News 09.06.2022

Need to Know

Cleaf redesigns the club for aesthetic elitists, eBay tells sneakerheads to wear their shoes out and disability is still taboo in the workplace.

MDW: Cleaf remixes materials for future nightclubs

Cleaf Club in collaboration with Campos Costa Arquitetos, Italy

Italy – Interior specialist Cleaf has collaborated with Portuguese architects Campos Costa Arquitetos on Cleaf Club a project intended to emphasise the importance of nightclubs as epicentres of youth and contemporary culture.

Cleaf has redesigned the features and spaces of classic nightclub interiors – such as the dance floor, bar, lounge and bathrooms – with new materials and finishes from its interiors range. The result is a stripped-back, aesthetics-first interior. The bar, for example, will be made with wood-effect materials that subvert tradition, while the lounge will feature fabrics that amplify the feeling of relaxation. The spaces can be viewed at Cleaf’s stand-installation at Salone Del Mobile Milano or the company’s corporate showroom in Lissone, which has been transformed into an entire club experience.

Here, Cleaf is considering the visually driven minds of young people by placing emphasis on the aesthetic cues in destinations such as nightclubs spaces that have previously obtained little design innovation. We further explore how brands and businesses are re-imagining the nightlife industry in our dedicated Market.

Strategic opportunity

Hospitality and retail spaces are becoming hangout hubs for young people. Consider how to elevate the design of these spaces through colour, material and finish (CMF) innovation that appeals to aesthetic elitists

MDW: Fabita explores a flexible future for at-home cooking

Fabita in collaboration with Andriano Design, Italy Fabita in collaboration with Andriano Design, Italy
Fabita in collaboration with Andriano Design, Italy Fabita in collaboration with Andriano Design, Italy

Milan – Industrial firm Fabita and Turin-based studio Andriano Design are exploring the future of more flexible, small-scale living at this year’s Salone Del Mobile Milano 2022.

Through their collaborative Unsuspected Futures exhibition, they are drawing attention to the ways domestic spaces and social behaviours are becoming smaller and more nomadic, spotlighting premium induction cooktops for a future of hybrid living environments.

Having first launched The Ordine induction hob, which consists of a wall-mounted control unit and two hobs that users can store with ease, Fabita is now expanding into the realm of furniture with discreet induction hobs that take the form of side tables and mounted wall hangings. One such product is The Sorpresathree individual hobs stored on a wooden plate rack, which users can operate via their phones or tablet.

As explored in our microtrend Discreet Tech, consumers are seeking a more balanced relationship with devices and technology, through strategically designed appliances. Combining luxury design cues and functionality, Fabita’s Unsuspected Futures exhibition explores product design that could develop everyday items into functional and decorative displays.

Strategic opportunity

As home environments become more flexible and adaptive, consider how your products could use design and modularity to save space and allow greater freedom for consumers

eBay prompts people to wear prized sneakers

US – While many sneaker fans choose to store their shoes in pristine condition, eBay wants to shake things up by encouraging people to wear highly collectible or covetable sneakers out and about.

Through a physical pop-up store hosted in Los Angeles, the online marketplace is offering shoppers a discount on new and highly collectible styles, such as the Jordan 1 Retro High OG Patent Bred, if they choose to wear them out of the shop rather than keep them box fresh.

The initiative intends to ‘make light’ of a concern that often plagues sneaker collectors – whether to show off their wares or keep them clean and pristine, safely boxed up at home. The opening of the playfully titled Wear ‘Em Out Store follows a survey commissioned by eBay, which found that most self-identified sneakerheads wear ‘less than half’ of their sneaker collections in real life.

‘The Wear ’Em Out store celebrates a love of sneakers, while acknowledging that sneakerheads are often balancing what they wear with what they keep in the box,’ explains Garry Thaniel, eBay’s general manager of sneakers. In this way, the store seeks to counter the rise of Streetwear Brokerages, in which sneakers and luxury goods are stored away as both long-term investments and tradable assets.

Rares, US

Strategic opportunity

Consider how eBay is democratising access and connections through this pop-up store, helping to reduce the stigma and snobbery that can sometimes exist among collector communities

Stat: Employees are hesitant to discuss disability at work

Microsoft Surface Adaptive Kit, US Microsoft Surface Adaptive Kit, US

People with disabilities are hesitant to share their difficulties at work for fear of being judged, stereotyped or stalling career progression. According to research by Samsung, more than half of people with disabilities in the UK have tried to conceal their challenges from their co-workers.

Although 20% of people in the UK have a hidden or visible disability, workplaces are still not doing enough to empower employees with a range of health requirements. According to the findings, workplaces are failing to provide adequate accessible infrastructure as well as critical social support. Respondents cited things as simple as bathroom access and availability (30%) and even just getting into an office building (29%) as challenges they face. Aside from accessibility concerns, 41% of respondents said that disclosing a disability would make them feel like an outsider or prevent them from attaining a promotion (45%).

These dismal results indicate that more must be done to empower disabled staff, both in terms of office accessibility and social support. For a start, companies should consider integrating inclusive tech solutions to cater for all.

Strategic opportunity

How can your company facilitate open conversations about disabilities and broader health needs? Consider running an anonymous poll to uncover what your employees' real requirements are

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