1 Apr 2014

The Polarity Paradox - LS:N Global Trend Briefing SS14

                                                                 Where Panama City's 'Red Devil' buses go to die.

It’s the job of some people to think of the future. What will people buy, what will people wear, and what will people eat? The only way to do this is to look at the rise of current phenomena and try and establish which, if any, will become more relevant in the future. This is what the guys at TheFuture Laboratory do - and in doing so they throw up some very interesting things.

I was fortunate enough to have a ticket to their Global Trend Briefing in London, which focused on…

- The ‘Convergence Economy’ - that ‘silos’ in our lives are collapsing, that the difference between shopping, entertainment, products, and hospitality is no longer clear.

- The ‘Flat Age Society’ - that increasingly people don’t look, act, or feel old.

- The ‘Polarity Paradox’ - that people are abandoning the middle ground and instead living and moving between temporary extremes.

...and the impact that these trends have on the world of fashion, design, technology, food, and retail.

An alcohol free 'mocktail' bar, Redemption, Notting Hill, London.
Aside from a few statements out of kilter with reality - cows are in fact indirectly fed on petrol, it’s not just a terrifying vision of the future; and I’m not sure how many OAPs actually holiday in Burma - the majority of the ideas they presented were spellbinding and a real insight into what the reality of tomorrow is likely to hold.

 Predicting the future of personal device design, from Dor Design.

For many in the audience, the interest will have been in the fusion of technology and fashion. With their FuelBand, Nike are clearly leading the way, but it won’t be long before brands like Apple and Samsung shower us with items we want to use for their function and wear for their style. Google’s recently announced tie-upwith Ray-Ban is proof of that idea.

 Jun Takahashi designed Nike running gear.

For me, there was a particular interest in the concepts surrounding the future of food: Wolvesmouth in LA with their roadkill dinners looked unbelievable, but true; while Redemption Bar in Notting Hill - a no alcohol bar - is firmly on the ‘to visit’ list.

I’m sure Mat, with his love of travel will be really interested in Jungles in Paris and War Zone Tours. Incredible companies that offer an insight - virtual or actual - in to amazing parts of the world, untouched by tourists due to conflict, negative publicity, or purely remoteness.

The number of brands attending was staggering and I’m excited to see if/when they begin to develop products, clothes, and meals that match the ideas on show here. - Nik.

You can find Nik on his blogTwitter + Instagram.

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  1. Sounds like this would have been really amazing to go to - I hadn't thought of the fact that there are people who do have to predict what's going to happen in the future- as obvious as it sounds.

  2. Thank you!
    Glad you enjoyed the day Nik
    And hope you have heard some interesting stuff Mat!

  3. Amazing post!


  4. It was a pretty amazing afternoon. Only 4 or 5 hours of talks, but the amount of insight in that time was incredible. I'd say what I've covered in this piece amounts to less than 10% of what was covered on the day. Really worth going in you ever get the chance!

  5. I like the sound of this "flat age theory", I'd happily stay and be respected at this age for ever more! <3 Claire @ Jazzpad


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