Issue #081

Megan Hotson


Welcome to your weekly dose of TooXToo, this week featuring the collaborative design project helping dogs to talk, Yinka Ilori’s colourful street designs, Lyon’s New cycling network’s identity, and the opening of Amazon’s four-star shop.  

‘Fluent Pet’ the technology allowing dogs to talk 

Have you ever wished you knew what your pet was thinking? Enter, Fluent Pet- the new technology designed by Leo Trottier. This exciting innovation is comprised of a system of buttons developed using cognitive science principles.   

The buttons depict various pictograms that the dog can interpret and then select in sequences. Their design takes the shape of hexagons in different colours and patterns that enables “chunking”- a process allowing brains to decipher information into manageable categories. The grid of hexagons pictured here are made up of different sections that represent different areas of conversation. These areas include action words, adjectives, places, and sentence objects.  

‘Fluent Pet’ has swept across social media platform TikTok, as an increasing number of dogs have begun using the product to communicate with their owners. Trottier emphasises that Fluent Pet allows you to “give your dog more than a walk,” making the product immensely popular as a result.  

Trottier and his team have also created the ‘How They Can Talk’ research project. This project is crowdsourced and involves social media users sharing their pets’ progress. Trottier explains that the continued design development involves “nurturing a community” – one that provides feedback of the product in Real Time.   

Yinka Ilori’s colourful London street takeover 

This year for London Design Festival, designer Yinka Ilori has artfully transformed 18 pedestrian crossings. Ilori has swapped out the 11 mundane and monochrome crossings along Tottenham Court Road for vibrant shades of orange, blue, pink, purple and green.  

In addition to these 11, students from University of the Arts London have collaborated with Ilori to design an additional 7 crossings across the city. The designs are part of an inspiring project called ‘Bring London Together’, which aims to bring joy to Londoners using, or walking past these crossings every day.  

Commenting on these wonderful blocks of colour taking over London’s streets, Ilori explained: “For me colour and pattern have always been a way of celebrating places, communities and experiences". 

This wonderful project is also part of the ‘Let’s do London’s campaign, led by Sadiq Khan. The campaign is centred around bolstering London’s retail, creative and hospitality sectors that have suffered in the wake of the Pandemic.  

If you have seen any of  Ilori’s other impressive work, you’ll know his work is more than just a visual masterpieces. The designer’s work is always characterised by kind motifs. Past examples include his Pandemic artwork ‘Better Days are Coming I promise’.  

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on tomorrow’s morning commute so you can be touched by the joy Ilori is spreading across London.  

Lyon’s New cycling network reveals their renewed identity 

The Grand Lyon region has revealed its plans for its new express cycling routes. The cycling network, known as ‘les Voies Lyonnaises’, will link the center of the region with its peripheral municipalities.  

Accompanying the big reveal of these infrastructure plans, is a new communication campaign and visual identity- pioneered by Spintank and Yellow Windows. The simple, yet pleasing design, as well as its name successfully frames the brand’s message in an accessible way.  

“We wanted to find a name that avoided references to public transit or a lesser, marginal place on the road. La voie Lyonnaise, or Lyonnaise Road, conveys a sense of status and importance within the public space,” explains Nicolas VanbremeerschPresident of Spintank. 


The brand’s symbol is premised off the concept of fluidity and hopes to become a visual signature that all the City’s residents can identify. It resembles not just a bike, but the symbol of infinity- reminding city dwellers of the endless avenues possible when experiencing freedom.  

The projects broader civic mission is about outlining cycling as a new way of moving between locations, placing it next to other ways of traveling in public spaces, such as walking, public transportation, and cars. The Greater Lyon Region mirrors this mission.   

Amazon’s new 4-Star shop launch 

Following the success of their Amazon Fresh outlets, as well as their Beauty salon- Amazon have launched their first ‘4-star’ brick and mortar store outside of the US. The shop opened on the 6th October at the Blue Water shopping Centre in Kent, and is creating waves of excitement amongst keen digital shoppers.  

The space will stock approximately 2,000 different items or products that are among those rated as 4-star and above on Amazon’s online shop.

Amazon explained that “Customers in the US have told us they love shopping a store where they can discover and learn about highly rated products, enjoy convenient features such as online pickup and returns, and test drive devices, and we are excited to bring this concept to the UK.” 


Differing to the format of their Amazon Fresh store, this space will be open to customers who do not have an Amazon account. Amazon 4-star will also be accepting cash- a clear decision made to ensure that the shop is accessible to those who are not quite ‘sold’ on online shopping or feel overwhelmed by the never-ending aisles of this marketplace.  

We can’t say we are surprised by the novel way Amazon continues to incorporate the physical retail environment into its digital strategy, given the pace at which this tech giant seems to innovate and excite its customers on a daily basis!     

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