All posts by Analyzing Trends

The Death of Streetwear Culture is a Class Issue

…in its ‘80s and ‘90s heyday, by and large streetwear culture was driven by the kids from low-income neighborhoods in major American cities. The very term “streetwear” bears that notion—it’s a style born in the streets, in schoolyards, on handball and basketball courts, and on brownstone stoops. More often than not, streetwear heroes—athletes and rappers—came from the working class, more often than not they were Black. There was a time, now unfathomable, when those very people were snubbed by the likes of the streetwear giants, let alone European luxury brands, that now line up to collaborate with them. This attitude was not limited to sneakers. I clearly remember how in the mid-‘90s Hennessy tried to distance itself from hip-hop, as rappers enthusiastically poured its cognac on various parts of female anatomy in their videos. By 2012, however, Nas was featured in Hennesy ads.

What should a nine-thousand-pound electric vehicle sound like?

The electrification of mobility presents humanity with a rare opportunity to reimagine the way cities might sound. Electric motorcycles, cars, trucks, and vans are legally mandated to replace all internal-combustion-engine (I.C.E.) vehicles in New York, L.A., and other cities by mid-century—a shift that will profoundly alter the acoustic texture of urban life. The internal-combustion engine, in addition to being the single largest source of CO2 emissions, is the leading cause of global noise pollution, which studies have shown to have a similarly corrosive effect on human health. When moving at higher speeds, electric vehicles, or E.V.s, produce roughly the same wind and road noise that I.C.E. vehicles do, but at lower speeds they operate in near-silence: electricity flows from the battery to the motor, which spins with a barely audible hum. Therein lie the promise and the peril of E.V.s for city dwellers.

From the wrist into the ear – the potential of hearables

A subset of wearables are the so-called hearables – in-ear devices that are well suited for long-term monitoring as they are non-invasive, inconspicuous and easy to fasten. Hearables offer two major benefits: their proximity to the torso and vascular system of the brain and ear is a physiological advantage and motion artefacts often seen with wrist wearables are no longer an issue for in-ear devices.

Shoes: Anatomy, Identity, Magic

An upcoming exhibition at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, located on the New York City campus of the Fashion Institute of Technology, makes my point. Called Shoes: Anatomy, Identity, Magic, the exhibit reveals that our relationship with footwear goes well beyond the physical, performing social and psychological functions as well.

Amazon’s Roomba Deal Is Really About Mapping Your Home

A smart home, you see, isn’t actually terribly smart. It only knows that your Philips Hue lightbulbs and connected television are in your sitting room because you’ve told it as much. It certainly doesn’t know where exactly the devices are within that room. The more it knows about a given space, the more tightly it can choreograph the way they interact with you.

Why Predicting Trends Doesn’t Help Prepare For The Future

We must recognize that trends do not exist in isolation; instead they collide, mesh, and interact with one another. It is this intricate behavior, this unique dance between political, environmental, economic, technological and social issues that can never be accurately captured in a one dimensional Mega Trend list. To understand what is emerging, we must make sense of the patterns that are forming as a result of these collisions.

Semiotics of dogs

We signal our class, our preferences and our personality through our choice of dog as a pet. By choosing a Labrador, an owner may be signalling their suburban lifestyle or traditional values. The semiotics of dog ownership relates to both our communication with the dog, as we name and treat it, and our communication to the rest of society of what our possession means. And this meaning has changed through the co-evolution of our relationship with animals, much as dogs themselves are sometimes regarded as having domesticated themselves in their affiliation with humans. That it was not our choice but theirs.

Why Humans Are So Bad at Seeing the Future

When you aggregate hundreds of predictions, the result is a special, concentrated kind of wrong. Everyone was trying their best, and everyone missed. And these 40-year-old predictions don’t seem wrong in the fun, steampunk way that, say, late Victorian predictions of personal blimps or hot-air-ballooning robots might seem wrong. They’re just saggy middle-aged predictions.