Project Spotlight: Upton-by-Chester High SchoolJuly 2, 2020
FF&E and Modular ConstructionOctober 22, 2020
Running from 11th to 13th August, Designscape 2020 was brought to us by the creative minds behind Decorex, DesignJunction, KBB Birmingham and Sleep & Eat. The three-day virtual event focused on topics across the retail, residential and hospitality sectors. With over 13 hours of video content from over 35 speakers (now available on demand until 13th September 2020) and ample networking opportunities, it was a great way for us to get our creative juices flowing and join the conversation with our peers at a time when face-to-face meetings are still off the cards.
Below is our summary of the Designscape ‘The Future of Trends’ seminar, which we found particularly insightful. Moderated by Sam Fisher, Events Director at Decorex, the speakers (Susie Rumbold, Creative Director at Tessuto Interiors, Brian Woulfe, Managing Director at Designed by Woulfe Ltd and Karen Haller, Founder at Karen Haller Colour & Design Consultancy) covered a number of topics, including whether colour trends are important in our industry.
If you have any thoughts or comments on the below, do reach out via our social media or on email. We would love to hear from you.
Which trends have you seen so far in 2020?
Apteriors agrees with the speakers that the most universal change so far this year has been the shift to homeworking for most of us due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Consequently, our very popular collaborative, open plan offices with a diverse range of FF&E may have to be updated to adhere to new social distancing measures.
We have worked over the years to create a more home-from-home type of office with a variety of soft seating, high and low tables, food and drink available on hand, chill zones etc. Many enjoy this type of office layout as it sparks creativity, allows colleagues to be flexible in their working areas and not restricted to a static desk from 9-5 Monday to Friday, giving us that tedious feeling that we’re stuck in a ‘rat race’.
Working from home is a different ball game and a true test of our space planning skills. Yes, we have the sofas, the flexibility to wear whatever we like and work wherever (and sometimes whenever) we like, but do we necessarily feel our most creative in the same space that we sleep, wash, do chores and eat at every single day? And have we got the space to do all of these tasks efficiently, or are we compromising one for the other?
Utilising outdoor spaces like balconies, gardens, or patios, where available, as workspaces whatever the British weather might bring, is also high on the requirements lists. You’ve heard us talk about biophilic design before and it’s here to stay. Not least as our understanding of and focus on the mental health and the affect of nature on our wellbeing deepens.
With this shift in how people want to use their spaces, we as interior designers need to be able to adapt spaces quickly, to allow us to support the multitude of tasks our clients will need to carry out in them. Specifically, we are talking about creative storage solutions and adjusting clients’ infrastructure and connectivity (Zoom and Teams meetings, we’re looking at you). But also, where possible, creating the most inspiring working environment that distracts us from the reality of being at home all day every day.
We were moving in this direction before COVID-19, but we are now having to get there much quicker. We believe that the future holds a more lenient approach to staggering office days and working from home days, and we’re so here for that!
However, the elephant in the room remains – how important are trends in our industry? We are creating spaces that should be timeless, or at the very least, last more than one season. Which, in its essence, does not lend itself particularly well to following yearly or seasonal trends in colours, for example. And we are not even touching on the vast concept of colour psychology here (if you’re interested, why not read over our recurring ‘Colours Matter’ blog series, starting with Orange, Green and Yellow).
So where is this pressure coming from?
Social Media & Trends
Social media has made it easier to consume trends by using hashtags, the emergence of ‘influencers’ and creation an online community with a great following.
Social media is great at giving people aspirational lifestyles and design inspiration, it is free and easy for any consumer to search for basically ANYTHING.
As our speakers mentioned in the Designscape event, Instagram has brought colour back to life – it has peaked peoples’ interest and given us the confidence to tap into colour. It’s the modern-day equivalent of browsing through an interior design magazine with a plethora of design schemes to inspire and educate us. We love that it is a great platform for the underdog designers and creators who we might not find in traditional advertising or at events. People can go viral just through the power of hashtagging and sharing!
Speaking of which, why not follow us on your social media of choice? Say hi while you’re there:
While trends can be a fruitful area of conversation and they are a great way to keep in touch with our community, get some much needed inspiration and simply offer some new ideas, they should not be the be all and end all in a design project. With interiors it is always thought that you do it once and then it’s done, unlike how we would change our hair, clothes or nail colours. But that’s simply not true. As our speakers pointed out, we change over time and with that our needs will change too. Our spaces should follow.
It might interest you to know that colour is often the last part of the interior that comes together. Its choice is informed not by the current trend (millennial pink, anyone?), but rather the action that will be carried out in the space and the feeling we want people to have when they are in it, . If it happens to be a trend colour, so be it.
This is particularly true in specific types of spaces, such as SEND learning environments.
What will we see in the future? Where are these ‘trends’ heading?
Based on the topics discussed in the webinar, we at Apteriors foresee the following topics gathering lots of interest in coming months.
In today’s world, sustainability is a necessity as well as a trend for the future. It involves sourcing materials such as organic compounds or recycled materials. Finding environmentally friendly methods of waste management is another consideration we should keep front and centre. With interiors there can be a lot of single use, non-biodegradable packaging such as Styrofoam that we as an industry should omit. Oxo-degradable bubble wrap is a good environmentally friendly alternative.
Fabric to support indoor & outdoor living could become a future trend as our homes are to be used in a more versatile way. The same way that we would have Band 0 – 6 fabric in commercial interior upholstery we may need to consider these types for our home.
Design will become increasingly digital. Real life concepts created with virtual reality is becoming more and more popular. Until now a high-quality render using 3DSMax has been sufficient, but will virtual reality soon become something that may be an essential requirement in the bidding process? This virtual reality also supports the social distancing / working from home culture as a client can be taken to any place from anywhere via augmented & virtual reality!
What do you think? Is there anything you can see gathering steam? Why not get in touch to let us know.
Our summary of Designscape 2020
Designscape was a great first virtual event to attend, with opportunities to set up meetings directly with suppliers that were attending the event and hours of interesting content.
We like that everything is in one place, at Clerkendwell Design Week for example you have to travel around a lot to be able to fit in meetings with certain suppliers/ designers. Here it was all in one place. Perfect for a busy day!
Obviously, nothing can beat a real face-to-face event where there are good socialising opportunities that are less structured. We also missed the inspiring installations and showrooms exhibited at design events. However, this has been a great way to keep the industry connected during this time.
We look forward to seeing you at the next event!