One of my favorite quotes when it comes to design is from John Fleuvog, a Canadian shoe designer with some seriously funky style:
“Be original, no matter what industry you’re in. It’s the people who think of ideas first who are the winners. I’m more interested in what I’m going to do, rather than what I did.”
Fluevog is famous for pushing the envelope and producing designs that are often way beyond trend. One of his most famous shoe designs is the “Munster”, a boxy, clunky shoe, which he launched at a time when pointy stilettos were all the rage.
Another one of my favorites is from Raymond Loewy, the “father of industrial design”, one of the most amazingly prolific designers of the 20th century. His design credo was thus:
“Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable (or: MAYA)”.
What he meant is that, while it is important to stretch your imagination and come up with advanced design, you can only market to consumers those ideas that they are ready to embrace. Move too far ahead and you’ve lost them.
Both of these designers have found success in their design strategy, yet they stand on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to producing the “next best thing”. One believes in thinking just outside of the box, and one in pushing the consumer right out of the box! So, when creating a space for yourself, how do you know where the balance lies? How far ahead do you go without the risk of going to far “out there”?
The answer lies in a lot of research, a lot of observation, and some good luck. Trend forecasting is a science that attempts to detect a future pattern, in terms of consumer design preferences, based on collecting data from the present and past.
The big question: What kind of information can I look at, to try to predict trends for myself?
Some vehicles that I use for predicting trends for my clients:
1. The Arts – movies, television, literature:
Movies like The Hunger Games, Snow White and the Huntsman, Twilight and Game of Thrones I believe will all soon have a greater effect on interiors. The Hunger Games in particular had a fascinating mix of bright, bold color, with a dark, monolithic mood in the shapes and linear gestures of fashion, architecture and interior design. The rise of comic-book remakes I think will also develop into a japanime-like emphasis on bold colour and simple lines, with dramatic emphasis, in interior design.
…. stay tuned for tomorrow’s Part 2.