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Trends in design slash

Rūta Toleikytė, FITSOUT head of the Department of Architecture.

 

Global trends affecting the clients’ demands in designing the interior

Individual and public interior solutions reflect similar trends, which are dictated by the motley world of fashion, improving quality of people’s lifestyles, and growing intensity of the dynamics of social life. If prominent fashion houses publicise a range of colours and mood themes for the year, similar interpretation of colours and themes will be mirrored in the interiors. If the global theme is that of ecology and clean environment, the themes of using ecological materials and creating a healthy environment are just as relevant in interior solutions.

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At the same time, with cultural exchange and the dynamics of life picking up pace, interiors are increasingly focusing on designing a comfortable space based on the unique needs of the client and the person who will be spending their time in the interior in each individual case. Cut-and-dried solutions yield to unique, one-of-a-kind projects, combinations possessed of their own character and recognition. For instance, stores of famous brands are coming to resemble homes for buyers to feel relaxed and welcome. Office spaces are becoming interspersed with playful elements, with different areas designated not only for work, but for recreation as well for the sake of the comfortable wellbeing of the staff. Hotel rooms are being designed to follow different styles to minimise the image of an official atmosphere – that of a ‘public house’.

User-friendly to consumers

Interior designers are thinking about consumers who travel a lot, have seen a lot, are demanding and technology-savvy and keen on global topics. The environment in which these consumers live has to be aesthetically unique and ergonomic (good-looking and comfortable furniture), providing for a user-friendly use of technological innovation (such as wireless Internet, smart sensor electrical installations), and including all that is relevant in today’s world: ecological, practical, and recyclable materials that, I must say, do not have to pass a very high bar in terms of durability and longevity – just like the entire interior solution as such.

How often do we see a shift in the need for interior solutions happen? What drives it?

The lifetime of an interior is between 5 and 7 years. This amount if time is dictated by the social–economic dynamics of consumers that I mentioned before. When they buy new homes or rent office or retail space, people tend to think ahead of how they will be able to realise it – the liquidity and profitability of the property after a designated period of time. The world fashion follows a seasonal pattern of change, people are migrating from one place to another increasingly often, driving the need for a change, transformation of the interior in response to the dynamics of consumption accordingly.

The future of materials

Despite the pace of life becoming faster, requiring the interior designers to adapt, the most common request coming from the clients is to make the interior cozy. Whatever progressive materials may have been designed or cutting-edge technology applied, interiors often include natural materials, such as wood, stone, leather. These materials conjure up images of durability and are historically known and close to the human being. Philosophically speaking, one can totally understand the preference for such materials. No matter how great the human advancement in technological invention is, how deeply people are affected by the ascent of the civilisation, they will always want to have symbols or replicas of nature in their environment.

What has been the predominant range of colours lately, and why?

It is amusing to watch the spiral shift of colours and fashion trends in general. Things that were trendy 20–30 years ago are making a return on the catwalk – only now they come with an updated, improved, refined character. Some 10–15 years ago, we lived in black-and-white environments with shades of grey, we loved minimalism and precise shapes. In today’s trends, more and more colours – soft, soothing, warming spaces both common and private, are returning every year. Just like natural materials continue to reign the lists of preferred materials, so are soft, matching combinations inspired by the plant and animal world – rose, navy, peachy orange, camel-skin yellow – becoming increasingly prevalent in the range of colours. Without sharp contrast, a desire to shock, simply driven by the intention to harmonise the environment of the active consumer.

What are the future outlook of usage of materials? What are the influencing, underlying factors?

Presumably, and with the first signs of moving in that direction already visible, the way forward will be to steer clear of totally new, one-of-a-kind solutions in the interior, but rather design something that has already been there, a concept of an interior possibly already glimpsed in the past. Technological advancement and intricateness will be clearly separated from the increasing speed of life; alternatively, it will be put in contrast with space where the consumer will want to chill out and spend time taking care of their own needs.

Of course, this will co-exist with futuristic interiors in the semblance of functional space capsules with the latest discoveries, often replicated from space technology institutes, installed. However, as we are able to see in sci-fi films, even the most advanced spaceship is designed with space for a real living garden, wooden textures and natural colours going hand in hand with intricate pneumatic forms in the luxury cabin. The wider the gap between the latest technologies and nature, the more relevant the theme of ecology in designing things and interiors becomes. The human being is becoming increasingly aware of the value of natural materials, which have and will continue to have an elite status in people’s eyes.

 

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