Helsinki-Eindhoven Trend Book
Design hubs Helsinki and Eindhoven, the two finalists for design capital 2012, have started an alliance. "Bridging the gap between the creative sector and industry," is one of the stated goals, as well as "fostering the development of design as an innovative force."
The publication Trend Book is the first tangible result of the new alliance.
It draws on examples from the upcoming Design Week Helsinki and Dutch Design Week (in Eindhoven) and works as a catalogue of upcoming trends that will impact on every facet of a person’s life – leisure, work, school, home, public space, food and health.
The central theme identified by art director, Zuzanna Skalska in her introduction to the book, is the transformation of our world into a networking society. Further down the road, our task will be the creation of a caring society where the focus is no longer on “cool products,” but on lifestyle, i.e. finding a "recipe" for "total happiness in life". (In case you'd forgotten now we are in a knowledge and experience society.)
The book is full of ideas on how to deal with issues that will trouble us in the future, like the tremendous growth of the world’s population. There is urban farming where city people start producing food on rooftops; “Flex living” where all we need is a sleeping bag to be able to rest anywhere; expensive resorts advertising “no Wifi” that allow is to unplug ourselves from reality (or confront us with its emptiness), friendly cars rather than “asshole bubbles” that make us drive slower and thus stay more connected to our surroundings.
Regarding our emotional needs as human beings, contributor David Levy predicts that "love and sex with robots will inevitably become commonplace." He thinks this is because people are more likely to fall in love if they share certain interests or hobbies. A robot programmed with such knowledge about its owner has a clear headstart over a total stranger, even though that stranger might be made of flesh and blood.
Zuzanna Skalska thinks finding "total happiness" is "a place between too little and too much".
If only it were that easy.
Zuzanna Skalska is Senior Consultant Trend Researcher at VanBerlo Design Strategy + Product Development.
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