In 2016 adidas Originals released NMD – their lifestyle sneaker designed for a new generation of creative pioneers.
The global campaign avoided casting big name celebrities. Instead it featured a mix of the most interesting and emerging talent from around the world – from multidisciplinary creatives to pro basketball player-hip hop artist hybrids. The slogan, Your Future Is Not Mine, was a rallying cry to this audience – inviting them to defy convention and follow their own path.
So when Sunshine was invited to launch the NMD with a flagship experience in London, it was obvious that it needed to break the mould. For six days and nights, we took over a three-storey building in East London and transformed it into a unique, immersive cultural destination: Part installation, part inspiration and part celebration.
Futurehouse connected the NMD with the creative community who inspired it – inviting them to explore, shape and celebrate their own future.
Futurehouse was designed squarely with Instagram in mind. For this audience, we knew the design and aesthetic would be assessed as closely as what was happening inside: this is an audience who have a sixth sense for the inauthentic. So rather than overt branding and product placement, we focussed on creating a distinctive and visually-spectacular environment that was nonetheless completely ownable by adidas; and rather than focus on one 'photo moment', we ensured every angle of the space was designed to be Instagrammable, creating diverse social stories and avoiding overkill.
Fortunately, the launch campaign gave us plenty to work with. We developed a design concept called Fractured Futures – a collision of multiple dystopian environments. From an apocalyptic, urban wasteland to a walk-in, narcissistic kaleidoscope, we then worked with set designer Tanya Clark to bring to life five immersive worlds inspired by the television commercial.
Each environment was designed as a platform for a variety of themed experiences – from bars and performance stages, to product displays and interactive photo moments.
We collaborated with digital pioneers Hellicar & Lewis to develop a series of responsive installations, including an all-seeing CCTV video wall that played back audience activities, designed as a subversive comment on modern surveillance culture.
Turning Futurehouse into a true cultural destination meant delivering events that would hook our audience in; to do this Sunshine produced a busy schedule of live experiences.
In the daytime we hosted a packed programme of events designed to inspire London’s young creative community – from workshops and panels with their heroes, to film screenings and InstaMeets. Authenticity was key, so we worked closely with local talents and influencers to curate an unmissable series of valuable experiences.
This approach continued into the evening. Every night Futurehouse transformed into a music venue hosted by a different influencer. These performances featured a line-up of international and emerging talent, including Joey Bada$$, Kano, Annie Mac, Wretch 32 and Avelino.
The multi-day, thematically led programme allowed us to team up with different media partners throughout the week. From our VIP launch party co-hosted with Hypebeast, to an emerging music night hosted by NME – supported by a media-first NME print and digital takeover.
For six days Futurehouse became one of London’s most talked-about destinations: 3600+ people passed through the building over six days, creating 5000+ social posts, and 300k likes, shares and retweets.
The runaway success inspired other markets to adopt London’s formula for Futurehouse across the globe, creating a genuine platform for a new cultural movement.