Need to Know
22 : 02 : 22

Industrial architecture promoting worker wellbeing, Parisians can soon swap the Metro for a cable car, and Americans embrace Dry January.

Studio Saar designs a human-centric factory

Sanand Factory by Studio Saar. Photography by Ankit Jain, India
Sanand Factory by Studio Saar. Photography by Ankit Jain, India
Sanand Factory by Studio Saar. Photography by Ankit Jain, India

Sanand, India – The new factory of multinational electronics company Secure Meters is designed with worker wellbeing at its core. The complex, located in the Gujarat region of India, brings elements of humanity and empathy to industrial architecture.

The production facility, designed by Studio Saar, is situated in a densely planted green plot, with four buildings joined by open air pathways that are shaded underneath white geometric canopy structures. In addition to the main industrial facility, reception building and utilities bay, there is a recreation centre where employees can unwind.

The building also boasts a high environmental standard. On top of solar panels that supply 50% of energy demand, the campus includes a seasonal lake that varies in size from one to three acres to enable rain water collection. Soon, an additional 2,000 trees will be planted on the complex.

Following the principles of Rewilding Retail, this industrial facility illustrates how businesses can incorporate nature into their factories as well as offices to improve welfare for all employees.

Strategic opportunity

Amid growing demands for supply chain transparency, companies have an opportunity to strengthen ties with both employees and customers by incorporating wildlife into their operations

Running shoes that reconnect us to the Earth

Bahé, UK Bahé, UK
Bahé, UK Bahé, UK

London – Inspired by the grounding movement, the Recharge Shoe by footwear company Bahé uses conductive material to improve the running experience.

The grounding movement, also known as earthing, argues that humans have an electrical energy imbalance as a result of spending so much time indoors and using more technology. A greater positive charge is said to be damaging to human health. As soil is negatively charged, our energy imbalance is corrected when we come into contact with the natural world. Modern rubber-soled shoes insulate us from the earth, however, preventing the flow of energy.

To remedy this, the Recharge Shoe uses conductive materials that allow people to be electrically connected to the world while walking on a natural surface. ‘Bahé is all about how we can have a healthier connection with the earth, both physically and psychologically. Something that is vital for ourselves and the planet’s wellbeing,’ explains Alex Ward, co-founder of Bahé.

Made entirely from vegan and upcycled materials, the Recharge Shoe take a holistic approach to green exercise, combining the Synchronised Care movement with the Sustainable Footwear Market.

Strategic opportunity

As the grounding movement gains prominence, why not create an app that includes trails in nature to complement your running shoe offering?

A cable car will connect Paris commuters by 2025

Paris – As cities battle with growing congestion rates, the French capital is exploring a new approach to urban transport. A cable car infrastructure project, set to be launched in 2025, will allow French commuters to travel rapidly across the capital.

The Câble 1 (C1) line will connect the southern suburbs of Créteil and Villeneuve-Saint-Georges with the Paris Métro's subway lines, covering a distance of 4.5km in 17 minutes, less than half the time it takes to travel the same distance by bus today. More than 20,000 inhabitants will be served by the cable car.

Cable 1 is part of a larger effort to enhance residents' living conditions. As a result, it boasts a low environmental impact and blends in seamlessly with the surroundings.

Cities are beginning to invest in eco-friendly air travel over land transport as a way to tackle growing congestion rates. To learn more about how cities are future-proofing urban transport, readers can find out how to upgrade urban mobility for the pandemic age.

Cable A, France

Strategic opportunity

New mobility services and business models are transforming urban design. How might our cities look without any cars at all?

Stat: Dry January booms in on-trade venues

Cale, US Cale, US

As consumer attitudes to alcohol change, Dry January is growing ever-more popular in the US. In 2022, 35% of individuals of legal drinking age participated in Dry January in the US, a share that is up from 21% in 2019.

According to research conducted by CGA, adults who participated did not, however, abstain from visiting restaurants and bars. During their month of sobriety, 78% of Dry January participants chose to visit the on-trade. This is a change from 2019, when 61% of dry January participants drank out of home less than usual or not at all. This suggests the wider array of non-alcoholic drinks now available in bars and restaurants – from CBD seltzers to zero-proof wine and beer alternatives – are enticing non-drinkers out of their home and into hospitality venues.

As the trend for drinking less-but-better gains hold in the US and overseas, companies have a chance to revitalise their alternative alcohol offering to appeal to Low-proof Drinkers.

Strategic opportunity

How can your company expand its no- and low-alcohol (NOLO) category? Consider taking inspiration from the savoury ingredients – like olives, pickles and mustard – to revitalise your offering

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