We at OMUUS believe design has an important role to solve challenges globally. The impact of Covid-19 has changed our daily lives for good, only time will tell what are the most successful scenarios. The virus has accelerated the trends that we have predicted – digitalization – this is the largest digital education program the world has ever seen. The acceleration of the need to design with empathy – the importance of supporting your community and find innovation that is truly helping in saving lives. We believe in the creative community to work together, to keep inspiring each other and creating new ways of working with the possibilities that these changes brings. WHO and The United Nations are asking design community to join to find solutions.
People are seeking for safety and hyper hygienic material solutions to promote public health to stop the pandemic from spreading. We gathered thoughts from our specialists for two articles, their insights to our new ways of working and the market changes. In this first part we will talk about the impacts in China market and how this situation has affected to product and service design.
How has the COVID-19 changed China market?
Jenny Cui,OMUUS China CEO:
‘The impact for China & Chinese market is huge:
China as the first place of virus outbreak, we were shocked suddenly. The most terrible period was right during the Chinese New Year, which made people’s mood over sad compared with previous peaceful & happy new year atmosphere. The original hopeful New Year felt hopeless, which lead to an overall emotional impact of all local people.
From daily life perspective, everything online like teaching, working and shopping are blooming, while offline economy has had a terrible hit. Especially for restaurants, who had to start finding ways to delivery rather than eat-in options. This caused a huge request on the food packages. Also, many super markets had to start selling semi-finished food rather than raw materials, which creates need for packaging. The material needs behind the increased consumption are huge for both for anti-bacterial & eco friendly materials.
As long as the virus keeps spreading worldwide many local companies, especially the manufacture & foreign trade companies businesses dropped terribly. Many of them quickly changed their business from original into Medical supply manufacturing & trading to ensure their business. A large number of new mask production lines has been built up shortly, and the “Melt-blown fabric” and “Tyvek” materials for mask and medical protective clothes are urgently needed. At the same time the price of these materials is getting higher and higher.
The intent to buy clothes & accessories for regular consumer has changed into materials, that can provide protection, like TPU jacket & PVC gloves for their daily commuting protecting, as well as the resins for goggles.Since people are having more time to stay at home, the pajamas & slippers needs are raising increasingly, as well as the in-house fitness equipment, such as yoga mats. From daily necessities perspective, since people keep washing hands, liquid soap & hand creams needs growth significantly as well as masks & room fragrances.’
How the situation affects to product or service design?
Jarkko Saunamäki, OMUUS Principal Designer:
‘Coronavirus is a dark horse expected to affect on megatrends. Health and wellness were already a strong trend, and in the crisis aftermath it will likely intensify further. A demand for related products and services is expected to continue the growth.
Physical products may approach the requirements of clinical products in materials, cleanability and use cases. Remains to see, if this will affect on the trend of sharing economy, due the fact that social caring has increased. Cleanability and antimicrobialwill become a marketing argument, such as ergonomics, usability and sustainability were.
The usage of digital services boomed in the crisis, and revealed the bottlenecks in usability and reliability. New virus specific applications and services are already launched.
The economy moves in cycles. Research and Development often predicts the upcoming change and budgets are cut down in the economic downturn. The product development may take years, and investing only in the economic upswing may lead to wrong timing with the market entry. In a crisis some freeze, others see opportunities for new products and services. ‘
We want to thank Jenny & Jarkko for sharing their thoughts about current situation and how it has affected to their work. In the second article we will cover the topics of CMF in this changed situation, and material technologies answered by our specialists. Stay safe & tuned!
To get to know how Team OMUUS work during the quarantine, we will share some home office inspiration to our Instagram stories in upcoming days, go check it out!