city centres. And while some audiences remain wary of physical touch, focus on sound, scent and taste as sensory cues to inform experiential spaces

Ancestral beauty spikes with prickly pear skincare

 Akermus, Canada  Akermus, Canada
 Akermus, Canada  Akermus, Canada

Canada and Morocco – Skincare brand Akermus is centred around prickly pear seed oil – an ancestral ingredient with topical benefits. Derived from the seeds of the fruit that grow on a prickly pear cactus, the oil acts as a powerful antioxidant, soothes inflammation and stimulates collagen production. When designing the brand, designer and art director Mahmoud Ismail studied traditions of Indigenous communities – primarily taking inspiration from Morocco’s Amazigh culture.

The Akermus aesthetic and messaging focus on the importance of simplicity in cultural skincare customs. By studying many traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation, Akermus wanted to deliver a natural product that honours the collective knowledge of the free people, explains the brand in a press release.

By creating a natural product informed by North African heritage, Akermus shows how a beauty brand can be created in a way that celebrates ancestral rituals and ingredients.

Strategic opportunity

Take inspiration from Akermus and create products focusing on a single ingredient. Be sure to capture heritage ingredients and philosophies in a way that champions cultural nuances without appropriating them

Lumo makes sustainable rail travel wallet-friendly

UK – While many travellers choose to fly between the English and Scottish capitals, transport company FirstGroup is making rail travel more accessible with the launch of a new service called Lumo. The rail service, which will begin operations in October, provides a low-carbon travel option at an affordable cost – with 60% of the seats on Lumo trains costing £30 ($41, 35) or less.

Lumo will promote its green credentials by offering carbon calculations to passengers and a wide selection of plant-based catering options. By providing such a service, FirstGroup aligns with a growing interest in rail travel as an alternative to flying. Travelling in the UK should not cost a fortune and it certainly shouldn’t be the planet that pays,’ says Helen Wylde, managing director of Lumo. We are empowering people to make green travel choices that are genuinely affordable without compromising on comfort.

Here, FirstGroup is catering for an increasingly mainstream audience of sustainable consumers – ensuring that opting for environmentally friendly travel is both cost-effective and convenient.

Lumo, UK

Strategic opportunity

As climate-conscious travel moves out of its niche, focus on affordability and marketing to introduce a wider demographic to the ease of sustainable transport options

Stat: Unbranded jewellery is a hit with next-gen luxurians

Dimepiece interview with Amrit Sidhu
Dimepiece interview with Amrit Sidhu

When it comes to high-value jewellery purchases, luxury shoppers are looking to express their unique personal style by opting for unbranded pieces, highlighting how young shoppers are premiumising anonymity.

According to The RealReal’s annual luxury report – which charts the state of luxury resale among its global members – the most sought-after high-value brand of the year, second only to Chanel, is actually no brand at all, it's unbranded jewellery. Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Hermès complete the top five. Within the unbranded category, the most popular purchases were cocktail rings, link bracelets, pendant necklaces and drop earrings.

With traditional pillars of luxury increasingly being redefined, social-first jewellery platforms like Dimepiece are taking a subversive approach in targeting Generation Z and Millennials. By tapping into the interests of younger audiences and merging high-end design with pop culture references, Dimepiece future-proofs the sector by prioritising personal expression over brand identity.

Strategic opportunity

Designer logos are no longer enough to court luxury shoppers. Through your products and marketing, shift the focus away from traditional brand heritage and towards future-facing storytelling that embraces unbranded personal style

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