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21 : 04 : 23

Day two at Milan Design Week, Supplant’s upcycled flour and Marta Indeka’s Foresight Friday.

Milan Design Week daily recap: Creativity in cities and Tortona highlights

Zero Bag, Italy
The Bespoke Life by Samsung, Italy
Ikea, Italy
Fog-X by Pavels Hedström, Italy

Italy – On day two of Milan Design Week, The Future Laboratory headed to Tortona Design District, which housed notable exhibitions from Ikea, Superstudio and Base.

Carrying on the theme of future homes, Ikea’s Assembling the Future Together examined the past, present and future of life at home. The main exhibition explored the evolution of key furniture pieces that have contributed to Ikea’s success and vision since the 1950s, such as its Nytillverkad collection, which re-interprets iconic pieces for new generations.

Across the road at Superstudio, Samsung Electronics hosted Bespoke Home, Bespoke Life. Visitors could explore the brand’s growing range of eco-conscious home appliances and then discover how to personalise them to better fit their home and personality style. Examples on display included a laundry installation that doubled as a bar, and fridges that, at first glance, looked like a gallery wall. In the next room Lexus presented prototypes from the four winners of the Lexus Design Awards 2023, which has an overarching theme of ‘shaping the future’. Pavels Hedström, designer of Fog-X, presented a jacket that transforms into a shelter, which catches fog and turns it into drinking water – demonstrating true innovation in the camping market. Kyeongho Park and Yejin Heo, designers of Zero Bag, displayed a new package that dissolves in water and contains a detergent that can remove chemicals from products such as food or clothing, while reducing plastic waste.

The day ended at Base, exploring how to build more creative and inclusive cities. Professionals from Experimentalista, Prince Claus Fund, LAGO and Moleskine Foundation highlighted the importance of creative minds contributing to city policy and design, particularly in emerging economies such as Mexico City and in African cities. Local communities too should be involved in urban planning to create sustainable and inclusive spaces. A big question posed was: ‘How do we design a city to reflect the people who live there both aesthetically and economically, and how can we move these ideas out of the talking phase and into applied solutions?’

We Will Design, also hosted by Base, presented projects from London university Central Saint Martins’ Material Futures students, including footwear redesigned to mimic the behaviour of keystone species to aid biodiversity and probiotic clothing that explores the benefits of fusing healthy bacteria into items of clothing, providing therapeutic and functional benefits to the wearer’s body.

Strategic opportunity

As designers push the boundaries of material innovation, consider how bio-materials could alter the role that everyday products play in sustainability initiatives

Supplant upcycles wheat stalks into sustainable and more nutritious flour

US – Supplant, the company aiming to remake food systems for good by upcycling agriculture's most abundant renewable resources, has unveiled a new signature flour made with both wheat grains and stalks. Filled with six times more fibre than regular flour, Supplant’s Grain & Stalk Flour also comes with fewer calories and net carbohydrates. The firm previously patented Sugars from Fiber, an innovative sweetener derived from plant waste, including corn cobs, that combined nutrition, food security and sustainability.

A limited edition of Supplant Pasta made with the newly released flour will retail online from 27 March for £4 ($4.99, €4.55) while business and retail professionals, including seven-Michelin star chef Thomas Keller, can already access the raw material. ‘The company is making extraordinary strides in delivering on integrity without compromising on the environment or our health, and that strongly resonates with me as a chef,’ said Keller in a statement.

In Adaptive Appetites, we anticipated the rise of products like Grain & Stalk Flour in an industry seeking innovations to navigate an uncertain and frugal landscape – as inflation and supply chain fragility send food and drink prices soaring.

The Supplant Company, UK

Strategic opportunity

Food and drink specialists should consider how upcycling food waste into healthier raw materials can affect the whole industry in both B2B and B2C markets while slowing down adverse global climate change

Foresight Friday: Marta Indeka, foresight analyst

Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory

The Future Laboratory team offer an end-of-week snapshot of the topics, issues, ideas and virals that we’re all talking about. This week, LS:N Global’s foresight analyst Marta Indeka shares what keeps her scrolling at night.

: A wedding band, but for singles. The Pear Ring is a social experiment vying to redefine modern dating and demonstrate that with a little nudge, young singletons could easily find each other without the need for dating apps

: I find the internet’s obsession with mothers fascinating. Influencer Tinx preaching so-called rich mom energy is a mild manifestation, while some go as far as saying mothers are the ‘kink du jour’

: The collaborative futures of fashion creatives in action: Lanvin announced the departure of creative director Bruno Sialelli and a ‘new creative configuration’. I will be watching what the newly created Lanvin Lab has in store, slated to feature guest designers in new collections

: On my TikTok watch list are these super-niche beauty tutorials. If you’re after an orange negroni-inspired make-up or how to morph into a grocery store hottie, look no further

: Is anyone still watching Succession for the plot, or are we all here for the Loro Piana galore and billionaire bore-core?

Quote of the week

‘Why can’t people see what a machine is capable of doing itself instead of making it copy what the hand does?’

Visionary fashion designer Mary Quant, speaking in 1967

Air fares across Europe expected to rise sharply

Swiss Senses by Swiss International Air Lines, Switzerland Swiss Senses by Swiss International Air Lines, Switzerland

Europe, Australia – Low supply and high demand in the airline industry are resulting in increases of between 15% and 50% in air fares to and across Europe for summer 2023.

Travel booking website Kayak reports that flights between European and Australian destinations have risen by up to 50% for summer holidays, while Irish budget airline Ryanair has said prices will increase by more than 15%.

The increase is due to airlines not operating at full capacity post-Covid and offering fewer seats, combined with a surge in revenge travelling – people making up for lost pandemic travel time by now planning longer and more frequent trips. ITA in Italy and TAP in Portugal are both operating at 50% of pre-Covid capacity. The situation has been made worse by some airlines going out of business, such as Flybe, while others such as Eurowings have revised their growth plans.

Strategic opportunity

The increasing cost of travel will of course give those airlines able to offer more competitive pricing an advantage, but it may still buoy up domestic travel markets that had already benefitted from Covid restrictions on foreign travel and drive the concept of foreign travel as more of a luxury pursuit

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