Furniture and lighting Trends – Tom Dixon
Trends, where do they come from? I’ve been asking myself this question recently. Who decides whats hot and whats not these days? I recently read an old interview with Tom Dixon where he talked about how contemporary furniture and contemporary lighting industry was becoming more and more like the fashion industry. Following trends in colour, materials and finishes. He also went on to talk about how he tries to design products to be ‘anti fashion’. I’m a big fan of Tom Dixon but I’m not sure Id describe his products as anti fashion, he does however probably have the influence to set trends now. He was one of the first designers I noticed using gloss metallic finishes in lighting. He took a process used in finishing sunglasses and telescope lenses (as well as many other things) and applied it to a pendant light called the mirror ball. Shiny!
This trend is still going strong, brass is back in a big way. Its not long since I ripped some awful full brass light fittings out of my house! I’ve now got some back in, albeit a brass detailed pendant light – the Lacrimosa pendant light. The trend now seems to be smaller amounts of brass or copper detailing coupled with more natural materials. A lot of people will simply say ‘well I don’t follow trends and fashion’ but even it you think you don’t you probably do, at least on some level, a little bit like Tom and his ‘anti fashion’ products. Anyway,back to the original question. Where do these trends come from? The designers? But where do the designers get them from? Market research? Popular culture? Or somewhere else? I listened to a very interesting podcast recently which opened my eyes up a little to where ‘trends’ come from. It was called ‘The Trend Forecast’ on 99%invisible.org. The podcast basically says that most designers and retailers use one major company to tell them whats going to be hot and when. WGSN is that company. Its a global forecasting company. There not the only one but they’re the biggest. So pretty much all designers at the biggest companies in the fashion industry and probably quite a lot in the contemporary furniture and lighting industry subscribe to their trend forecasts. So If you ever find yourself wondering why everything on the high street looks the same, WGSN is quite possibly why! The founder of WGSN who sold the company has described it as ‘a monster’ for exactly that reason.
Luckily for Norris Green Design fans I don’t subscribe to WGSN, or any other trend forecasting services. To some extent I am with Tom Dixon on the ‘anti fashion’ sentiment , I try to come up with my own trends based on inspiration drawn from every day life. Although I’d say its impossible not to be influenced on some level by trends (I do like a bit of shiny copper or brass!) and some of these trends may have originally come from WGSN! Scary.
Why not check out some of our contemporary furniture products: