The mornings have turned frosty here in Yorkshire now and the balmy days of 2018’s hot, hot summer feel a long, long time ago. But I was prompted to think back to the summer months recently when I was asked to write an article for the December issue of Housewares Magazine detailing our team’s activities over the last 6 months since the Exclusively Shows took place in June.
Earlier this month Phil & I headed out to Dubai for the INDEX exhibition where we were involved in the creation of a Design Hub and Textile Installation, as well as overseeing the seminar programme. I took some time out on the last day of the exhibition to walk the halls and identify the most innovative work on show. Today I want to share my 5 favourite finds with you.
In my recent trend seminars and media events I’ve been discussing the new luxuries of Time, Space and Quiet. Our online & offline lives are busy, crowded and noisy, and nothing is going to change soon about that pace and intensity unless we take control ourselves.
Towards the end of 2011 I was invited by Steelcase to be one of “100 Minds” participating in the “100 Dreams, 100 Minds, 100 Years,” project, which was an exploration into our world and work life 100 years into the future.
The project sought insights about the future from 100 people from around the world; these “100 Minds” imagined the world to come, creating a picture of the world of work and provided insights into the discoveries that lie ahead.
I wrote a short statement that I labored over for weeks – perhaps the most important 500 words I’ve written in my career as a Futurist. I thought it would be interesting to share it again here, 7 years on from having written it, to see how far we’ve come already since then and the direction we are fast moving in.
Last month I was exploring encouraging curiosity in a post about why unpredictability should be a feature of your next project. It was a subject that caused lots of interesting discussion at the London Stationery Show at the end of April, where we created a display inspired by the ‘Out of The Ordinary’ trend from our Autumn/Winter 2018/19 trend report. Together with visitors we discussed ways in which unexpected outcomes, chance discoveries and satisfying a customer’s desire for adventure have significance in product design, services, marketing and our lives in general as Big Business and the Media seek to steer, distract and control.
One of the items on the Trend Hub display and Trend Tours that attracted interest and resonated with visitors was a guided journal called ‘Find Your Adventure’ by Nicole LaRue that invites you to change the way you expect the world to be.
Recently I’ve been thinking about how so many of our apparent choices in this digital age are predetermined for us – that we are constantly being directed. Online recommendations steer us away from what is unrelated, unfamiliar and unexpected. This effectively edits out anything that challenges our pre-existing beliefs and interests. I’m talking about how when I buy a book on Amazon it then suggests similar books that might interest me; Netflix and YouTube make suggestions of similar things to watch in relation to what I’ve already watched; Instagram and Pinterest suggest who else to follow based on who I already follow. The algorithms work on the basis of ‘If you liked that, you’ll love this’. Continue reading “Why unpredictability should be a feature of your next project”