Whilst researching an article I was writing recently I was sent some information on the trends we can expect to see in the coming year with regards to lighting.
The information came from the trends and forecasting department of SeymourPowell, a global design and innovation company, and detailed five key trends that will be lighting up our homes in 2011. Here are their predictions.
The first trend is referred to as Industrial Delux and is inspired by the innate beauty and warmth of metals such as copper and brass. Today, designers are creating stunning pieces of attention grabbing Industrial Deluxe lighting.
Full of precision engineered references; this trend encompasses warm saffron hues of metal accented by crisp machined aesthetics. Elegance is key and is achieved by flawless finishes and uncompromising attention to detail. Dazzling and shimmering reflections are created by highly polished surface finishes, which in turn add to this sense of opulence and luxury.
The trend for utilitarian design, which has been so prevalent over the last couple of years, remains popular with many designers. A few years on from the global recession that sparked the trend, we see the development of a softer more approachable aesthetic.
Light wooden tones add warmth and a sense of homeliness whilst oversized fixtures that can pivot and adjust create a feeling of usability. Here honesty is key and the exposed functionality frequently extends to a light’s cord or flex, which (instead of being hidden) is emphasised with bright optimistic colours such as scarlet red or sky blue.
This trend is inspired by the beauty of the imperfect and is a reaction to the standardisation of mass-manufactured goods. It is a celebration of handcrafting and raw materials, reflecting the human desire for emotional provenance.
The appeal of Imperfect Beauty lies in the juxtaposition of elegant minimal form language and rough surface finishes. Concrete and clay are frequently used and designers are innovating in casting techniques to create bold purposeful lighting statements that have an innate charm.
Experimental illumination has been around in automotive and consumer electronics for many years, but it wasn’t until the demise of the incandescent bulb that it began to feel truly imminent, that furniture manufacturers started exploring alternative technologies in earnest.
In recent years, there has been a big push in the development of LED-based ceiling and desk lighting and what particularly excites us about this trend is the move away from traditional lampshade archetypes. Interactivity is a key element of this trend and lighting in the future looks set to involve the user in more playful and engaging ways.
In reaction to the current rise of sobriety, some designers are taking a more ironic and playful approach to lighting design. The Eccentrics trend is both fantastical and ironic, with wit and humour playing a key role. These projects are full of character and often polarise views, yet whichever side of the debate you fall, they are sure to evoke a strong reaction.