‘Accelerated Change – Five Trends That Are Here to Stay’ encapsulates the profound shifts shaping our world. In an era marked by rapid technological advancement and evolving societal dynamics, Designer, James Kerr reveals the five trends that are likely to hang around.
The pandemic has caused significant changes in various aspects of our lives, including the field of design. As we move forward from the pandemic, designers and creative professionals have adapted to the ‘new normal’ by reimagining their approaches and ushering in a new era of creativity. But which trends are here to stay?
Virtual and Augmented Reality Take Center Stage:
One noticeable change seen in recent years is the increased use of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) technologies. With restrictions on in-person experiences during the pandemic, designers have embraced these immersive technologies to create engaging and interactive experiences. From virtual showrooms and trying on clothes digitally, right the way through to taking virtual home tours, VR/AR has opened up new avenues for creative innovation and there’s no sign of this diminishing.
Focus on Health and Hygiene:
In a world that is more conscious of health and hygiene, design has responded by placing a greater emphasis on cleanliness and safety. Designers are finding creative solutions to address these concerns, such as touchless interfaces in public spaces and innovative packaging designs that prioritise hygiene. The collective experience of dealing with public health emergencies has significantly influenced the design community’s approach, reinforcing the importance of creating environments and products that are both aesthetically pleasing and conducive to health and safety. As a result, designers are continually innovating to meet the evolving needs of a world that places a higher premium on cleanliness and safety – something we can all get on board with!
Sustainable and Eco-friendly Design:
Designers are embracing sustainable practices and materials, aiming for eco-friendly solutions across different industries. This includes eco-conscious packaging designs and the use of recycled and up-cycled materials in furniture and fashion. Sustainability is becoming an integral part of the design process. Designers are striving to reduce the ecological footprint of their creations, minimise waste, and create products and spaces that harmonise with nature, rather than exploit it. With businesses and brands under immense scrutiny when it comes to sustainability, us designers have huge responsibility and opportunity to lead the way with eco-friendly creations.
Designers are leveraging cutting-edge technologies to create innovative products, such as wearable tech, smart homes, and AI-driven interfaces. As technology continues to advance, design trends will evolve to incorporate new capabilities. The rapid pace of technological innovation is driven by research and development, funding, and market demand for new and improved products and services. Long may it continue!
Economic and Market Dynamics:
During economic downturns, designers may prioritise cost-effective and durable solutions. In times of economic growth, there may be a greater emphasis on luxury and premium designs. Market trends and economic cycles strongly influence design strategies and product offerings. Economic conditions are influenced by factors such as inflation rates, employment levels, and consumer spending. Market dynamics are shaped by competition, supply and demand, and shifts in consumer preferences. This will always influence the way we work.
These macro factors are intertwined with design trends, shaping the direction of design practices and guiding designers in responding to the evolving needs and expectations of society and the global marketplace. Designers who understand and adapt to these macro factors are better equipped to create designs that are relevant and sustainable in the long run.