Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Heimtextil 2015: Trends Theme Park

Heimtextil 2015: Trends Theme Park

“Experience: We are People, not Consumers.”

Heimtextil seemed bigger than ever this year, and rightly so, as more than 68,000 trade visitors attended and 2,759 exhibitors from 68 countries participated in the world's leading trade fair for home textiles. The sheer size of it is absolutely staggering, and according to my fitness app I averages about 6 miles of walking a a day.

As it’s the first major exhibition for home textiles of the year, Heimtextil is considered a major player in forecasting the trends and colours to come.  This year, the trends area was a true spectacle and my favourite part of the whole show. The organizers revamped the old Trend Forum into a new and exciting Trends Theme Park… the name says it all! 

This year the Theme Park was entitled “Experience.”

I attended a presentation by Anne Marie Commandeur of the trend agency The Stijlinstituut Amsterdam who explained the concept and thoughts behind “Experience.” She explained that as our world is changing so rapidly, our needs change as well. To reflect this we need a new way of viewing interiors, which is through experience. In an age where the digital world is becoming more prevalent, our environments are becoming more sterile and less emotional, the more we long for an environment where we can feel good. Interiors should be experienced by all the sense with the use of new and innovative materials and colour.

The four main themes at the park where Sensory, Mixology, Discovery, and Memory.

The Sensory themes appeals to our senses and draws on tactile materials. These materials raged from light, soft, transparent, to furry, and bobbly, and are inspired by health, beauty, and well-being. The colours used in this theme are soft pastels with touches of brightness to lift and invigorate, and fabrics that are going to make us feel safe and warm.

Mixology refers to variety and cultural fusion, a melting pot. According to Ms Commendeur, "Patterns, prints and colours collide almost chaotically with each other. African tribal design meets 3D rave motifs, retro with futuristic, digital with organic." This in turn leads to the idea of upcycling and recycling. Bold, bright, vivid colours enhance this theme.

Discovery to me is a step onward from the Sensory theme, where we look into the future to see how we can use our planets resources and the digital age to enhance materials. Material is enhanced by the addition of ornamentation or finishes to give different dimensions and aspects from varying perspectives. Light is used to illuminate and dazzle these materials, such as sequins, metallic, and holographic. Futuristic colours are used to illustrate this theme further, such as silver, gold, copper, and liquid like materials on varying fabric structures.

Memory is about reflections and re-evaluation, where as we continue to use modern technology in our environments we must not forget about our past. Design must 'combine handicrafts and tradition with an innovative sense for modernity whereby their software abilities are an additional benefit," according to Ms. Commendeur. We must appreciate our heritage. The use of denim, linens, and wool as well, as florals and other similar patterns are used to enhance this theme. 

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