Trends on tour.

‘Quality of life’ is what’s written on the heart-shaped smiley that the young trend scouts are holding up. And the message couldn’t be more appropriate. The students from the International Lifestyle Studies course at the Dutch Fontys University of Applied Sciences have come to Ambiente to find designs fit for our future. Team spokesperson Lisa Wife told us during a tour of the show how they felt to find so much of what their own trend researches had forecast. Communicating these findings was quite a stressful task.

Hi Lisa, how’s it going?
“This is the fourth time I’ve been here as a scout and I can say that it’s as enthralling as ever. On the first day of the fair, my team and I quickly went through the halls looking for new products that reflect our trends. And voilà! After eight hours of research, the planning of our Ambiente Trend Tours was complete. It’s a good feeling when everything you’ve worked so hard for over the past months comes together successfully as a whole.”

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What trend forecasts did you bring with you to Frankfurt?
“We had extracted five trends. ‘Daily Fling’ is a big theme for the millennial generation. Heaviness makes way here for lightness and joyful colours abound. The ‘Transcreation’ trend relates to the desire of many people to have a deeper connection with the products they buy. They want to be involved with their identity and in the design process. Then there is the ‘Raw by Nature’ trend, which basically relates to natural forces over which human beings only have limited control – wood, leather and stone are used here as materials. The ‘Tangible Tech’ trend is an expression of a growing consciousness of our environmental responsibility. Finally, the ‘Synergetic’ trend addresses the need for harmony and exchange.”

What has been the response to your Trend watcher tours?
“So far, extremely good. Most tours are fully booked, but we’ve still got lots to do before the end of the fair. The participants – journalists, exhibitors and trade visitors – feel inspired, they tell us. We are becoming better known year on year and have really good feedback. A tour has just started, would you like to come along?”

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Certainly! … and over the next hour the scouts guide us from one product idea to the next. Over here we find the strictly minimalist office organisation system from young Ambiente talent Antje Pesel – sheet steel painted in blue, red and white that can easily be moved and rearranged. Then there are the surprising lampshades from Múk Design that you bend into the desired shape yourself. This do-it-yourself approach precisely characterises the ‘Transcreation’ trend. We find a reference for the ‘Tangible Tech’ trend in the ‘ColorPonPon’ table lamp from PegaD&E. Its coloured light changes according to its surroundings like a chameleon. Really spacey!

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Lisa, which trend do you think has the greatest potential?
“In my opinion, ‘Synergetic’ generates the greatest power. Why? The concept of networking and the desire for a certain sensitivity in terms of colour and touch are attractive to people everywhere. The Glow Together candle holder by Linddna and Terres des Hommes reflects this trend. The pair of candle holders are held together by magnets and ‘build’ on each other. A portion of the sales revenue is donated to aid projects in Tanzania.”

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Which trend do you find represented most strongly at Ambiente?
“‘Daily Fling‘, without a doubt. You see it, for instance, in the ideas from Donkey Products that cheer up your day. Is that not a good thing in our stressful modern society?” We communicate the other trends on our website: ambientetrends.com.

And what are you personally going to do next?
“In the near future after I finish university, I’d like to work in a large company, preferably in London or Berlin. Poland would also be interesting with its designer scene that closely follows and reflects what’s happening in society.”