Trend Report: Experiences, Elevated
July 24, 2017
As home spaces are infiltrating retail spaces more and more (or are retail spaces infiltrating home?), a desire for unique experiences and distinctive moments is shifting the paradigm away from a store’s product offerings. WGSN’s trend forecast for 2019 lifestyle and interiors spells good news for Streetsense, as user experience has been our M.O. since day one.
Whether through reconnecting with our minds and bodies or by understanding a new perspective, these emerging trends center on making us simultaneously comfortable and uncomfortable. Colors, textures, images, and technology are all being transformed to maximize impact and unlock hidden potential—read on for a glimpse into the future.
In what some are calling the age of anxiety, we will soon be seeing a marked shift towards getting back in touch with the elements that shape our lives most—our minds, bodies, emotions, and ambitions. Turning away from the one-size-fits-all mentality, companies like DNAFit are taking customization to the microbial level, creating diet and fitness regimes that are based on bio-intelligence and the genetic makeup of each consumer. Similarly, mood-based travel is gaining popularity in Singapore, where the tourism board is customizing visits for tourists based on their current and desired moods. Ironically, the worldwide shift towards wellness is also propagating a movement towards Anti-Wellness, where we see backlash against what some feel are unattainable lifestyles. Above all, self-actualization and mass personalization are on the rise as standardization and mass production are on their way out.
WGSN predicts that the world’s current political landscape will have lasting effects on the future of lifestyles well beyond 2019. We’ll be seeing an emphasis on dialogue with those who look, think, and act differently from us in an effort to activate communities and bridge new connections. Despite technology making our lives increasingly global, local communities are becoming de-globalized, with a desire for community-centered commerce and a distinctive identity. The Domain mall in Austin, Texas exemplifies this indie-commercialism, where big-box retailers are mixed in among local shops and restaurants, creating a mutually beneficial system for both retailers and consumers. Allyship is another pillar of this trend, as consumers want to see the brands they love do more to express their values—think Airbnb’s #weaccept campaign that provides housing for refugees and people displaced by natural disasters. For businesses and individuals alike, we will see opposing views come together to create innovative and empathetic solutions where people design systems, not stuff.
We will soon witness a resurgence of creative individuality and self-expression on a massive scale and in new contexts. As people question societal systems and rebel against norms, they will bring their own inventive energy and ideas to institutions that have long been stagnant. Creatives are hoping to bring us into a “discomfort zone,” with designers like Rei Kawakubo proudly claiming that, “you can tell it’s a good collection if people are afraid of it.” While this creativity swells, WGSN predicts that a Cobot Revolution will soon displace workers in methodical tasks like data processing and banking as automated machines become smarter with artificial intelligence. Lucky for Streetsense, McKinsey predicts that creative work will be safe from this mass automatization, as the ‘grey collar’ workforce can replace only 18% of creative jobs versus a staggering 49% in other fields—so put those calculators down and grab your sketchbook.