Gazing into the crystal ball, what can we see coming for interior design? Prognosticating is never an easy task, but by looking to research we can do better than just reading tea leaves.
To start, we should ask ourselves: What about today will inform the way we live tomorrow? Our current dealings with extreme weather events and a global pandemic are sure to affect our long-term attitudes. At the same time, technological leaps have given us near-instant access to an entire planet’s worth of goods and ideas. Different cultures and philosophies share freely from country to country, continent to continent, leading to a first-of-its-kind global melting pot.
By combining these observations with emerging market trends, a clearer picture of an exciting future begins to form. Interior design will evolve with the aid of innovative materials and abundant inspiration. It’s time to leave the present behind. The future starts now.
Looking to 2021 and beyond
Oftentimes, design predictions don’t look much farther than the coming year. But predicting what 2021 will bring from the end of 2020 doesn’t get at the full picture. The kinds of era-defining events taking place today will influence not just 2021, but many years beyond.
Fleeting trends will increasingly give way to longer-staying paradigms, as people look to transition into ways of living that are more environmentally and economically sustainable. This pivot started awhile back, meaning the preference for long-term design investment has already started to show up in our cultural zeitgeist.
One industry that has already been affected by this shift is fast fashion. These retailers, once unchallenged rulers of the apparel landscape, have been slowing down significantly in recent years, with some former giants even shutting their doors permanently. This is just the beginning. People’s preferences are only going to continue to trend away from quick and cheap.
What the future holds
When looking to the way current and future events are likely to shape interior design, some broad patterns emerge amongst the likely predictions. Generally speaking, we expect to see:
- Increasing adoption of biophilic design.
- Eco-friendly living in décor, furnishings and architecture.
- Designing for forever, with intergenerational living and the combining of traditional and modern.
To get a better understanding of what each of these points mean, let's sink our teeth into the finer details.
Biophilic design: Building interior landscapes
The term biophilia was first coined by Harvard naturalist Dr. Edward O. Wilson in 1984. It was the name he gave to his hypothesis that humans naturally gravitate toward interaction and association with other forms of life. Simply put, humans are drawn to nature.
While it may seem a bit obvious, the concept sent waves through the worlds of architecture and design. In the decades since the introduction of biophilia, biophilic design has been developed into an established set of principles meant to improve human and environmental well-being. At its most basic, this design philosophy seeks to connect a building’s occupants with the natural world.