What's trending 2021/2022+?

We continuously work to be on top of our trend research in order to understand our current and future users, and we want to share our learnings with you. The following insights are collected from a range of resources and in particular Stora Trenddagen 2021 (Trendstefan’s four megatrends and NCS) and Colorhouse Next Trend 2021. 

Trend research is based on today’s and yesterdays data to calculate what is most probable to happen next. Last year’s research process certainly got an unexpected twist when a global pandemic struck. One might think that the trend researchers data would be completely off, but as we picked up from Trendstefan at Stora Trenddagen, everything that has happened was forecasted, just not the speed of it all. The pandemic served as a catalyst, not a derailing force. 

In order to understand where we are going, we have to look back to where we have been. David R Shah at Next Trend talked about how in 2021/2022 people are seeking communities, but why?

 

In 2018 the ambition to be productive was extremely high, welcoming so much stress and frenzy from the pressure to work out, cook healthy, spend time with family and friends while also thriving in your career. FOMO (Fear of missing out) became a buzzword. By 2019 we slowly realized it was impossible. People started leaving and dropping out from social events and commitments just to get back to relaxation, self worthiness and acceptance. However, the need to be social took up pace again when the pandemic struck, because isolation made us lonelier than ever. We started to crave social life and found a desire to once again join communities, yet held hard onto the importance of demandless performances. 

Zenit illustration inspired by Beetroot Balance

BEETROOT BALANCE

Everything’s been so crazy lately and so we need to get back our balance. We need a good mix of science and spirituality, of dark and bright colors and of social life and alone time. We find this balance in organic pigments and patterns while taking a break from monochrome loud tones. Instead of searching for strong contrasts, this trend mixes different shades of the same color to achieve earthy atmospheres. Colors that originate from organic life, such as vegetables and other natural pigments. 

 

At Colourhouse Next Trend, Ambre Venissac brought up changes in our behaviour as a consequence from working at home, and what she talks about is actually balance. We are lonely and miss having people around us, even if it's strangers. This has a strong foundation in our need to co-exist with other human beings to be happy for social interaction has been a big aspect for survival through evolution. Although when we now talk about ‘social’ it doesn't necessarily mean to talk, laugh or touch. Now it can be enough to just share a common space to get a sense of community. Looking ahead, we can be alone, but amongst others.   

Zenit illustration inspired by Balearic Breeze

BALEARIC BREEZE

The second trend that Trendstefan presented takes us to the mediterranean sea with sand between our toes, surrounded by shells, lace, textile and touched by warm and sunkissed light. The look is accompanied by a touch of turquoise to spike up the beige tones. Transparency in Balearic breeze’s interior is created as the sun shines through glass vases and glass decor, creating a beautiful play of light. This look is currently trending on pictures on social media and in many companies advertising, as is the golden hour lighting. 

 

The urbanisation makes a 360 as people are okay to let the big city life go for a while. We want fresh air and pure nature. This is clearly shown by the sudden raise in housing and cabin prices, and was also stated by Ambre Venissac at Colorhouse. She talks about finding your sanctuary and the way to achieve it is by colors, shapes, architecture and positivity. Amber describes this sanctuary as stepping into the Little house on the Prairie, where we, through a simpler life and being back at our roots can find true fulfillment. It’s time to be fully present and we can only achieve this by an enhanced sobriety. 

From the left: WeWork image & The edible country photo by August Dellert

Nature will not only play a big part in our personal life, but also in our working environment. Trendstefan talks about how our new demands of sanctuaries have pushed aside the traditional office. The pandemic made us realize that our work can run smoothly without our presence at an office and a new era of outdoor functional and aesthetic appealing working environments are rising. This also applies to restaurants and similar establishments.

Zenit illustration inspired by Comeback Kid

COMEBACK KID

The third trend is called Comeback Kid because it's filled with nostalgia and youth. Kids and teenagers have realised the negative effects of social media and the constant need of self approval it brings. It’s hard to always be evaluated and judged - enough is enough. This trend has not monochrome but very intense colours on its chart. It’s time to be happy! This trend is filled with light pink and pea-green tones, youthful interior and playfulness. Trendstefan believes it’s the first time in history that a younger generation has its own style, and he is very excited about this revolution. He stated that, unlike now, their previous styles have always been a copy or a nuance of something else. 

 

Yes, nostalgia is back. Youth listen to old music and cook with old recipes. Common recipes from the 80:s, hasselback potatoes, meatloaf and kale are trending hard on social media and in google search results. Maybe it’s a way of touching simpler times. This is also seen in larger brands, as Ittala, Ikea and Gucci have all recently launched vintage collections. 

 

One of the 2021/2022 megatrends is a reborn passion for activism. It’s about time we get rid of all bad things and welcome only the good. People are so tired of police brutality, racism and non-qualified world leaders, as seen in the rise of Black Lives Matter and protest gatherings e.g. against the polish abortion law. David R Shah talks about a new sense of solidarity, because all the time spent in isolation has reminded us of what's actually important and has taught us to prioritise differently. Solidarity also applies to the persistent fight for our planet and sustainable solutions. The work towards a circular economy is still ongoing and strong, and Instagram accounts such as ‘renoveringsraseriet’ keeps us aware of wasteful behaviors. The Sustainability focus has shifted from loud and desperate for attention, to something obvious and implicit.


Zenit illustration inspired by Square one

SQUARE ONE

Who doesn’t need a blank slate or a chance for a do-over? The fourth trend, Square one, makes us realize how much we need decluttered spaces, free surfaces and a clean state of mind. After spending so much time in our homes, it has become clear how many unnecessary things are taking up space. Not only is it bothering us visually, but the surfaces are harder to keep clean; and if there’s something we have learned from the pandemic, it’s the importance of hygiene. The dominating material of Square One is naturally Metal, for it is shiny and associated with hygienic surfaces and environments. 

 

Just as seen in ColorHouse’s color chart we are getting tired of a wide mix in colors, and are fading into a more cleaned up color trend period. Trendstefan introduces black and white with cobalt blue as accent color, however the black and white are not just black and white. The two primary colors are born again. ‘A new white white and a new black black’ Trendstefan explains. So, what does this mean? The colors are no longer used as base, but are highlighted through strong contrast as key pieces.

Our awareness of bacterias will revolutionize how we furnish our homes and physically interact with products. So what does this mean for design? The thought of collectively ordering fast food on a touch screen makes us shiver, so looking ahead, sensors will rule the world. ‘No touch’ products, fo.eg automatic faucets, will be more sought after, especially in hygienic environments such as kitchens and bathrooms. We have already seen a couple of new innovations that sprung from the pandemic. The Sterilizing Lamp by Frank Chou is one of them, on which you can sterilize your cell phone. We will probably see more of this thinking, where the designer implements sterilizing features to everyday objects and furniture to not compromise the interior look. Another little helper is the ‘no touch’ keychain. The pointing gadget helps to open doors and to push buttons and navigate on touch screens without bacteria exposure.


If it’s something we learned from the past two years, it’s that there’s no guarantees. However, by researching and analyzing our surroundings we can get a somewhat glimpse into the future. 


The pandemic has affected not only trends and behaviors, but has also worked as an accelerator for creativity and innovation. Re-discover the stories we published this March - Pandemic: The Creativity Catalyst.

Published:
September 28, 2021
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