Trends from the Design Indaba Conference

There is one speaker at the Design Indaba Conference that I would never miss: Li Edelkoort. As always, her visuals are beautiful and her insight into design is brilliant. This year was no exception and becuase I was part of the exhibition I got to go to a second presentation by her on the Sunday – what a treat.

Here are some key points that I picked up from her presentations that I think are seeds worth planting in either your head or heart, watered, and left to grow into fantastic ideas or whatever they might be.

1. Togetherness. Families are working together and groups of people are coming together. This is obvious in some ways, for example with social networking, but in another it is surprising becuase many people thought that lifestyles would become closed and people isolated. However, we are reacting differently by wanting (and needing) to be with people and have ‘real’ relationships to those who matter. The individual is ‘giving himself to the group’.

The MOST BEAUTIFUL item at the Design Indaba (in my opinion) are these hanging lights designed and made by Jeremy’s cousin, Stuart Douglas & Co.

2.Another interesting change linked to relationships is the importance of grandparents to grandchildren. This relationship has never been as strong as it is today because children and grandparents have the time to spent together whereas mom and dad are too busy working and growing their careers to develop as deep a relationship. The influence of grandparents on the younger generation is increasing.

Lights made from cotton string and jute twine by Moonbasket.

3. Li and another amazing presenter, Bruce Nussbaum, spoke about how “taking things, remaking things and making things beautiful” is what we do and want. The consumer no longer wants to just consume, we want to “create beauty and share it”. Li clarified what we define as beauty today:

Materials: Brushed metal (ie, not shiny and bling but glamorous). Lots and lots of natural wood combined with ceramics and leather. Feathers. Minimal with texture.

Lights designed by David Krynauw.

Colour: Soft, tender but colourful neutrals. (Oh, and yellow is going to be the new pink apparently).

Shape: Chubby. Voluptuous. Simplicity.

Ceramics by Wonki Ware.

In conclusion, this is the image (drawn in a moment at the presentation in my notebook) that is left with me from Li’s presentation:

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