8 global design trends that will shape 2018

This article was first published on India Art n Design

Honest packaging, augmented reality and other trends that will disrupt the realm of design in 2018. Here’s what the world will look like this year…

Clean labels will tell us more about the product than ever

Products will be wrapped in honest packaging
Reflecting the demand for simple and recognizable ingredients is the clean labelling trend that enlightens consumers’ purchase decisions without confusing or tricking them. Mintel’s Global Packaging Trends 2018 report suggests that brands will use the “essentialist” design principle in the next generation of the clean label to provide calm and clarity to shoppers in an increasingly hectic retail environment.
 
Voice assistants will be everywhere
Smart homes have become the norm as voice assistants now control everything from heating, lighting and music; they can even order your groceries or call you a taxi. Sleek devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple’s soon-to-be-released HomePod speaker will be found in many more homes this year. And, it won’t be long before you find a voice assistant in your bathroom, too, as these very companies are striking up partnerships with third-parties to make your life simpler!
 
Graphic design is getting bolder
Illustrations won’t be going out of fashion any time soon, but we will start to see hand-drawn illustrations blended with graphic effects like double exposures, negative space or glitches. Even digitally drawn illustrations paired with photographs will make it to the mainstream in 2018.
 
It’s becoming easier than ever to give kitchens and bathrooms a new look
While all-white kitchens are still in, we will see a lot more jewel tones used strategically, on cabinets, accent walls and even kitchen appliances. Concrete in accents and as a finish is making a grand appearance this year, too. Bathroom makeovers can be effected at the drop of a hat, thanks to the easy application of stylish tile skins.
 
Well-being will be at the heart of the workplace
Going beyond placing a few potted plants around the office, this trend will take shape as offices actively integrate biophilic design throughout the workplace. The use of live and artificial plants, green walls, natural lighting, nature-inspired textures and prints fortifies this well-rooted trend that is shown to improve employee health, productivity and wellbeing.
 
The boundaries between playtime and education will blur
STREAM thinking (Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Art and Math) is a buzzword in the toy industry. But this movement that promotes the use of toys that help children of all ages to use their imagination, critical thinking and skills is gaining more traction this year, thanks to new innovations and research. From robotic kits and colourful toys that engage all senses, this trend will see an upsurge in toys that combine fun and learning.
 
Architectural facades get a multi-textured look
The classic brick façade will remain popular in 2018, but the focus will now be on mixing different textures for a more tactile experience. Whether it’s about creating contrasting textures by playing around with gloss and matte levels of the same material, using light and dark shades of similar colours, or even mixing and matching complementary materials on to a single surface, the exterior surfaces of homes will now be as important as the interiors.
 
Augmented reality is going mainstream
Going by reports of the recently concluded CES 2018, augmented reality and immersive technology will be a mainstay in 2018 and beyond, with gesture and emotions as the new interface in lieu of screens and hardware. Whether it’s experiences in the retail space that allow consumers to ‘try before they buy’, dissemination of knowledge at the workplace through virtual simulation training, or virtual museum visits and the ability to learn from more than just a one-dimensional view of an artefact or photo, augmented reality will change the way we look at things.

 

Creative Coalescence

A mural created by artist Anpu Varkey reflects the underground nature of the premises while drawing a parallel with characteristics like collective intelligence and shared work best epitomised by an ant (Anagram Office © andré j fanthome)
A mural created by artist Anpu Varkey reflects the underground nature of the premises while drawing a parallel with characteristics like collective intelligence and shared work best epitomised by an ant (Anagram Office © andré j fanthome)

Anagram Architects’ new studio promotes collaboration and creativity via symbolic design in an open-plan layout

New Delhi-based Anagram Architects – a spatial design consultancy, is known to deliver innovative, context-specific designs that encourage sustainable lifestyles. Naturally, when it came to its own office, in South Delhi’s creative Hauz Khas pocket, the team didn’t have tolook any further than its own design philosophy for inspiration.

The 12481 sq. ft. office accommodates the firm’s expanded team through the interplay of standout features that include the play of light and an open-plan layout. Pops of lime green add vibrancy amid a light palette of wooden tones and whites. Continue reading “Creative Coalescence”

Rustic charm: Birdsong Café

Wooden tables, vitrines, old chairs and retro 1970s plastic switches on teak wood bases—subtle but strong design elements
Wooden tables, vitrines, old chairs and retro 1970s plastic switches on teak wood bases—subtle but strong design elements

Samir Raut and Amit Mayekar of Studio Eight Twentythree design Birdsong Café in suburban Mumbai as a contextual response to the surrounding heritage precinct

Starting out by ensuring that the design speaks the same language as its historic neighbours, the material palette has been restricted to concrete and wood – the former, a not-so-modern material and the latter, a centuries-old one. For Samir, these materials with their enigmatic charm fascinate because of their ability to age elegantly, almost as if they are able to tell stories of the space as it ages along with them.

Head over to India Art n Design to read the entire piece, complete with gorgeous imagery of the equally gorgeous cafe.

Q&A: Stefan Sagmeister

Sagmeister by John Madere
Sagmeister by John Madere

I had the chance to meet and interview the noted graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister last year, when I attended the Ink Talks series of talks and discussions that present breakthrough ideas and stories. Sagmeister calls a spade a spade, and it is, perhaps, this among other traits that has landed him projects with musical greats like The Rolling Stones. Here’s the story, in part.

The award-winning graphic designer on big-breasted female astronauts being a favorite cover art motif with bands and musicians continuing to struggle to make a living

How does award-winning graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister soup up a lecture on design? He gets an intern to knife him. To be specific, he had lines from his speech carved onto his skin with an X-acto knife. Known for his radical design, Sagmeister has worked with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Lou Reed and some of the biggest names in rock ’n roll history. The Austrian-born New York-based designer won two Grammys—the first for Talking Heads’ Once In A Lifetime and the second for David Byrne and Brian Eno’s Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. 

The article on Stefan Sagmeister was first published on ROLLING STONE India. Read the entire interview with Stefan Sagmeister here, on the ROLLING STONE India website.

Mediterranean Flavours

 

Photography: David Rodríguez y Carlos Huecas; courtesy Masquespacio

Blending thoughtful design with innovative functionality, KesSalao, a new eatery in Bonn, adds a fresh appeal to the historic German city’s dining scene.

Valencia-based Spanish creative consultancy Masquespacio has worked on the brand image and interior design, conceptualizing elements right down to the restaurant’s name.

Read the complete review of the restaurant’s interior design and brand image in a piece that I had written for India Art n Design.

Transformation by Design

Image

As World Design Capital 2014, Cape Town is using design-driven events as a means of social, cultural and economic change.

Visit India Art n Design to read more about the exciting design-driven events happening in Cape Town!