For our review of 2019, deputy editor Augusta Pownall picks out ten tendencies which have preoccupied the design and expertise industries this yr, from the circular economy to the continued rise of China and a concentrate on privacy.
Surveillance and privateness
Information is among the most profitable assets on the planet, however concern has mounted over defending digital privateness and the damaging results of on-line surveillance this yr.
Winston Privacy created a hardware filter that customers plug into their modem that stops on-line monitoring and the ensuing profiling throughout any sensible system in the home, while Accessories for the Paranoid generates pretend on-line information to blur your digital profile.
CounterBug is a playful tackle the theme that confuses information harvesting algorithms by giving digital assistants conflicting details about the consumer, talking about socially fascinating matters and “shouting” over set off phrases. Ewa Nowak’s resolution – brass face-jewellery that confuses facial recognition cameras – is probably the most aesthetically pleasing, and may be worn in London’s King’s Cross space, which we learnt this yr is utilizing facial recognition to watch guests.
In the meantime, Facebook redesigned their site to “put privateness first” and opened a privacy cafe in 5 areas throughout the UK the place guests might verify their privateness settings over a cup of espresso.
This yr various firms revealed telephones with folding screens. Samsung revealed the Galaxy Fold in February this yr, with a design that opens like a ebook to disclose the folding display screen inside.
Huawei’s offering just a few days later flipped this concept on its head, with the display screen folding across the exterior of the folding telephone. Microsoft unveiled the Surface Duo in October, and Motorola gave its basic Razr flip phone a revamp with a display screen on each inner planes. With Samsung suffering some problems with broken folding screens, it appears the expertise nonetheless has a option to go.
Local weather protest
Dezeen printed its first story on local weather change protest group Extinction Rebellion in April this yr. Our protection has since included the modular wooden boxes used at their protests, the acquisition by the V&A of flags, pamphlets and digital recordsdata, and the group’s boycott of the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year show on account of the sponsor, insurance coverage firm Beazley.
Our fractured relationship with the pure world has additionally been explored in various excessive profile exhibitions all over the world this yr as nicely, together with Broken Nature, the Milan Triennale exhibition curated by Paola Antonelli, who additionally opened our inaugural Dezeen Day conference, Nature at Cooper Hewitt in New York, 24/7 at Somerset House and Eco-Visionaries on the RA.
Round economic system
Troublesome to outline, however massively necessary for the way forward for design, the circular economy was an enormous matter this yr. Spherical-the-world sailor and circular-economy champion Ellen MacArthur mentioned switching to a circular economy was “absolutely vital” and is trying to persuade 20 million designers to observe her. Adidas’s innovation crew added that it was “good for business”, whereas designer Richard Hutten believes that firms that do not embrace a non-linear enterprise mannequin will go bust.
IKEA has pledged to change into a circular business by 2030, and even London’s mayor called on property developers and architects to design for a round economic system.
Examples of those concepts being put into apply included clothes by made by Swedish firm Re:newcell made from Circulose, a brand new materials that makes use of recycled cotton garments, and Carlo Ratti’s orange juice bar that 3D prints a cup to drink from utilizing the fruit’s peel.
Electrical automobiles have been round for some time, however this yr noticed some uncommon additions, with supercars and Harleys being unveiled. Italian auto-maker Lamborghini claims its first hybrid production car, Sián, might be its quickest motor of all time, while the Lotus Evija is a powerful, fully electric supercar with the lifting dihedral doorways typical of such a design.
Electrical automobiles featured closely at each the Shanghai and Geneva motor reveals, and subsequent yr’s Olympics will see athletes transfer round within the autonomous, electrical e-Palette vehicle by Toyota. Extra surprisingly, Harley Davidson, the bike firm related to Hells Angels and petrol-heads moved into the electrical market with two bikes suitable for urban commuters.
Yinka Ilori and color
It was designer Yinka Ilori‘s yr. The British-Nigerian designer created The Colour Palace pavilion, which stood outdoors the John Soane-designed Dulwich Image Gallery in south London. The multi-coloured construction was raised above the bottom on 4 bright-red, stocky legs, and made the designer’s mark as the last word maximalist.
Ilori’s signature saturated prints additionally adorned a playground for adults at Cannes Lions pageant within the south of France, and guided guests across the Get Up Stand Up Now exhibition celebrating black British tradition at Somerset Home. Downtrodden commuters had been cheered up along with his eye-popping transformation of a railway bridge in London, whereas his work additionally discovered its manner right into a Yorkshire stately home.
Repurposing supplies for installations
Designers have been addressing the difficulty of waste at gala’s and exhibitions in two methods: by making installations from recycled supplies and by reusing the identical supplies from the yr earlier than.
Matter of Stuff repurposed 5,000 wooden dowels from their 2018 set up to create a bench, sculptures and screens for this yr’s LDF presentation, whereas the Eco-Visionaries exhibition at London’s Royal Academy reused dividing partitions and boards from earlier reveals.
Martino Gamper’s Disco Carbonara at Coal Drops Yard in London was made with leftovers from the wooden veneer business, Paul Cocksedge’s undulating benches had been constituted of scaffolding boards and Tarkett’s snowy mountain-scape at Stockholm Design Week was certain for show in different Nordic nations earlier than discovering its dwelling in a faculty.
Vogue designers tackle the house
Apparently vogue is out of vogue, as those that used to make garments are turning their palms to designing furnishings and homeware as a substitute. Belgian clothier Ann Demeulemeester launched her first collection of tableware, cutlery and glasses in Paris in September. In the meantime Rick Owens created a suitably gothic, monochrome assortment of seats for Carpenters Workshop Gallery, impressed by brutalism.
Virgil Abloh launched a collection with IKEA, confirmed his sinking Alaska chair in Venice, and on the RA in London, and even hacked the Vitra archive to create his imaginative and prescient of how we’d dwell in 2035.
Dressmaker Dion Lee worked with Australian brand DesignByThem on a collection of furniture utilizing leather-based, while vogue home Loewe hosted Japanese basket-weaving workshops throughout London Craft Week. Roksanda Ilincic went one step additional and designed an entire apartment at Gasholders in London’s King’s Cross.
Responses to air air pollution
The ocean plastic downside is well-known and continues to be a urgent situation, however this yr the business additionally turned its consideration to air air pollution.
Design studio NotAnotherOne created a personal air-quality tracker that clips on to a backpack, for metropolis dwellers to measure the air pollution within the air as they go about their day, whereas IKEA got here up with two merchandise that method the issue in numerous methods, the Gunrid purifying curtain and an Indian collection of homeware made from straw that may in any other case be burnt.
The air-pollution disaster in Delhi meant that when Space10 opened their second outpost, in the south of the city in November, they solely invited native journalists and designers to the opening weekend. Earlier within the yr, nevertheless, Dezeen reported that officers in Madrid had been planning to repeal the city’s low-emissions zone, as site visitors jams are a part of town’s “id”.
Made in China
For years China was accused of copying the West, however that is altering. Designer Ruohong Wu deliberately subverted the idea by utilizing Chinese language mass-production methods to make a set of distinctive porcelain vessels, whereas Jun Jie Zhang looked to the traditional bamboo-weaving techniques used south of the Yangtze river for his irregular bamboo mild shades.
Fritz Hansen selected town of Xi’an for its largest store anywhere in the world, on the similar time declaring its ambition to change into the “largest Danish model in Asia”, and home-grown model Stellar Works launched its latest collections as Design Shanghai somewhat than taking them to the Milan furnishings truthful.
Chinese designers took centre stage at international events reminiscent of Stockholm Furnishings Truthful and IDS in Toronto, the place Neri&Hu had been company of honour, and at Design Biennale Saint-Étienne in addition to Maison et Objet commerce truthful in Paris the place six emerging Chinese designers, together with Mario Tsai had been named the skills of the longer term.