Jan 19 2021

What will drive this furniture year

The ICONIC AWARDS 2021: Innovative Interior offer inspiration, innovation and reasons to think about furniture and spaces in a new way. The winners of the international interior design competition also reveal three themes that respond to current global megatrends.

New Simplicity

The questioning of the logic of growth translates into a desire for reduction in the domestic living space. This increases the demand for timeless, purist pieces and multigenerational furniture. Clear lines and a timeless practicality characterize the furnishings; they should be flexible and still appeal in years to come.

Formal reduction and functionality come to the fore without sacrificing atmospheric and sensual quality. Today, people prefer to save a little longer and opt for furnishings that promise to be a lifelong companion. It creates order and space. Small spaces are becoming increasingly common in private households, which is why multifunctional products that can optimise space are excellent solutions. The Nikolatesla Fit hob was awarded "best of best".

"In complex times, things have to become SIMPLER." - Barbara Friedrich, design journalist

Barbara Friedrich has been observing the home and design scene for many years. In the 2000s, her then magazine Architektur&Wohnen already described a "New Simplicity." The German Design Council asked her: What distinguishes the trend of 20 years ago from today's "New Simplicity"?

Barbara Friedrich: "Back then, it was more about form than an aesthetic statement. Minimalism and purism were the expression of a rather elitist style of living; as a counter-design to the wild design ideas of the 80s and the colorful plastic furniture à la Philippe Starck for Kartell & Co. in the 90s. I see the current 'New Simplicity' as an effort by designers - and industry - to make products simpler, more comprehensible, more human again.

Not only, but intensified by the current Corona pandemic which leaves things more and more complex, many people are longing for things that make life and work easier. Products and living spaces (keyword HomeOffice) should take this into account, and not with nostalgia and anti-tech romanticism, but precisely with the achievements of technology.

Sustainability, cradle-to-cradle, recycling, climate protection, carbon footprint - these are all important, indispensable arguments in product design today. And many designers and manufacturers are well on their way. As this year's winners of the ICONIC AWARDS 2021: Innovative Interior also show."

Small spaceSmall spaces are becoming increasingly common in private households, which is why multifunctional products that can optimise space are excellent solutions. © Elica

Ecology 2.0

Far more than a trend, rather an ethical guiding principle is Ecology 2.0. The demands for a sustainable economy and ecologically conscious lifestyles are leading to a historic change in values. It is not only Generation Y that is increasingly asking questions about manufacturing processes, supply chains and materials.

According to studies, the Corona pandemic has further increased awareness of a shortage of natural resources. Consumers are switching to lesser-known brands if they perceive them to be more sustainable and are building a long-term emotional bond with them.

What was once considered boring is now sustainable. Instead of flying mango, regional products are high on the list. Whereas furnishings and wardrobes used to have to be replaced regularly to keep up with the latest trends, long-lasting products are now being given a new appreciation. Manufacturers are increasingly obliged to prove the sustainability of their production processes and recyclable materials; the days of greenwashing are over.

Made from ocean plastic: The R.U.M. chair by Wehlers ApS and C.F. Møller Architects was awarded "best of best" at this year's ICONIC AWARDS: Innovative Interior.

Made from ocean plastic: The R.U.M. chair by Wehlers ApS and C.F. Møller Architects. © Wehlers ApS

Living Multispaces

Home or workplace? Living and working environments have been merging since the Corona pandemic at the latest, made possible by advancing digitalization. According to studies, this trend will prevail in the future, as the home office develops into the New Normal with new appreciation in the context of a flexible working world.

As an area of activity-based working, in which people seek out the appropriate space depending on their activity, the home office is intended to serve as a place for concentrated work and basic activities. According to trend researchers, suitable zones are being created in modern office environments for creative collaboration with colleagues.  

The Movo mobile office furniture collection, which won "best of best", takes up very little space while offering maximum functionality and comfort. After work, it can be transformed into an attractive design element that perfectly matches any home décor.

But what does this scenario mean for the home interior? Dining tables or sofas can only temporarily serve as a workplace and are not ergonomic. Few people have enough space for their own study. Therefore, new work furniture is needed, which will fit into the interior and will not be a disturbing factor during leisure time.

According to German designer Nils Holger Moormann, the requirements for the new furniture are high: "An acoustically effective room-within-a-room solution with the appropriate lighting mood represents the ideal case for me, as it offers the possibility of retreat within the family. The office furniture should also be so changeable and multifunctional that it can perform all tasks during work and is no longer recognizable as work furniture afterwards."

The Movo mobile office furniture collection, which won

Examples of the three featured trends can be found in the ICONIC AWARDS 2021: Innovative Interior winners‘ gallery online: www.innovative-interior.com.

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