News 04.11.2021

Need to Know

Therapeutic garments combining acupressure with movement, Mastercard’s touch-based inclusivity update and strong consumer interest in holiday travel.

These healing garments target acupressure points

The Healing Imprint by Laura Deschl
The Healing Imprint by Laura Deschl
The Healing Imprint by Laura Deschl

The Netherlands – Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Laura Deschl is exploring the potential for non-invasive acupressure to be integrated into activewear. Her project, The Healing Imprint, presents custom-knit, therapeutic garments that allow small massage balls to be inserted and moved onto specific acupressure points on the body, feet, hands and head.

The full project includes a body suit, gloves, socks and a pillow. Designed to be used in conjunction with exercise and movement such as yoga, this approach to healing is more intuitive. The garment is not only an interface for an individual to access embodied knowledge and self-awareness, but also represents how design can converge fields such as science, business, medicine, psychiatry and textile-making,’ says Deschl.

In an era of Synchronised Care, such projects show how innovations previously seen in Protective Performance Apparel can be reworked as solutions for aftercare and ongoing healing.

Strategic opportunity

Holistic wellbeing is a high priority for global consumers. Both wellness and fashion brands can therefore take cues from this project and consider ways of designing healthcare elements into textiles

The Author Clock brings literature to daily moments

The Author Clock by Mechanical Design Labs The Author Clock by Mechanical Design Labs
The Author Clock by Mechanical Design Labs The Author Clock by Mechanical Design Labs

Pasadena – The Author Clock uses quotes from novels to announce the time, transforming the digital clock into a discovery tool for contemporary and classic literature.

Creator Jose Cardona designed this home clock to present the time through literary paragraphs that mention specific moments throughout the day. Serving as both a literary archive and a conversation-starter, the clock aims to expose home-owners and their visitors to a broad range of genres, from contemporary novels to classic tales. ‘Our hope is that Author will help readers discover new books, authors and even genres,' explains Cardona.

As the product is meant to appeal to readers who enjoy the tactility of books, its simple design adheres to the unobtrusive principles of Discreet Tech. Combining a sustainably sourced white oak frame with two sizes of display – 4-inch or 7.5-inch – the Author Clock manages to evoke a more analogue aesthetic.

Strategic opportunity

When developing smart home technology, companies should consider not only their target audiences' interests, but how to make tech more discreet through design so that it can blend with their furnishings

Mastercard’s tactile update improves card accessibility

US – In a bid to expand its inclusivity efforts, the financial services company is introducing an accessible card standard to support blind and partially sighted people. Mastercard’s innovation, the Touch Card, includes a round notch for credit cards, a broad squarish notch for debit cards and a triangular notch for prepaid cards.

By adding these simple additions, Mastercard shows how existing designs can be updated to suit a broad range of consumers. This accessible card standard has also been developed to work with card machines and ATMs – ensuring it can be deployed at scale. The Touch Card will provide a greater sense of security, inclusivity and independence to the 2.2bn people around the world with visual impairments,says Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard.

As brands across sectors recognise the importance of designing inclusive everyday products, Mastercard is setting an example in the fintech sector by showing how its products and services can better cater for diverse audiences.

The Touch Card by Mastercard

Strategic opportunity

Brands across sectors should take inspiration from this update and use simple design cues to enable greater accessibility. Technology brands could easily integrate a tactile approach into hardware, for example, such as plugs or adapters

Stat: US consumers plan to travel more this holiday season

Trippin Trippin

As the holiday season approaches, a relaxation of restrictions and a rise in flexible working arrangements have led to greater consumer confidence in travel, with 47% of Americans are planning at least one festive holiday this year.

After a year of virtual gatherings and digital parties, new research by Amex shows that people are keen to return to physical events, with 44% of respondents planning to visit their family and friends in person this holiday season. What’s more, the research finds that 63% of consumers are willing to book a trip now even if they are forced to cancel it later.

New workplace policies play a significant role in this increased consumer desire for travel. Among employed respondents to Amex's study, 61% state that working from home gave them greater leeway to avoid busy travel days, while 57% said that it allowed them to extend their trip.

Eager to reclaim the normality denied by the pandemic and to take advantage of flexible workplace policies, consumers are re-embracing the face-to-face family connection, celebrating the principles of Togetherness Travel.

Strategic opportunity

Travel and hospitality companies should focus on friendship and family when creating campaigns this holiday season

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