The Grooviest Cocoons in the Insect Kingdom – IDEO’s Chief Marketing Officer on the Future of the Design Industry – The tenth annual Digital Auto Report by pwc

The TextileFuture Newsletter of today will give you the choice of three completely different features. But of course, we hope you will read all of the three!

The first Item will take you to the Insect Kingdom and is thought for to add to your knowledge of nature. It is entitled “The Grooviest Cocoons in the Insect Kingdom”.

The second feature will talk about the Design Industry based upon an interview with Detria Williamson conducted by the Wall Street Journal. It is entitled “IDEO’s Chief Marketing Officer on the Future of the Design Industry”.

The third item, entitled “The tenth annual Digital Auto Report by pwc” will offer the first volume that is published,  demonstrating that the mobility ecosystem is entering a fragmented future, with different adoption patterns and use cases by region.

We at TextileFuture think, that each feature will offer some food for thoughts, to yourself or your firm. Enjoy, and have an excellent week.

Here starts the first item:

The Grooviest Cocoons in the Insect Kingdom

Larvae of some paper wasp species use mysteriously fluorescent silk to weave the container in which they mature to adulthood.

By guest author Cara Giaimo from the New York Times

Captions courtesy by the New York Times

Adult paper wasps are capable builders, painstakingly mouth-crafting nests out of plant matter and spit. But they start out as larvae which carry out construction projects of their own.

Just before these youngsters begin a metamorphosis into maturity, most paper wasp larvae sequester themselves in special nest compartments with woven seals called cocoon caps, which they make out of silk threads.

There on the cusp of adulthood, the larvae may add a bit of dorm room flare. The cocoon caps of several paper wasp species, relatives of some you may see in your yard, fluoresce yellow-green under ultraviolet light and lend the whole nest a groovy glow.

This fluorescence, described for the first time last week in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, can be unusually bright: The silk of a species, Polistes brunetus, found in Vietnam’s forests, glows three times brighter than the most fluorescent terrestrial animal previously known.

The discovery adds to a growing pantheon of surprising examples of natural fluorescence — and to the mystery of what purposes, if any, these light shows serve.

Ultraviolet, or UV, light has too high of a frequency for people to see. Fluorescent pigments and other molecules take in this light and then emit it back as visible wavelengths. People harness this power to throw blacklight parties and brighten white T-shirts. Animals in the ocean use it to lure prey.

Fluorescence in terrestrial animals is more perplexing, and seems to be rarer. But it can be hidden in plain sight: In recent years, people have spotted a number of previously unknown instances, such as glowing platypuses and flying squirrels, by simply waving UV lights around in backyards, zoos and natural history museums.

Bernd Schöllhorn, a chemistry professor at the University of Paris, was wielding his UV flashlight in the Cuc Phuong rainforest south of Hanoi when its beam landed on a paper wasp nest. It shone back so brightly, he said, that he thought another person had turned their own flashlight beam on him.

With the help of Lien Thi Phuong Nguyen, a wasp expert at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Dr. Schöllhorn collected nests from several paper wasp species around Vietnam. He then examined them with colleagues at the Paris Institute of Nanosciences, alongside the nests of species from France and French Guiana.

Measuring the ratio of how much UV light something takes in versus how much visible light it emits is “a good way to evaluate the intensity” of fluorescence, Dr. Schöllhorn said. P. brunetus nests returned 35 percent of the light they absorbed — about three times more than the most intensely fluorescent land animals previously known, a green Namibian gecko and a frog from Argentina that glows mint blue.

If you land a UV flashlight on a P. brunetus nest in the forest, “it’s really flashy,” like a bicycle reflector, Dr. Schöllhorn said. (Even in regular daylight, its color appears somewhat amped up, like a tennis ball.) Another species of paper wasp the group studied demonstrated intensity more on par with the Argentine frog, while others showed weaker fluorescence or none at all.

The question is whether this flashiness has a function. The team proposed several possibilities: A fluorescent nest may improve camouflage in bright leaves, or serve as a homing beacon as wasps return in the evenings after foraging. Or it could signal bigger, predatory wasps to stay away, Dr. Nguyen said. Fluorescent compounds can also help shield living things from the harmful effects of UV rays — the same that cause skin damage to people — by absorbing them. Perhaps a fluorescent cocoon cap keeps UV out while enhancing light signals necessary for metamorphosis, Dr. Schöllhorn said.

Like many earlier fluorescence studies, this one is “exciting” but inconclusive, said Tim Caro, a professor of evolutionary ecology at the University of Bristol in England who was not involved with the research.

“Scientists are really struggling to make functional sense of this phenomenon,” he said, adding that looking into the cost of producing fluorescence would be a good way to investigate whether it serves a purpose in a particular species.

The team is currently following up on some of these questions, although progress can be difficult. After all, wasps have another, less secret skill: “They can sting,” Dr. Schöllhorn said.

Here start the second feature:

IDEO’s Chief Marketing Officer on the Future of the Design Industry

Detria Williamson, who took on the role this spring, talks about making design—and IDEO’S workforce—more inclusive.

By guest author Anne-Marie Alcántara from the Wall Street Journal

Detria Williamson, the new chief marketing officer of design company IDEO, said that as tools such as Squarespace have proliferated, everyone can be a designer—but the risk is that design becomes commoditised.

That means professional designers need to be able to stand out from the pack instead of offering cookie-cutter ideas, she added.

“People who are actually the most open to design tend to be digitally native, global citizens,” who can consider a problem from more than one angle, said Ms. Williamson, who has lived in the US, London, Singapore, and the Middle East. The executive, who said her views have also been shaped by her experience as a Black single mother, calls herself an “inclusivity visionary” on her LinkedIn profile.

Her approach is to focus on inclusive customer experience, which integrates various aspects of the customer experience, including how people are targeted and how products are designed.

IDEO is known for projects such as creating the first mass-market mouse for Apple Inc. and early smartphones. Its roots date to the 1978 founding of David Kelley Design in Palo Alto, Calif. The company changed its name to IDEO in 1991 after merging with the design firms of Bill Moggridge and Mike Nuttall.

Ms. Williamson became IDEO’s chief marketing officer this spring, succeeding Whitney Mortimer, who held the post from 1997 to 2020, and who remains a partner at the design firm. Previously, Ms. Williamson was the managing director of digital transformation and global inclusive customer-experience lead at Accenture Interactive, part of consulting company Accenture PLC.

IDEO has more than 600 employees world-wide and focuses on human-centered design, a concept that encourages designers to focus on people and any problems they might face with a product. The company is grappling with changes in the industry, for instance the trend of businesses moving design work in house instead of working with agencies.

Ms. Williamson spoke to the Experience Report by phone and email about her role, the future of design, and how to make IDEO’s workforce more inclusive. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

WSJ: How has design changed in the last decade?

Ms. Williamson: Think about how easy it is to design and launch a website or personal platform. Platforms like Squarespace, Instagram and Shopify have given everyone access to design tools in ways once unimaginable. While this is exciting because we are now seeing a greater understanding and appreciation for good design, it also has led to an oversimplification, and commoditization of design.

When emerging designers hone their skills using the same tools and templates, we risk design becoming homogenous. This is why the skill set of the digitally native, global citizen is so important. The perspective they bring considers more than one or two angles.

WSJ: Some companies are starting to bring their design work in house instead of working with agencies. Why is that?

Ms. Williamson: Good design has become more universally understood and appreciated. Every company is thinking about design. And if they’re not, they should be. Just like marketing and advertising teams, it makes sense to start building up an in-house design capability. You want someone on hand who really understands the brand, and that’s all they’re thinking about.

WSJ: What do companies need to realize as they try to become more inclusive?

Ms. Williamson: Employees are fast becoming the most important stakeholder. At face value, employees are consumers of the employer brand, but the brand-consumer relationship extends much deeper in this case. Think about the last year and the role that employer brands took on in our lives. As employees we relied on them for up-to-date information, healthcare, work-from-home support, and literally invited our employer into our personal lives.

This last year, this last decade, you’ve seen companies really focus on engineering diversity. But what they have not been able to foster is inclusion. And that is because diversity can be engineered and inclusion cannot. That is where inclusive customer experience was born out of—that recognition that solely focusing on internal experience doesn’t actually fix diversity.

WSJ: A highly critical personal essay about someone’s experience as a non-U.S. citizen at IDEO came out a few months ago, just as you joined the company. How are you thinking about changing the culture of IDEO?

Ms. Williamson: I had been just shy of two months into the role, as a woman of color, sort of being hit with quite a humbling and humiliating experience—as a leader, but also for us as a company.

I coach executives and companies that if you ever believe that you’ve arrived, then you really need to reset your goal. Because when it comes to inclusion, you don’t arrive—it’s work that you have to continue to do.

WSJ: What specific work is IDEO doing in that area?

Ms. Williamson: Improving our feedback processes, and making sure that we have pay-equity analysis, which is ongoing.

We’re evolving our hiring process to de-emphasize the “cultural fit” and put more weight against cultural contribution. We’re making it happen in three ways:

• First, we’ve removed fuzzy intuition from our evaluation process and have created a structured rubric against which every role is evaluated.

• Second, we’ve expanded our view of experience, and are looking beyond backgrounds typically associated with design to focus on transferable skills from lived experiences.

• And third, we’re increasing our proactive networking so we’re not just relying on who’s coming to us. We’re deepening our existing partnerships and tapping into new networks, working with organizations like Consortium, RepresentEd, and youth groups like Links and Smash to recruit and engage future BIPOC [Black, indigenous, people of colour] designers.

Here starts the third item:

The tenth annual Digital Auto Report by pwc

The mobility ecosystem is entering a fragmented future, with different adoption patterns and use cases by region.

The tenth annual Digital Auto Report is a global consumer survey with a focus on the U.S., EU, China plus a new view on Japan. It consists of a quantitative market outlook until 2035 based on detailed research and interviews with key industry executives at OEMs and suppliers, leading academics and industry analysts.

The report is divided in three volumes:

(1) Assessing global mobility market dynamics

(2) Capturing value with new mobility business models (coming soon)

(3) Building software-defined vehicles and services (coming soon)

Assessing global mobility market dynamics

Rising market attention on sustainability and competitive pressure from maturing digital disruptors are heavily impacting auto executives’ strategy towards connected, electric, automated and smart mobility (volume 1)

  • 97 % of Chinese consumers want to change their mobility behavior to improve their CO2 footprint in comparison to 70 % in Germany and 52 % in the U.S. Switching to an electric vehicle is stated as preferred measure to achieve this in China and in the US whereas Germans would like to do more walking and cycling
  • The total vehicle parc projections until 2035 stagnate in Europe (-0.6 % p.a.) and Japan (-0.9 % p.a.) vs. a marginal growth in the US (+1.3 % p.a.) and stronger growth in China (+3.9 % p.a.) which is driven by growing mobility demand, customer preferences for an own car and vehicle disposal rate
  • Vehicle connectivity is advancing with 50 % of total parc connected in Europe by 2025 (US by 2023, China by 2029). While OEMs are reaching a critical size with their connected service customer base, they still struggle with reliable service delivery at scale (over-the-air update functionality)
  • E-mobility is at its inflection point in Europe driven by strong government incentives and regulations with 27 % BEV share of new car sales in 2025 ahead of China (19 %), US (6 %) and Japan (5 %). The slow charging infrastructure build-up will soon become the biggest growth hurdle
  • The Automated driving outlook is similar to the previous year: in passenger transport, the technology will penetrate the market with a range of specific use cases that are difficult to scale
  • Despite consumer reluctance to share vehicles or rides during the pandemic, smart mobility modes beyond vehicle ownership are expected to grow in the long-term

As the mobility ecosystem is adjusting to the new normal, many auto players will need to reboot their CASE strategies.

Newsletter of last week

September is a month of big choices

The highlights of last week’s NEWS, for your convenience, just click on the feature to read.


Surging Covid-19 Cases Hammer Asian Factories


Carnegie Mellon Aims to Automate Science Experiments


How G.M.’s First Turbo Engines Crashed and Burned


Clean energy could bestow major competitive advantage for suppliers


Soteria Battery Innovation Group acquires Elegus Technologies’ Solution for Increased Cycle Life of Lithium-ion Batteries

Stellantis will use SVOLT’s Batteries from 2025 On


BASF and Shanshan form battery materials joint venture in China

Child Careworkers

2 million childcare workers and teachers’ aides in the EU in 2020


Definitive half-year results 2021 of the EMS Group

Ralph Lauren reveals sustainable uniforms for US Open

Picanol Group Consolidated Results HY 2021


The Cotton Tote Crisis

Cyber criminals

Breaking News: Cyber criminals attacked twice the Saurer textile machinery producer


How alcohol prices vary across the EU

Number and volume of Swiss Covid-19 bridging credits

Swiss Banking Barometre 2021

Swiss Public finances: rapid recovery after substantial deficits caused by COVID-19 crisis

Explore the quality of life in the EU

Flash estimate – August 2021 Euro Area annual inflation up to 3.0 %

Swiss Consumer prices increaesd by 0.2 % in August 2021

OECD annual inflation picks up to 4.2 % in July 2021

Swiss Gross Domestic Product in the second quarter of 2021: domestic economy recovering from second COVID slump

July 2021 Euro Area unemployment at 7.6 %, EU at 6.9 %

SDGs & me: European decent work and economic growth

July 2021 compared with June 2021 Volume of retail trade down by 2.3% in the Euro Area and by 1.9 % in the EU, Up by 3.1 % and 3.8 % compared with July 2020


Vogue Scandinavia wins Red Dot Design Award 2021


10 Proven Actions to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

European Year of the Rail

European Year of Rail: Connecting Europe Express now leaving the station


The Uniform Cool of Charlie Watts


A luxuriously soft yarn novelty by Moomin x Novita now available! 


WTO members gear up for marathon fishing subsidy negotiations starting September

High Tech

Big Tech Wants You to Live in a Virtual World. Prepare for Real Problems


Innovations from Indian market helping us improve retail globally: Walmart International CEO

Ethiopia and Italy signed a deal to help women entrepreneurs join leather sector

32 different Indian designers pledge to go leather-free

The Year of European Rail

European Year of Rail: Connecting Europe Express now leaving the station

New Products

BASF and Natural Machines partner to deliver solutions for customised personal care face masks


First Floating LNG project for BASF’s Gas Treatment technology


Bringing innovations to life at the Nestlé R+D Accelerator, together with start-ups, students and intrapreneurs

Success Story

AUTEFA Solutions supplies needle punching lines for Geotextile production to Confidence Infrastructure Ltd., Bangladesh


Switzerland proposes Geneva as headquarters for planned International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)

BASF completes purchase of 49.5 % of the offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust Zuid from Vattenfall


Fed Faces New Challenge Spelling Out Employment Goals

How the ‘Right to Repair’ Might Save Your Gadgets—and Save You Money

Biden Administration Awards USD6.5M Contract to US Cotton LLC to Ramp Up Production of American Made Polyester Tipped Swabs

A History of Innovation, Today’s Opportunities


Vietnam’s Factory Shutdowns tug at Apparel Industry’s Seams


Alternative offices: How work from the pub might work for some