TABOO announces innovation and design division

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 6 July 2022

TABOO has announced the creation of an innovation and design unit, Taboo LABS, to mark the agency’s 21st birthday.

LABS will sit alongside the group’s recently launched forecasting business, SOON Future Studies, that has already won a slate of blue-chip clients across Australia, the USA, India, France and China. 

Taboo LABS will enable clients to bring to life the opportunities identified by SOON using a culture-first approach to product development, packaging, branding and multi-dimensional spatial design. 

Taboo LABS has just completed the successful development and launch of new hop-water brand Wilde Guru with Tribe Breweries. There are also several new projects underway, including the branding and design for Australia’s first and largest sustainable creative hub.

Taboo LABS will be spearheaded by Kurt Hately and Dane Falkström. 

Hately, former head of insights for Asahi, recently joined the group as strategy director and is responsible for the integration of foresight and insight to drive brand, commercial and business outcomes through Taboo LABS creative solutions. 

Folkström, who serves as design lead, has been with the agency for six years leading branding and design projects for Champion, Coopers, TAC and Telstra and is responsible for elevating the Design IQ and Cultural IQ for brands. 

“TABOO has always connected brands with people through culture, by being a part of it,” said group CEO Andrew Mackinnon.

“The addition of LABS alongside SOON makes The Taboo Group a unique, world first, integrated offer. 

“SOON illuminates the future for business, LABS develops and designs innovative solutions and TABOO launches them into the world through culturally-led communications.

"We’re extremely excited to introduce this end-to-end solution through the addition of Taboo LABS.” 

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