How has the global pandemic impacted our lives? Social connections?
Work & Hobbies
How the "new normal" impact our work-life-balance and our free time?
Mapping current impacts of COVID-19, on the world and us as a scociety, and based on that to forecast CMF trandes
Based on CMF forecast, I created a few combinations of colors I sampled, trending materials and finishes.
Design In a Global Pandemic
When COVID-19 hit, things that were below the surface level that we were not actively mindful of, started to float. Our daily routines and social behaviors abruptly shifted, and we had to adapt to the "New Normal". Social media was simmering with so many topics on how to cope and make the "stay at home" time more productive and worthwhile. In other words, COVID-19 has made everything viral, literally, everything.
The words "WFH", "Online" and "Remote" has become the new mantra, and everything moved from 3D to 2D, including social interactions.
As a society, we had become more aware of our well-being which includes mental and physical health, it was a quick shift in our mindset, almost like a switch that went off. We had to adjust quickly and make changes in our environment and personal spaces to face this new mentality. It was a continual state of rebuilding as things were changing constantly. As people's wishes and habits have changed, companies had to adapt as well and started to offer new experiences to their consumers. Designing products and experiences to improve well-being during the pandemic were a big factor.
What about productivity?
At the very beginning of the pandemic, most of the employees started to work remotely. As there is no change in the environment, the 9 to 5 work hours have started to "eat" from the rest of the day, and work hours boundaries started to get blur. Without changing the scene, people got sucked into work later than they expected, as most of their pre-COVID has changed and with state restrictions, they were forced to stay home. Later on in the pandemic, employers started to see burnout and offer more time off and benefits to encourage their employees to become more productive with little work time.
Most Common Hobbies
Cooking & Baking
With the current situation of work-life balance during the pandemic, people started to create their own oasis and make changes in their home environment to accommodate their new habits and well-being care, as they spend more time at home. Home decor and DIY had become more popular and there was a big shift towards bringing outdoors-indoors. These home decor and interior changes helped to improve mental health and well-being. It could be by adding a pop of color to the walls & furniture, to growing plants, and adopting lifestyle gardening.
Market Trends Inspirations
Back to Nature
Adding plants and practicing lifestyle gardening to improve mental health by bringing the outdoors indoors.
As part of getting back to our primal sources and connecting with nature, we embrace imperfection and let it empower and inspire us. These usually come with rough textures to exaggerate the crafted look.
Connecting to Earth
Bringing more warmth and exotic desert vibes into the home environment. These warm tunes work great with softened shapes and hand-crafted products. This trend usually follows mixed textures to present a sophisticated look.
Applying soft materials on products allows them to blend in better in the home environment and soften corners and existing curves. From a fake weave look with a soft touch coat to a real woven fabric, playing with different weaving patterns and tufted looks give a more sophisticated impression. Layering fabric or combining it with a hard material creates a balance which perceived as compelling to the eye.
This trend brings more than rounded corners and soft curves. It brought us back from the futuristic, streamlined, chamfered look to a whole new genre. These soft shapes encourage user interactions to touch, feel and look.
Bringing more warmth and exotic vibes into the home environment. These warm tunes work great with softened shapes and hand-crafted products. Abstract patterns took place to create the vacation vibes we all needed for so long.
Vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or rounded, linear patterns have a strong statement but blend in so well. Almost like Zen, looking at these brings calm, order, and piece of mind.
One of COVID-19's impacts was leading us to be more environmentally friendly and socially responsible. As for designers, consider the economic impact of the design decisions and their consequences. Sustainable materials include using recycled or biodegradable materials, choosing finishes that have low levels of harmful chemicals, and designing products that are durable and long-lasting. Ultimately, the goal of incorporating sustainable materials is to create designs that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also have a positive impact on the environment and society.
Translucent materials allow light to pass through them, creating a soft & diffused effect in product design, and can also be used to create a sense of transparency and openness that add a touch of elegance and sophistication to a product.
Among these finishes, there are translucent or semi-translucent, such as glass, acrylic, or certain plastics, and using them in ways that allow light to pass through them exposes interesting, playful, and unusual experience. Translucent materials can be used in a variety of applications, from lighting fixtures and furniture to packaging and accessories.
This trend involves the use of a single color, often in a range of tones and shades, to create a cohesive and clean aesthetic. The goal of this trend is to create a simplified and understated look that focuses on the form and function of the product, rather than on flashy colors or patterns.
Blend in Tech
This trend can also create a sense of seamless integration, with technology that feels like an extension of the product rather than a separate element and blends in the home environment rather than stands out. The focus is on creating products that are intuitive and easy to use, with technology that is seamlessly integrated into the design such as dead-front displays, touch or touchless tech, minimalist buttons that bends in the design, and voice commands. It allows to create products that feel natural and effortless to use, with technology that enhances the user experience without overwhelming or distracting from it. Using materials such as fabric, wood or metal to make the product live naturally in the home environment with other products and be part of the home decor. This kind of tech can be used in a variety of applications, from home appliances and automotive products to smart home and assistive products.
Following CMF & Trend research, I created a few color pallets by sampling & tweaking colors, all of which were inspired by the mood boards presented in this research.
The following proposals are based on CMF trend analysis for 2021-2022 and focus on incorporating the latest design trends.