Category Archives: forecasting

A City Is Not a Computer

Just as important as the data stored and accessed on city servers, in archival boxes, on library shelves and museum walls are the forms of urban intelligence that cannot be easily contained, framed, and catalogued. We need to ask: What place-based “information” doesn’t fit on a shelf or in a database?

The State of Fashion 2023: Holding onto growth as global clouds gather (McKinsey)

The fashion market, excluding the luxury sector, will struggle to deliver significant growth in 2023. McKinsey analysis of fashion forecasts projects relatively slow sales growth of between –2 and +3 percent, weighed down by a contraction in the European market (expected to shrink between 1 and 4 percent) (exhibit). China and the United States are expected to fare better, growing between 2 and 7 percent and between 1 and 6 percent, respectively. These forecasts are reflective of inflation and are calculated in local currencies, meaning that the real impact for the sector could be more negative than these figures suggest.

Our home is a narrative system

Our home is a narrative system. To develop effective speculative design strategies we must understand the relationship between design, meaning, and use. To cultivate sustainable systems we must consider how any specific design requires a shift in habits that can be constantly impacted by changing externalities.

As part of the Culture Mapping workshops I share with students and clients, we map these evolving meanings to understand how our design must anticipate changes that provide better investments and direction of resources.

By mapping the evolution of our design as a system of language we can uncover narrative codes. Our homes offer a corpus of language embedded in the evolving design of how we live. The concept of “a machine for living” today is something quite different than it was after WW2. Our desire to be closer to food systems is one obvious example. Today’s “machine for living” is a home that learns and adapts to a changing world with fewer resources and an increasing ambiguity between home and other spaces in our world.

#culturemapping #home #designthinking #semiotics #speculativedesign #foresight

The Problem of Abundance

“I’ve become obsessed,” Thompson wrote, “with a policy agenda that is focused on solving our national problem of scarcity.” His solution boiled down to abundance—increasing the supply of doctors, nurses, homes, infrastructure, nuclear energy, and so forth. Thompson, who as a moderate liberal is a scarce commodity all by himself, proposed a number of policy fixes he felt certain would lead us to abundance and thus repair all that is broken with the country.

The Fashion Jobs Most Vulnerable to AI

Levi’s bumpy launch almost perfectly encapsulates the ethical and business questions many companies must tackle as the newest waves of artificial intelligence — most notably ChatGPT, a chatbot that can answer questions, write essays and even compose songs — gain momentum. AI’s proponents argue the technology can be a powerful tool to help brands cut costs, stay competitive and enhance the creativity and output of their teams. But there’s a darker scenario where companies bluntly employ AI as a one-to-one replacement for humans — veering into a whole host of ethical challenges while trading off many of the benefits of human creativity.

What the anti-influencer movement means for luxury

A backlash is building momentum against the overuse of influencers in luxury marketing in the past decade. Now that over-promotion and hard-sell tactics have made for a more cynical consumer, a rethink is underway.

Why Business Leaders Must Resist the Anti-ESG Movement

The culture wars in the U.S. continue to rage, and they’ve come for business. Companies are being dragged into issues that stir emotions, such as abortion, gay and trans rights, racial and gender equity, and climate change. In particular, business is facing questions about its stance on societal issues mainly from the right side of the political aisle. So with 70% of America’s top execs calling themselves Republicans, business leaders now find themselves in an odd position: accused by high-profile members and pundits from their own party of being part of a “woke” or “anti-ESG” progressive agenda.