Hungary – Nestled among the trees of City Park in Budapest, the House of Music is a museum and concert hall that celebrates the union between nature and sound. Adding to the country’s already impressive offering of opera houses and music venues, the building will celebrate Hungary’s rich music history while hosting live concerts.
Designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, the building features a vast perforated roof that allows foliage and trees to grow through it. Blurring the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, more than 30,000 leaves are suspended from its ceilings, further enhancing the feeling of being in nature. Intended to appear like an extension of the public park, rather than addition to it, the museum charts new territory for museum design.
Making nature the principal feature of a building instead of a decorative element, this building aligns itself with the emergence of Nat-core Cities where nature takes priority – a future we explore in Equilibrium Cities.
No longer considered an afterthought, urban designers and architects must work with – and respect – nature and plants at the forefront of designs, with human-centric spaces coming second
Byredo’s diffuser is a meditation on sound
Olfactive Stéréophonique by Byredo x OJAS, Global
Olfactive Stéréophonique by Byredo and OJAS
Sweden – The fragrance brand has unveiled an experimental speaker-shaped fragrance diffuser that disperses scent using the same principles as audio amplification. Called the Olfactive Stéréophonique,the device takes inspiration from Hindu temples and meditation halls, where sound and scent regularly collide.
Designed by Devon Turnbull, founder of artisanal speaker and accessories brand OJAS, and Ben Gorham, Byredo’s founder and creative director, the limited-edition Stéréophonique is sold with 10 fragrance capsules that are integrated into the device, offering cycles of scent diffusion over two-hour periods.
While the device does not produce or amplify sound, instead it‘helps in the transition between states of consciousness, and evoke[s] a temple experience within a listening space setting’. As explored in our recent Fragrance Futures Market, technology is helping perfumers to surprise and entice consumers in new ways, with Byredo creating a multi-sensory experience that elevates how scent is experienced at home.
Fragrance brands can also take inspiration from the slower, more contemplative nature of this project. How might you design a fragrance experience that encourages moments of reflection for customers?
Brighton prioritises bee welfare in new buildings
Brighton, UK – In a bid to bolster its environmental efforts, the city of Brighton and Hove is introducing a planning law that requires new buildings over five metres high to include bricks that provide nests for solitary bees. The bee bricks are the same size as regular bricks, but integrate a series of narrow openings that provide a safe haven for the insects.
Through this law, Brighton aims to improve overall biodiversity in the city, with solitary bees currently making up nearly 250 of the approximately 270 bee species in Britain.It also indicates a future when more urban planning initiatives will centre on environmental considerations.
In our Equilibrium Cities macrotrend, we consider how built environments must develop and integrate such practices tobalance the needs of people, nature and businesses. Noting other ways to boost urban biodiversity, Robert Nemeth, the councillor behind the initiative, says: ‘Increased planting, hedgehog holes, swift boxes and bird feeders are all examples of other cheap and simple ideas that, together, could lead to easy medium-term gains.'
Green and Blue Bee Bricks, UK
Retailers and hospitality venues can take note of this project and develop planning strategies that promote biodiversity in subtle and intuitive ways
Stat: Inter-generational sales rise in resale
As resale platforms become an increasingly prominent feature in the e-commerce landscape, they're not only welcoming new age groups, but boosting inter-generational transactions. According to research by resale platform The RealReal, more than half of the sellers on its website in 2021 belonged to Generation X – people aged in their 40s and 50s.
With the resurgence of Y2K fashion, younger consumers are buying items from Gen X sellers who have retained pieces from the early noughties. In 2021, The RealReal reports that the number of items from the 1990s that were listed by members of Gen X increased by 37%, resulting in a correlated jump of 61% of 1990s fashion being bought by Gen Z.
As young people hunt for past styles, older age groups can fulfil the demand for nostalgia-driven purchases. Indeed, The RealReal further reports that Baby Boomers were a fast-growing audience for the secondary fashion market in 2021, meaning the grey pound could further boost the The Regenizens market.
As the market for resale expands, older age groups represent a source of untapped potential. Consider how targeted campaigns could lure older demographics towards resale platforms