Interviewed by phone just before the first of the year by a columnist for our local newspaper (an interview which was not published), I was asked my opinion on what might be new in the design world in the coming year. Looking back now at my notes, my thoughts still seem relevant, not so much as a prediction of specific design trends, but as a commentary on what my design clients are looking for as they contemplate their spaces and hire a designer to facilitate their design direction in 2015:
Connection between client(s) and designer – top of the list. Interaction between the two (or three) takes many forms, but connection on some level is essential. A shared vision, of course…trust, compatibility, honesty…yes, a bit like any successful relationship.
My clients tend to be empty-nesters, and those just feathering their nests – in the midst of hatching and nurturing. Generally, the first group are paring down, editing, refining…while wanting to stay connected to family, friends, and past experiences…working to create a new paradigm for the present phase of life.
Those on the other end of the spectrum are acquiring – but with a purpose: staying connected to what they like and need…perhaps understanding more fully than past generations that life has multiple phases; not looking to invest in lifetime purchases, but to connect with current trends, good quality, good design and what works for them now.
Clients at both ends of this spectrum are connected to self-awareness as never before. Design is personal, not meant to impress, but about what facilitates their lifestyle, makes them comfortable and content in an environment specific to them.
I believe all the above is driven in a subtle way by the global-awareness of the 21st century. Connection to the planet, humanity as a whole; celebrating ethnicity, nature…creating a desire to connect individually with who they are and where they find themselves geographically and on life’s path.
Last fall, in a phone conversation, a potential client related that she had looked at my website, including my blog. Her comment: my blog seemed rather eclectic, not focused on my design work specifically – a negative from her perspective.* While her assessment was accurate, my response to her was inadequate, giving me cause to evaluate, in order to bring clarity to my own thinking. My conclusion: the categories in my blog not only help to convey who I am to readers and potential clients; all are connected, sources of inspiration for my design work.
*by adding new photo journals of past projects to my website I have begun to address this valid critique.