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On/off connection - clash of digital and spiritual


︎︎︎ FABIENNE DE BEVER & ALICE WEBER / TECHNOLOGY

TECH-DEPENDENT RELATIONS

WHAT IF INTER-HUMAN RELATIONS BECOME COMPLETELY DIGITAL?


Diary fragment by 16 year old Sarah

02.09.2031 Diary fragment

Today I got new VR glasses to use with my phone. We only have a personalized phone with often VR glasses with which you can enter the virtual social cloud where you can do everything like: visiting virtual events and our classes at school.

Today in class we discussed data misuse again. I am aware of my lack of privacy, but I don’t care. I need it for my whole social life. They mentioned Michelle Porovic as well, that new influencer who sells her personal data to companies as a job. The more she shows, the more she earns. I would like to be her someday.

BTW, AI is also used in a good way. The government developed an AI exocortex which they use to re-connect every kind of citizen. With the help of AI it is possible to redesign cities which become more useful and valuable for both the government and the citizens. Since people are also aware of raising their children without the focus on gender or race; racism, homophobia and bullying are no issues anymore.

I am so lucky everyone in my social cloud is interested in the same things as I am. Mom says this is an algorithm, that I live in my own bubble and miss out on a lot of general knowledge, but I don’t mind.



Advertising – Sustainable coffin by “Green Heaven”

WANNA BE PART OF THE GREEN HEAVEN?


The average age when people in our society die is 105 years.
Until the age of 105 we give our best to live a sustainable and green life.
But what happens afterwards? Do we just die and vanish with our last footprint, our coffin, not being biodegradable?
We from GREEN HEAVEN have the answer! Our coffins are made from mushroom mycelium and will help to decompose your body faster and at the same time will improve the soil in the surroundings. Be sustainable even after your death and make it possible for future generations to live the beautiful life we know and live now!

GREEN HEAVEN – BETTER THAN CLOUD SEVEN!


Talking to an AI (spoken diary entry)
Dear Alma,

I am so exhausted today! At work we had so incredibly much to do because our new artificially intelligent robot “Jenny” is becoming more and more popular.  For my way back home to the floating city neighbourhood I live in, I took a drone taxi because the ground traffic was crazy today. While flying above the city I saw a loft of Jennies in the streets already. It was so nice to see how a Jenny offered immediate help to an old lady who fell on the street. Therefore, Jennies will not only be good companions but will also be a big help in elderly and disabled care .
What would I have done if I was still working in this huge, greyish, cold factory? The job of being an empathologist and coding AI’s that are empathetic is simply my dream job.
Oh Alma, I’m excited for the date partner you found me for tomorrow! Your ability for this is way better than these dating apps we had last century… The days when people in our great society felt lonely are definitely gone.
But for now, I need to take my waste to the local plastic waste recycling plant…it’s really about time!


Online Survey on brand experience

Thanks for joining our online survey about brand experiences


Name: Sam Cornel
Gender: x

ABSORB

COLLECTIONS

What do you think ABSORBS all-digital collection and our service?
I had to wait 10 minutes after I sent my picture in. I received a beautiful picture with me wearing your newest jeans made out of water drops!

Which physical collection of ABSORB do you like the most?
The Psych-collection. My pants alter in colour and prints dependable on my emotions. This could help me connect with my physical friends more.

DID YOU KNOW...
By using your VR glasses at home for our newest campaign video, you could be part of our campaign and visit a brand new digital space, personalised by your interests. We also transformed you into an avatar and make you the main subject of our campaign video.

ALBERT HEIJN

The packaging in the supermarkets are minimalistic. By scanning the QR code on the packaging you are provided with your personal price and branding for this product on your phone.

Do you pay with:
- Card
- Phone
- Chip implement under skin
…..

CONCLUSION:


Strengths and Weaknesses
In this scenario of ‘Tech-dependent relations, Rituals has one main weakness.  It is a brand that focuses mainly on the valuable personal (individual) rituals in life. This is in contrast with the collective society, where (digital) relationships are all that matters to the consumer. Re-design (digital) stores into more community places where people help each other in their personal journeys. Rituals focus on sustainability as well as their goal to implement technology more in their brand strategy is fitting and progressive. This can be combined with their personalized products.

Opportunities and Threats
A threat for Rituals is the decrease of a high-pace society. Due to automation people feel less pressured in their jobs. That could be a problem for Rituals brand DNA which is all about slowing down. A possible opportunity is to refocus their DNA on the highly unsatisfied feeling people have with their neglected physical life nowadays due to unlimited possibilities in their digital life. Consumers find little moments of relaxation in nature. Rituals could either choose to go all digital or stay focussed on physical moments in between people’s digital life. A last threat for Rituals has to do with their home products. Physical houses are seen more as a place to settle while getting lost in their digital life. Instead, they could choose to focus on technological innovations to invest in more sustainable solutions for packaging and product, to stay true to their core values.






OFFLINE RE-CONNECTION WITH INNER SELF

WHAT IF WE FOCUS ON OUR SELF-DEVELOPMENT IN A CONSUMPTION-DRIVEN SOCIETY?


Analysis on political situation by political scientist

Johan van der Plas on his view on the current society

‘Since the decision of the government to leave the green deal behind after the Pandemic in 2021, we have re-defined our economic system. More inter-continental trades and a more localized production. Still the government focuses on a consumption society while the economy is still in stagnation. They are also trying to cope with the first amount of climate refugees fleeing to our little country.

‘Big Dutch companies like Heiniken have taken this opportunity to redefine democracy for us. By investing huge amounts of money in Heinikens own social housing projects, they have shaped our society to their own wishes and have a big influence on the life of citizens. We are all dependable on their decisions.’

‘Since this happened, there has started a huge discussion in society to enter a base income. The gab between rich and poor has never been this big. Social security benefits are the new norm. People do re-consider the value of their own jobs in society. Trying to make a shift to a more collective system. But we are too far polarized to make this shift.’
….



Diary fragment by 35 year old Jake

DIARY, 08.07.2031

My thoughts today: Since social media got redefined, people do not know what is happening in each other's life anymore. Social Media companies needed to rethink their strategy. There is one app left now called: Mybook. Used to get inspiration, make business connections and work on personal developments.
But how could I work on personal development, when people do not respect me as a person? Protests about racism and LGBTQ are somehting of the past. Racism has increased since 2022 again. I sometimes can’t even rent those pods in the parc, because people are scared ot me. All this, because I am black?
Maybe I need to start my own personal protest? One man protests are the new norm. Guerilla way! Hijack places with your personal opinion, just so people will listen to you. Only a lot of those opinions are more like personal conspiracy theories, while people are just focussed on themselves and lose touch with their empathic sides.
I feel lonely today. I miss intimate relationships, it feels all superficial.

Diary fragment by 27 year old Céline

Diary


I am still happy with my choice to live in a self-sufficient city. After the pandemic, those cities started to pop up. I am not dependable on others for my energy, food and water anymore. This is actually sustainable, something I just thought about today, but that is not of big importance to me.
After my tough day at work, I felt a lot of performance pressure again. I went with my bike for my daily parc visit. I brought my TAOD (tree add-on), which today I used as a basketball hoop. I let out my inner child. I am doing this every day for three months now and I feel reborn again. After throwing some balls, I attatched the TAOD to the tree and sat down for a while taking in the surroundings.



Opinion Article on extraordinary Shopping experience - Fashion United

Re-invent your lifestyle by shopping!

Ronald van der Zanden
After the restrictions from the government, some waste and child labour issues on Fast Fashion have been reduced, but still, we produce too much.
Though, the consumer needs changed. Focus on personal wellbeing has become the most important aspect in their lives. Brands like ABSORB are re-opening their physical stores, now called: ‘Lifestyle Experience Center’.
On the first floor, consumers are able to rent a personal Pod, where they can do flower therapy, work or rest. Whenever you enter a store, your personal psychological consultant will come to you. She tells you which psychological effects certain products you think of buying have on you.
On the second floor they sell local materials which you can use in ‘The Workshop Space’ to customize garment, perfume, body care product and more.
I believe, with this experience, mental connections with products are reborn. Not selling a piece of cloth but selling a lifestyle of inner peace.
The fear of getting lost in the consumption society is still there, but consumers are fighting against it. These kind initiatives are popping up more and more and consumers are fighting against it radically.

Conclusion


Strengths and weaknesses
In the scenario “Offline re-connection with inner self”, Rituals could make use of its strong core values that are connected to mindfulness and mental health by offering mindfulness courses at schools and workplaces more, for instance. This would be a great fit in a  world where individual well-being is in the focus.
Furthermore, a weakness of the brand is that it is very sustainability-driven. However, the consumption-driven society could become a big threat, as people do not care much about the added value of sustainability.
In the past, Rituals had been accused of cultural appropriation. In this world which consists of intense polarisation, topics like racism are still an issue. The brand should pay attention in order to not become part of these issues.

Opportunities and threats
Several opportunities are awaiting the brand. Self-sufficient cities are on the rise and Rituals could develop a “DIY” collection that offers customised and personalised products. However, the stagnation of technology might become a threat as Rituals is constantly striving for innovation. The brand would need to find ways to adapt to the technological stagnation. Instead of using social media as a main marketing tool, the brand might concentrate on physical marketing like pop-up stores with many product try-out possibilities.
Moreover, Rituals might think about the development of products that can be used outside in nature as this is the environment people spend most of their time in. An example could be a foam that is suitable for the bathing in natural pools.





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INSIGHT REPORT 2020
Brands and Innovation         Amsterdam Fashion Institute