At the beginning of the year Ashcraft Design does extensive research within multiple industries to evaluate where trends are headed and where the team can gain a better understanding on how design can and should be implemented across different projects. The team at Ashcraft researches macro trends through political, technology, environmental, economical, cultural, health, and global. This gives a broad understanding of how these elements affect consumer purchases and interactions.
Above are a sample of five aesthetic directions and trends looking forward to 2016 and beyond that we have documented through research of macro trends and observation of leading innovators in the tech industry, automotive industry, art and design community. They come as a result of our understanding of macro trends and how these filter into the public’s perception of life.
Some of these trends have been seen extensively and others are just beginning to filter into the more general public. These are trends that have emerged inspired of technology and even nature. These aesthetic trends will continue to shape our future and will begin to percolate throughout different industries. Some of these trends are fairly prominent across some markets, some just beginning, while others are just on the cusp of adoption. It is the understanding of the subtle nuances that separate certain trends that will enable you to come to your own innovative solutions. Our approach to the aesthetic trends was to look at it from a more abstract angle so as to enable the viewer to come to their own conclusions as to the implementation of the principles.
In the end there must be a reason solutions are reached to any design. By understanding current macro and micro trends gives validity and substance to those solutions and how they apply to the design or branding of any product or service. Through the use of multiple trends together, thought provoking design can blossom. But there must be a reason for application in order to accurately convey the idea. The trend I am most excited about that I see large amounts of potential is Cognitive Dissonance. With its roots firmly in the arts and crafts, its introduction into technology or fashion could yield some interesting insights.
1. Cognitive Dissonance
Signifies man’s urban encroachment into nature and the contrast of elements man made and natural. It is at this unique intersection that some of man’s greatest accomplishments lie. Two elements constantly at war with one another somehow manage to live in harmony together. Independent furniture craftsmen and architecture throughout the world can be seen exhibiting this duality.
Life can change in an instant, events occur in a moment. Dramatic and drastic changes fold back on each other like the whims of life. Beauty is captured in an instant. Audi can be seen pioneering this aesthetic on some of their concept cars.
3. Sculptural Elegance
Life is created by a series of events that carve ones existence. Surfaces carved by years of experience give way to beautiful forms. Sculpted smooth flowing surfaces, pulled taut and sculpted to remove the unnecessary. Automobile manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes are leading this movement.
4. Sensual Harmony
The stark reality of sharp blocky forms gives way to soft pure forms that engage the user to touch and hold. Softer shapes mark companies desire to make technology more approachable and intimate. Not so much playful as thought provoking, give way to beautiful forms. Apple products are beginning to reflect this soft approach to technology.
5. Tactile Surrealism
Meaning is brought to one’s life through repetition and patterns that manifest themselves in the comfort of daily life. Repetitious or irregular use of pattern and texture on both a large and a small scale transform a mundane surface to one that is engaging. Jawbone is a good example of how these elements can be incorporated into physical manifestations. With the constant disappearance of the physical, man still desires the tangible.