"Screw genetics! Screw aging! I want abs this summer… and arms that are somewhere between Madonna and Michelle Obama."
As a generation raised on Adderall and The Biggest Loser, Millennials don’t feel limited by their DNA or what they see in the mirror. Given the right discipline, money, or tools they’re confident they can make their bodies do or BE whatever they want. That might mean taking energy shots (delete that 2:30 feeling!) or implanting magnets under the skin (free wifi!). The singularity IS near!*
"That’s the thing, it’s not that much of a leap," said Cannon. "We’ve had pacemakers since the ’70s." Brain implants are now being used to treat Parkinson’s disease and depression. Scientists hope that brain implants might soon restore mobility to paralyzed limbs. The crucial difference is that grinders are pursuing this technology for human enhancement, without any medical need.” - Cyborg America, The Verge.com
*”The end-game for all this is ‘singularity’: a state of super-intelligence that could entail endless implants and body modifications - and the end of humanity as we know it. A long time before we get there, however, will be the embracing of wearable technology by the internet’s biggest brands; Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.” - Rise of the Bodyhackers, Techradar
"Biological evolution is too slow for the human species. Over the next few decades, it’s going to be left in the dust." - Ray Kurzweil
Man, machine: they’re merging for business and/or pleasure. Understand how you can support bodyhackers before they really mess themselves up.
image via phoenixnewtimes
Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at the Healthcare Experience Design Conference in Boston, MA. My talk, The #NXT Generation of Healthcare outlined the new expectations of Millennials in regards to health and healthcare, and 5 trends the healthcare industry should incorporate into their offerings to surprise and delight this new set of patients.
The 5 trends:
Thanks to everyone who attended. Video will be available soon.
The idea is to use the design sensibility—ethnographic field research, sketching, prototyping—to make a retail space run as smoothly as a high-performance car. “Instead of designing tangible things, it’s about designing all the interactions a customer has with the brand,” says Kerry Bodine, a vice president and principal analyst with Forrester (FORR). “One by one, brands are taking the plunge into this world, and there is a lot of hunger in the U.S. for these services.”
If there is anything Dov Charney and Rick Santorum can agree on, it’s that
the internet can be harshAmerican-made products are pretty great. Companies like GE, Apple and even the legendary Frisbee-maker Wham-O are relocating production of their wares stateside. While there is a solid business rationale – reduced shipping costs, protection of IP, ease of collaboration between the people who design the product and those that make it – there is an equally strong emotional component. Whether it signifies quality craftsmanship, a resurgence of our economy, or is just a rosy afterglow from the Olympics, people from Detroit to LA are bursting with a new nationalism that’s satisfied by buying stuff labeled “Made in the USA.”
“GE’s appliance unit does $5 billion in business—and today, 55 percent of that revenue comes from products made in the United States. By the end of 2014, GE expects 75 percent of the appliance business’s revenue to come from American-made products like dishwashers, water heaters, and refrigerators, and the company expects that its sales numbers will be larger, as the housing market revives” (The Atlantic).
“…In a survey last year of 1,300 affluent shoppers by Unity Marketing, a Pennsylvania-based consulting and marketing group, respondents ranked the United States first (higher than Italy or France) in perceived manufacturing quality of luxury goods” (NYT).
“In an email to supporters of his grassroots group ‘Patriot Voices’ Tuesday, [Rick Santorum] unveiled a ‘Made in the USA Christmas Challenge.’ ‘We want you to … buy as many Christmas and holiday presents as you can that are made right here in the U.S.,’ reads the email from Santorum and his wife, Karen. ‘As you hit the stores on Black Friday, be mindful of who’s made what you’re buying’” (USNews).
“To some, this inauguration, in fact, may have been as much an occasion for celebrating the first lady’s style… Her choices are safe but interesting, with enough of a story and a variety to keep fashion obsessives engrossed. Wearing a broad array of mostly American designers also feeds into the idea that she is doing her part for the fashion industry” (NYT).
We’re going to have to learn how to make stuff again.
image via American Apparel
Get used to your pricey dinner being served on a scarred farmhouse table by a whippersnapper in a dirty thermal. Rough Luxe is a design aesthetic that has permeated everything from food to fashion to architecture. It places importance on good storytelling and a restrained combination of raw elements. It’s success is in it’s ability to heighten the relationships and sensorial experiences we have with objects, environments, or brands by emphasizing the original, unique or authentic elements. Elements are often repurposed while holding true to their raw character and mixed thoughtfully with unobtrusive technology. The overall experience is luxurious, as the quality and simplicity of ingredients remains thoughtful, whether it be a walnut slab or iPad checkout system.
“But collecting these old things, it’s like there is an aura attached to them. It’s not some prepackaged product being foisted on you by a big corporation” (NYT).
“The worn, vintage and unfinished look of ‘rough luxe’ is more than just the masculine side of shabby chic. It creates the kind of authenticity that is unscripted history in physical form. It reinvents the past by redefining luxury today. Here design rejects minimalism and extravagance and celebrates imperfection. It is the embodiment of real at a time when the unexpected and the surprising is valued higher than pristine and probable” (Amazon).
“It’s artful dissonance. For those who have come to think of luxury as smooth, shiny, polished, refined and expensive, rough luxe will undoubtedly come off as unfinished, unplanned and somewhat chaotic” (WSJ Magazine).
“Gjelina is one of the coolest, hippest restaurants in LA. The decor is vintage industrial chic with rustic wood tables and exposed “Edison Bulbs” dangling from weathered metal bars” (Consuming LA).
How can we imbue our products with a meaningful history and help their stories be told and felt?
This week, Continuum will be participating in the TEDxOrangeCoast conference. The theme for this year: “Redefining Relevance.” Lara Lee, Continuum’s Chief Innovation & Operating Officer, will be speaking and the NXT team that I lead will share trends that inspire how we design the future.
As our clients race to stay ahead of the competition and ethnographic research becomes more commonplace— NXT tracks changes in culture, business and technology to combine emerging trends with our insights about people helping us to make sure our innovations remain relevant today and in the future.
NXT will invite TEDxOC attendees to snap a pic in their photobooth and join a trend they’ve named “#TagMe.” This trend illustrates how people today are capturing, documenting and sharing their lives in real-time to “remain relevant” in their own social circles. Let’s face it, in a world where you are your profile page, if there’s no proof, it literally didn’t happen. So please, visit us on October 10th at the conference to snap a pic and be sure to check out the TEDxOC facebook page to see who was there!