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News

Investors bet everything on Nothing

The Swedish tech entrepreneur left the smartphone giant last year and received a not-so-modest amount of money from investors to build a new company, which is announced today.

But why the name Nothing?

The venture’s aim for the future is a technology that resembles nothing.

Although it’s still unsure exactly what ”smart products” Nothing will release and what company they will be competing with, we do know that they are planning to release products across multiple categories. To avoid them from looking too much like their competitors, they’ll have custom made components from the start. 

— It’s been a while since anything interesting happened in tech. It is time for a fresh breeze of change. Nothing’s mission is to remove barriers between people and technology to create a seamless digital future. We believe that the best technology is beautiful, yet natural and intuitive to use. When sufficiently advanced, it should fade into the background and feel like nothing, says Carl Pei.

Nothing’s first product is expected to be released in the first half of 2021.

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News

How Canada Goose’s new parka aims to set the standard for sustainable outerwear to come

Last year, the brand unveiled its Sustainable Impact Strategy and introduced HUMANATURE. The latter is described by Gavin Thompson, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship, as their purpose platform that unites all sustainability and values-based initiatives. Or, basically, more than a platform.

— It’s our brand philosophy that is embedded in all of our decision-making. We know that as citizens of a global community we can always do more. It’s that idea that gave us the inspiration to call our purpose commitment HUMANATURE — as we are part of nature and nature is part of us. The platform unites the brand behind a singular purpose — to keep the planet cold and the people on it warm. We keep people warm by honouring and invigorating communities, prioritizing philanthropic endeavors, and building culture through the arts. The Resource Center Program is one example, where leftover materials from our production lines are donated to Inuit communities to craft their own clothing. We recently expanded to also include the donation of repurposed parkas to deliver warmth to Northern communities. Project Atigi is a social entrepreneurship project for Inuit designers who have created capsule collections using their traditional skills and our modern materials, he says, continuing,

— The Sustainable Impact Strategy’s building on these core values and outlining our vision for the future. This purpose is embedded across every aspect of our company’s operations; from sustainably designed products with lifetime warranty, to our membership of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, to our longstanding partnership with Polar Bears International. It’s the only global organization dedicated solely to conserving wild polar bears and their habitat, for whom we have raised $3.5 million Canadian dollars to support research.

Thompson describes how Canada Goose’s products are designed to be function first, ahead of everything else.

— We’re not interested in putting our logo on something just because it might sell. Our jackets are relied on by the people who live and work in the coldest places on earth, so everything we make has to work, and has to be the best, he states.

The latest launch, Standard Expedition Parka, is based on their heritage style, the Expedition Parka, an extreme weather parka created for exactly that reason; to keep people warm in extremely cold environments. And, it will help set the standard for the brand’s future of sustainable outerwear, Thompson states.

— Innovation is at the core of everything we do, be it through introducing new materials, fabrics, processes, while still staying true to our function-first model. In terms of sustainable innovation, it’s made from recycled and undyed fabrics, lining, and interlining, 100% responsibly sourced down, and reclaimed fur. The griege colourway is a result of limited chemical use with the undyed fabrics. These fabric and materials updates positively impacted the Standard’s carbon footprint, generating 30% less carbon and utilizing 65% less water, compared to the existing Expedition Parka. This new coat embodies our strategy and commitment to sustainability.

Tell us more about your Sustainable Impact Strategy and how it’ll contribute to your sustainability work onwards.

— One of our main goals for the future is to achieve carbon neutrality. Like most businesses, we see carbon emissions derived from our use of energy and from waste. We already rely on carbon-free, renewable energy for approximately 85% of the electricity we use, which is a benefit derived from our manufacturing being based in Canada — the domestic power grid consists of mostly hydro and nuclear power. We plan to achieve or exceed our target of net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by implementing detailed action plans which include comprehensive recommendations on everything from adopting more recycled materials, to reducing waste. As part of our Sustainable Impact Strategy, we are also committed to increasing our use of renewable energy through a variety of ways, including purchasing renewable energy credits, as well as exploring new and emerging energy technologies.

— In 2019 we became a System Partner with bluesign technologies, an independent textile auditing group based in Switzerland. It uses a system of factory audits and certification to monitor the complex journey of materials at every step of the supply chain — from chemical formulation to the finished product. As well, within the report, we have announced our commitment to the global Responsible Down Standard (RDS), we are committed to being 100% RDS-certified by the end of this year. From 2022, we plan to use only reclaimed fur in our supply chain. This means that we will manufacture parkas using reclaimed fur and end the purchase of new fur. With this recent launch of the Standard Expedition Parka we have already introduced this new product innovation using reclaimed fur only, says Thompson.

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Podcast

Erik Martinson (Svea Solar) on the future of energy

In this episode, Martinson walks us through:

Being turned down by Tesla and using student loans as seed funding.

Will solar energy work in Scandinavia’s sun-starved environment?

How solar panels get cheaper and more efficient over time, unlike fossil fuel and coal.

Fighting poverty and climate change with local solar energy.

Solar Energy intruding the energy market faster than initially expected. 

Listen on Apple Podcast and Acast.

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News

Brewery Dugges’ first restaurant is a must for beer and interior lovers

Holm and Dugges — one of the pioneers on Scandinavia’s constantly growing micro-brewery scene — are both based in Gothenburg, where beer bar and restaurant, run by top chef Gustav Trägårdh, Pils opened last week.

— For me, Dugges is all about quality, flavour, and experimenting, reflected in playful colour and patterns, says Holm. I usually don’t work so much with colour or patterns, but I definitely share their enthusiasm for experimentation and the quest for quality. I know how nerdy they are in everything they do and I saw great potential that this could be a very nice project. I was right! 

Tell us about the interior design.

— We started with this idea to base this one — and, possibly, all future Dugges restaurants — on one of their beers. The first one is Pils. So I just treated the project as if Pils is a person. The Pils bottle is happy, popping with bright blue and green and the beer is a great, elegant pilsner that is easy to like and drink. We wanted the place to be a sort of beer restaurant with a wine bar quality to it. So, I wanted to base the interior on calm green colours and let the bright details pop through as sharp contrast. I’m especially fond of the bar with its Pils-patterned glass front and the Terrazzo top made out of old beer bottles. And when you visit, make sure you head to the restrooms. Too often I visit restaurants that didn’t make an effort to make nice and fresh restrooms and it really feels cheap and boring. Especially if the accessibility restroom is made with minimum effort. Here I had the opportunity to make the restrooms into walk-in sculptures.

Do you think that the current situation has or will change the design of restaurants and other public areas?

— Naturally, the short-term effect has been less people at the venues and more distance between the patrons, but when the coast is clear, people will go out more than ever and then we’ll be back to packing as much people inside as possible again. This year we have seen some amazing creativity from venues with, for instance, winter outdoor seating and even Guide Michelin restaurants offering take away ”cook your self baskets” for the weekends. I hope this creativity will be permanent, says Holm.

What’s up next for you?

— Several furniture projects, both commercial and one-off ones for secret clients, and hopefully we can get started on new Dugges restaurants in the near future. I’m also waiting for a client to ask me to design a private house, museum, or large public artwork. That would be very interesting. So, don’t be shy.

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News

Sustainability and madness when Henrik Vibskov shows at Paris fashion week

It’s been 20 years since the danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov left Central saint Martins to start his own brand, and this year it’s celebrated with a cake collection. The men’s A/W 2021 collection was shown during the digital Paris fashion week. The collection is inspired by the different colors, textures and shapes of cake as well as tablecloths, baking tools and pastry chefs. In the collection we see creamy pastels, large checked patterns and playful colors that mirror the theme. 

Other than the show the collection is portrayed in “The collection video”. The video presents a set with green gel cakes in a surrealistic baking factory, all in a fantasy world on napkin-trees and laser gel pearls. The video ends with the models celebrating with green jello cakes and green drinks at a large table showing the inspiration for the collection: cake and how it’s connected to celebration.

All fabrics for the collection have been chosen based on their sustainable qualities. The garments are made from organic and or upcycled cotton, recycled polyester and PET bottles, tencel made from upcycled cotton and cellulose fibres and European linen and virgin wool. The set for the collection video was made of the material from an old set to minimize the usage of new material and environmental impact.

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News

5 things Scandinavian brands should learn from Prada’s latest show

In a time where traditional fashion shows are not an option, Prada is getting creative in their ways of reaching out to customers. We listed 5 key takeaways from the show that we want to see more of from Scandinavian brands.

1. A digital physical presentation

Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ first menswear collection together for Prada was live-streamed from Milan on Sunday the 17th available for anyone to watch. The show took place in an abstract scene of four connected rooms with walls and floors clothed in faux fur, resin, marble, plaster, different textures, hard and soft materials. It could be seen as both interior and exterior and was an important part of giving a physical feeling when the show could only be seen digitally. The space created by Rem Koolhaas and AMO (a part of OMA) was meant to excite and provoke our senses, and give an intimate connection to our surroundings. The collection was shown with no present audience and it could only be seen via the digital presentation. Muccia says she likes the thought that the shows are available simultaneously for everyone, making fashion more including. She wants to hang on to this virtual development even when physical shows return. 

2. Community interaction

After the show Prada and Simons let a selection of students from colleges and universities around the world ask live questions about the collection. The two designers sat together in the Milan HQ and answered questions and held discussions with the students via live video chat. This concept of letting an audience ask questions directly to the designers minutes after a show has never been seen before like this in fashion. Prada chose to open up this discussion instead of limiting the conversation to a small group of gatekeepers as it’s usually done in fashion. Showing us how technology can be used as a tool to open up unique discussions in fashion.

3. Virtual reality and 3D space

On their website, Prada has made it possible for viewers to virtually walk through the show scene and take a closer look at the interiors and the collection that’s portrayed on mannequins in the different showrooms. Viewers can click their way through and use the floor plan view, dollhouse view, and measurement tool for garments. The show scene is even available to view in VR. Customers are given a super close look of the collection along with the experience of the show scene allowing more people to be closer than ever to the actual show

4. Old traditions and new technology

There are still feelings of a typical runway show such as sending out a physical invitation and the look photographs making it familiar. But then it’s combined with a digital presentation of the collection and the different uses of technology to make the show and the experience of it available in a much wider range. Prada is showing us great examples of how technology can be used to enhance the experience and availability of fashion shows and states that this is something that they will continue developing further on.

5. It’s still about the product

Innovations aside, the show still represented the great level of design that we all expected from a duo of Prada and Simons. The collection contains a range of oversized outerwear, the bomber jackets for example, typical for Raf Simons. As a base for the collection, the designer duo had the ”body suit” which were seen under well-tailored suits and colorful jackets. Prada and Simon’s collection has been received with great reviews and pleased customers. The show and everything that comes with it is a mixture of the traditional runway experience and features of new technology. Prada balances the personal touch with a unique way of making fashion for everyone.

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News

3XN on how they’ll create Denmark’s first carbon-negative hotel

Hotel Green Solution House is located in Rønne on the Danish island and popular tourist destination of Bornholm. It also serves as a showcase for sustainable and climate-friendly building solutions. This August, they’ll open a new wing with 24 rooms, a conference room, and a roof spa. It’s all built, clad, and insulated using wooden materials that will not only be CO2 neutral but climate positive.

— The idea is simple — we believe that climate positive architecture combines good design and good business. Today destination tourism has got multiple dimensions. The hotel is providing a blueprint for a climate positive future, and that experience is a destination worth travelling for, which ultimately makes it a good business for our client, says Kasper Guldager Jensen, architect, partner 3XN, and founder of the firm’s sustainability-driven green think tank GXN.

How do you do to make it climate-positive?

— The building functions like a carbon bank, meaning that sequestered carbon in the wood structure, wood cladding, and wood insulation overseeds the embodied carbon in the remains of the building materials, tells 3XN’s PR Manager Cecilie Østerby, continuing,

— Beyond using wood wherever it is possible we’re also working with reworking local material waste streams like upcycled glass tiles with a local artist and stone dust from the local granite wreck.

How’d you describe the wing’s design?

— It’s what we call Scandinavian honesty. True in its material and with circular aesthetic where buildings joints and layers are visible.

”Everyone talks about it — we build it”

According to the International Environment Agency, the construction industry accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions, with steel and concrete alone being responsible for 16 percent. Hotel Green Solution House’s Director Trine Richter hopes to show the way forward towards designing and using other building materials.

— Even though the industry is having a hard time right now, we are full of expectation that the Danes will continue to spend their holidays in Denmark, and that companies will continue to demand meetings and conferences with a sustainable set-up. We are excited about the prospect of setting new standards for Danish commercial construction with this new climate-positive building, where the load-bearing structure will be made from wood. Everyone talks about it — we build it, she says.

Cecilie Østerby, will you continue to work with carbon-negativity in other projects?

— Yes, carbon transparency is becoming the new benchmark in sustainable architecture. We are currently also developing a net-zero carbon highrise in London.

How do you see the future for this kind of projects?

— We see a future where climate-positive buildings become highest value. Where success is measured in both economical and environmental performance.

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News

Detachable Vingla balance bike is both educative and fun

Leading up to his graduation from Beckmans College of Design, Rasmus Steyner Randén wanted to set the bar high for his senior project. He decided to infuse his industrial design fascination of human behaviour with his personal allure of two-wheeled mobility, resulting in the Vingla balance bicycle.

— I knew I wanted to challenge myself. I am inspired by pedagogy and haptics, and was hungry for a counteraction to modern pedagogical tools that are often associated with flat screens. The idea of a running bike gradually emerged during the process. It felt like an optimal carrier of what I wanted to create due to its different components, he explains.

The Vingla balance bicycle consists of three components; a body, a handlebar and the two wheels. The different parts are easily assembled and dismantled with thanks to the yellow coded pins and straps, pedagogically designed for young riders and engineers. The handlebar and wheels come in different sizes, allowing the children to switch up outgrown parts as the years go by.

Steyner Randén’s playful yet instructive approach has not gone unnoticed, and that highly mounted bar helped Vingla take off without delay. The balance bicycle has together with 25 other creations been assigned the Ung Svensk Form award — Svensk Form (The Swedish Society of Crafts and Design) and IKEA Museum’s initiative to increase the knowledge of new innovative Swedish design.

Speaking of increasing the knowledge of design, Steyner Randén is hoping that Vingla and it’s educative design message reaches as many kids as possible.

— I am currently working on how the ownership of the run bike would look like. I want to find a way to make it available to more people. Your socio-economic situation should not determine what toys your child has, Steyner Randén concludes.

”Your socio-economic situation should not determine what toys your child has”

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News

These fashion brands showcase their collections through gaming

We have seen countless examples of fashion brands collaborating with video games. Lately, brands have taken the relationship between fashion and gaming to the next level by launching their own games.

Collina Land — Collina Strada

Alongside 14 other up-and-coming labels, the New York-based brand Collina Strada launched a game featuring their pre-fall 2021 collection during GucciFest — the virtual film festival hosted by Gucci’s Alessandro Michele.

In collaboration with multimedia artist Freeka Tet, Collina Strada created a game in which characters help to battle the climate — I like to keep the conversation going while still having an element of lighthearted fun — explains Hillary Taymur, founder and designer of Collina Strada to Dazed Magazine. 

Real models were digitally scanned into the five different worlds of the game, where they can complete missions like picking up trash and watering plants. By merging the worlds of fashion and gaming, as well as raising awareness on climate change Collina Land is truly innovative. 

Venture out in Collina’s digital forrest here.

Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow — Balenciaga

The fashion giant run by creative director Demna Gvasalia, also chose to present the brands fall 2021 ready-to-wear collection in an innovative way. 

The unisex collection was revealed through the futuristic computer game Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow set in 2031. The player is able to choose an avatar that during the game travels through different zones — passing by a Balenciaga store, models and pieces from the fall 2021 collection. 

The game is a perfect combination of the real and the virtual, and with Balenciaga being one of the most influential fashion brands today, it is not surprising that Vogue described this project as — a quantum leap for the fashion industry. 

Check out the collection featured in the game here.

SUNNEI canvas — SUNNEI

Milan-based designers Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo, founders of SUNNEI, presented their latest collection through a mobile phone game. SUNNEI Canvas, the brands VR platform was first introduced in the brands SS21 collection. Human-like characters presented the designs in an all-white version, allowing selected retailers to digitally customize the pieces.

The brands latest collection has further combined reality with the virtual world by showcasing the pieces in a video game accessible to anyone.

The mobile game features ten avatars each customizable with different looks from the FW21 collection.

Though the game seems rather pointless in the sense that there are no winners or losers, it allows the consumer to experience the collection firsthand. 

Check it out here.

B surf — Burberry

Burberry has during the last couple of years launched three different online games, the latest one being B Surf — an online game showcasing their TB Summer Monogram collection. 

In the game players are able to choose between four different avatars with surfboards, wearing pieces from the TB Summer Monogram collection. The goal is to race against the clock alongside other characters, and the multiplayer feature allows players to compete with friends. 

We can look forward to more games from the brand since they announced a partnership with Tencent Games and it’s online game Honour of Kings in November. 

Try B Surf yourself here.

Categories
Opinion

”2021 is a new decade and a paradigm shift”

We are now entering a laid-back time. Sunkissed is the new black. After a time of status hunting and the feeling that we are not good enough, the 20s become a period when we — and consumption — slow down to sit back in the afternoon sun with a gin tonic or a cup of coffee.

In retrospect, we can state that the last ten years have stressed our lifestyle. Ten years ago, we were constantly connected on our new smartphones and learned to keep a close eye on new phenomena such as Instagram. The Like button was born in 2009. The time around 2005-2007 was the start of a new kind of TV show where we learned to compete in weight and cooking and presenters told us that we could not dress or keep track of our finances. We were brought up to think that we must change. We did not die. In 2011, we were ridiculed in stand-up shows for constantly wanting everything to be fresh and light while stressing on our way to yoga. The blog was born in 2006.

2021 is a new decade and a paradigm shift.

There is a lot of speculation about how our lifestyle will develop. The pandemic will affect a lot and there is talk about everything from how we work and produce things, to the fact that we long for our own balconies when we have to be at home. There is also a lot of talks that tendencies that have already begun will be strengthened, such as digitalization (shopping on the internet did not start in 2020, but exploded) or the opportunity to work from anywhere, in cafes or at home.

Based on the pandemic and other global phenomena, I see five things that will dominate our lifestyle in the future.

Community. It’s all about breaking the loneliness. 52% of all American teens under the age of 29 have moved in with their parents. It has enormous consequences for how we want to live. We can feel lonely even though we live in the same place. As a result, we see for example how sports brands communicate with us about #hometeam, rather than running fast and far. Community and breaking loneliness can be the reason why so many get dogs as pets.

Activism. Vogue dedicated their ”September issue” to Black Lives Matter. Awareness of representation becomes important in the public sphere. Art gallery Sven-Harrys is making the first Sami art exhibition in Stockholm with contemporary art. In a year where everything is laid back, this phenomenon is completely full of energy and active. The only ones who do anything are those who protest.

Sustainability. 75% of all US consumers consider sustainability to be ”important” or ”very important”. But what happens to the sustainability issue when the big commercial dragons enter the game? How do we feel when Coca-Cola launches bottles made from recycled paper, or IKEA makes a recycling department store? At the same time, research shows that the word ”sustainable” means different things depending on our age. If you are 45 years or older, the definition of sustainable is that it lasts a long time and is made from recycled materials. For younger people, up to 35 years old, being sustainable means vegan and fair trade. Sustainability remains important, but also complex. The complexity makes us confused and hesitant. But it will get better. Everyone wants a more sustainable world, but the question is who, what and how…

Health — corona kilos and bacilli. The issue of health is exploding. It’s all about the relationship to corona and the pandemic. Which materials are hygienic? Just like all textiles had to give in when we discussed allergies and carpets in the 90s, there is a risk that the wooden surfaces can get kicked out because there may be bacilli. Who uses a wooden cutting board to cut raw chicken? But, the result can be the opposite of this. There are research projects showing that wood promotes health and then we want more wood around us. The hall will function as an airlock and we will explore tools for living a bacilli-freer life. Health is also body and soul. A strong body and a balanced mind. The apps that are growing the most are wellness-related.

Pleasure. Interior design star Ilse Crawford talks about ”key pieces” and others talk about ”objects for thought”. In a world where we have looked more at functionality than aesthetics, there is still room for beautiful things. We will consume less and much more vintage or second hand. Replacement consumption exists, of course, but selected, beautiful, strange objects still fit in our rational homes. As an effect of a pandemic with digital meetings and family members who demand attention, the new luxury is to slowly wake up to life in your own, separate room with a cup of coffee. The morning room is the new one for the year to come.