WANDERLUST 2009 FURNITURE & HOUSEWARES TRENDS PRESENTED BY KALEIDOSCOPE
[ won -der-luhst] - noun . OUR URGE TO TRAVEL AND EXPLORE THE WORLD.
EARLIER THIS YEAR, WE ATTENDED THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE FAIR IN NEW YORK AND THE SALONE DEL MOBILE IN MILAN. AFTER SEEING COUNTLESS EXAMPLES OF GREAT LIGHTING, FURNITURE, AND PRODUCTS, KALEIDOSCOPE DESIGNERS DISTILLED OUR OBSERVATIONS INTO SIX KEY INSIGHTS FOR FUTURE PROJECTS. WE INVITE YOU TO SHARE IN OUR FINDINGS .
TABLE OF CONTENTS PART 1: THE TRENDS MASH AESTHETICS CONCRETE JUNGLE UP TO ELEVEN SUPPLY & DESIGN BACK TO BAUHAUS FOLLOW THE LIGHT INTRODUCTION PART 2: A CALL TO ACTION
INTRODUCTION Trends are patterns in our world that have the power to effect our future. It is crucial to be aware of these changes happening around us, because they can have a permanent effect on the way we live. To identify the patterns in design for the furniture and housewares categories, KALEIDOSCOPE observed two international trade shows and distilled their patterns into six key trends. It’s important to remember that not all patterns become trends, and not all trends become relevant to brands. Don’t assume to quickly that your brand or category can’t leverage a certain trend. Evaluate each with an open mind in order to discover the best opportunities for your business.
THE TRENDS KEY PATTERNS IN FURNITURE & HOUSEWARES MASH AESTHETICS CONCRETE JUNGLE UP TO ELEVEN SUPPLY & DESIGN BACK TO BAUHAUS FOLLOW THE LIGHT
MASH AESTHETICS In the post-post-modern design world, all form is fair game . We’ve witnessed the full range of aesthetics from strict geometry to melting organics, ultra functional to completely decorative. Like a b-boy who also skateboards, designers are unapologetically combining and juxtaposing different aesthetics within the same products and experiences, daring us to take notice.
UP TO ELEVEN Designers have taken their appreciation for materials and are beginning to test it’s limits. What used to be an “honest” use of materials now borders on pure exploitation . Throughout the shows were fully-polished metals, glowingly saturated colors, and the thickest-to-date slabs of natural wood.
BACK TO BAUHAUS “ Design is neither an intellectual nor a material affair, but simply an integral part of the stuff of life, necessary for everyone in a civilized society .” - Walter Gropius Designs free of distractions allow us to feel like part of the world we inhabit rather than as unwanted guests . Familiarity with these shapes can often be lamented, but it also produces a feeling of comfort through its effortlessness, a luxury in today’s world.
CONCRETE JUNGLE Living in cities away from natural outdoor environments, we feel isolated in an increasingly alien world . To counteract this, we can look to nature as inspiration to regain comfort and belonging without giving up the modern luxuries we’ve come to enjoy.
SUPPLY & DESIGN Trends in green materials and energy conservation continue, but this year ushers in a new approach to sustainable thinking. Our world isn’t broken, we just need to start using what we have better. Designers are focusing on the application of existing supplies to new design contexts, pushing innovation forward with an air of pragmatism.
FOLLOW THE LIGHT Light has always played a powerful role in our lives, now it is becoming a powerful part of design. With today’s materials and technology, light is the product , as designers find new ways of approaching and interacting with traditional products. The unique properties of light allow designers to blur the boundaries between products, users, and context, giving us rich, inclusive experiences.
A CALL TO ACTION THREE STEPS TO APPLY THESE TRENDS ASSESS IMMERSE CREATE
TRENDS SHOULD RAISE YOUR AWARENESS OF THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CHANGES HAPPENING AROUND YOU. MORE IMPORTANTLY, THEY SHOULD INSPIRE YOU TO ACT . USE THESE TRENDS TO DISCOVER NEW CONSUMER GROUPS AND TO DESIGN NEW PRODUCTS, SERVICES, OR EXPERIENCES FOR THEM. HERE ARE THREE STEPS TO PUTTING THESE TRENDS INTO ACTION :
ASSESS AT KALEIDOSCOPE, WE ASSESS THE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE TO IDENTIFY TRENDS AND BRANDS THAT ARE A GOOD MATCH. A TREND MAY REPRESENT AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS YOUR BRAND IN A NEW WAY. HOWEVER, SOMETIMES IT IS MORE AUTHENTIC FOR A BRAND TO BE PART OF AN ANTI-TREND. ULTIMATELY, ITS IMPORTANT TO STAY TRUE TO YOUR BRAND WHEN SEARCHING FOR NEW OPPORTUNITIES.
IMMERSE TO FULLY UNDERSTAND THE OPPORTUNITY, WE IMMERSE OURSELVES IN THE TREND. WE GAIN EMPATHY BY DESIGNING AND INTERACTING WITH A SPACE THAT REPRESENTS OUR TARGET. MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE DON’T STOP AFTER WE’VE GAINED AWARENESS . WE GENERATE TANGIBLE DIRECTION ON HOW TO USE OUR LEARNINGS IN BOTH CURRENT AND FUTURE WORK.
CREATE THE FINAL STEP IS TO INSPIRE TEAMS, GAINING BOTH EXCITEMENT AND INVESTMENT IN AN IDEA. THROUGH CONCEPT DESIGNS, KALEIDOSCOPE DESIGNERS VISUALIZE TRENDS THROUGH THE LENS OF YOUR BRAND. CONCEPTS CAN BE CRUDE, QUICK CARDBOARD MODELS, OR REFINED AND POLISHED TO LOOK LIKE REAL PRODUCTS. THIS STEP OF CREATION IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL IN MAKING YOUR IDEAS SUCCEED .
WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS PRESENTATION AND FOUND OUR OBSERVATIONS VALUABLE . IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS WORK, PLEASE CONTACT US. WE LOOK FORWARD TO COLLABORATING WITH YOU TO BRING THESE TRENDS TO LIFE AS SUCCESSFUL PRODUCTS. DEMETRIUS ROMANOS KARL LUDEMAN MICHAEL ROLLER