News 24.10.2023

Need to Know

Day one at Dutch Design Week 2023, Netflix turns to retail with permanent themed venues and why luxury shoppers are interested in tech-powered boutique experiences.

Dutch Design Week 2023 Daily Recap: Designing with care and preserving healthy water systems

Objects for Wellbeing by A+N Studio, at Dutch Design Week 2023, The Netherlands
Flow by Dutch Invertuals in collaboration with designers Béla Bezold, Studio Edhv, Ralf Gloudemans and Teresa Fernández-Pello, at Dutch Design Week 2023, The Netherlands
Embassy of Water at Dutch Design Week 2023, The Netherlands

The Netherlands - Held in Eindhoven, Dutch Design Week 2023 opened on 21 October under this year’s theme, Picture This. It invites exhibitors and visitors to envision what kind of world will unfold in 20, 50 or 100 years if we persist in our current way of life. In its own words, the festival ‘serves as an imperative summons to confront that image and reverse the course’.

The week kicked off with a focus on designing for all citizens’ wellbeing. At DRIVE’s Systems & Societal Innovation conference, Jodi Sturge from the Interaction Design (IxD) group at the University of Twente highlighted the importance of human-centric spatial and interior design within dementia care homes. ‘We must design with patients’ integrity and dignity in mind’, she states. ‘What they want and need should come above aesthetics’. Objects for Wellbeing, an annual exhibition of A+N Studio’s latest wall innovations, also addressed accessible design. Touch Me Please, developed in collaboration with behavioural psychologist Philadelphia Zorg and two residential care homes in the Netherlands, is a wall designed to decrease anxiety and encourage relaxation among divergent residents through various sensory interactions.

Philips’ Sense(s) of Care exhibition similarly explored how sensory aspects impact spatial design and experience, but instead in a medical setting. Its Sound of Safety project reimagines hospital monitor alarm sounds to be more pleasant and user-friendly but still functional for the caregiver. The company states it can potentially transform soundscape in healthcare facilities worldwide.

Aside from care, water was another topical matter. This year’s Embassy of Water explored innovations encouraging healthy water cycles - water flowing slowly and continuously instead of the heavy downpours and flooding increasingly witnessed globally. Based on the phenomenon that flowing water responds rhythmically to resistance, Flowform was one of many projects featured in the exhibition. The design, inspired by nature, features heavy-flowing water controlled by adjoining bucket-like moulds.

Dutch Invertuals also explored the concept of flowing water in the latest iteration of its eco-centric futures investigation. Flow draws parallels between the ‘flow’ of data and information, and the natural flow of water to pull people from the digital environment and re-establish a connection with nature.

For more on Dutch Design Week 2023, look out for our upcoming Event Debrief and daily round-ups.

Strategic opportunity

As explored in Quiet Mode, consider designing products and environments that leverage sensory interactions to reduce anxiety and encourage relaxation. How could sensory experiences such as Touch Me Please positively impact your workforce, patients or visitors' mental health?

Maybelline promotes new mascara with the world’s largest AR mirror

Maybelline, Ukraine Maybelline, Ukraine
Maybelline, Ukraine Maybelline, Ukraine

Ukraine - Maybelline New York is embracing augmented reality advertising, using a building-scale AR mirror to promote its new Falsies Surreal mascara in Ukraine.

Collaborating with extended reality agency Ffface.me, the cosmetics company designed the world’s largest AR mirror to date, with a screen size of 4,000 square metres, which featured on the side of Gulliver Mall in Kyiv.

Available for one day only on 11 October, people walking by could activate the AR mirror using a kiosk below the screen, then virtually try on the new mascara as their mirror image was projected on the large screen overhead.

‘People no longer engage with traditional advertising materials, and we advocate for their rejuvenation through the infusion of interactivity. This case study serves as a compelling testament to this shift,’ said Polina Klekovkina, COO of Ffface.me.

As explored in our Snapchat’s Retail Play report, fashion and beauty brands are increasingly looking to interactivity and try-on technologies to engage retail customers with fun and experiential phygital experiences.

Strategic opportunity

Consider incorporating interactive AR technology into your next physical campaign to enable customers to try on your products before purchasing, thus reducing returns, and increase in-store footfall and sales as a result of social media hype

Netflix to open permanent themed venues for fans worldwide

US – Netflix is stepping into the physical world of fan experiences with the announcement of Netflix House, a new series of themed venues. These destinations will allow fans to immerse themselves in the worlds of their favourite tv shows and films. Netflix Houses will feature a blend of retail, dining and live experiences, with the first two venues set to open in the US in 2025 before a global expansion.

Netflix has previously experimented with pop-up fan experiences across the globe, such as The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience. However, Netflix House marks the company's first venture into permanent locations. The move is a significant step in marketing its programmes and building dedicated fan communities.

The venues will offer rotating installations, including ticketed shows inspired by popular series, as well as restaurants featuring food from unscripted shows. While the specific features and locations are yet to be decided, Netflix is clearly capitalising on the growing trend of immersive fan experiences that extend beyond the screen. As explored in Hyperphysical Stores, those augmented retail experiences will push consumers out of the house and back on the high street, providing swathes of opportunities for city centres where footfall has declined due to hybrid working and high inflation.

By Georgina by Netflix, Spain

Strategic opportunity

As the fandom economy continues to grow, explore licensing deals with entertainment companies such as Netflix to create co-branded merchandise that could expand your product offering and populate Netflix Houses' shelves globally

Stat: Most luxury shoppers expect retailers to upgrade the boutique experience with tech

AR Try-on by Gucci and Snap, Global AR Try-on by Gucci and Snap, Global

Global – Technology can elevate customer experiences within bricks-and-mortar retail, new research shows. French luxury trade association Comité Colbert and Bain & Company have surveyed French, American and Chinese luxury consumers to imagine the boutique of the future.

What are the key learnings for retailers? The report reveals that the majority of this clientele expects the industry to improve shopping experiences with emerging technology. Respondents stated that tech wouldn’t be a replacement for in-person shopping, but a tool to seamlessly complement human interactions with sales assistants. Overall, 75% of luxury consumers would adopt new technologies for improved appointment booking, personalised wishlists, virtual try-ons and access to product information via digital tags.

However, consumers agree that tech-enabled self-service is not suited to luxury experiences. As Cédric Aumonier, business partner at jeweller Lorenz Bäumer, said, 'The digital experience becomes acceptable when the customer is accompanied, when the sales associate marvels with them.’

In our EQ-Commerce macrotrend, we explore further how retailers are implementing intelligent, empathic customer journeys with the help of emerging technologies.

Strategic opportunity

Rather than investing in novelty innovations, audit which pain points tech can alleviate within the customer journey. Can you improve clienteling tools? Or take personalisation to the next level?

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