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Trend Report - London Design Festival 2016

10/14/2016

If you're reading this, you, like us, may be looking to keep ahead of the design game. While we try not to take ourselves too seriously, we've come back from London Design Week with some perspective on global design we believe will have influence over what we'll be seeing in restaurant, branding and furniture design for the next year. 

Our love hate relationship with trends

We're often challenged over the use of the word 'trend' or 'trends' - has it become one of the taboo words in the design industry?   

It shouldn't be. If we wanted to, we couldn't get away from trends. Trends are what bind us to this place and time in history. They influence the future and often, honour the past. 

But it's easy to understand why we don't like the word 'trends', we often think of the term 'follow trends' as negative, passively doing as we're told. A more accurate comparison would be how we follow news events, politics, actively taking our view on a subject, which welcomes our opinion and allows us to educate ourselves to make the best decisions.  

Make the connection 
When we send the team on a research trip, we are tasked with separating fads from trends. Fads burn bright and flame out quickly. Trends evolve over time, they are influenced by shifts and changes in our global culture, politics, economy, international news, developments in science etc. If you keep your ear to the ground, the tremors are there year round. 

Evens like LDF and Paris Design Week are wonderful opportunities for us see the international design dialogue. We're out to make connections, look for patterns in the global design network. If we accomplish what we set out to, we' are able to filter and distil vast information into guidelines, which you as a reader can use to equip yourself to stay in the know and make the best decisions. 

And with that, we are pleased to present to you the 5 trends we picked up after LFW 2016, which had correlations between what we have recently seen in Paris during Paris Design Week 2016.  Full report here

01 The Makers

The maker movement has an emphasis on material and process. The main materials observed within this trend include natural tones of wood including driftwood intertwined or stitched with textiles. Simple crafting skill is shown through the use of materials and handmade methods. These examples were evident over the festival, innovation occurred and experimented using new patterns and rattan techniques on furniture pieces and lighting.

02 Memphis

An oldie, but goodie which keeps rearing its head in recent years, it is, of course, Memphis.

We believe this trend’s current resurface in interior design stems from the on-going geometric trend we have seen. Patterns are moving from puzzle like triangles to stripes, freehand scribbles, zig zags, overlaying circles, cylinders and cones. These are all characteristic repeats from the early 80’s Italian design movement Memphis. It mimics the use of marble and granite including Pollock & Kadinsky like patterns and this evident in recent textile designs and prints. This is a bold trend and one to watch out for! 

03 Utilitarian

We’ve seen this evidence for a while, but we’re including it due to the sheer volume we witnessed at LDF this year. When we worked on Topolski Bar (Winner of Restaurant & Bar Design Awards Best London Bar 2014) we sourced original school furniture from selvage companies. Its great to see these classic lines picked up by so many designers.

This movement of simple and practical design strips back any ideas of ‘fancy’ or ‘decorative’ furniture, instead creating something with raw materials, built to serve its primary purpose. It is about stability, the materials used are solid, hardwearing and therefore have proved successful in the past.

 

04 Japanese Craft

Another one we’ve seen brimming for a while, especially during Milan Design Week is inspiration from Japanese (and oriental) handmade craft. The trend of the ancient Japanese craft Origami could still be seen in numerous product designs at this year’s London Design festival. Since it’s explosion on the catwalk in 2010 with Isi Mayaki’s “132 5” clothing line it has been absorbed in ceramics, furniture, lighting and this year in wall covering design as well, as seen in Anne Kyyro Quinn’s bespoke sculpted acoustic wall coverings resembling artworks more than conventional fabrics, all cut, sewn and finished by hand.

Another Japanese craft known as Kintsugi, where broken objects are repaired with gold (or silver) joinery, is inspiring more designers to use the process of repair to create

something more beautiful than the original. Detailed metal and resin inlays are carefully used to accentuate natural grain and pattern in products.

Several furniture and fabric houses have launched Japanese-influenced ranges this year in appreciation of craft skills.

05 Opulence

Okay, so we seen interiors becoming increasingly ‘bejewelled’ but what we picked up from LDF was a layering effect which we thought was interesting and challenged the utilitarian trend listed at no. 03. 

Based around lavish interiors, in opulence we see the use of metallic wallpaper, bold, extravagant prints and gold infused marble add rich tones to this opulent trend. The deep hues involved within this trend work particularly well with rose-quartz- one of pantones colours of the year along with deep and rich emerald green.

Please read our full report for details and suppliers. If you have any comments please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

 

 

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