News 24.03.2023

Need to Know

Four Seasons Maui launches Camp Manitou kids concept, men make nine in 10 artworks sold at auctions and Darian Nugent’s Foresight Friday.

Four Seasons Maui launches Camp Manitou kids and teen concept

Camp Manitou at Four Seasons Resort Maui, US

Hawaii – Four Seasons Resort Maui is launching an adventure offering for kids and teenagers that celebrates the natural wonders of Hawaii. Camp Manitou invites kids aged 9–17 to explore their surroundings, immerse themselves in Hawaiian culture and study the environment through storytelling.

Camp Manitou will also focus on Hawaiian perspectives. Navigator Kala Baybayan Tanaka will educate the children, and accompanying adults, on Polynesian wayfinding practices and how Indigenous people have been using the wind, ocean currents and stars for millennia to sail around the Pacific Ocean. This is an important change in how luxury resorts have traditionally used Hawaiian culture for PR and marketing – to attract Western tourists by exoticising Indigenous beliefs and traditions.

Hawaii has become a big focal point in discussions about environmental conservation by activists and Indigenous communities, and tourists are being dissuaded from visiting the islands. Luxury resorts have come under fire for exploiting natural resources and appropriating the local culture for profit. This ties in to our report on five future voices of community-first travel that prioritise human connection and conscious luxury travelling.

Strategic opportunity

Investing in developing a harmonious and authentic relationship between brands, guests and nature is essential for the industry to attract a growing segment of conscious consumers

Nike ISPA shoe emulates the feeling of walking barefoot in the grass

US – Nature and the feeling of walking barefoot in the forest have inspired Nike ISPA’s latest trainers.

The nature-inspired MindBody trainer is the latest drop from Nike’s ISPA division, which stands for Improvise. Scavenge. Protect. Adapt. The camouflage shoes look like they are covered in dirt and mould, hiding high-end technical innovation. Its earthy tones were achieved using algae-derived ink while a savvy cording system holds the shoe’s components together, removing the need for glue altogether. This means the MindBody can be easily disassembled, ripped apart and recycled at the end of its lifecycle. In addition, the shoe replicates how it feels to walk barefoot in a forest, thanks to a technical sole that invokes a multi-sensory wearing experience.

Previously, we saw Bahé’s Recharge Shoe use conductive materials that allow people to be electrically connected to soil while walking. Intended to ground the wearer and reinforce communion with nature, Nike ISPA’s MindBody is following the same path, and exhibits how what we call Synchronised Care is manifesting in categories beyond beauty and wellness.

Nike ISPA MindBody, US

Strategic opportunity

The idea of nature as a stakeholder is taking up across all areas of a business, from boardroom to design. Nike ISPA’s MindBody is a great example of considered and holistic nature-first design principles

Foresight Friday: Darian Nugent, senior strategic foresight writer

Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory, UK Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory, UK

The Future Laboratory team offers an end-of-week wrap-up of the topics, issues, ideas and virals we’re all talking about. This week, The Future Laboratory’s senior strategic foresight writer Darian Nugent discusses anti-surveillance dressing, micro-cultures and more AI creations.

: Italian fashion start-up Cap_able is offering AI sceptics a cosy (and expensive) antidote to surveillance. Its collection of knits use clashing patterns and prints to allow wearers to camouflage their identity and protect their biometric data from facial recognition tech, without covering their face. Is this Doom Dressing in action?

: What’s the cure for Core fatigue? Hyper-personalisation. Social accounts like socks_house_meeting and real_housewives_of_clapton are replacing the easily packaged aesthetics enjoyed by Cottage, Ballet and Indie Sleaze, with hyper-local social signifiers – mainly relevant to the crowd they’re satirising

: Speaking of socials, I can’t stop following irreverent archives like 90s Teen Mags, Caffs not Cafes and Carry A Bag Man

: Another week, another set of AI experimentations. AI-powered rave Algorhythm was met with mixed reviews from attendees, Google’s much-anticipated chatbot Bard is failing to solve basic maths problems, according to users, and AI art-generators have been shown to automatically create characters with thin and Eurocentric features when fed words like ‘beautiful’ and ‘pretty’. Yet more proof that the generative AI market will need a heavy dose of regulation to flourish

: Amid the Reformation Generation and the Zalpha Reckoning, are Millennials enjoying a pseudo-childhood? Dazed thinks so. Locked out of traditional adult signifiers like home ownership, a swathe of adults are eulogising on childhood itself. But is the rise in Disney adults and a ‘the kids will handle it’ attitude stunting a generation – and society – even further?

Quote of the week

'If Google Search is an imperfect book index, telling us where to find the material we need, Bing AI is SparkNotes, allowing us to bypass the source material altogether'

Kyle Chayka in The New Yorker

Stat: Women artists make up a tiny fraction of art sold at auction

Photography by Cottonbro, Russia
Photography by Cottonbro, Russia

US – While women artists are taking up more cultural space in today’s art world, Artsy’s recent Women Artists Market Report has discovered that the art market is failing to reflect gender parity.

The global art platform looked at independent research and combed through auction results in its Price Database. It found that in 2022, of the £8.9bn ($11bn, €10bn) worth of artwork sold at auction, £7.9bn ($9.7bn, €8.9bn) was by male artists. Sales of women’s work accounted for just over £812.7m ($1bn, €918.6m). This means that only 9.3% of all artworks sold at auction in 2022 were created by women.

Of the 500 most expensive works sold at auction last year, only 50 works were by women artists. Of the top 100, only works by Georgia O’Keeffe and Louise Bourgeois sold.

Nevertheless, the research paints a slightly better picture in 2022 than in the past decade. From 2012 to 2022, women artists represented only 6% of the market at auction.

Arts organisations should make a concerted effort to show they value women’s artwork. In our Identities Series, we monitor trends related to diversity and women’s futures, and explore how businesses and brands can innovate more inclusively.

Strategic opportunity

For women to achieve parity in the creative industries, related organisations must focus on efforts that generate revenue. Dedicate exhibitions, galleries, auctions and other initiatives to showcasing women’s work, emphasising its cultural and financial value

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