Breaking the rules and creating new trends – by Dave Nemeth

One of the biggest trends we have seen in recent years is an individual approach to design, almost a rebelling against the obvious design trends. Designers are trying to push boundaries and creativity by doing things that are far from the norm. This is a similar approach to the Avant Garde movement which is said to have begun in 1850s with the realism of Gustave Courbet (The avant-garde from French, “advance guard” or “vanguard”, literally “fore-guard”) are people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics. The avant-garde pushes the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo, primarily in the cultural realm.

This searching to push boundaries and do things differently is evident through all industries and businesses as everyone tries desperately to disrupt their industry. Technological advances have seen many breakthroughs in product design and everybody is currently talking about IOT “The internet of things”. IOT is the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data.

The retaliation to this technology is the recent industrial trend we are still witnessing, where exposed brick, concrete, rusted metal and exposed light bulbs are the order of the day. The populisation of this trend was due to the fact that is was a rebellion towards mass production, where the truth to materials and the authenticity was the appealing factor. This industrial trend continues but with a more refined version where the elements are less rough and more tailored. Concrete is just as popular as ever but designers and architects have realised that it is not that suited to large areas of flooring, especially in corporate environments. We are now seeing concrete flooring being combined with carpeting and laminate flooring to break the monotony as well as adding to the functionality.

There is so much development in flooring at the moment that the real trend is experimentation within the variations. Carpet tiles, are being cut into different shapes and instead of the standard square, manufacturers are looking at plank lengths and even hexagons (which are not very cost effective due to the immense wastage and unlikely to become commercially viable). Overall it is a breaking of the rules and the experimentation of design taboos that is creating the newness and excitement within the interior and architectural industries.

Boldness in colour is no exception to this new rebellious design aesthetic. Putting bold colours together and creating “colour blocked” interest has been happening for some time now, but generally in homes or retail spaces. It is now starting to flow over into corporate spaces. Corporate spaces overall are starting to take on a completely new and different approach to how they are designed and the colours used within them. This approach has a lot to do with the changing face of business and the new attitudes of the younger workforce. Just like we see very few companies with a formal dress code, so too are the interiors being funkier and conducive to the “new way” of work.

One of the biggest trends in flooring and more specifically carpeting is to intersperse a neutral base carpet tile with different bold colours. This is done without a regular sequence or format to create this original and disjointed pattern. The overall effect, not only creates interest but acts as the main feature or area of interest. In the past corporate interiors gave very little thought to floor colouring and relied on a brightly coloured wall or oversized painting / mirror to create interest. This kind of experimental and erratic trend of applying carpeting will continue to be popular as people realise the true flexibility of carpet tiles and how effective colour combinations can be.

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