Europe’s first phygital material store opens in Antwerp
Belgium - A one-of-a-kind fabric shop has opened in Antwerp, Belgium. Bakermat is a fabric shop, material agency, and digital fabric library.
From selvedge denim from Japan to linen from Belgium, the shop aspires to become a hub for designers to discover new fabrics and learn how to work with them. Where possible materials are sourced locally and consciously, but Bakermat also intends to preserve material craftsmanship by improving accessibility to materials such as hand-woven fabrics from India.
Where Bakermat truly stands out, however, is through its digital library. All fabrics sold in the shop have been digitised into a format that can be used in digital design, accessed through a subscription program.
As explored in our Material Matters event summary, materials are at the core of sustainability initiatives across every industry. By offering seamless transition from digital to physical materials, Bakermat will help reduce waste whilst encouraging designers to experiment with more sustainable materials.
Enhance your retail strategy by integrating digital elements into physical stores to provide customers with a sustainable, experimental and interactive shopping experience
House of RoRo created furniture kids can build themselves
US – New York-based design studio House of RoRo has reimagines furniture for kids, taking inspiration from children’s ability to quickly grow and learn. The result is a collection of multifunctional and versatile furniture that evolves with the user.
House of RoRo’s debut line, called 'Interlockables' includes chairs, tables and storage units. The name echoes how easy to assemble the pieces are, designed like life-sized puzzle pieces with slots a child can put together with adult supervision. The goal was to get kids involved in the process, but also to make furniture more sustainable, playful, and practical. As the child grows, Interlockables evolve too. The versatile objects are adaptable, with gender neutral and not age-specific designs.
‘We underestimate children if we think they’re only attracted by a design if it is frivolous’ explains Anne-Sophie Rosseel, the founder of House of RoRo. ‘I like to focus on the playful interaction with an object rather than the shape of it.’
This kid-friendly furniture concept, involving children in the process of decorating and arranging their bedroom echoes our Edu-play-tion microtrend.
When designing products and services destined for gen alpha, consider opting for gender-neutral and non age-specific features, taking cues from House of RoRo’s a furniture that respects the child’s growth cycle without underestimating its capacity for agency
Forbes introduces AI search engine to grow reader engagement
Global - Business magazine Forbes has launched a beta version of a generative AI search platform named ‘Adelaide’ that will provide personalised searches for readers using Google Cloud technology.
Using a button on the website, readers can ask questions within Forbes’ coverage scope, such as ‘who is the richest person in Nebraska?’ and using the publication’s library of articles, Adelaide will create a summary answer and display related articles. Users can also continue the conversation with follow-up questions.
Currently Adelaide is only trained on the past 12 months of Forbes’ news and coverage, but the publication hopes to eventually expand the AI’s knowledge base to include Forbes’ entire archive, dating back to 1917.
As explored in our New News trend report, as consumers seek alternatives to the 24 hour news cycle, media outlets are having to re-invent themselves to appeal to the next generation. With Adelaide, Forbes is pioneering the use of generative AI to extend the publication’s functionality, drive traffic and boost engagement on the website.
Content platforms should consider upgrading to AI-driven website content recommendation systems that not only suggest related or personalised further reading, but also create a conversational learning function that increases traffic and engagement
Consumers prioritise sustainability in food choices despite financial struggles
Global – A significant 54% of consumers are willing to make food choices that benefit the environment, according to TetraPak’s 2023 Nutrition Index, compiled from a survey of 5,000 respondents across Brazil, China, India, Germany, South Africa, the US, the UK, Kenya, South Korea and Spain. This includes a willingness to switch to plant-based foods and alternative proteins. The report also highlighted how, despite 49% of respondents indicating financial struggles, only 17% were willing to forgo environmentally friendly, organic or healthier food and beverages due to their higher cost.
Moreover, consumers increasingly link healthy eating with sustainability. Half of those surveyed say nutritious food is more sustainable for the planet, and 65% believe that environmental factors can have a negative impact on health.
Concurrently, major consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are revamping their supply chains to align with environmental goals. A group of 170 leading food companies, including Nestlé, Danone, PepsiCo, Unilever and Bayer, recently committed to a framework promoting regenerative agriculture practices. The approach focuses on enhancing soil health and supporting farmers’ business development while addressing concerns about vague usage of the term ‘regenerative agriculture’.
Brands that can integrate sustainable practices into products and services without deeply impacting consumer wallets will find success with younger consumers