TRENDWATCHING IN THE WORLD OF DESIGN
Trendwatching can be identified in many ways because, since it is quality research, it can be carried out in every social and cultural sphere. To better understand what trendwatching is, let’s start by defining the concept of trend.
A trend is a variation in habits, in society or simply in aesthetics, over an average timeframe. It is dictated by special characteristics that surface after highly influential events, such as Trade Fairs, International Exhibitions, Fashion Weeks, etc., or by emerging cultures that can establish trends. This has been occurring in the African continent in recent years.
The process that underpins the birth―or return―of a trend starts from the habits and behaviours of people within the society. When a growing number of people adopts an attitude or imitates conventions that surface from a certain trend, these ‘habits’ become increasingly common and are gradually considered normal.
In the design world, this is translated into the birth, change or resurfacing of aesthetics, colours and shapes that, for several reasons (e.g., use by leading brands, designers or architects), dictate the trend and, therefore, influence future market demands.
Hence, the goal of trendwatchers in the design world is to continuously monitor several key factors, not only aesthetic ones, in order to obtain key indications in the overall analysis of each trend.
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Travelling from Paris to Eindhoven, London and Atlanta, Frankfurt and São Paulo and many other places around the world, our research, which commenced late in 2017 and was completed in the early half of 2018, has led us to analyse and group into four macro categories a series of common trends we have observed in more than one aesthetic context. We have called them Colourful, Essential, Humanification and A.I.fication. Numberless micro trends, which are useful to identify trends with a less defined character, are located in the midst of this type and conceptual differentiation. Moreover, today society is characterised by multicultural features that generate continuous contaminations. This is why exclusion is a complex process, while inclusion is increasingly useful.
We’re at a time in history when the phenomenon of urbanisation is growing fast. The side effects of this movement of the population towards urban areas include, on the one hand, a reduction of space and, on the other, lifestyles being adapted to increasingly small dwellings.
In response to this, the trend is to reduce spaces to the essence, avoiding unnecessary decoration and using extremely functional products. The result? A simple and elegant design with minimal and long-lasting solutions suited to any time of year.
Soft and relaxing colours that recall natural elements. The Humanification trend’s colour palette is made up of a selection of 8 colours that don’t just include classic greens but also interesting shades that connect perfectly with nature.
Whilst people are on a continuous pursuit of all things natural, it is equally true that the constant development of the new technologies is transforming every kind of activity.
From communication, with an ever wider use of the social networks, to industry 4.0, and including the cars of the future that are able to drive completely autonomously: the trend of the future is A.I.fication.
Unplugging from the daily routine, seeking a haven away from industrial and chaotic environments, creating an authentic urban oasis that’s user-friendly and personal: this is the trend of humanification, where everything is centred on the person and where everything works towards a detachment from a lifestyle that’s ever more digital and decidedly urban.
In the field of interior design, this trend takes us back to nature, which mankind has always been connected to. Green dominates together, inevitably, with all the colours that are most closely linked to nature; the aim is to enhance those environments that can nurture thought and instill the body with energy.
An explosion of colour, modulated and reinterpreted using different materials which, mixed together, recreate graphics, geometric patterns, 3D elements and optical illusions to enrich the surfaces and spaces around us.
Fuelled by the vibrancy of the culture of Africa, a fast developing continent from many points of view, the Colorful trend is based on the use and combination of bright and gaudy colours, which bring furnishings and surfaces to life.