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Truly time-poor? Key trends are written in BOLD!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Trends: The New Humility in Design

I thought, given the chaos in the financial and political worlds, that I would start my breakdown of LDF 2011 trends with what is a very widespread trend for, if not austerity as such (which is too problematic for a bunch of people selling high-end design / launching new products), then a certain unmistakeable humility in the work. It's in the materials, the finishes, the forms, the techniques, even their presentation (numerous crate shelves and small, unpretentious flower displays). No-one seems much interested in the glossy, the showy, conspicuous consumption, pretence or veneer. And thank heavens for that, it was always pretty naff and insecure - unless the tongue was firmly in the cheek. Anyway, here's a selection of images I took over the London Design Festival that, when put together, hopefully show what I'm talking about. 

Some people are already bored of this trend and championing a return to glamour, decadence etc. To me, given the situation in the wider world, this seems crass and, in the case of many glossy fashion and interiors magazines I presume, at least in part, an attempt to appease their desperate advertisers. Until things turn around and I really can't imagine how that's going to happen in the western world (although I'm happy be proved wrong), this kind of design - if new design is needed at all - seems like the only way to proceed and the only look that I am comfortable living with. 

All pictures copyright Kate Jacobs