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8 design trends for a post-recession world

Key trends according to the International Interior Design Association

A post-recession economy is creating new challenges for design professionals.
A post-recession economy is creating new challenges for design professionals.

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According to the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), a post-recession economy is creating new challenges for design professionals, particularly in the office fit-out segment where workplace environments are being scrutinised for their bottom-line impact.

In this age of economic recovery, demand for efficient working environments is on the rise as clients expect more value from their fit-out investment. Optimising space is vital, in light of smaller interior footprints and the requirement for office environments to respond to changes in business.

According to IIDA, the office workplace of the next decade must be as flexible as possible, paying close attention to the way people interact with it and the way in which the office impacts the health, safety and welfare of its broader community.

“Embracing integrated solutions as well as innovative ideas for individual requirements will be a complicated, but necessary requirement of the interior design industry over the next decade,” said Cheryl Durst, executive vice president and CEO of IIDA. Designing for the next decade is among the discussion topics Durst will cover at The Office Exhibition 2011, which is taking place from May 17 to 19.

According to IIDA there are eight top trends that will influence and transform commercial interior design over the next decade:

1) Design is global
Design is an international language that is spoken by those who design and the clients and consumers for whom the projects and products are being created. Design teams from Tashkent to Tucson to Tokyo are increasingly international, and so are clients.

2) Design is green
Environmental issues and sustainability are uppermost in the minds of designers and product manufacturers. More than 70% of design projects incorporate some level of sustainable practice to minimise the negative impact to the earth, and that number is expected to increase exponentially in coming years.

3) Design is personal
The days of ‘one size fits all’ solutions are gone and consumers and clients are demanding office environments and products that reflect ‘self-expression’ and build a personal brand.

4) Design is interactive
The built environment should invite, engage, elevate and enhance. Human beings aren’t “adjunct” or coincidental to an interior space – they fully inhabit it.

5) Design is humanitarian
Design is an advocate for society. Design reassures, relates and connects human beings. Design inspires and is a force for change.

6) Design is minimal
Contemporary office design (at least in the post-recessionary world) is simple, minimal, clean and coherent; communicating logic, efficiency and function in the workplace.

7) Design is elastic
There is greater emphasis on repurposing facilities to allow businesses to expand and contract easily.

8) Design is democratic
Good design isn’t just for a privileged few, but is accessible to all. Mass market retailers and luxury boutiques – and everything in between – have a design awareness and focus that can fit almost any budget.

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