NEXT Design Perspectives 2018, an International Conference on Design and Creativity

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On the 30th of October the NEXT Design Perspectives conference held at the Triennale in Milano discussed the trends and themes that will define design in the upcoming decade.

Organized by Altagamma, the NEXT Design Perspectives 2018 conference became the first edition of an international event discussing innovative macro-trends entering the design field and their influences on our society and daily lives.

The visionaries of the past predicted the 2000’s to consist of flying cars, artificial intelligence and robots walking the earth, many of which were portrayed in overpopulated cities of black and white, built so high their structures blocked out the sun leaving little to no presence of nature in its shadow. Though we have not advanced quite as quickly as these dreamers thought we might, we have still made great progress towards these possible futures but with a more colorful and throughout approach.


Now the 2020’s is the future and the WGSN experts (worldwide company leader on trend forecasting) were making informed predictions regarding this upcoming decade. One such prediction was the increasing interest in biomanufacturing: utilizing biological systems in order to produce biomaterials and biomolecules essential for medicines, foods and industrial applications. This new era will begin merging these biological systems with technology, producing products that are cleaner and healthier both for humanity and the environment. There are already many examples of bio-fabrication popping up around the design industry: incorporating living materials such as algae, mycelium and bacteria in ways meant to help the environment strive and prolong life for both animals and humans alike.




In this future society, our emotional needs will slowly become less satisfied by our smartphones as the time around us speeds up and we either adapt to the constant changes or get left behind. Time will become one of the greatest luxuries as we count the days pass by faster and faster and our minds quickly become weary and exhausted, this is where spaces meant to calm individuals and allow them to think and contemplate are becoming more essential. Future designs will begin to incorporate these areas of clarity, spaces where the weight of the world can be lifted for a time and thoughts can run wild and free. The Silent Room by Simon Heijdens is an example of such a space: described as a black hole, an anechoic chamber, engineered to absorb all exterior sounds. Such emptiness and silence opens the mind, stripping away the constant suffocation of stressful thoughts and helps establish an environment ideal for the cultivation of new ideas and perspectives.




As the future becomes increasingly diverse, businesses will need to adapt their methods of communication in order to stay relevant. The next “Meaningful Economy” will consist of brands who recognize the importance of their consumers’ emotions allowing them to provide more meaningful experiences while shopping and interactions with products and services they offer. Mental wellbeing and emotional health will become a central point for companies when considering customer experience and the development of new goods and services. Customers will gradually begin buying less as they feel more satisfied with products better suited to their preferences, thanks in no small part to machine learning and Artificial/Emotional Intelligence becoming more integrated with products and services today.

Lastly, the importance of nature and the attention to mental and physical health both at home and at work will gradually lead to the concept of “Cleaner Consumption”. From the food people eat to the clothes they wear, consumer awareness and concern for sustainable practices will grow and influence the economy, causing materials and products to be reused and recycled rather than disposed of.  We will face a new era where luxury will mean consuming with a clean conscience.

With these perspectives in mind, Level Office Landscape is continuing its research into Human Centered Design, imagining new spaces and products that favor the interaction and incorporation of natural elements, increasing human health and wellbeing.