Inspiration Station Vol. 20 – Positive Change
As the Inspiration Station hits the big 2-0, we’re mixing things up: Each volume will now see us tackle a different theme… First up, Positive Change.
As we’re all now aware, organisations are facing mounting pressure on all sides to respond to things like changing societal values, climate change and sustainablity – heck, even economic and political instability. The bottom line is… There’s more to a business than its bottom line. It has to take responsibility for the greater good.
Now, it’s all about how a brand makes you feel. How you identify with its ethos. In this new era, experiences are what influence buying decision. You must bring your values to life in order to truly engage with the customer.
Museum Of Underwater Art (MOUA)
We should all be aware by now that the world’s coral is undergoing a global bleaching due to rising ocean temperatures. This is bad news. Bleaching means a lack of algae, and that means a lack of pretty much every other species of wildlife. The Great Barrier Reef is particularly at risk from global warming, pollution, and coastal development – so working with local artists and members of the indigenous community, British artist Jason Decaires Taylor has submerged a sculptural exhibition, to not only highlight, but actively encourage the wonderful biodiversity of the reef.
With only one piece visible from above the water (the aptly named Ocean Siren – which changes colour in response to temperature fluctuations), the submerged museum will provide a visual reminder of the underwater, unseen challenges facing the world’s largest reef. The best part is that the works themselves will form a ‘greenhouse’ that coral will gradually populate and attract new marine life. Amazing!
Gross Domestic Product – Banksy
It’s becoming more and more important for businesses to be responsible for wider humanitarian issues. We don’t just mean sustainability either. Banksy’s dystopian shopfront in Croydon, cleverly dubbed “Gross Domestic Product”, critiqued the current state of capitalism in the world through the issues of forced migration, the surveillance state and animal cruelty. It displayed items like riot helmets turned into disco balls, the stab-proof vest he designed for Stormzy at Glastonbury, and a rug designed to look like the corpse of Tony the Tiger…
The two week installation in Croydon, wasn’t actually open to passersby. However, you could purchase the items online, including welcome mats stitched by refugees from Greek detainment camps. Revenue from the mats went back to the refugees and sales of the doll sets aided the purchase of a replacement boat for activist Pia Klemp, whose boat was confiscated by the Italian government. Click here for a full overview of what was on sale and why.
The Choose Love pop up returned at the end of last year with its largest store yet. The only concept of its kind, it solely sells much needed items like coats, tents, nappies and sleeping bags, for refugees. Having raised over £2.5m in just two years, it’s also returning to NYC for a second year and opening in LA for the first time.
One of the founders attributes the success to the engagement factor, saying “Putting the concept of Choose Love in a retail space means consumers can engage with the products and, in doing so, engage with people all over the world and understand their stories and some of the challenges and issues they’re facing.” – Further proof of the value of a pop up (or any live experience) in identifying with a brand.
It seems dystopian themes are, not so strangely, very on-trend these days. Perhaps they’re gaining mainstream popularity as we inch closer to fulfilling the sci-fi prophecies from the last century. Life imitating art and all that. Whatever the case, The Syrup Room has shone a light on the issue of the UK’s dying high street by reimagining this shopping centre in a world where nature once again reigns supreme.
This experiential concept serves not only as an attraction to re-engage consumers with the high street but incorporates “biophilic design” to provoke discussions around sustainability and commercialisation. It’s another nice example of how the right environment can impact and alter perceptions.
Walala Pump & Go
We love repurposing something considered derelict or of no use and transforming it into something captivating. Not just for the sustainability factor, but also the juxtaposition of old against new. We’re big fans of Walala and her fusion of styles influenced by her travels – from her Shoreditch building facade to the colourful crossing near our office in London Bridge. We’ve even featured an immersive art installation of hers in a previous Inspiration Station.
Camille teamed up with Justkids, a global creative house that creates international art projects with leading artists, curators and strategic consultants on a pretty mind-blowing scale. And they’re led by an all-female powerhouse. Check out more of their work here. It’s seriously cool. If you want to impress on a larger than life canvas. These are the guys for the job.
Feel The Peel
The natural world is essentially an intricate network of intertwining symbiotic cycles. Nothing goes to waste. We’re seeing more and more examples of this emerging within the tech and design sectors… This is going to be the solution to our global environmental crisis. Zero waste. And it has to start in business.
We know what you’re thinking: “Not another juice bar…” and no, it’s not. Well, yes technically it is. But it comes with a twist! And we don’t mean it’s spiral delivery system. You see this prototype uses the waste orange peels to create 3D printed bioplastic cups. Yep, it uses the outside shell of the orange to once again contain its juicy innards. It’s a wonderful design concept which incorporates both the principles of circularity and sustainability. And it’s by the wonderful Carlo Ratti Associati, check out the rest of their work here.
Ok so we’re not expecting to see this one on the high-street any time soon. But still. We loved the idea, ok?! A design studio in LA, has revealed a prototype for what is essentially a rave hazmat suit, in response to social distancing. For the die hard party animal. You know the one. The Micrashell offers not just a mere face shield, but wireless voice communication, a video camera, and an accompanying app. it’s kitted out with a ventilation system like an N-95 mask and lights enable the user to change colours according to their mood or display messages. For example, a static red light could express ‘busy.’ Busy at the rave. Dealing with a late night work emergency probably.
The suit would naturally block the music out and make it hard to talk to friends. But of course, those geniuses have come up with a wireless communication system that’s based on physical proximity, allowing you to customise who can talk to you, giving the ability to mute people in real life. Bit rude that. You can also separate audio levels from different sources, so you could crank up the DJ’s music stream or tune out your friends’ voices. Wow, getting seriously anti-social now. If the suit happens to obstruct your view, a camera can also help fill in the blanks. While there’s no word yet on when we might see the Micrashell suit in the world, we’ll do whatever it takes to get one.
Triumph Trekker GT
We like it when a heritage brand evolves to fit the times. The British brand Triumph are widely regarded as the prestige of motorcycles. Think Aston Martin on two wheels. But the days of the gas guzzling hog may soon be over with shifts to electric vehicles and growing environmental concerns.
Enter the Trekker GT. For the first time in their 118-year history, Triumph have created their first electric bicycle… And she’s a thing of beauty! It’s exactly what you’d expect from a brand famous for its elegance, quality and comfort. This is a great moved from Triumph and we can’t wait to see how this translates into the world of electric-powered motorcycles in the future.
Nemesis create light systems to sanitise small and large spaces, even arenas. It works by emitting UV-C light waves to kill bacteria, something that’s being trialled globally in efforts to combat Covid-19. With built in occupancy sensors and an LED beacon warning light system, it can be custom branded to UV-C disinfect large areas.
The fixed Pod can be mounted directly to a ceiling structure and the Kinetic Pod drops lengths of 15-100 feet. Smaller versions are also available for disinfecting rooms, equipment, carts, and more. Could this technology become a standard fixture in public areas of the future?
Good news animal lovers… There’s a new leather that’s been created from cactus. It’s 100% plant-based and soft, while offering next level resilience, meeting with rigorous quality and environmental standards. The vegan leather was developed by two good guys from Mexico who worked in the fashion and automotive industries in response to the environmental impact in both sectors.
Desserto provides a sustainable alternative, without toxic chemicals, using minimal water and producing little carbon dioxide. It’s organic, flexible, breathable, lasts up to 10 years – AND doesn’t stain. What’s not to love!
Did you know concrete is responsible for 8% of our global carbon footprint. Think about that for a moment. To combat this, ETH zürich has proposed a clever solution that combines the speed of 3D printing with some nifty geometry, in an effort to make production more efficient.
The team states that the proposed new method sees “the implementation of radically new aesthetics in slabs with functional features on both sides”- resulting in mesmerising concrete formations, that are more resource-efficient and requires less labour. In short, it’s much more sustainable. And pretty too.
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