There is a recurring question on the lips of design industry insiders and masters of style: what’s up next?
For interior decorators and designers, staying informed of global movements is an integral way of sourcing inspiration – a way to stay fresh, channel the zeitgeist and reinterpret international trends for clients.
Short of seeing a bewigged clairvoyant or gazing hopefully into a crystal ball, interior designers often look for guidance to professionals who dedicate vast swathes of resources to analysing data and directions across interlinked creative sectors. They combine this with a study of historical trends to predict where the mood will take us.
In this way, leading UK trend futurist Victoria Redshaw uses an inimitable combination of research, analysis and intuition to quantify the design macro trends for the upcoming year, with uncannily accurate results – such as her forecast of the ubiquitous Scandi trend of 2015.
One of the key 2017 trends Victoria released at this year’s Decor and Design show in Melbourne is the wonderfully titled Organic Matter movement. It is characterised by a deliciously earthy luxuriance that aims to enhance the psyches of urban jungle dwellers by introducing a wild naturalism to manmade spaces.
It is particularly taking off in dense metropolises such as Shanghai and Singapore. Singapore’s famed Changi airport is already considered to be one of the world’s best oases for tired travellers. It will soon be even better thanks to a ‘lifestyle destination’ addition which will connect all three terminals in the form of an enormous dome-shaped space that will intersperse airport operations, retail and hotel facilities with sensational indoor gardens that will be designed to merge seamlessly with the facilities and create a sense of nature as co-creator. Nicknamed ‘Project Jewel’ and set for completion in 2018, it will be an iconic stop for global wanderers.
Project jewel reflects a clearly definable new approach from technologists, designers and architects that taps into an ecological agenda which at its heart seeks to improve our wellbeing.
Interior designers and decorators are set to explore the aesthetic of a ‘made by nature’ concept through gorgeous materials that combine technical knowhow with nature, such as spongy stabilised moss that is sensual and tactile. It features unpredictable, unplanned outcomes disrupting shapes, surfaces and materials. Think moss springing unexpectedly from a wooden dining table or ferns cascading through bathrooms.
The design process also embraces the concept of serendipity. Natural processes are the catalyst for unstructured design. It’s seeing how things fall and incorporating wilderness elements into an indoor space that will disrupt it and take it in unexpected direction.
The beautiful colour palette of this trend echoes the natural world. Deep luscious greens are a highlight but there are also mushroom and ochre tints, sandstone splashes and terracotta pinks. Fabric patterns pick up on the trend through wild prints and creeping florals which explode across a cushion or a sofa in a way which is the opposite of politely structured chintz.
Organic matter underscores how much interior design itself matters. To our current lives and to future generations. As cities have experienced supercharged growth spurts over the last century, nature often took a second seat to progress; to the twin gods of concrete and steel. This trend is an exciting reflection of the new quest to balance nature and man and to recognise how truly fundamental the former is to the existence of the latter.
Catch up on the macro design trends for 2017 presented by Scarlet Opus at Decor + Design 2016. Watch: