‘Conceptual Living’: an analysis of living redesigned compiled in the 2014 Heimtextil Management Report
“The trend towards Conceptual Living can be perceived everywhere. It clearly is connected to our new lifestyles.” This statement by interior designer Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk sheds light on a current trend in interior design. Conceptual Living can be described as follows: People increasingly design their living environments to match the stage of life they are in as well as to meet their situational needs and attitudes. The 2014 Heimtextil Management Report compiles the results of a study on this trend and its impact on the textile industry. As in the past, for the new Management Report, Heimtextil again cooperated with Zukunftsinstitut, one of the leading think tanks for trend and future research in Europe. The study has consolidated all of the assessments and results from three countries (Germany, Italy and Russia) in three areas of innovation – Reconfiguration, Simplexity and Instant Privacy.
Reconfiguration – the desire for flexibility and change
Living in a society of multiple options and mobility increasingly leads people to adjust their furnishings to their individual lifestyles. Rigid room patterns are replaced by flexible zones. A living room, for example, can double as an office or a reception area during the day. In the same way that the trend towards ‘Conceptual Living’ is defining the traditional furnishings and room layouts, living will adapt to people’s continuous wish for change and flexibility.
Enabling people to redesign their furnishings at shorter and shorter intervals, reconfiguration is the key principle of ‘Conceptual Living’. Home design of the future will accommodate the needs of fast-paced lifestyles rather than underline the status of objects passed down from generations. Furnishing textiles will ensure increasingly flexible space, functionality and identity. For the survey, more than 70 percent of the respondents in Germany and Italy and 65 percent of those in Russia stated that home textiles can give a room a completely new look quickly.
Simplexity – simplicity in line with the plug-and-play principle
To enable us to reconfigure our homes more frequently and without much ado, furnishings must be easy to use and allow for intuitive, quick combination of items without compromisiong quality and attractiveness. More and more people regard furnishings as “technical systems” that feature ease of use and intelligent functionality. Rather than defining rooms, simplexity ensures latitude for architecture and interior design.
Approximately 50 percent of consumers in Germany and about 70 percent of those in Italy and Russia would like to see homes designed to be more flexible. But how can this be achieved for textile furnishings? One solution is the plug-and-play principle that enables consumers to replace their upholstery easily and to make maximum use of little living space.
Instant Privacy – a home away from home
The third area of innovation is based on the fact that architecture and interior design are experiencing a departure from classical hotel furnishings. The Management Report demonstrates that only 23 percent of respondents in Germany feel at home in hotels quickly. Private homes have established themselves as alternative accommodations during travel because more and more people subscribe to the trend towards Instant Privacy, that is, they long to feel at home away from home and look to be inspired by other people’s living environments.
As a driver for ‘Conceptual Living’, Instant Privacy requires a new type of mood management achieved through holistic design. Textiles play an increasingly important role. Interior decorators, for example, use them to make hotel rooms more individualized and “personal” and create an ambiance of comfort. This trend will entail a reduction in lots sizes while order numbers will increase.
Summary: personal collages are increasing in importance
More than ever before, the objective will be to anticipate people’s personal wishes when it comes to living and create havens that meet the lifestyle requirements of diverse target groups. Furnishing textiles give homes the individuality people want, quickly and easily. As the Management Report shows, they are the key element for redesigning living.
The full Management Report is available online at heimtextil.messefrankfurt.com