Riding the Trend Waves
One of the most daunting tasks for a designer in any industry is to be “au courant” or on trend. This ever-elusive classification involves insightfully understanding where the current trends are, what is likely coming down the pipe, and where one might be able to influence or push a new trend. My best analogy for this is that designers must predict, and read, and ride out trends the way a surfer reads the fickle sea. A skilled surfer relies on any or a combination of their experience, natural instincts, or fearlessness to successfully ride the waves as they come; in real time. But a designer, a product designer for example, is navigating the seas of tomorrow but making decisions on which wave to ride today. It takes time for a product to come to market so it is imperative that designers have their finger on the pulse of what consumers will be drawn to and we do this through a number of means, be it magazines and media, market studies and trend research, seeking out inspiration from influencers and trendsetters, or my personal favorite Trade Events.
In the design industry, it is okay to let the big brands do the heavy lifting. After all, they have the budgets to produce trend-related content designed to drive big sales. For other industry professionals, that content serves as great inspiration and there are few places that rival the big trade shows when it comes to accessing a slew of inspiration. I was recently lucky enough to attend IMM and Maison&Objet, two of Europe’s premiere design shows, on behalf of Blue Oak Outdoor to scope out some of the top names and emerging talents in furniture design. To tie it back to surfing, it’s as if they sent me to the best beach on the North Shore to watch Kelly Slater and Bethany Hamilton rip it up.
Here are a few of the popular themes coming out of the big shows and links for you to ride the trend wave.
Blue Oak Colfax Collection
Dark Marble and Stone
Blue Oak Saylor Collection
to see what's coming in 2018 trends!