Insect hotel unveiled at Helsinki Design Week
Finland – Aiming to provide an urban shelter for pollinators, a clay structure dubbed an ‘insect hotel’ is being inaugurated as part of Helsinki Design Week. Designed by architects Maiju Suomi and Elina Koivisto, the Alusta Pavilion is located within the courtyard between the Helsinki Design Museum and the Museum of Finnish Architecture.
The installation comprises low-rise clay and wood structures, featuring shapes and perforations designed to act as a playground for bees and insects. ‘Many visitors have exclaimed that this is like a giant insect hotel,’ says Suomi, explaining how the project’s nickname came about. Visitors are invited to explore and interact with the garden, to have a seat on the clay walls, or to attend workshops and lectures on architecture and the climate emergency hosted in the grounds.
Projects drawing on Interspecies Architecture to tackle the shrinking populations of pollinators in urban areas are blooming. The Alusta Pavilion is a good example of design bringing people and nature closer, while endorsing an educational role and raising awareness on the impact of the climate crisis on biodiversity.
Design has a role to play in restoring and nurturing biodiversity. Integrating interspecies infrastructure elements can be a starting point to bolster the rewilding of urban spaces
Robertet creates a marketplace for professionals
France – Fragrance and flavour manufacturers like the Robertet Group tend to work in relative secrecy, producing the raw materials behind some of the world’s most popular perfumes and food products. With its latest e-Robertet online shop, however, the company is opening its vaults, allowing professionals to purchase its products directly through its website. The website will sell essential oils, vegetal oils and floral waters.
Robertet is a stalwart in the fragrance and flavour industry, with 170 years of experience and a long list of collaborations with major perfume brands and composition houses. Until today, its B2B services have largely been conducted outside the public realm – like most raw material manufacturers. Although its new e-Robertet shop is still aimed at professionals, it marks a shift away from the sheltered tendencies of the sector, promoting greater transparency.
As beauty consumers become more knowledgeable about the ingredients in their products, Robertet’s new marketplace aligns with the rise of the Skintellectual movement, something which we previously explored in the Accredited Beauty macrotrend.
Consumers are demanding greater transparency on ingredients. How can your company offer more information about product formulas?
The Verge is bringing back blogging
US – Technology news platform The Verge has redesigned its website in a bid to revive the golden age of blogging through a new content strategy and user experience. Although it’s already Vox Media’s most popular site, the company wanted to improve its relationship with its audience by creating a platform that feels like ‘an antidote to algorithmic news feeds’.
To achieve this, the company has launched what it calls the Storystream news feed, where articles and content are delivered in blog format. Instead of writing every story from scratch, for instance, the writers and editors will incorporate articles from other websites directly onto the platform’s homepage. This will cut down on the amount of time needed to cover everything, allowing the editorial team to devote more time to in-depth investigations.
With most young people getting their news from an assortment of sources, The Verge is creating content that speaks directly to Gen Z. ‘Our plan is to bring the best of old-school blogging to a modern news feed experience,’ explains the press release on the website.
How can media companies create websites that reflect how young people actually engage with the news? Features like endless scroll and blog-style content displays are making a comeback in web design
Stat: Report calls on EU to slash food waste
A new report by Feedback EU reveals that 153m tonnes of food is wasted each year in the EU and found that significantly reducing this could help to curb food price inflation. With millions across the continent struggling to afford quality food, strategic action by the EU to reduce waste is needed urgently.
As food costs continue to rise – maize and wheat prices are expected to increase by 4.6% and 7.2%, respectively, over the coming year according to a recent study published in Nature Food – Feedback EU has called on the bloc to set a legally binding target to halve its food waste from farm to fork by 2030.
Squeezed consumers are already starting to change their priorities, turning to growing their own food and redirecting their purchasing power to discount supermarkets. This presents an opportunity for companies to take the lead with steps to reduce waste and innovative services that provide solutions for struggling customers.
Demand for efficient and circular systems is high. Invest in research to create innovations that tackle food waste and offer consumers incentives to help reduce waste in the long term.