Interior design trends that are fast changing lives
Riyadh, October 11, 2013
Vitality in interior design is not, surprisingly, dependent on change. Sometimes that change is subtle; sometimes it’s absolutely seismic in scope.
But constant innovation and refocused energy are particularly necessary in interior design, if for no other reason than the constantly shifting needs of people with regard to interior spaces and how they interact with them, said an industry expert.
As those needs change, design solutions have to adapt along with them. What follows is a look at some of the most current trends revitalizing interiors at work, at home, at school, and in the healthcare and hospitality industries, remarked Cheryl Durst, the executive VP and CEO of
International Interior Design Association (IIDA), which promotes design and elevates its stature in the world.
As the official knowledge partner of Decofair 2013, the only premium international furniture and design show in Saudi Arabia, IIDA presents its look at the design trends that are currently changing interiors and changing lives throughout the world.
Organised by Reed Sunaidi Exhibitions, a joint venture between top event company Reed Exhibitions and Sunaidi Expo, a division of Alfadl Group, Decofair has established itself as the preeminent sourcing channel for high-end design items.
A key feature of this year’s show will be the Design Discussions seminars, with speakers and workshops convened by the team at IIDA.
Now in its fifth year, Decofair 2013 is expected to attract more than 15,000 professionals from across Saudi Arabia’s architecture and design community, including many of its elite.
Lets look at the 10 reasons to celebrate the important role that design plays in life, culture and the day-to-day experiences of human beings, said Durst.
*Greater utility at home
There are a number of emerging trends in the re-thinking of residential spaces, not least of which is an increasing focus on the kitchen as the heart of the home. With greater space allocated to this central area, the emphasis goes from simply the place where food is prepared and consumed to a much more general-use area and gathering place, in much the same way that the traditional family room has been.
Technology integration plays an increasingly important role in the home as well, with “smart home” technology a more viable and realistic concept as we live constantly with and through our wireless gadgets.
And as in other design disciplines, sustainability and the use of “green” materials is of paramount importance to the well-designed contemporary home, and a realistic goal given the availability of natural fibres and products and the ease with which they can be integrated into the design.
*Light for enlightenment
Sometimes the simplest solutions really are the best. In education, the correlation between natural light and improved morale and attendance has led to a surge in schools with classrooms and other communal areas featuring abundant daylight.
Not only does this have a positive influence on students, but crucially, it also helps to reduce utility costs at schools and universities.
*Designing for life
At the university level, bringing real life into the classroom through study-specific design is another growing and effective strategy. Designing learning facilities to match the fields in which students anticipate working, better prepares students for the situations they will face “in the real world” than the traditional lectern-style classroom arrangement.
Medical students might learn in an operating room, for example, or journalism students’ environment might reflect the modern newsroom. In these surroundings, real-life scenarios can unfold in controlled circumstances, with design playing an integral role in boosting the confidence of the future professional.
*Bringing the outdoors in
Particularly effective in designing a healing environment for the healthcare industry is this notion of blurring the line between the vitality-rich outdoors and the sterility of a hospital interior. Natural light has played a significant role here as it does in education, with large picture windows and open terraces leading the charge.
Newer ideas such as incorporating natural elements like wood or stone, along with water fountains and judiciously selected plant life enhance this quality and reinforce the notion of a healthcare facility as a place of abundant life.
*Flexibility built into the workplace
With the rapid growth of the mobile workforce in recent years, people have grown accustomed to working wherever they can, making their work habits fit into whatever location they’ve found themselves, be it a coffee shop, plane or hotel lobby. Undoubtedly, workspaces need to be designed with the flexibility and adaptability required so that people can transform their work environment according to their needs.
A balance needs to be struck between the deliberately designed and useful space for today’s workers and the changing demands that work will require in the future.
*Sustainability as the status quo
Issues of sustainability have come so far to the fore that they’re essentially a given and expected throughout the world. For many organizations, sustainability is linked to economic well-being and extends to every facet of the business, from facility design and construction to company policy and everyday work practices.
For many organizations, sustainability is a brilliant and effective means of attracting and retaining younger talent with a cultivated concern for the environment and the well-being of this generation and the next.
*Integrating new work modes with the old
New digital applications have clearly transformed how we work. Change is the new constant, and adaptation is the new multitasking — the skill that everyone in the workforce must have to stay vital.
This constant state of flux challenges today’s designers to consider the widest breadth of possible solutions when designing environments for the workplace, seeking the best possible design to facilitate optimal creative face-to-face collaboration while accommodating existing and emerging modes of electronic communication.
This is a trend that speaks to the hospitality industry, but is as important or more so to healthcare.
In either scenario, a lobby might primarily serve as a waiting and check-in point, but more and more frequently, we’re seeing multi-functional spaces and more segmented environments, where guests can hold intimate conversations with others, talk confidentially on their cellphones or simply work undisturbed on their devices as needed.
*Designing for a business mindset
The hospitality industry has been focused on offering the most customizable, user-friendly experience for the business traveller. A move toward affordable luxury has streamlined some of the more opulent amenities, but for those going business class design has never been more thoughtful of their needs.
From dependable and price-integrated wi-fi to providing private business centres in lieu of sleep accommodations, from tables on casters instead of standard, stationary desks - allowing the traveller the ability to customize his or her experience according to whatever the work demands.
It’s a bit surprising that it’s taken as long as it has for hospitality and other design disciplines to pick up on local culture the way it has recently.
Employing local artists is a plus for the community in which the project will exist, and lends a certain legitimacy and veracity to the locale in the same way that chefs and restaurateurs have been sourcing their ingredients from local suppliers, ultimately affording the brand affiliated with the location a chance to truly integrate with the regional culture on a sensory level.-TradeArabia News Service
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