Future+ Fridays | Issue8

Digital Art Week London is returning, CuteCircuit partners with Football club for 'Sound Shirts', Adidas new collaboration with STEPN and much more.

Hi, it’s Ashumi, the founder of Future+, writing to you from the skies as I head to the Venice Biennale.

This week was all about playing catch up and planning for our presence at NFC Lisbon in May and Cannes Lions in June. But more on that soon. I will definitely be putting Salone del Mobile in Milan on my calendar for next year, we delve into why you should too, below.

In this week’s edition, we dive into exciting plans for Digital Art Week in London, explore a fresh sneaker x Web3 collaboration, and innovative technologies enhancing inclusivity at football games, and more.

If you are reading this for the first time remember to subscribe here for weekly news and look back at older issues through this link.

📖 In this week’s issue

  1. Digital Art Week returns to London this April

  2. Newcastle United partners with CuteCircuit introducing the

    'Sound Shirt' for deaf fans

  3. Salone del Mobile: Milan's Hub for Luxury and Design

  4. STEPN Teams Up with Adidas for Exclusive NFT Sneaker Collection

  5. Shaping the future: Adobe AI integration to transform Premiere Pro

👩‍💻 Also on our radar, in case you missed it

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🔎 Deeper Insights

1- Digital Art Week returns to London this April 

From April 22nd to 28th, Digital Art Week London will take place—a spectacular fusion of digital art, music, and technology spread across the city's most iconic spaces. Throughout the week, over 120 leading digital artists, including Krista Kim, Ouchhh, and Sasha Stiles, will display their works in more than 100 venues around the city—from galleries and outdoor spaces to music venues and digital billboards. Key locations will include Unit London, Asprey Studio, and Shoreditch Arts Club, alongside innovative digital displays at the Outernet district and W1 Curates.

This year's iteration will explore the great outdoors, blending urban scenery with immersive AR activations created by artists. As part of the Earth Month celebration, Digital Art Week has also partnered with 1Hotel to present a series of exclusive events focused on digital art and environmental sustainability, talks by digital art leaders, intimate showcases, and unique collaborations with luxury spirit brands, offering custom cocktails to attendees. Shaina Silva, the founder of Digital Art Week, states this will be their biggest edition to date. 

Attendees will be able to navigate the event with a digital passport supported by Ivy Pass, collecting tokens from each experience to preserve memories of their artistic journey.

The event will also host a panel series at the Outernet featuring speakers from Art Basel, Visa, AWS, Epic Games, and others, promoting meaningful discussions across industries such as fashion, hospitality, and sports.

If you are in London, make sure to RSVP to the event of your choices. As subscriber of this newsletter, you’re invited to take advantage of a special 10% discount for the panels on the 22nd of April at Outernet. Please note, this offer is available for a limited time only. Use the code DAWXHERE135 when you RSVP, or click on this link to automatically apply your discount.

What it matters: Digital Art Week not only celebrates the cutting-edge of digital creativity but also creates a deeper appreciation for how technology intersects with everyday life and is brought to the city. This event showcases how digital art can influence perceptions, enhance environments, and integrate with various industries, making it a vital platform for discussing future trends and technologies.


  • Digital Art Week is taking place in London from April 22 to 28th.

  • Over 120 artists will be showcasing including Krista Kim and Sasha Stiles in OOH advertisement and exciting venues.

  • Expect Augmented Reality experiences and sustainability-focused events

  • Participants through the week will use a digital passport to collect tokens and preserve artworks in their smartphone

In an innovative move to make football games more inclusive, Newcastle United is introducing groundbreaking "Sound Shirts" for deaf and hard-of-hearing fans. These shirts, developed by the fashion tech brand, CuteCircuit, feature haptic technology that converts noises into touch sensations, allowing fans to 'feel' the excitement of the game. 

Looking like all the common jerseys, the ‘Sound Shirts’ will be worn for the first time on Saturday, April 20th, during Premier League game against Tottenham. With hidden microphones around the stadium, the shirts will capture live crowd sounds, then transmitted as vibrations and lights within the shirt fabric, mimicking the game's atmosphere. 

The initiative is supported by Newcastle's sponsor, Saudi events company Sela, which is dedicating its usual ad space on the club's jersey to the national hearing loss charity (RNID), for this specific game. This activation not only aims at enhancing the game day experience for deaf fans but also to raise awareness for the 12 million people in the UK who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

The technology, previously used in concert halls to help deaf individuals experience classical music, has been adapted to the dynamic environment of a football stadium—a challenge that inventors Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz have both enthusiastically tackled. "It's like wearing the stadium on your shoulders," says Genz, highlighting the immersive new way fans can connect with the sport.

Why it matters: This initiative by Newcastle United represents a significant step towards inclusivity in sports, acknowledging the diverse needs of fans and enhancing their experience through innovative technology. It not only allows deaf and hard-of-hearing fans to engage with the game in a unique and meaningful way but also sets a precedent for other clubs and organisations to follow.


  • Newcastle United partnered with CuteCircuit, launching "Sound Shirts" for deaf and hard-of-hearing fans, allowing them to 'feel' football games through haptic technology.

  • The shirt converts crowd noises into vibrations and lights, mimicking the game atmosphere.

  • The technology will be experienced for the first time on Saturday 20th April, also in support of the RNID, hearing loss charity.

  • The initiative marks a significant move towards inclusive sports to enable fans to engage more fully with the game.

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3- Salone del Mobile: Milan's Hub for Luxury and Design

This week, Milan becomes the focal point for the world of design with the Salone del Mobile, running from April 16th to 21st. Over the years, the event has grown significantly, transforming from a traditional furniture fair into a comprehensive luxury lifestyle showcase across town.

Originally dominated by luxury furniture makers, the Salone del Mobile now draws top fashion brands. This strategic pivot aligns with a broader industry pattern where brands are increasingly opting for more intimate, brand-controlled presentations over traditional trade show formats. Despite this shift, the fair continues to be a pivotal event, with over 300,000 visitors from key markets marking a significant 15% increase in attendance year after year.

Interestingly, the event's focus is not just on product showcases but also on fostering deep conversations. For the third time, Prada is hosting the 'Frames' symposium during the fair, emphasising the intricate relationship between design and the natural environment rather than its latest homeware collection.

The Salone del Mobile also serves as a vital networking hub with side events and activations, drawing creatives across various industries, enhancing cross-industry collaboration and innovation to Milan.

Finally, during this week in Milan, all eyes are on Gucci as it marks the debut of new designer Sabato De Sarno’s decor elements for the brand’s flagship store. This presentation taking place in the Gucci store, is amongst the highlights of this design week, with the top floor being transformed into a carpeted maze of a very peculiar and specific acid green.

Parola by Gae Aulenti and Piero Castiglioni for FontanaArte. Courtesy of Gucci.

Why It Matters: The significance of Salone del Mobile extends beyond its role as a premier design fair. It symbolises the evolving intersections between fashion, luxury, and living spaces, illustrating the broader trends affecting these intertwined industries. As brands navigate the challenges of appealing to both high-end clients and environmentally conscious consumers, events like Salone del Mobile offer invaluable insights into the future directions of luxury and design. Furthermore, by hosting influential gatherings and fostering industry-wide conversations, the fair underscores the importance of cultural and creative exchanges in shaping the future of luxury lifestyle markets


  • Milan is hosting the Salone del Mobile, this week from the 16th to the 21st of April–showcasing a hub for luxury lifestyle beyond the traditional furniture.

  • The fair now attracts top fashion brands and not only luxury furniture stores, though some of them have decided to show presentations in intimate settings in their shops.

  • The fair attracts significant crowds, with a year-on-year 15% increase.

  • The event appears as a networking hub with numerous sides events and activations.

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4- STEPN Teams Up with Adidas for Exclusive NFT Sneaker Collection

STEPN, a Web3 running application that combines social-fi and game-fi elements, has announced an exciting partnership with Adidas. This collaboration introduces a limited-edition collection of generative NFT sneakers, inspired by Adidas's iconic running silhouette. Featuring 1,000 unique STEPN x Adidas genesis sneakers, each sneaker is co-branded with STEPN's distinctive lightning bolt logo and Adidas's iconic three stripes, minted on the Solana blockchain. 

This release marks the beginning of a year-long partnership between STEPN and Adidas, promising more releases, both in physical and digital products. Shiti Manghani, CEO of STEPN, expressed her enthusiasm about the partnership, highlighting the shared focus on fitness and lifestyle at the core of both brands. The collaboration will also integrate product-level initiatives within both brands' apps, aimed at encouraging and rewarding users for their running activities. 

The digital sneakers will be available for purchase on the MOOAR marketplace, priced in STEPN's native token. The announcement follows an airdrop executed by STEPN on Wednesday, during which STEPN distributed $30 million worth of its awards. These awards allow users to engage more fully with upcoming STEPN mints and enhance their chances of winning exclusive prizes. 

This partnership follows STEPN's previous successful collaboration with ASICS, which saw a rapid sell-out. Launched in 2021, already with 5 million registered users, STEPN ranks among the top lifestyle apps globally. It merges the Web3 landscape with the gaming sector by rewarding physical exercise with crypto rewards–users purchase the virtual sneaker NFTs which is linked to their smartphones to earn rewards through walking, jogging, or running. 

Why It Matters: This partnership between STEPN and Adidas illustrates a significant trend in the blending of digital and physical consumer experiences, leveraging the growing interest in digital assets and blockchain technology to enhance user engagement in fitness activities. Gamifying exercise and integrating it within the digital asset space, STEPN and Adidas are setting a precedent for how lifestyle brands can innovate and incentivise their consumers. This collaboration positions both STEPN and Adidas at the forefront of a digital fitness revolution.


  • STEPN, a Web3 running app, partners with Adidas to release a limited-edition collection of 1,000 generative NFT sneakers on Solana blockchain.

  • The drop marks the beginning of a year-long partnership, with plans for more releases including both physical and digital products.

  • Both brands will integrate product-level initiatives in their apps to promote running activities, rewarding users for their engagement.

  • STEPN has previously seen success with its ASICS collaboration.

  • The partnership exemplifies the merging of digital and physical realms, using blockchain and NFTs to enhance user engagement and promote a healthy lifestyle.

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Adobe is pioneering a significant shift in the video editing field by the integration of AI tools and potentially third-party generative AI tools, in the likes of OpenAI's Sora, into its video editing software, Premiere Pro. By including AI-based features, it will revolutionise video editing by automating tasks like filling parts of a scene with AI-generated objects or removing unwanted elements effortlessly, sparing video editors from labour-intensive manual work–which are all features that were already added into Photoshop, Adobe’s image editing software. 

The integration will utilise Adobe's own AI model, Firefly, which is designed to handle extensive data while providing indemnity against copyright claims, setting Adobe apart amid strong competition from entities like OpenAI, Midjourney, and startups. Additionally, Adobe is exploring ways to enable users to incorporate tools from other third party AI companies, such as Sora, Runway and Pika Labs, to generate and edit video content directly within Premiere Pro. 

This strategic move comes at a crucial time as Adobe’s shares have fallen by 20% this year, highlighting concerns that AI-generated content tools and softwares may undermine its core business. In response, Adobe has demonstrated the experimental use of the Sora model in Premiere Pro through a video, although the model itself is not yet publicly available and has no specific release timeline, similar to the public release status of Sora, which remains unannounced. Moreover, Adobe's vice president of product marketing for creative professional apps has indicated that the financial model for incorporating these third-party AI tools is still under discussion. 

Why this matters: Adobe's integration of AI into Premiere Pro could be a game-changer for the creative industry with the possibility of enhancing creative potential, increasing efficiency, and providing legal safeguards, which are essential in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. More importantly, these advancements help keep Adobe relevant and at the forefront of the industry. Through such innovations, Adobe positions itself not just as a software provider, but as a leader in the future of creative digital technologies, demonstrating that the era of collaboration is more crucial than ever to remain relevant.


  • Adobe is integrating AI tools within Premiere Pro–one of the industry standards when it comes to video editing. It is looking at integrating third-party tools such as OpenAi’s Sora.

  • The strategic move comes as Adobe's shares have fallen by 20% this year, aiming to safeguard its core business against the risks posed by AI tools and softwares.

  • Currently there is no release date on when those AI tools will be available for public use and are still at the Beta state.

That’s all for this week. Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and sign up to our WhatsApp channel for more weekly recaps, case studies, and deep dives on everything happening across creative, culture, and technology. 

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