Every Friday we highlight five things we have on our radar that we think should be on yours, too.
Here’s this week’s Friday Fives.
The World Economic Forum was held recently in Davos, Switzerland and as it always does, drew a large crowd of powerful corporate leaders and world-renowned academics. Conversations and debate included the threat of automation, the occupational aspirations of our younger generation, and of course poverty. Sustainability and the environment was also a big topic, corporate leaders were eager to brag about their own all but obligatory initiatives, rehearsing the PR-firm written script, as their incredibly wasteful private jets touched down in Davos. The writer wonders how much of the WEF is actually useful, and how much of it is just viewed as “a thought leadership opportunity” that is necessary for our “long-term brand strategy.” — MC2
An unlikely force contributes a huge chunk of the earth’s pollution: the fashion industry. France has jumpstarted management over the fashion industry’s global impact thanks to Brune Poirson, one of three secretaries of state within the ministry of “ecological and inclusive transition.” Poirson, who has been called France’s “unofficial minister of fashion,” has taken strides in controlling the waste produced by the industry. Her work prevents fashion labels from destroying unsold merchandise, and drafted a zero-waste law, resulting in fewer toxic fumes and contaminated water streams. The upkeep of internal brand regulation and continuing to push for governmental impact could dramatically change the face of fashion’s polluting industry. — DD
Our favorite furniture and meatball supplier, IKEA, has finally released its limited run of products in collaboration with design collective Teenage Engineering. Over the decades the Swedish company has absorbed into the zeitgeist of day-to-day living on an international scale. With partnerships ranging from Virgil Abloh to Lego, it’s easy to see how the company is becoming the source for not only affordable furniture, but affordable everything. IKEA wants to be your go-to lifestyle brand for furniture, smart home solutions, and now, home audio.
Teenage Engineering isn’t best known for touting the best party products, but rather highly considered and expertly designed audio equipment for both professional and “pro-sumers”. Like IKEA, Teenage Engineering collaborates beyond their audio-based practice to design objects like cameras, gaming consoles (Can’t wait for this one), and now the perfect audio-lighting setup for your living room nightclub. What’s essential to these collections are the efforts of teams thinking about using space more playfully and efficiently. With Teenage Engineering’s modular design sensibilities and IKEA’s commitment to accessible quality, they are able to create considered and affordable items that I can actually add to my terribly tiny New York apartment. — CB
It started simple. Just an instagram filter with the prompt, “What Disney character are you?” It was fun. Cute even. But then it got out of hand. “What Pokemon are you?” filters bombarded my story feed, “What font are you?” hovered over countless heads, “What dog are you?” threw my friends into fits of visceral anger. “How did I get labrador twice? I’m totally a pug.” they’d state incredulously. Who started this madness? Where did it come from? Apparently, it stems from the work of a 24-year-old French programmer and engineer named Clément Quennesson. He created the Disney filter back in August of 2019, and its insane, rapid spread lead to such an enormous hike in followers and user interactions with his account, Instagram temporarily suspended him, assuming he was a bot. This instant, incredible impact from these filters immediately drew company’s eyes, and brands have been quick to do their own versions of the filters, like Panera’s “What bread are you?,” sending off a surge of filter prompts dominating the Instagram story scene to the point of fatigue. It begs the question, does anyone know if there’s one of these for the Sopranos? I think I’d totally get Paulie. — AD
The Grammy’s are heated, but not because of the music
Things are getting heated at (before) the Grammy’s and unfortunately it has nothing to do with any hot artists. Deborah Dugan became the Recording Academy’s president following Neil Portnow’s resignation last year due to his controversial response to criticism that the Academy’s voting was sexist and lacked female representation. Dugan is getting some great support from leaders in the industry who are calling this the same old bullshit, and think she is trying to make a real difference in the industry. So much for change in 2020! — AG
The Working Assembly is an award-winning multidisciplinary design studio with a focus on branding and visual design.
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