Li Edelkoort is definitely a high highlight of the Design Indaba ’09. She is a proclaimed trend forecaster with amazing insight. I scribbled away like mad with her presentation but here is a sum-up of the things that stood out for me.
âœ¿ We live apart and want to be together. Li described it in two words “humbleness” and “togetherness”. An example is the rising number of farm/organic markets. We want to come together and meet. We want real relations. Isn’t this wonderful!?! I think so. We are reconnecting, wanting and needing to return to old values, traditions, craft, gardening – things that are wholesome and truthful (perhaps I am taking it a bit far now).
Photo’s from the The Neighbourgoods market every Saturday in Salt River.
âœ¿ Li also spoke a lot about the financial crisis and how it is affecting things. Angie Hattingh from ifashion put it really well: “What Li notes as being different about this current crisis is the world’s reaction to it. In the past financial crises were marked by a return to basics ideology. Fashion was marked by minimalism – a sort of atonement for the sins of our excesses. This time the crisis is not of our making – blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the financial institutions. So we have nothing to atone for. But we have been presented, instead, with the opportunity to re-centre ourselves, to narrow our focus to our local environment and to project our dreams of our changed future.”
âœ¿ Story telling and animation in design was and is very important and follows from the trend pointed out above.Â This also resonated with the notion of how we are finding ‘animated’ objects fun. At the Design Indaba Expo I found Vanilla Concrete‘s ceramic creatures to be a perfect example of this. Plush toys have started popping up every where and although they are cute, you have to agree that they are rather unusual and some even weird – but still, we all want a plush friend. They invoke our imagination. But, how about making a ceramic plush? Suddenly all the soft and cuddlyness is taken out and it is in reverse: A ‘concrete’ something is made animate. I so badly wanted to take Milla home with me (far right).
âœ¿ Grey, grey, grey … how many times can you say grey…..? As Li puts it, we are in a time of indecision and we are “ready to embrace a time of hope and well being”. Black and white are neither and thus grey is the perfect positive balance. Li even showed a on-the-street video by Bill Cunningham (New York Times Photographer) about the presence of grey at the New York fashion week.
My two MOST exciting observations were:
1. Li did NOT speak about bling or glitz. I have never liked all the glam so on a personal level, I was excited to hear that it is not going to be a big feature in design.
2. The presence of grey as a trend is also a long term trend. In fact LiÂ seemed to feel that we (civilisation) are turning over a new leaf. This new way – where we go backwards to go forward and where we seek the ‘human element’ as technology features more in our world (as she put it “we want to be unplugged but wired at the same time”), is a trend that will be around for the next 40 years! I am SO EXCITED about this. Trying to keep abreast of change is exhausting and to hear that season trends are only going to blur more and become one is a relief. Long ago 100 years went by with one trend now we do not even have 100 days with a big trend. Isn’t this refreshing information.