Trend Watch December 2020

Google allowing employees to hold some meetings outdoors:

Google has begun holding in-person meetings outdoors on company campuses as it prepares for employees to return to offices next year, according to CNBC.

The company said it is trialing socially-distanced meeting formats called “onsite off-sites” as it tries to find ways to hold more employee collaboration amid the pandemic, and to bring aboard new hires.

Google was the first major tech company to ask employees to stay home when the pandemic started, and is now experimenting with ways to gather people on campuses slowly and safely. It gave workers the option to work from home until summer of 2021.

In September, after finding that most employees wanted to return in a part-time capacity, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company would try ‘hybrid’ work-from-home models, including rearranging office settings.

Read more in the CNBC article.

Bill Gates predicts the pandemic will change the world in 7 dramatic ways:

Five years ago Bill Gates delivered a TED Talk on the likelihood of a future global pandemic, and best practice strategies to prepare for it. Thanks to that talk he is now regarded as one of the most prophetic voices on the threat of new diseases.

The Microsoft founder-turned-philanthropist has launched a new podcast with actor Rashida Jones to discuss “pressing problems” – their first episode covering a vision of life after Covid-19.

In a discussion with infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, Gates described his top seven predictions:

  1. Remote meetings will be normalised.
  2. Software will have improved dramatically.
  3. Companies may share an office on rotation.
  4. We’ll choose to live in different places.
  5. You’ll socialise less at work, and more in your own community.
  6. Things won’t go totally back to normal for a long time.
  7. The next pandemic won’t be nearly as bad.

Read more about his thoughts in the Inc.com article. Also see their story, ‘Why you should be sceptical of post-pandemic predictions.’


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Join Us For Tea Time (via Zoom)

Take a quick (and educational) tea break with us! Customers are invited to join a fast and interactive one-on-one Zoom chat with your local Street Furniture Australia representative to learn about street furniture trends, new products and latest projects.  Presentations are guaranteed no longer than 10-minutes plus Q&A. Each participant will receive a T2 Ten gift box. The T2 Ten box includes 10 teas and tisanes – China Jasmine, French Early Grey, Green Rose, Lemongrass & Ginger, Melbourne Breakfast, Morning Sunshine, New York Breakfast, Packs a Peach, Sleep Tight and Tummy Tea. Book by contacting Nancy on teatime@streetfurniture.com, or via the button below. Update: and the winner of the Tokyobike is … Tea Time participants from September to December in 2020 had a chance to win a Tokyobike Classic Sport. …

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In Profile: Claudia Gee Vassar

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Trend Watch January 2021

The rise of functional art: Public art can blend both form and function, blurring boundaries between the street object and the outcome people get from their engagement with it.  Making art an everyday experience is integral to some of the best public spaces and cities around the world. The right mix of permanent or temporary installations can reflect identity and create vibrancy in an area. The artsy bus shelter pictured above (left) offers a playful and engaging option for those seeking transportation. And the water droplet shape – pictured above right – first appears to be a sculpture, but on closer inspection reveals itself to be a water fountain for refilling drink bottles.  The design of the fountain – called the O fountain – is courtesy of Melbourne based ‘O …

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Trend Watch November 2020

Seoul is Planning ‘Wind Path Forests’ to Direct Fresh Air to the CBD: Seoul has announced plans to bring a concept called ‘wind path forests’ to life, to direct clean air into the city, absorb particles and lessen the urban heat island effect. Trees will be placed close together along rivers and roads to create wind paths so clean and cool air generated at night from Gwanaksan Mountain and Bukhansan Mountain can flow into the centre of Seoul. Three kinds of forests will direct and purify air, according to Cities Today. Wind-generating forests, including species such as pine trees and maple trees, will be cultivated so that they direct the fresh air from the forest to flow towards the city. Connecting forests will feature air-purifying plants, such as wild cherry …

  • 19 nov 2020
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Trend Watch October 2020

Norman Foster on the Pandemic Impact: Though everything currently seems different, in the long term rather than changing anything, Covid-19 will accelerate and magnify trends already in place, the well-known British architect writes for the Guardian. Throughout history the crises of the day have hastened the arrival of the day’s solutions – fireproof buildings, sewage systems, green parks, the automobile, he writes. We should not expect our future to be two-metre distancing – “The last major pandemic of 1918-20 created deserted city centres, face masks, lockdowns and quarantines. But it also heralded the social and cultural revolution of the 1920s with newly built gathering spaces: department stores, cinemas and stadiums. “What might be the equivalent hallmarks of our coming age, after Covid-19?” See the article, The Pandemic will Accelerate the …

  • 8 oct 2020
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Trend Watch August 2020

Designing streets for kids: Released in August by the Global Designing Cities Initiative, “Designing Streets for Kids,” offers strategies and solutions to redesign urban streets and public spaces by focusing on the needs of kids and caregivers, with the goal of making streets beautiful, fun – and safe. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people ages 5-29 globally, and traffic congestion and vehicles contribute to high levels of air pollution, which is responsible for the death of 127,000 children under the age of five each year, the guide’s authors said. Many of these deaths, they said, can be dramatically reduced through kid-friendly street design. Read the Forbes article, How to Make Streets Kid-Friendly by Tanya Mohn. Image: A street in Fortaleza, Brazil, designed according to ‘Designing Streets …

  • 27 aug 2020
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