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03 : 10 : 22

Bompas & Parr introduces artisanal prestige poppers, a beer cooling billboard powered by solar energy, and the cost of charging electric vehicles is soaring.

Bompas & Parr introduces artisanal prestige poppers

Excalibur XO by Bompas & Parr, UK
Excalibur XO by Bompas & Parr, UK
Excalibur XO by Bompas & Parr, UK

UK – Self-styled architects of taste Bompas & Parr are re-inventing poppers, making them into upscale and exclusive products. During London Cocktail Week (13–23 October), the poppers will be mixed in a curated drink menu at The Standard hotel’s Sweeties bar.

The launch of the artisanal poppers is part of the Excalibur XO activation, an ode to pleasure, ‘queer culture, public joyfulness, sex positivity and exceptional design’. On-site, Poppers Sommeliers will be available to present the line and the cocktail pairings. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a queer micro-exhibition and aromatic panel talks, all centred around the history of poppers and celebrating their role at the intersection of indulgence, erotica and art.

The Excalibur XO project aims to create an inclusive and educational space around pleasure and queer culture, while bringing an innovative concept to the food and beverage sphere through the atypical use of poppers in mixology.

Widely used but rarely in the open, popper inhalants contain amyl nitrite and are mostly used as recreational drugs, especially by gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. Bringing them into the public sphere in a luxurious, curated and covetable product encapsulates the Pleasure Revolution: a vision of unashamed and unbridled hedonism.

Strategic opportunity

Create disruptive products and spaces catering for new hedonists’ heightened interest for ultra-sensory and boundary-defying experiences

The first multi-storey 3D-printed building in Houston

HANNAH, PERI 3D Construction and CIVE, US HANNAH, PERI 3D Construction and CIVE, US
HANNAH, PERI 3D Construction and CIVE, US HANNAH, PERI 3D Construction and CIVE, US

US – Design researchers and industry partners are taking 3D-printing capabilities to new heights as construction of the first 3D-printed multi-storey house begins in the US.

The 4,000-square-feet project is the result of a two-year collaborative effort between Cornell University, innovative architectural design practice HANNAH, leading provider of 3D construction printing PERI 3D Construction, and Houston-based design contractors CIVE.

To achieve this boundary-pushing project, the design of the building has been conceptualised as a series of printed elements, interconnected by wood framing. The result is a building with a scalable design, and a streamlined and cost-effective construction process. It also highlights the potential of 3D printing technology for building mass customisation.

‘We developed a hybrid construction approach that couples innovations in concrete 3D printing with traditional wood framing techniques to create a building system that is structurally efficient, easily replicable and materially responsive,’ said Leslie Lok, from design practice HANNAH.

Advances in 3D printing capabilities and their use for development of future residential and multi-family buildings show how material innovations will build resilient cities and increase the impact, applicability, sustainability, and cost efficiency of architecture.

Strategic opportunity

Innovation in 3D printing is still under way, but brands can maximise their cost-saving and upscaling benefits through hybrid approaches mixing 3D printing and other manufacturing techniques

Heineken's solar-powered billboard cools down beer

Brazil – As part of its initiative to become greener, Dutch beer brand Heineken has teamed up with brewery Brewteco to create a solar-powered billboard in Rio de Janeiro that cools down beer.

While Heineken uses 100% renewable energy throughout its supply chain, it aims to make 50% of its associate bars and restaurants entirely powered by renewable energy. In partnership with Amsterdam-based agency Le Pub, Heineken hopes the installation will spark conversations about renewable energy.

‘The solar panels that cool the beer create a connection with the audience in an innovative way, inviting people to start an important dialogue in a totally different way,’ explains Eduardo Picarelli, the director of Heineken's business unit in Brazil.

The campaign helps to challenge consumers’ views about renewables, including the misconception that they are less efficient than fossil fuels. Showing consumers that their beer was cooled by solar panels demonstrates one of the ways they can benefit from green energy.

Heineken, Brazil

Strategic opportunity

Brands are using their platforms to create dialogue about sustainability. Being at the forefront of a conversation allows brands to enact change that can positively affect individuals beyond their consumer base

Stat: Charging costs for electric cars approach price of petrol

Lightyear 0 by Lightyear, The Netherlands Lightyear 0 by Lightyear, The Netherlands

UK – With energy prices rising sharply across the world, the cost of charging an electric vehicle (EV) is becoming more prohibitive. According to research by UK motoring group RAC, the price of charging an EV at public charging points or on a pay-as-you go basis has increased by 42% in the UK.

Indeed, the price of charging an EV is swiftly approaching the cost of fuel for a petrol or diesel car. The data reveals that electric car drivers who exclusively depend on rapid or ultra-rapid public chargers pay about £0.18 ($0.20, €0.20) per mile for energy, compared to roughly £0.19 ($0.21, €0.22) for petrol and £0.21 ($0.23, €0.24) for diesel.

‘It remains the case that charging away from home costs less than refuelling a petrol or diesel car, but these figures show that the gap is narrowing as a result of the enormous increases in the cost of electricity,’ says Simon Williams, a spokesman for RAC.

The research shows how the cost of living crisis is threatening to affect the mobility sector’s transition to clean energy, as rising prices might lead consumers to reconsider or delay switching to an electric car.

Strategic opportunity

Owing to the way that electricity is taxed, charging cars at home can be more affordable than using public charging points. How can companies improve greater access to at-home charging stations?

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