Week 7

Emerging Trends / Innovations

Lecture Material

“…there is a niche or something happening in the technical world, in the social world, in the design world; doesn’t really matter where, but something needs to change.”

“Naturally you go to the things that you want to see in the future. This can be good, no question, but maybe it is also the right time when you think how do you use trends to forecast your ideas and see if, is this something worth doing?”

Regarding research ”…what is interesting here? If I cannot give myself an answer that satisfies me, I just shut it, I just quit it. And it just keeps me or helps my thinking and helps me to come up with a strategy to where to look for certain information.”

“…come up with a structure and a strategy: how do you identify trend and what are those trends?”

Torsten Posselt (FELD)

Torsten has given some really useful advice here regarding his tactics for applying design trends to projects. What he has suggested is to take little bits of inspiration from these trends, such as why they are successful, but not so much that it takes over the project entirely and becomes just another ‘trendy’ design project. There needs to be more validation and meaning, as trends will pass.

I also liked the mention of being inclined to go for trends you want to see more of a designer. I am definitely always persuaded to go for trends that interest me as opposed to trends that actually benefit the overall project. I think this is because if I saw a ‘UX’ design trend, I am more likely to not look into it as I haven’t got much knowledge on the subject. Naturally we want trends that we know about to inform our projects in some way because we know how they work. I guess this is a reminder to actually branch out and look at trends I don’t know much about or understand how they work; maybe something major in my research can inform my project.

“It’s something that at Accept & Proceed we allow a dedicated time for to ensure that we are allowing time to explore current technologies. We’ve got a dedicated team deep-diving into that and researching it and understanding how such a simple kind of process can allow a brief or a client to deliver a project that is not just a one-off.”

Michelle Dona (Accept & Proceed)

It’s interesting hearing how teams approach trends differently because it seems in London, Accept & Proceed seem to have a dedicated team for identifying trends. Having a team of experts would help understand the budget, time involved if using that particular specialism, and whether it’s going to be something more companies would want to invest in. I would like to know how they would make that choice, where something would be valuable for future projects and therefore they’d go ahead with the idea. I guess it’s based on the success of a project, how many clients ask for it, and there comes a point where if you see a demand for a certain trend you will have to try and provide that service. Especially as other studios may be offering new services you have not yet considered and that’s a set back.

“As it comes to avant-garde technology that we’re using, it’s mostly based on motion and moving typography and responsive typography. If the client does ask for it, they don’t really realise what budgets are needed and they get frightened really quickly and we get pulled back to have the lowest comp.”

Wouter Dirks (Studio Dumbar)

Here, it seems Studio Dumbar are associating trends with budgets and interestingly their clients seem to have unrealistic expectations regarding pricing of modern practice. The comment about having to get ‘pulled back to the lowest comp’ suggests that they are possibly having to try and introduce what the client wants, but only in small amounts due to budget restrictions. It also would impact their studio profits; they are paying for high tech which not all clients can afford. This is quite a big gamble for the studio to make, but the fact they have gambled and do provide these high tech services tells me that there is profit to be made even if it’s only from large, multi-million corporations.

“…when I hear these trends, I just hear buzzwords like most other buzzwords. They’re interesting, they’re out there, you can’t ignore them, but they can also really distort the way you look at things.”

“I would never really use a trend to start a concept or liason, but of course to keep everything interesting for yourself and for your client and sort of be at the cutting edge of the business.”

Stijn van de Ven (Eden Spiekermann)

I completely agree with Stijn here, in the sense trends are just buzzwords and not to use it to push your project along, but to use it to refine any relevant aspects of projects to become more innovative, or customised for the client, or more cutting edge in the market. Maybe trends are a good way to expand clientele and welcome a different market, bringing in new work from what a design company is used to?

“The clients we work with are usually big organisations, which means that by the time you actually deliver the product, you can be two years, maybe five years later.”

“It’s better to be flexible enough and build a system or build a design that can handle that kind of change, as opposed to just assuming that everything will happen as you believe.”

Luke Veerman (Eden Spiekermann)

Really like the explanation here of the delay when delivering a project; this is not something that is considered often by clients. I think because of this, you’re more likely to see small ‘trendy’ projects (such as short projects, relatively quick to produce) and the larger projects that take a long time to produce will be less about being ‘on trend’ and instead, more about fitting with the brief and its purpose.