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Brief Published: 6 Nov 2019

New Exhibition Tackles Always-On Living


Held at London's Somerset House, 24/7: A Wake-Up Call for Our Non-Stop World examines the overwhelming inability to switch off from our round-the-clock lives. We highlight the exhibits presenting solutions to this modern malaise, and how they might inspire brands to boost consumer wellbeing.

  • Controlling Bio-Cycles: The exhibition explores ways in which natural biorhythms are disrupted by tech-laden 24/7 living – such as the concept of night and day. London-based artist Ted Hunt reframes the relationship between humans and solar cycles with a new cross-platform time-telling tool. The division of night and day on the face of his Circa Solar watch adjusts depending on season and geo-location, to better align a user’s body clock with the sun. The accompanying app is currently being tested before being rolled out to smartwatch and smartphone users.
  • Outsourcing Sleep: British artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s Somnoproxy installation presents the future of bedtime stories. The immersive audio installation shows someone snoozing (just trying to avoid sleep/sleeping again) on behalf of wealthy, time-poor individuals, while a pulsating sonic light causes hypnagogia (the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep) for visitors. The exhibit chimes with the growing consumer desire for holistically stimulating experiences – see The Sensory Opportunity for more examples of how brands might tap into the trend.
  • Unplug from it All: Some works propose complete tech abstinence to solve the issue of constant plugged-in living. Finnish artist Nastja Säde Rönkkö spent six months of her Somerset House Studios residency living without the internet. Her exhibit documents the IRL (in real life) correspondence she received during that time. Brands can replicate this experience on a micro scale by creating digital detox escapes. For example, Gothenburg’s Hotel Bellora offered a free night’s stay to guests who refrained from using their phones for the entire night.

We identified the prevalence of modern overwhelm in our 2020 Look Ahead theme Beyond Burnout, and will be tracking the trend over the coming year. For more on how brands are enhancing consumer wellbeing, see 10 Wellness Trends to Watch 2019.

Circa Solar
Circa Solar