We’re becoming increasingly urban. Now predominantly city dwellers, instead of rural beings, we’re integrating our “Human Nature” with an “Urban Nature”. The ways that this monumental shift in lifestyle is expressed in the city environment was one of the main themes to emerge from the recent trendtalk hosted by Plascon and Inhouse Brand Architects.
The 7th trendtalk in the series, the event took place on 14 November at the Plascon Auditorium in Cape Town. Speakers Laurence Brick of Loads of Living and 100% Design SA; communications consultant and design champion Lianne Burton; and award-winning interior designer Cara Siegers formed the trendtalk#7 panel.
trendtalk#7 was entitled “reflections on the future” and in keeping with the overall direction, here is a brief report-back on the forward-looking themes that each of the speakers explored:
What Laurence Brick had to say at trendtalk #7:
With his Loads of Living background, Brick gave a solid and sweeping overview of the major shifts to have affected consumers in the last few years. He highlighted the fact that trends are not static, and instead, they evolve and feed each other. They are a reaction to what is happening and also a response to previous trends. Trends are first visible on social media like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
Brick’s presentation was comprehensive and insightful. Here are a few of the key trends he highlighted:
- Geometric, and hexagonal patterns will continue to be popular, along with faceted, angular forms.
- Urban Gardening: kitchen gardens, guerrilla gardening and communal gardening
- Indoor plants, particularly hanging gardens
- He touched on neighbor goods markets and the ever-increasing trend to artisanal food. There is a shift to unstructured, colourful food styling with an emphasis on fresh ingredients.
- New lighting options present a major shift, with new shapes having emerged and a fresh trend towards exposed cabling.
- neon as highlights
- accents of copper and brass
- modern pastels
What Cara Siegers identified:
Siegers spoke about two recent trips, one to New York and the other to London for the London Design festival, from her perspective as an award-winning interior designer at Inhouse Brand Architects.
She spoke in detail about the rise of 3D printing and its increasing availability to designers due to more affordable costs. She also touched on:
- The reinvention of timber
- Retro-fitting obsolete designs to make them useful again
- Playful concepts in product design
- The emergence of design/creative hubs
What Lianne Burton covered:
While not wanting to offer a “trend prescription” but rather a dose of “Eye Vitamins”, Burton did identify that the major shift we are facing is a move from the idea of “human nature” towards the concept of “urban nature” now that the majority of the human population lives in cities, versus rural areas.
According to Burton, trends start on the streets and spread virally, often via social media, and come largely from cities. This is because cities offer diversity, proximity, possibility, pace of change, identity and creativity. In particular, Burton expanded on the rise of Pinterest as a popular medium. One of her own boards, A if for Africa, can be found here.
For her, the widespread prevalence of crystalline and hexagonal forms in fashion and home is somehow linked to our experience of jagged city skylines and urban structures. The work of British sculptor Anthony Gormley is expressive of this now predominantly urban body.
Relating the above global shifts back to her local context, Burton did speak about what it might mean to be both urban and African, citing musician Spoek Mathambo and fine artist Nicholas Hlobo as contemporary proponents of a profound change that is only set to increase.
Other news from trendtalk:
The trendtalk series will continue into 2014 and beyond. trendtalk has formed a new relationship with the South African Institute for Interior Design (IID). Each trendtalk will now earn IID members 2 Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points per session.
Please diarise the following dates for the upcoming trendtalk sessions in 2014:
- trendtalk#8 – Tuesday 18 March 2014
- trendtalk#9 – Date still to be confirmed
- trendtalk#10 – Tuesday 30 September 2014
- trendtalk#11 – Tuesday 11th November 2014
The trendtalk series is run by Lauren Shantall and is in aid of design-minded charity Rock Girl. All funds raised go towards creating awareness for the need for Safe Spaces for women and young girls and boys. trendtalk#7 raised R1034, and previous donations from trendtalk#6 were used to fund a leadership camp for young people from Mannenberg.
The event included a pendant fitting giveaway from local designers Our Awesome Work and complimentary refreshments from Sir Juice and Groote Post.
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