Design trends from January’s array of international fairs

30.01.2019 | By ELENA LONGARI

January has been a month jam packed with design and technology fairs and events: from the Heimtextil to Paris’s lifestyle design fair, we have been gathering the trends, news and must know about hot topics from the myriad of stands, think-tanks and conferences.

7-10 January: Heimtextil, Frankfurt

The International Trade Fair for home  and contract textiles is the right spot where to take a sneak peek of all the upcoming trends in design textiles and more: 2019’s edition focused on the topic of ‘escaping complex lifestyles’ in favour of more meaningful ways of life. Whether in strengthening our relationships with other human beings or chasing the so-called mindfulness – as well as sustainability – the expression ‘new utopia’ was coined and it has been discerned into four ways of pursuing it:

Messe Frankfurt GmbH / Pietro Sutera

Go off-grid

It is the attempt to live more naturally, as in living with nature and not against it, going back to the origins of humanity. This approach involves the use of high-tech equipment and materials in order to re-establish a contact with nature even in its most remote locations, a sort of assisted survival experience.

Heimtextil trend book

Escape reality

Virtual reality is another way of seeking possible alternatives to our lifestyles, where the digital and the real meet to give us sensorial experiences able to make us reconnect with our senses and ultimately with our human nature.

Heimtextil trend book

Seek Sanctuary

Having a way to find an oasis in the middle of the city’s buzz is now becoming less of a novelty and more of a real possibility, one that doesn’t involve cutting off design, on the contrary that values high quality and simple functional pieces.

Heimtextil trend book

Embrace Indulgence

Simple opulence is the new luxury, a new aesthetic that merges honest materials with creativity in a tangible sense of intimacy.

Pursue Play

Play is too a way of escaping reality, the one made of uncertainty, of a generation tormented by job instability and political turmoil. Play is shaped by designers into experiments, tactile as well as interactive; a touch of humour and fun is present thanks to primary colours, the use of abstract forms, creating a surreal yet relatable type of aesthetic.

Messe Frankfurt GmbH / Camille Walala

18-22 January: Maison & Objet, Paris

Known as the international authority for home décor, interior design, architecture and lifestyle culture as well trends, Maison & Objet in Paris opened this 2019 with the key points determining what will enter our homes from now on.

Elizabeth Leriche presented ‘What’s New’ across three juxtaposing atmospheres:

Minimal Brutalist is natural and minimal, Luxury Graphic is luxurious and dramatic, whereas colourful Ethnic Arty combines different cultures. Each has its key materials and asserts its own unique style.

Other designers made their debut on the fair such as Steel design Paris by ot, Monimalz, Scandinavia Form and Fabienne Picaud, confirming in this décor the trend of a playful aesthetic anticipated at Heimtextil with bags of originality and extravagance. Last but not least, the German designer Sebastian Herkner has been named Designer of The Year.

Rising Talent Awards China

The real treat at Maison&Objet has been its Rising Talent Awards China, an opportunity for emerging Chinese talents to showcase their work to an international audience of professionals. What the initiative aimed at was to support these talents with the right networks, which are the first platforms where creativity can be turned into solid realities.

“What is most interesting is the Chinese designer’s search for identity, to not just be a look-like of Western design”

said Rising Talent Awards Jury Member Luca Nichetto.

14 to 20 January: imm Cologne

First organised in 1949, imm Cologne is the leading marketplace for furniture, designers and related sectors with 125,000 registered visitors in 2018; it is another of the ‘places to be’ to snoop around trends and talents in the field.

Trends amongst materials

Wood: ‘sustainable, cosy, healthy, versatile’. What more can you wish for? Wood will be present in its rawest side, as in ‘un-smooth’.

Metal: gold and bronze seen on decorative elements as in tables, lights and wall elements.

Glass, wickerwork, stone will take a lead in the next months of 2019.

Leather might be surpassed by velvet in the competition for cosiest and lush upholstery fabrics.

The trend of connectivity

Linking various functions into the same device is the trend that will make our lives easier, safer and more enjoyable to be lived: from kitchen to bath applications, light and other means of home technology all have although to undergo the scrutiny of data security.

Living Kitchen 2019

We have picked on how the future of our kitchens will play a major role in defining space and interiors trends in the next years in this article; parallel to imm Cologne the event Living Kitchen 2019 reflects the disappearing of boundaries between living spaces. Emerging as a consequence of the need of saving spaces the functional storage furniture.  The feel of a ‘clean desk’ counterbalances with soloist pieces, such as vintage originals as well as designer pieces.

The walkable design event ‘Das Haus’ followed this development and for 2019 it was designed by the Rotterdam-based studio Truly Truly.