Nascentdesign - Italian Brand AgencyNascentdesign - Italian Brand Agency
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The Brand Dispatch

January 2022

   Metaverse go virtual

The term, Metaverse, was coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 cyberpunk novel Snow Crash. Google searches of the term soared in October, coinciding with Facebook’s Meta rebrand. From Zuckerberg onwards, now everyone wants the Metaverse.

Electronics giant Samsung is venturing into the metaverse with the opening of a virtual store in Decentraland - a blockchain-powered virtual space, where you can buy and sell exclusive digital assets, like land and wearables, using their decentralised MANA currency. Named after Samsung's flagship 837 store in New York, the Samsung 837X metaverse experience consists of three areas, the Connectivity Theatre (which showcases news from Samsung’s stage at CES 2022), the Sustainability Forest (which comprises a “journey through millions of trees” to mark the company’s sustainability initiatives), and the Customisation Stage.

The metaverse allows us to go beyond physical and geographic boundaries to create unique virtual experiences that would otherwise be impossible to achieve. Emerging media driven activations will go BEYOND WORDS to reach new generations and allow users to engage with concepts in a way better aligned with their day-to-day communication.

   your local INconvenience store

Welcome to Hyperburgers, your consumers-run local supermarket, filled with self-organised food. This prototype store, designed with communities in mind rather than businesses, radically undermines typical retail by removing traditional supply chain from the equation.

And while the anti-supermarket won’t be for everyone, the barter concept will appeal to consumers looking for experience to go off-grid.

The social project by Francesca Tambussi from Design Academy Eindhoven was unveiled in April 2021. Hyperburgers is an INconvenience store: shoppers pay producers for goods and offer a small service in return. Gardeners can stock shelves with their produce, shoppers pay them directly via a peer-to-peer payment system and then provide a service to the store, such as volunteering time to clean, bringing in packaging such as clean plastic yoghurt cups to reuse or paper bags that are still in good shape. In a Hyperburgers kitchen, one might even help cook the store’s food and drinks to go.

Products and money, as well as creativity, goodwill, and time become the new old currency of the future.

   Bus retirement plan

In Japan, the public transport decline due to pandemic concerns pushed the Shinki Bus to rethink its vehicles as mobile real estate. A subsidiary brand is created: “Ribahsu” reads “Re-bus” with the meaning of “rebirth” in Japanese.

The first concept is the Sabus: a bus converted into a wood-fired sauna. While the exterior remains true to the bus’s previous life, the designers have completely restructured the inner area, now consisting of a resting space that retains some of the old atmosphere, a sauna room with a wooden stove, and front office space where once was the driver’s seat. Inside this mobile sauna, you can find items belonging to the bus’s previous use, like bench seats, leather hanging straps and stop buttons that spray steam when pressed.

The first vehicle-turned-sauna will ride a fixed-route from the Hyogo Prefecture, scheduled to start service in February 2022. Mobile daycare rooms, mobile shower and bath stations are also under planning.

   VR future without pollinators

Consumers are aware of climate change. But immersive tools such as VR experience could help them engage with – and then act on – some issues. Set in 2050, Pollinator Park is a 30-minute VR experience that explores a future without bees and other pollinating insects, healthy ecosystems and prosperous flora.

Do you remember a time when the sky was filled with birds and bees, and colourful fruit grew from the trees?

During the experience, users can re-pollinate the world and go grocery shopping in a pollinator-deprived world. Based on scientific research and conceived by the EU Pollinators Initiative in collaboration with archiobiotect Vincent Callebaut, Pollinator Park was launched in May 2021. But the project is more than a game. It is an interactive and emotionally engaging virtual reality experience that immerses users in a futuristic world where man and nature co-exist in harmony, with the aim of changing perspective and helping turn the tide.

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