Today we’d like to share comments and answers to the question Is there an additional trend topic we should cover raised in our previous edition of The Wednesday Journal after presenting our upcoming three trend reports. Please see below how we answer to 10 burning trend-related questions.
In case you missed it, the reports belong to
Is there an additional trend theme you feel we should cover?
We feel Biophilic Design has become a must-have already in all new developments, and we covered that topic in our 2019/20 trend report Regeneration already. Biophilia will be included in Essentiality again, but we consider it a standard feature now, given the many studies that have been published to raise consciousness on proven benefits.
2//Return to the roots
There are two answers to it:
Yes, that idea comes included in the Essentiality report and explains how we surround ourselves with nature now that the outdoors are pretty much the only space where it feels safe to have a social life (even when it comes distanced).
We also touch on that topic somehow in The New Care Economy depending on what “Return to the roots” means for each of us. We feel we should also consider roots by reconnecting with one’s essence, listening on a deeper level to our needs, and what it means to be well.
3//Work-life balance; offices & co-working spaces (incl. employee’s wellness)
Yes, this will be definitely included in the Autonomous Cluster report and be part of a chapter we call Hybrid Life. Here goes an excerpt:
“Currently, only a small share of the workforce in advanced economies—typically between 5 and 7% —regularly works from home. A shift to 15 to 20% of workers spending more time at home and less in the office could profoundly impact urban economies.[…] But even more important than the organizational design and the tech tools of our hybrid world order are the hybrid skills we’ll need wherever and however we’re working. Of course, hard skills and expertise are always going to be table stakes, but to successfully navigate the new hybrid world defined by changing routines and continuing uncertainty, we’ll need human skills — empathy, resilience, collaboration, team building, and creativity.”
The second part is a quote from Ariana Huffington included in our chapter The Future Office.
4// “I work in Brand Communication, and I feel both a new consumer and a new brand are in the air. Both more conscious, ethical, respectful, straightforward… Still, I wonder how much is this tangible yet.”
There are interesting surveys and results we share. The most relevant shift is seen in the concept of wellness brands. A wellness brand not necessarily has to be in the wellness industry anymore, but consumers expect brands to contribute to their wellbeing in a broad way of senses. That shift counts for the bank industry, as well as for the car or food industry. Consumers are interested in seeing a communication on a deeper level; phrases such as ‘it will boost your confidence’ are part of the past. Instead, ‘we help you make a positive difference in some way’ is a much more welcome part of the Zeitgeist. Today, there is a gap between growing consumer expectations and what brands deliver today (included in The New Care Economic).
5// How is love included in these trends?
Excellent observation! Self-love is coming strong after months of almost no or semi-liberty. We are slowly moving towards a guilt-free society when it comes to taking care of ourselves. This decade (2020-2030) shows a shift, and self-care is the new currency of cool.
This type of care is not reduced to taking a bubble bath, log in to a meditation app, or consuming healthy food, but it’s often about getting rid of what no longer serves in our life. The complex concept of self-care changes, and we’ll see 4 Pillars of Self-Care in The New Care Economy.
The interesting question is how design can respond to that movement?
6// Capsule wardrobes; urban fashion
I am afraid we are not the right agency here. Our mission is to observe trend signals within the interior design & lifestyle industry. Though we try to stay up-to-date with the fashion industry and its trailblazing moments, we are not specializing. But if fashion projects are more lifestyle-oriented, then we feel it’s a good fit.
7// Return to local communities
Yes, this is an obvious signal. The pandemic has highlighted the need for strong communities. Localism is strong, Staycation helps to stay within family circles, local communities get together for farming, and intergenerational living is an indicator of communities committed to diversity; exchange is encouraged, learning between different generations is more interesting, and the mutual benefit is greater. These benefits are basically the engine of all communities. These topics are reflected in the Essentiality and Autonomous Cluster report.
8// Post-pandemic adjustments
There are so many. Actually, all three reports cover shifts and adjustments that have seen profound changes and acceleration during the pandemic. All areas in our lives are influenced, and so are the reports. You might need to choose the report that resonates most with you or your business.
7.1. The shift of what it means now to be well and how brands can act is the New Care Economy’s leitmotiv. To be well will be influenced by design inside and outside our homes, when we work, travel, and socialize. The new concept of CARE is a major shift for the 2020-30 decade.
7.2. Autonomous Cluster talks about the future home becoming more resilient and what it means to have grown into more self-sufficient and autonomous consumers. We learned to navigate by ourselves; brands need to understand that this unexpected wake-up call has made us more mature, inquiring, and critical.
7.3. In Essentiality we cover a more archaic approach to nature. Our connection has fewer filters. We like to experience nature in its most unaltered way, knowing how rare it becomes. That thrive for that deeper and constant connection leads to in-home and community farming, biophilia in public spaces, and critical consciousness when it comes to waste management now, even from a domestic perspective. Let’s say many directions have accelerated during the pandemic; a few have become profound.
9// Is there a shift in interaction/communication?
Yes, we trust more purpose-driven brands now. But, here is the thing.
Green-Washing or Wellness-Washing is not doing the trick. Consumers know what feels true and authentic; they will research what a brand promises and leave respective reviews if they feel brands do not deliver what they preach. Purpose-led brands grow 3x faster.
Whatever you promise needs to fulfill two concepts:
It needs to be credible
It has to be easy to understand and execute.
Another interest someone from the newsletter community placed was: Power of our decisions/purchases. Supporting business with a purpose. – our response is similar.
Your report would be The New Care Economy.
10// What does cocooning (living/working behind your own walls) in 2021 really mean?
We hadn’t thought of putting it like this but will now. Thanks for the inspiration! This is a topic that goes into How do we want to live inside and outside our homes.
Cocooning has been around for a while, the term is no news, but the meaning has slightly shifted. Cocooning has been associated until the pandemic with the retreat to one’s home cuddling up in a favorite place. It was much about rest and renovation. Now, the need for cocooning comes from a different place. Fear and uncertainty have made us stay inside, and we felt our home was a safe harbor that would protect us. The sense of origin is different. One feeling is voluntary; the other is opposed. We see this idea more in-depth in Autonomous Cluster.
Thank you so much for your interest and questions; we enjoyed seeing them!
If you feel there is any trend theme you’d like to know more about, let us know, and we send you information once the reports are published (every report comes with a notify me button).
Curious what the future of wellbeing might hold? The New Care Economy is now published.
THE NEW CARE ECONOMY
Consumers have become hyper-focused on wellness and self-care in the past 15 months. As a result, they are more interested in less transaction-based communication and more in what a brand can do for them. How does this spirit look translated into design?