Need to Know
22 : 11 : 21

Hyundai electrifies its sedan for nostalgic drivers, Sir John Soane’s Museum experiments with time travel and social inequality is now our largest concern.

Hyundai goes ‘newtro’ with electric car concept

Hyundai Heritage Series Grandeur, South Korea Hyundai Heritage Series Grandeur, South Korea
Hyundai Heritage Series Grandeur, South Korea Hyundai Heritage Series Grandeur, South Korea
Hyundai Heritage Series Grandeur, South Korea Hyundai Heritage Series Grandeur, South Korea

Seoul – Pushing a new direction in nostalgia, car-maker Hyundai has re-imagined its iconic Grandeur model, creating an electric car fit for future-facing lifestyles.

Turning the boxy sedan into a more flexible lifestyle vehicle, the 35th anniversary edition of the Grandeur replaces dials and buttons on the dashboard with an ultra-wide, touch-enabled flat-screen display, while its upgraded 4way4 sound system takes cues from concert hall acoustic theory to ensure clarity and depth of sound. The centre console, meanwhile, features a hidden compartment for storing valuables.

Of note, Hyundai has embraced what it describes as a ‘newtro’ approach to the Grandeur redesign, merging newness with retro aesthetics. Crucially, the car is built on an all-electric powertrain, making it a desirable electric vehicle (EV) for a new generation of car enthusiasts. ‘Our designers have re-interpreted an important part of Hyundai’s history as a wonderfully unique blend of vintage and contemporary that reflects the boundless possibilities of our EV era,’ explains Hak-soo Ha, head of interior group of the Hyundai Design Centre.

Strategic opportunity

Consider how modern innovations centred on sustainable living can combine with retro aesthetics to appeal to a new generation of design- and planet-conscious consumers

A website that allows people to travel to Ancient Olympia

Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds by Microsoft and The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Greece Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds by Microsoft and The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Greece
Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds by Microsoft and The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Greece Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds by Microsoft and The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Greece

Greece – Combining technology with travel, the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports has teamed up with Microsoft to create a digital reconstruction of Ancient Olympia. One of the country’s most significant cultural sites, the project aims to connect users with Greek history through virtual guided tours.

By accessing the project’s website or app, users can travel back 2,000 years and explore the original Olympic Stadium, a temple dedicated to Greek Gods Zeus and Hera, as well as a gymnasium where athletes used to train. In a bid to create an educational tool as much as an entertainment experience, Microsoft used AI technology and drones to ensure that the cultural sites were as realistic and historically accurate as possible. ‘This contributes to the research and documentation of monuments [and] supports the tourism and extroversion of the country as a modern and strong democracy with a long historical and cultural past,’ explains Lina Mendoni, Greece’s minister of culture and sports.

Gesturing towards a future in which de facto time travel will be possible from one’s home, this project aligns with the principles of Imagination Travel.

Strategic opportunity

Homebound consumers are still eager to experience virtual travel. The tourism sector should consider using virtual travel to promote real destinations

An exhibition that makes virtual travel a possibility

London – Drawing on a theme that has long fascinated architects, writers, and artists alike, Sir John Soane’s Museum is hosting an exhibition dedicated to portals and teleportation. Opening in June 2022, the exhibition will explore how previous depictions of portals in popular culture can inform the future of virtual travel.

Drawing a link between the transporting power of art and portals, visitors will be provided virtual reality headsets that allow them to wander in speculative environments. Created in collaboration with multidisciplinary design studio Space Popular, the exhibition also aims to reveal the exclusive and elite aspects of portals.

‘Perhaps the most surprising discovery in our study of portals in fiction is that many of our most beloved portals are actually used to enable very problematic narratives of elitism, egomania, racism and colonialism’ explain the members of Space Popular.

As virtual travel receives renewed attention thanks to the Metaverse, the exhibition serves as a reminder that digital space is not neutral and must be programmed to be inclusive and accessible for all.

Space Popular: The Portal Galleries by Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg at Sir John Soane's Museum, UK Space Popular: The Portal Galleries by Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg at Sir John Soane's Museum, UK

Strategic opportunity

As companies establish themselves in the Metaverse, they must prioritise social equality and inclusivity in the digital realm

Stat: Social inequality replaces Covid as top global concern

Never Go Alone, UK Never Go Alone, UK

After 18 consecutive months in the top spot, Coronavirus is no longer the world’s greatest concern. A global survey by Ipsos Mori reveals that poverty and social inequality, and unemployment are now the world’s top worries.

Even as winter causes a spike in Covid cases in the northern hemisphere, global anxiety about Coronavirus is changing. Among people surveyed across the world, 33% cited poverty and social inequality as primary concerns – the highest number recorded since February 2020. Notably, the countries that are most worried about social inequality and poverty are Hungary and Russia, followed by Colombia and Brazil. Coming in second, 30% of those surveyed cited unemployment as a top worry, with 67% of South Africans ranking this as a principal concern.

Although 64% of respondents in Malaysia still cited Coronavirus as their primary worry, there has been a significant shift globally in the proportion of countries that classify the virus as their most pressing problem. As global mindsets change, and the Great Acceleration continues, businesses must be mindful of the world’s largest worries.

Strategic opportunity

As brands are increasingly expected to respond to global events, keeping abreast of global concerns can help teams launch timely initiatives

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