Often, designers are asked to provide glimpses of what the future will hold. Throughout the evolution of the design industry over the last century, designers have always reached for visions of the future to inspire the products of today. We act as aesthetic change agents, taking the phrase “Fake it until you Make it” literally: Loewe’s streamlining aesthetic, the rocket fins on 1950’s era cars, the digitally-inspired graphics of the 1980’s, all hinted at what was just around the corner in our collective dreams. So what is the future we are dreaming of today in 2012? Apparently, it will hold a lot of smooth white things. There seems to be common stylistic agreement that our future will be light, clean, minimal, smooth, both geometric and biological, and white. According to Futurama (and if Marc Newson rules the world), in the future technology will increasingly surround our lives and environments, but there is a sanitized, humanized, glossy sheen to it that makes it both approachable and concealed. Or maybe everything will be burgundy Naugahyde  with brass tack accents (if I rule the world)…time will tell.

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6 Comments to “FUTURAMA”

  1. Alistair K. says:

    great trends site, AWOL. Question: on this futurama trend, are you saying this is where we are going? This is what our future will look like? or will there be other possiblities depending on who you ask or what country they live in. ? thanks.

    • AWOLtrends says:

      Hi Alistair-
      Excellent question. Predicting the future is not only difficult, but historically we’ve usually missed the mark. The huge tail fins on cars from the ’50s and ’60s alluded to the national conviction that space travel for all was just a few years away. Before that, Streamlining owned the aesthetic landscape as we envisioned a world connected by speeding conveyances. Some designers live in a future world that never really arrived (Colani, I’m looking at you). Since designers usually want to push what is fresh and novel, that requires some future forecasting. The work of the many designers shown here is probably the biggest consensus of where we are heading, but things can always throw off the consensus view. New technologies, shifts in cultural attitudes, dramatic world events: these all create constant redirections in what we perceive our future to be.

  2. Adam says:

    Great website AWOL. Whether it’s your futurama trend board, Star Wars, The Jetsons, the future houses of the 50’s, or any version of the “future”, it is always clean and minimal. Do you think this represents our subconscious need to break away from the visual clutter that is our current world and a return to a more natural environment? It seems the future is less of an aesthetic representation and more of a psychological paradigm.

    • AWOLtrends says:

      I think this represents our best shot at the future at present, although we’ve been horrible at predicting the future so far…I wouldn’t say its natural; there’s a definite clinical, pure, calculated quality to this aesthetic that makes these objects look man-made rather than nature-made.

  3. Jay Wong says:

    I think Futurama isn’t as much a design trend, but rather a state of being. Every example raised above can be summarized in one of the other design trends. What defines Futurama is just something out of current favour, but nice and solid enough to create a suspension of disbelief that some-where, some-time it can multiply into a holistic design landscape.

    • AWOLtrends says:

      True: It is an over-arching aesthetic composed of many sub-elements. That is typical of trends in this category (Role-playing). Some people may choose to live in and create environments around themselves that embody this aesthetic, others will find it completely foreign. It is a role one chooses for oneself. Kind of like looking through Wallpaper magazine, and thinking “who lives in a house like this? There’s a chair, a lamp, a rug, and a view of a glacier. Where’s the baby toys, pile of folded laundry, or pile of shoes and socks?”