Hometopia lets adults live out their home-ownership dreams virtually
Global – Hometopia is the latest video game aiming to give aspirational home-owners the chance to build their dream house as a tonic for shrinking home-ownership in the real world.
Video game designer Alex Åhlund worked with architects to ensure details such as pricing, aesthetics and building mechanisms are guided by real-life architectural principles in Hometopia, aspiring to take the home design gaming category to new levels of realism.
The game was launched on Steam’s Early Access program in September 2023, with a pre-launch waiting list of 100,000, according to the Hometopia team.
One of Åhlund’s main goals in creating the game was to provide a cooperative format based on creativity and design over action and competition, as is the case with many games designed to play with friends.
After the pandemic, a desire for comfort amid daily life dramas is driving young gamers towards comforting and cosy games that offer relaxed escapism over maddening, anxiety-inducing tasks and challenges. In addition, for generations of young gamers, Hometopia might seem like their only opportunity to build and own their dream home without the hefty, inaccessible price tag.
‘The economic and practical constraints of the real world often make the virtual world very much a fulfilling alternative,’ Åhlund told Fast Company. ‘Design games let people live out their dreams and aspirations.’
As explored in our Home States Futures: Residential Retail macrotrend, the concept of the home space is undergoing rapid transformation and considering brand placement within the home is more important than ever, virtual or not.
Just as our digital identities are becoming as important as our real-life ones, with digital fashion becoming a valid form of virtual self-expression, our homes will increasingly become expressions of our identities too – virtually as well as in the real world. Consider how the market for digital homewares has the potential to grow, especially driven by younger consumers
Humanoid Labs re-invents make-up with new Skinwear line
US – Cosmetics company Humanoid Labs is blending make-up, tattoos, jewellery and fashion to launch a new beauty category: skinwear.
Products available in the Skinwear line include a pigmented gel wand, a quick-drying liquid colour product, five sizes of precise-application dot-maker, skin-friendly tape (with the appearance of a liquid liner), and a biodegradable plant-based stencil pack that dissolves in water.
Each product is designed to be multi-functional and utilises a unique colour formula that reads on all skin tones. Intended to encourage self-expression and experimentation with a chameleon-like appearance, Skinwear is pushing the boundaries of make-up.
From semi-permanent tattoos to instant make-up, this is far from the first example of a demand for ephemerality in the beauty industry. As explored in our Momentary Make-Up trend report, Simihaze Beauty previously launched a sticker book of holographic wings and neon liners to be applied as make-up, Wonderskin went viral for its semi-permanent lip tint and tattoo artists are experimenting with semi-permanence.
Brands in the beauty sector should embrace Gen Z’s growing interest in make-up that transcends Western beauty ideals by experimenting with permanence, texture and 3D face and body applications
Giraffenap pods revolutionise power napping
Japan – The Giraffenap, a standing sleeping pod resembling a giraffe’s long neck created by Koyoju Plywood Corporation, offers an unconventional solution for those in need of a power nap during the working day or while enjoying a cup of coffee at a cafe.
Designed to encourage quick and refreshing naps lasting about 20 minutes, these pods were recently installed in partnership with the Nescafé Sleep Cafe in Harajuku, Tokyo. Cafe-goers can savour their coffee and then step into one of these sleeping pods for a brief nap.
Giraffenap pods prioritise user comfort, supporting the head, buttocks, shins and soles. By targeting these points, users can enter a state of light sleep, facilitating a quick return to work or daily activities without the post-nap grogginess.
The Giraffenap comes in two models. The Forest version, inspired by wooden saunas, offers a serene atmosphere with adjustable features, air purification and an air conditioner. The Spacia model, with a space-ready design, creates a futuristic environment for power nappers, featuring fire-resistant materials, insulation from external noise and even a wearable soundproof Bluetooth microphone.
In our analysis of the Sleep Market, we previously highlighted how sleep is a growing part of the wellness market. It is up to hospitality professionals and even office managers to invest in innovations such as Giraffenap.
HR managers can explore the benefits of power naps in boosting employee productivity. Providing designated areas or pods like Giraffenap could improve workplace efficiency and incentivise employees to return to an office that values wellbeing at work
Stat: American women are becoming more ambitious at work
US – Women are ready to take their careers to new heights, according to the latest edition of the Women in the Workplace Report by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co.
The study, which is the largest survey of women in corporate America with over 27,000 workers polled, suggests that women have become more ambitious than they were before the pandemic. Regardless of gender, 96% of workers say that career is important to them, and eight in 10 women (81%) want to be promoted to the next level this year, compared to seven in 10 in 2019. Young women and women of colour are particularly ambitious, with the figure rising to almost nine in 10 (88%).
Even though women represent only one in four C-suite leaders at present, and women of colour just one in 16, three in four aspire to become senior leaders. With the global gender gap expected not to end for 131 years, according to the World Economic Forum’s predictions, tomorrow’s leadership needs to nurture female talent and provide sufficient opportunities to let women fulfil their ambitions.
How can your business support women workers better? Audit how your policies and programmes can cater for women specifically, from pastoral care to mentoring and leadership training