Don’t look again for your ‘authentic’ self, or even ‘authentic’ ‘artisan’ pieces — according to icon Trend predictor, Faith Popcorn, “Being authentic is over. The new trait companies need to exude is to be genuine, not authentic. They need to get out of the past!”
The Genuine Advantage Why do businesses, environments, movements even governments need to exude the new trait of being ‘genuine’? Because more than ever, we are making purchases and designing our lives in ways that align with our Values. (see below) Today’s companies look carefully to trend forecasters to provide information about the subtle nature of us all. This information will inform the next generation of products or services needed to assist (and sometimes define) the evolution of humankind. Leading edge companies who felt a genuine need and filled it have been what marketers call “early riskers’ like Toms and Donna Karan’s Urban Zen are answering the call for genuinely responsive marketing, creating products that more than solve our problems but touch deep into our values for a better world and brighter future. (Read about it here)
When designing products or interiors, it’s increasingly important that those designs ‘do no harm’ but even more than that, they must truly create a healing impact throughout all phases of the product life. There’s no going backward on this one.
Here are a few of the societal trends. How many can you relate to?
99 Lives* — We are living high-speed, fast-change character lives stretched to the limit as Multi-tasking is a way of life and the title ‘single-working-mom’ no longer inspires empathy. All this is creating a kind of social schizophrenia. Design Answer: create products and designs that expand time, make life easier and more gentle, encourage focus and filter out insolent interruptions.
Cocooning is more about just staying home and being safe in our snuggly little nest, its also about staying in the neighborhood, staying local. How many days can I work at home? Can I walk to the services I need? And just who is my neighbor? Design Answer: When designing, it is important to create spaces that allow home and work to be separate entities; track actual time spent working and be certain to create boundaries around play and rest. Take time off and make it sacred.
A need to enjoy more play, not only are baby boomers finding comfort in familiar pursuits and products of their youth, but even the younger generations are becoming nostalgic for a ‘simpler’ time, old school items and ways and a past that they never lived. Design Answer: Incorporate playful items in the design of each room or product–add tactility, movement and a surprise in unlikely places, like painting a smiley face inside the mailbox or trashcan lid, add bright color to the insides of dresser drawers…
To offset a depersonalized society, consumers crave recognition of their individuality and creativity. We are wanting products and designs that express exactly who we are, are customiz-able and that fit our quickly evolving lifestyle. Design Answer: This is a very important part of Feng Shui: Express Yourself. With sites like Etsy and Ponoko, we can express our personalized designs and sell them online easily.
The Girl Effect
Intuitive, flowing, integrated with all life — women–and the way they think and behave–are impacting business, causing a marketing shift away from a hierarchical model toward a relational, intuition-based one. Both men and women are embracing both sides of our nature, masculine and feminine for something more than an androgenous outcome, a world that honors right and left brain, feeling and logic, and the intelligence of body wisdom. Design Answer: Embrace the excitement of just being alive in your spaces. The 2012/2013 Design Trends from Voice of Color speak to the need to be beautiful, fanciful and colorful. One of the 4 basic trends, Beauty Queen, highlights a rich, elegant 21st Century take on Disco — Princess Diana meets John Travolta: fun, upscale and elegantly light-hearted. Boldly colorful this trends is elevated by its use of Lucite furnishings as in Madonna’s designs of office furniture for Versace.
Even our youth is understanding that there’s power in privacy. Facebook and social media sparked the Age of the Overshare and many of the Millenials are deleting their pages, aware of how quickly media can have a negative impact on their lives. These charms, worn by younger Millenials are a reminder that there is sacredness to their lives and power in the personal.
Many of our social institutions are being exposed for their ineffectiveness and/or heartless methods of doing business. “Corporation structures just give people and excuse to behave badly.” As we see much of our established pillars of society crumble we have been driven to take more responsibility for what we can control and therefore the need to stay local has gotten greater and more fulfilling.
Astrologer Rick DiClemente explained this trend as it arose over 4 years ago — a stellar event that hadn’t occured since the American Revolution for Independence. Check out StarSelf and the article on Pluto Enters Capricorn I can’t wait for the release of Rick’s book on December 14, 2011 The Exquisite Zodiac
Still wary about the recovery of our economic health, we allow ourselves to indulge in small, affordable luxuries and find ways to reward ourselves. A Starbucks latte, with extra whip cream, a Leonidas Chocolate box, a scented candle, glass of champagne or long bath are examples of necessary pampering. Give and get moments of happiness, a sunrise, the light through lace on a little girls headband, the wagging tail of a dog excited to see you…these small indulgences are more though out than the ‘impulse purchases’ at the counter and more rich and soul satisfying. Look for them, they are all around you right now.
There is a trend to ‘just do it’…anything as a pressure release valve. This is being called the “I don’t care” trend, the “I’m going to stay out all night and do all the ‘bad’ things I want” trend — as a pressure release to the boundaries we face during the day. You can see this in the advertisements for alcohol, cigars and cars–a no limits way . Anything to push the envelop and explore a passionate, outrageous side of ourselves.
“EN-GEN”* Termed ‘En-Gen’ by Faith Popcorn, this trend speaks to a broadening of our individual fullness. Men are accessing their creative and intunitive selves, women are stepping up to claim their passion and strength. Filled with many statistics, here’s the BrainReserve report: THE RISE OF EN-GEN
The Chicken or the Egg? BOTH The Chicken IS the Egg. Our worlds, global, cultural and personal (outside of us) affect what is going on inside of us and determines our response to life. Design, color and style design are always driven by humans: our nature, our innovation and access to resources, natural or personal. Want a peak at the colors that we will want to have around us? Stay tuned.