What Comes Next
Every summer since 2004, the organizers of the Imm Cologne furniture fair, in Germany, have assembled a select team of design-world insiders and asked them to predict the future—or, at least, to identify the materials, textures, shapes, and colors that they see rising to the forefront of the interiors industry in the following year. It’s an exercise that requires a mix of social anthropology and psychic ability, and the Imm Cologne’s forecasters have proved remarkably adept at identifying major trends at their inception. This year’s soothsayers were the designers Patricia Urquiola, Defne Koz, Martin Leuthold, Harald Gründl, and Marco Velardi, and they came up with four overarching themes for 2011: Emotional Austerity, Surprising Empathy, Re-Balancing, and Transforming Perspectives. When the fair begins next month (it runs from January 18 to 23), visitors will be able to see exactly how the prognosticators have translated these big-picture ideas into small-scale displays of furniture and objects. In the meantime, we’ve assembled our own mini mood boards based on their forecast, complete with the Pantone colors they picked for each theme.