“Individualism is gone”, announced Edelkoort earlier this month in a lecture at the opening of the “GATHERING” exhibition she curated together with Philip Fimmano for the Holon Design Museum. “Society connects: people sleeping on the couches that belong to others, share topics, ideas and materials – together”. The social idea of linking together in the coming years will also affect the design world: “It seems more like a design intended for a public rather than an individual, or design that offers gathering materials, elements and objects into one object”.
An additional important trend indicated by Edelkoort in her lecture is combining forces between handmade and machine crafts. After years of tension between the handicraft and the industry, we will see more and more objects that look as if made by hand, but are actually industrially manufactured.
When industrial design was born, it sought to become the forefront of the industry, an endeavour that led to sharp metal objects with clean lines. Subsequently, we witnessed a continuing trend of returning to manual crafts, artisanship, and traditional types of work – basket weaving, embroidery, knitting and weaving: the handicraft returned to the center stage, and no one talked about machines.
Current technological development in the industry brought about “smart technologies” the products of which recap traditional techniques with high production capacity. “We will see a trend of returning to industrialization from another perspective”, says Edelkoort. “Many objects will adopt the handmade look even though they are produced at the peak of progress. The things our grandmothers made have become a source of inspiration for contemporary designers and industry”, she added with a smile. “The industry builds machines producing what appears hand made. For example three-dimensional printers, laser cutting or industrial embroidery. After a long period of tension, industry and craft join hands for the first time, creating a hybrid of both worlds”.
The third main trend mentioned by Edelkoort focuses on the process of creating objects, which will become as important as the final object. “In house designing in particular and design in general we are witnessing a trend of observing activity. Many customers want to know what materials and what techniques their furniture, clothes and instruments were made with. Where in the world were they created, and what will happen to them after use?” In the coming years the design arena will become more transparent, and the along with the final object emphasis will be given to the production processes, which we till now hidden from the consumers.
Amalgamation of ideas, materials and techniques; craft and industry joining forces, and looking into the way objects are produced… It seems that above all Edelkoort predicts a more responsible and appeasing design with a harmony of ideas and forces previously considered as contradictory. “What was believed to contrast – will become one”, concluded Edelkoort, and stated further: “In the future we will no longer have to choose – all conflicts will merge”.
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