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Design priorities

The key design events of 2020 so far identify the importance of addressing climate change and the increasing ability of designers to embrace a circular economy…

Environmental concerns are becoming a regular feature at key design and interiors trade fairs events across the globe, representing the increasing motivation with the design industry to embrace positive change and move towards a sustainable future.

Eco-friendly concepts, recycled products, biodegradable designs and stylish takes on natural materials are edging their way into the mainstream as conscious consumption and a shift of focus onto sustainability becomes a way of life.

The HOMI Lifestyle Trade Fair | Milan

HOMI Milan 2020This annual interiors event is dedicated to celebrating the best innovations in design and the forecasted trend predictions. The fair is an opportunity for all creators to showcase experimental ideas, materials and projects, covering everything from tableware and textiles to ceramics and creative furniture pieces.

The 2020 edition saw a clear theme running throughout the weekend, the spotlight was firmly on a more sustainable design culture; in celebration of the dawn of a new awareness on sustainability, HOMI was full of eco-friendly design ideas that are mindful of the environment. Acknowledging that green awareness is changing consumer habits, eco-friendly choices that are mindful of the environment represented one of the most interesting and popular trends.

It even spurred a new project dedicated to the future and sustainability, #HOMINext. The first edition of this new arrival in the HOMI family was named ECOSOCIALLY by Luca Gnizio; a thought-provoking furniture piece curated by the homonymous ecosocial artist, a pioneer of eco-friendly art with a strong social message. Created from waste materials and intended to raise awareness about pollution, the chairs acted as a stimulus for debate. The #HOMINext project also aimed to directly involve companies present at the exhibition, offering them the opportunity to put heads together with Luca Gnizio to come up with innovative methods of recycling their waste materials via new solutions that are creative, artistic, functional and socially useful.

Maison & Objet | Paris

The leading home decor fair connecting the international interior design and lifestyle community celebrated its 25th anniversary by looking to the future and setting out to analyse the attitudes, desires and expectations of Generation Y and Z’s digital natives.

Inspired by its 2020 theme (RE) GENERATION!, a whole year’s celebrations will be devoted to these committed millennials who, confronted with the many current crises, are looking for a better world, changing the rules and revolutionising consumer behaviour in both the home and lifestyle sectors.

The new generations’ environmental commitments have given rise to an eco-design mindset and inspired bold projects such as GREENKISS®. The elegant and minimal furniture and lighting created by Hubert de Malherbe, Thierry Lemaire and Paolo Castelli makes a strong gesture for the planet, for example by using sustainable materials (fast-growing trees, recycled fabrics and concrete).

The collection reflects the finest Italian and French design of the Fifties and Seventies. The quality of the materials, which are all either regenerated, recouped or ethically produced under strictly controlled conditions, is enhanced by geometric styling, graphic details and asymmetry.

The principles of eco-social design were also found in the native emerging talent identified at the fair. Each edition of Maison & Objet focusses on a new generation of creatives from a specific country for its Rising Talent Awards, and this year the spotlight was the fair’s home turf and six French designers.

René-Jacques Mayer, one of the jury members and the director of the Ecole Camondo said ‘there are currently two main trends in the young french design scene; the first is that designers are developing stronger links with craftsmanship. They are distinguishing themselves less with industrial products than with objects produced in limited quantities using traditional savoir-faire. Secondly, they are no longer interested in simply designing a chair, but develop projects that are much more societal. Their overriding aim is to solve problems and come up with new uses’.

Stockholm Design Week

Vestre Stockholm Design WeekStockholm Design Week identified climate change as the key priority for architects and designers over the coming decade.

Among the highlights were Norwegian urban furniture brand Vestre scooping the best stand award at the Furniture & Light Fair as well as Swedish architecture firm White Arkitekter pledging that every building it designs will be carbon neutral by 2030.

Vestre‘s installation featured re-usable materials and information about the carbon footprint of every product. Designed by Note Design Studio, the stand featured walls clad in uncut sheets of plywood, stands built up of uncemented bricks and a floor of stone chips. After the fair, the materials will be stored for future use rather than thrown away.

Meanwhile, Alexandra Hagen, White Arkitekter‘s CEO, pledged their move towards carbon neutrality at a panel discussion, stating that “Climate change is the most important challenge for the future for this decade. We know that the materials used for products and for buildings are the major cause of carbon emissions. So we have to use our abilities as designers to transform into a circular economy.” She added that her company’s long-term goal is to create buildings that have a positive impact on the environment, rather than simply being neutral. “We believe that human beings, like any other living beings on the planet, need to contribute to the ecosystem rather than taking away from it,” she said. “So that is definitely the goal.

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Categories:Interiors & Lifestyle