Jun 23, 2021 | By WGSN Insider
Big data meets consumer insights, Experience WGSN.
As our Lifestyle & Interiors product celebrates its 10-year anniversary, we are excited to look forward and welcome the future of the home. Over the past decade, we have successfully forecast the growth of the plant industry, called out the turn to terracotta and predicted the shift towards the home hub.
In the past 10 years alone, products that would have once been considered the play things of techies have become accessible and affordable for the masses. Computers have got smaller, phones have got bigger, and the capabilities of the machines around us have grown at an incredible rate. So, what’s next?
A number of key technologies emerging today will continue to advance, but as we have seen over the past decade, these innovations will transform the home. Home furnishing design that integrates our digital devices is an area prime for investment as technology continues to take over. Discover how three brands are connecting devices and the home.
As technology streamlines the need for multiple physical possessions, home furnishings can support the digital experience and offer customisation on demand. Designer Virgil Abloh’s Twentythirtyfive, a home of the future created for Vitra, includes a minimal edit of possessions. “It’s arguable whether we will even have a need for furniture by 2035,” Abloh notes.
Just as digital fashion design is growing into a new industry today, digital decor will offer an alternate revenue stream to home brands over the next decade – taking today’s Zoom backgrounds into mixed reality. In Lucia Tahan’s design Cloud Housing, each resident’s “personal reality” can be dialled up, overlaying the physical with their digital style, or dialled down to reveal their non-digital home.
Ikea’s near-future technology project, Everyday Experiments, indicates how augmented reality (AR) can be used to enhance physical experiences with sensorial overlays. Spatial Instruments, a contribution by design studio Field, uses the scanning tech LiDAR to convert the landscape of the home into cascading sound and colour.
Product design will increasingly take its cues from the interactive experiences of digital design. An example is Illusory Material, an innovation by MIT researchers Jiani Zeng and Honghao Deng, melds the nuances of nature – such as the changing colour of butterfly wings – with the richness of digital experiences. Using multi-material 3D printing, the researchers add shifting, changeable colour and surfacing to objects, including lenticular iridescence and rippling form.
Brands should explore multi-sensorial ways to bring the home to life virtually, including augmented colour and on-demand decor. Interiors products that exist only digitally could be as important a revenue stream as physical products by 2030. Brands should explore how to engage with virtual worlds, such as designing furniture for VR.
WGSN’s report, The Future of Home 2030, continues to unpack how we will live in the future. Download a sample of the report here.
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