While myriad companies continue to map out long-range strategies amidst great uncertainty, trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort is focused on hope.
The World Hope Forum’s first webinar is slated for Saturday, during Dutch Design Week. During the first pandemic shutdown earlier this year, Edelkoort started the WHF with Philip Fimmano in collaboration with Dezeen magazine. The aim is to create a global platform to exchange and improve knowledge, adapt innovative business practices, reset manufacturing, spark inventiveness for alternative methods and rethink the rituals of selling, sharing and bartering.
“We hope to create a creative world community and exchange ideas about making, preserving, innovating and cherishing good practices, open source, and in general, great ideas for [the] planet and people,” Edelkoort said.
In her manifesto for the WHF, Edelkoort noted that the coronavirus has helped people to understand that they should change their behaviors and no longer travel too much, produce too much, consume too much or use too many resources.
Design management, fashion and new materialism and inclusive ways of building streetwear brands will be among the subjects speakers will delve into during Saturday’s event. There will also be talks about the comeback of linen from fiber to fashion by hand and clothes designed to be composted while leaving a trace.
Designer and Do-It-Together creator Tord Boontje, Biobased Creations’ Lucas de Man and Edelkoort will be among the speakers at the daylong event.
Attendees will also hear about houses made from new materials derived from earth, seaweed, rice, reeds, eggshells, mussels and more. Edelkoort said, “We will explore ideas of social design integrating all humans in creative processes. We will show our exhibition called ‘Labour of Love,’ which professes similar goals and visions for the future, including a chair harvested from a tree like an apple.”
There are plans to have an annual multiday world conference — the first is slated for this spring but a date and place have not been disclosed. The objective is “to show the world the power of creative thinking and claiming a seat at the table of marketing and money. It is time all creatives gather to counterbalance the imbalances in society between the hyper-rich and the dormant poor, the male governance of brands and the devastating forces of marketing, resulting in billions of unsold products,“ Edelkoort said.
Another innovative project that sprang from the first lockdown is the International Library for Fashion Research launched this week by Elise By Olsen, who is also the 21-year-old editor in chief of Wallet magazine. While consulting with a few fashion houses earlier this year, many brands were concerned about being able to produce new fashion and they were forced to go back into their archives to reuse past collections, old campaign materials and other resources, she said. They quickly realized they didn’t have an adequate archiving system — and that proved to Olsen that her library concept was needed.
“Today’s increasing priority for digitization threatens traditions of physical archiving or preservation, and in this fast and accelerated fashion climate it’s crucial — perhaps more than ever — to preserve, document and mediate fashion-focused printed matter, and have it consolidated in one place,” the Oslo-based Olsen said.
Programming and activations will be offered with diversity integral to the body of work. “The Publisher Series” with figures like Cecilia Dean and Olu Odukoya has been recorded in Royal Norwegian embassies around the world, Olsen said. The board of directors includes Harold Koda, Akiko Fukai and others, Olsen said.