Trend forecasting works on instinct; it involves subconscious observations of subtle patterns. It is interesting to perceive these design movements – sometimes towards a cause, technology or a way of life to predict what the next change would be. These ‘trends’ slowly seep into our everyday life and are rooted in our perception. How we live at home and at work, our interactions at restaurants and stores can be seen as trends, which become a part of our environment. 2018 and 2019 saw an explosion of colours like millennial pink and ultraviolet; handcrafted materials like wicker dominated the design world.
Sustainability was incorporated into the creative language of several brands, and is still at the core of most design. Here’s decoding the next moves and paradigm shifts that I expect to influence design trends for the big 2020.
1. Sensory lighting
While brands continue to exceed expectations from a design perspective, we’ve observed a discernible shift towards lighting that puts technological innovation, user experience and sustainability at the forefront. Lighting brand Preciosa recently unveiled Pearl Wave, a playful chandelier comprising more than 700 handmade triplex opal spheres. The interactive chandelier reacts to ‘happiness’, coming to life upon glasses being raised in a toast. Louis Poulsen’s statement piece at Salone Del Mobile in Milan was a large-scale pendant light set, an exploration of complex mathematical geometries by the brilliant artist Olafur Eliasson. The light is composed of two shapes, an aluminium outer layer in the shape of an icosahedron and an inner layer that is a dodecahedron. Its complex form is perceived differently depending on where the viewer stands, creating infinite interpretations and perspectives that make the light come to life. The connection between technological innovation and design in lighting is only expected to grow in 2020, and we can’t wait to see what comes next!
2. Casted metal
Going by what we’ve been observing during the fall design shows, all-metal bodies have dominated the last few years. Metals are set to make it big in the coming year. Leading furniture brands such as Ghidini 1961 and Scarlet Splendour have unveiled stunning collections that embrace the full metal concept. The Mio, Bio and Trio lights by Ghidini are born from the idea of creating a gentle form, using brass as a single material, while the Take Me To Miami collection features metal furniture with exquisitely polished surfaces. Nika Zupanc’s latest collection for Scarlet Splendour sees strings of metal transformed into path-breaking furniture. The paradoxical idea of conventionally delicate strings being casted in steel and defined into cabinets and credenzas add an element of wonder to the pieces.
3. The brown palette
What has been black will now turn to 50 shades of brown, especially in woodwork and home surfaces. The neutral colour, inspired by skin tones, will be used in combinations to make the same old look brand new and exciting. Wood, terra cotta, suede, canvas and terrazzo will be the go-to material palette. Brands like Baxter have been using these in their new collections, in a rough outdoorsy style. Keeping with flowy lines, earthy tones and raw textures, furniture will express a sense of live-in-luxury.
4. Curved silhouettes
Curved lines and soft fluid shapes are definitely making a big statement in furniture design. Furniture with smooth, softer elements always looks exceptional, mainly because of the appeal of the amorphous shapes. Angles and perpendiculars take a back seat as flowy lines visually create a unique impact. Baxter, an Italian furniture company unveiled pieces with soft curves and fluid silhouettes, becoming one of the pioneers of the trend.
5. Contemporary street style
Contemporary street style is all about creating Instagram-worthy, eye-popping designs. It combines the uber-urban phenomenon with joie de vivre of the youth to present vibrant, catchy designs. This unique form has a hipster eclectic sensibility to the design approach.
One of the most pervasive features of contemporary street style is inviting street art into homes. Next-generation brands like Qeeboo, Seletti and Karman have been thoroughly compelling in their designs. Qeeboo’s Giraffe in love light is a crowd favourite. The product features a dreamy giraffe manufactured in polythene, holding a classic Marie-Therese style chandelier. Teaming a modern giraffe sculpture with an anachronistic chandelier reflects unconventional style, which is the characteristic of the brand. Equally eclectic in its design sensibility is Seletti’s Banana Lamp, which went viral across social media. Designs like these are more than a style, they’re an attitude.
6. Avant-garde rugs
The trend of statement, experimental rugs is in vogue, and we only see it getting bigger in the coming year. A rug company at the helm of avant garde rugs is CC Tapis. Its latest Spectrum collection is created by artists with a completely different artistic language. Moving away from the usual shapes, the rugs are a spectacular concoction of unique perspectives, which are brought together by each designer – from Patricia Uriquiola to Bethan Laura Wood. The marketing campaign, marking the launch of their Spectrum catalogue, has been as offbeat as the collection, featuring local news stands draped with rugs.
7. Neo mint
Move over millennial pink, neo mint is the colour change we were looking for. This tone adds a fresh, relevant touch to design. Even if you’re after a more mid-century modern or contemporary design style for your house, this is an easily adaptable shade. Neo mint is a fresh, oxygenating tone that is futuristic and optimistic. With its crisp shade, this colour appeals to a large audience. We are all about infusing good vibes and energy into our spaces. This colour fits perfectly in the scheme of things. It will be perfect in a studio space, kids’ bedroom or a boutique space. One should definitely start bookmarking ‘neo mint’ on Instagram and Pinterest boards.
Writer of this column Esha Gupta, is Founder & Editor of Design Pataki, a Mumbai-based interior designer and creative consultant. She launched Design Pataki after a five-year stint in the interior and architecture industry as the Managing Director of Artisan Furnishings, India. Esha has studied interior design at Parsons The New School for Design, New York, and Rachana Sansad School of Design, Mumbai. She has been invited to cover some of the biggest international design shows like Maison Et Objet, Paris, Ambiente, Frankfurt and Ikea’s Design Democratic Day, Sweden. She has also moderated and been a part of many panel discussions for Godrej, D/code, Istituto Marangoni, Shethepeople and The Kollective.