"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
MAY 18 - 01


Fake leather made from mushrooms

The fashion industry produces about 800 billion pieces of clothing every year. A change in attitudes and awareness to consumption by consumers are desperately needed. But above all we require innovations in the material production if we strive for a sustainable and social future of fashion. This is where Bolt Threads started nine years ago. The biotech company is best known for its "Microsilk", a synthetic spider silk that’s made through fermentation with just water, sugar and engineered yeast. Microsilk is completely sustainable, and it looks and feels exactly like traditional silkworm silk, but it’s also significantly stronger. Recently, the California-based company has introduced its second material, "Mylo", a leather-like material made from mycelium (the root structure of mushrooms), which will go to market in the form of a luxury handbag this June. To fabricate it, Bolt first sourced the mycelium cells and set them up on a dish in the lab. The cells grow by extending fibers called hyphae, which source cellulose-rich nutrients to eat. “Those hyphae, if you control the growth conditions like temperature, humidity, and CO2, make the body of this really dense fibrous network,” Dan Widmaier, founder and CEO of Bolt Threads, says. What comes out is a fibrous network, that looks very similar to the fibrous network of leather. Once the mycelium grows large enough, “we cut it into slices, and it goes through a process not dissimilar to how animal hides are tanned to become leather, except it’s more environmentally friendly,” the CEO explains. What renders the process less environmentally damaging than leather production, is in part because mycelium doesn’t rot like animal hide does, and as such, does not need to be treated with the copious amounts of salt and chemicals to prevent it from disintegrating that goes into leather production. In that sense, Mylo is similar to other biofabricated leather alternatives currently making their way to market. Modern Meadow, a New Jersey-based startup, has developed "Zoa", a liquid leather-like substance grown from collagen, which can be shaped into any form and, like Mylo, tanned to resemble leather, while eliminating leather processing’s most harmful effects. We at Cc observe the field of synthetic biology now for a long time and are again and again surprised about the plenty new possibilities and innovations, the new technology brings with it. We are very happy to be part of this new and interesting movement by consulting our clients and attending on the leading synthetic biology conferences.
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
APR 18 - 01


Getty Images predicts visual trends for 2018

We as a creative consultancy are obsessed with observing contemporary topics and (sub-)cultural trends in society. In regards to visual trends our source of inspiration is the annual Visual Trend Report by Getty Images. In the last 20 years the American stock photo agency has proved its trend affinity by predicting each year the most important visual trends that will shape advertising, design and communication for the upcoming year. By analyzing 1 billion searches, examining 400 million imagery downloads on and studying advertising trends and pop cultural shifts, the creative team of Getty Images just came up with its latest report, in which they define the three leading trends, called 'Masculinity Undone', 'Second Renaissance' and 'Conceptual Realism' for 2018. While in recent years, the focus has been on the stereotyped representation of women in advertising and the media, the stock photo agency points out that the representation of men is also still extremely outdated. Under the motto 'Masculinity Undone' Getty Images predicts that we will see more diverse images of men in 2018, on which we can see them in a more emotionally, vulnerable and complex manner. “With millennials rejecting gender stereotypes, one-dimensional depictions are being challenged”, Getty Images says and gives hope to see long overdue changes in the representation of gender this year. In a time in which everyone can call himself a photographer, because of his mobile phone camera in his back pocket, Getty Images observes a tendency, which they call 'Second Renaissance'. This trend can be seen as a countermovement to professional photographers, who are searching for inspiration in the art history in order to distinguish their photos from common phone photo styles. According to Getty Images there is an increased orientation towards old paintings and images of past epochs, such as portrait photography. Finally, the 'Conceptual Realism' refers to the increase in surrealist subject matter in a realist style. “Realistic”, “authentic”, “believable”, are buzzwords dominating the commercial marketplace. Instead of continuing that way, Getty Images observes a development into a post social media culture, which goes against “authentic and real” imagery in an attempt to create something unexpected. We were happy to see that these three defined trends by Getty Images match our findings from our consumer insight studies and we are looking forward to consulting brands by finding an appropriate and contemporary communication strategy that reflects these trends.
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
MAR 18 - 03


Reconnecting human culture with mother nature

We at Cc are thrilled to announce the recent creation of the "Arts & Nature Social Club", a both physical and intellectual space dedicated to reconnecting human culture with mother nature. The project, which has been conceived and launched by Johann Haehling von Lanzenauer, our partner and managing director of our cultural platform Circle Culture, was first presented to the general public in early March 2018 through a sensually experiencable installation at our gallery space. With exhibited works by, amongst others, Julian Schnabel, Günther Uecker, Strefan Strumbel and Kevin Earl Taylor, the interdisciplinary laboratory wishes to offer an inspirational universe to all those who are longing for new, both sustainable and mindful approaches to life, work and everything in between to explore, feel, breathe, read, contemplate, learn and exchange with like-minded fellows. Since the rationale behind the Arts & Nature Social Club has been close to Johann's heart for a very long time, we are even more happy to see that this beautiful initiative has eventually been brought to life. Please feel free to drop by if you too feel the desire to (re-)discover how everything we are doing, experiencing and thinking can ultimately be traced back to nature, earth and cosmos. The installation is still open until April, 21st.
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
MAR 18 - 01

Emerging Trend

Art in Hotels: Circle Culture x Hotel de Rome

We at Cc have been thrilled to discover that the strategic partnership, which our cultural platform for contemporary visual artists Circle Culture had entered with the Berlin-based luxury hotel Hotel de Rome, has just recently been featured in the latest issue of Financial Times Weekend. Mentioned in the same breath with industry giants such as Gagosian, Galerie Perrotin and Blain I Southern, Circle Culture is portrayed as one of those avant-garde flagship galleries that are currently driving the structural entrance of art into high-end hotels such as Eden Rock in St. Barth, Le Bristol in Paris or Brenners in Baden-Baden. The rationale behind this emerging trend can be found in both worlds: On the one hand, ever more luxury, boutique and design hotels are currently seeking to build long-lasting links to the art world in order to invest differently into a strong and unique "guest experience". The demographic that stays at up-scale hotels on a regular basis and is willing to pay four-figure room rates cherishes, consumes, buys and owns art quite naturally. Thus, incorporating art into the hotel universe appears almost obvious. On the other hand, galleries that face nowadays more than ever an over-crowded cultural landscape of countless museums, art foundations and corporate collections strive for distinct differentiation. Leveraging vibrant venues within the hospitality industry, which are completely opposite to the white cube concept of galleries, enables art dealers to tap into a new, very affluent customer segment and to find new sparring partners when it comes to selling their art. Cc is not only proud that our gallery prominently advises Hotel de Rome in all art-related questions and curates the hotel's proprietary art shows, but also to play a central consultant role in shaping Hotel de Rome's upcoming brand activation strategy.
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
APR 18 - 02


The Ocean Cleanup

Every year, millions of tons of plastic enter the ocean. A significant percentage of this plastic drifts into large systems of circulating ocean currents, also known as gyres. There are five of these ocean garbage patches, the largest one being the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between Hawaii and California with a surface 3 times larger than France. Because big problems need big solutions, we were very happy to hear about The Ocean Cleanup, an initiative that is designing and developing the first feasible method to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. What started as an idea presented at a TEDx talk by the then 18-year-old Boyan Slat six years ago, is now the most promising ocean cleaning approach. Slat, undeterred by skeptical scientists, dropped out of his first year of university to pursue the concept, and founded the nonprofit to create the technology, The Ocean Cleanup, in 2013. The organization raised $2.2 million in a crowdfunding campaign, and other investors, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, brought in millions more to fund research and development. Slat and his team learned that going after plastic with vessels and nets would be costly, time-consuming, labor-intensive and lead to vast amounts of carbon emission and by-catch. Instead, they developed a passive system, moving with the currents - just like the plastic - to catch it. This passive system is comprised of a floater with a solid screen underneath, concentrating the debris and leading it to a collection system. Because the system is slowed down by a drift anchor suspended at an approximate depth of 600 meters, the system moves slower than the plastic and therefore catching it. The Ocean Cleanup has estimated to be able to remove 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 5 years’ time. The concentrated plastic will than be brought back to shore for recycling and sold to B2C companies. After years of work the device is now finally ready to set sail for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this summer. We at Cc are fascinated by the commitment to finding a solution to one of our biggest world problems and keep our fingers crossed that The Ocean Cleanup's first mission in Great Pacific Garbage Patch works out as planned. Read the full story here:
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
MAR 18 - 04


A paradigm shift fuelled by the millennial generation

"For today's audiences, the definition of culture has democratized, nearly to the point of extinction. It's no longer about high versus low or culture versus entertainment; it's about relevance or irrelevance. Activities that have traditionally been considered culture and those that haven't are now on a level playing field." - The Culture Track 2017 - a study, which has been conceived, and is regularly conducted by the New York-based strategic brand consultancy La Placa Cohen - is dedicated to addressing the most pressing challenges facing the worlds of culture and creativity through research, education, dialogue, and action. The latest edition of the report claims that traditional cultural strongholds such as museums, theatres and opera houses need to radically shift their conventional, sometimes still elitist and/or arrogant thinking by re-assessing their role within our modern societies and by better catering to the expectations of generation Y, commonly also referred to as millennials. In sharp contrast to previous generations, most members of the cohort born in the 1980ies would no longer wish to be intellectually educated or missionized for whatever higher cultural purpose. Rather, when questioned on their driving motivation for visiting a cultural event, the majority of the highly coveted younger target groups affirm to especially seek "having fun" when consuming art. While most cultural institutions have long proudly cultivating a self-conception that was primarily defined by cherishing their superior educational task, in recent times, they have thus increasingly come to understand the urgent necessity to transform both their cultural discourse and offering into being more social, more interactive and more vibrant. Or as put by the legendary Austrian art historian and future director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Max Hollein: The new museum as well as any other kind of cultural landmark must offer "a form of deeper art event that turns, through the collaborative experience, the intellectual involvement and the possibility of sharing the emotionally processed knowledge with many - often via social media -, into a one-of-a-kind, trustworthy and "curated" experience." We at Cc are convinced that only engaging art events, which rather resemble inspirational community gatherings than static shows in a referential setting, will be truly able to effectively reach younger audiences and to significantly boost the number of visitors.
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
MAR 18 - 02


Cc is proud of building name, brand and CI of the newly formed company “Joyn Bio”

"Joyn Bio" is the 5th investment by Leaps by Bayer, a unit of Bayer investing in the solutions to some of today’s biggest problems. Previous, Leaps’ investments include Casebia (CRISPR/Cas technology) and BlueRock (induced pluripotent stem cell technology). This new company has been founded to improve soil ecosystems to provide grounders with next generation solutions to their biggest challenges. After consulting Casebia and BlueRock on brand strategy, naming and CI we recently worked with Ginkgo Bioworks and Leaps by Bayer on the naming, branding and CI of their new Biotech Joint Venture “Joyn Bio”. After profound conversations to various experts from our key creative network (e.g. book author Paul Hawkin or Neo.Life founder Jane Metcalfe) we approached the bioscience field and the latter's specific properties to finally induce the aspirational new company name “Joyn Bio”. The name “Joyn Bio” and its logo on the one hand expresses a positive and playful energy, while on the other hand it conveys a feeling of movement, a start into a new and revolutionized biotech decade. With our proprietary Brand Circle, we than developed the fundament of the new brand in order to build a significant communication strategy consisting of a clear mission and key values. Today, we are working on a cutting-edge website for “Joyn Bio”, that reflects the movement and paradigm shift in the field of agriculture. Stay tuned about “Joyn Bio” and check out the holding page, until the final website is launched:
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
FEB 18 - 04


Biotech without Borders

Today's biggest and most controversial chasm between scientists and the general public is over genetically modified organism (short: GMO). A survey undertaken by the Pew Research Centre, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington D.C., reveals that about 88% of U.S. American scientists say genetically modified foods would be safe to eat, whereas only 37% of the American citizens agree. The reason behind that apparently widespread fear of GMO lies, according to a group of biotech scientists and philosophers who jointly wrote an article for the journal "Trends in Plant Science", in human psychology: Since only very few people take the time to really study and understand the details of this subject, we get easily biased by arguments that capitalise on what we already intuitively expect. Or as the paper puts it: "The intuitive mind is not well equipped to address intricate questions, such as 'what is biotechnology?', 'how does it work?', or, most importantly, 'is it dangerous?' The ability to understand such issues and, hence, to have a subsequent objective and rational judgment requires an important effort and, even then, the mind is still liable to relapse into biased thinking. Lay people are often unable or are simply not interested in investing large amounts of time and energy to acquire a profound grasp of complex technologies." And this is precisely where the initiative "Biotech without Borders" wants to offer assistance: The non-profit public charity was only founded in 2017 and is dedicated, under the slogan "Biotech for all", to "democratizing the practice of biotechnology for useful and peaceful purposes in order to benefit humankind and the planet." The organisation was founded by Ellen Jorgensen, who has also co-founded the community lab Genspace in Brooklyn where she established an award-winning curriculum of informal science education for adults and students in biotechnology and synthetic biology. Jorgensen holds a PhD in Molecular Biology, held two frequently cited TED talks ("Biohacking: You can do it too" and "What you need to know about CRISPR") and was named, in 2017, one of the Most Creative Leaders in Business by Fast Company. With Biotech without Borders, Jorgensen aims at actually engaging the end consumer in biotech through hands-on participation of the latter and thus focuses on three key areas: 1. Providing lab space, free supplies and mentorship to support high school science teachers and their students; 2. Offering resources to labs around the globe to help new, like-minded initiative to emerge; 3. Animating the general public through free classes, talks, workshops and public forms. We at Cc will for sure follow this unparalleled venture within the biotech sphere and will closely observe whether they ultimately succeed in overcoming the initially mentioned societal chasm.