Ambiente identifies four design trends for 2018

FRANKFURT, Germany — Ambiente, the world’s largest consumer goods fair, welcomed 4,441 exhibitors from 89 countries when it opened on Feb. 9 at Messe Frankfurt, whose fair grounds are size of 43 football fields.

“All the signs are pointing towards consumption, in Germany, Europe and the entire world. The expected volatilities of the last few years have not had any impact. The global economy is continuing to head for growth, and this is clearly reflected in the internationalism of Ambiente. Open markets and international trade are opportunities for growth and this means many people will be better off,” says Detlef Braun, Messe Frankfurt executive board member.

Ambiente reflects design developments in a range of specific products and bora.herke.palmisano Trend Bureau, which does the research and curatorial work for Ambiente Trends, filtered relevant influences in design, art, architecture, fashion and lifestyle. This involves selecting products from Ambiente exhibitors and showcasing them in the form of trend worlds.

Annetta Palmisano from bora.herke.palmisano Trend Bureau explains, “Each of the four thematic areas comprises several and sometimes even seemingly contradictory aspects. It’s increasingly about a quest for well-being, meaning and alternative options. The focus is on everyday things, handmade items, sustainability and being future-proof.”

The four stylistic directions that highlight Trends 2018 are: Modest Regenerations, Colorful Intentions, Technological Emotions and Opulent Narrations. The vignettes range from rustic simplicity to Baroque opulence.

“Modest Regenerations” is contemporary and timeless while being plain and simple. It is influenced by the country house, the tried and tested meeting the new and industrialized. The preferred materials are wood, stone, concrete, ceramics, bamboo and cast iron — materials that are indestructible and gain beauty over time — as well as linen and wool in natural colors.

“Colorful intentions” is about ethical claim combined with strong colors. “This style stands for strong, bright colors, powerful patterns, dynamism and vitality. The mixture of materials, recycling and upcycling, are backed up by an ethical claim, ensuring that products are not just impressive, but also sustainable. Recycled plastic, metal, wood and textiles are presented in chequered patterns, stripes and decorative borders.

“Technological Emotions” approaches design with a sensitivity and vision, directing new technologies to augment well-being. Innovative materials are turned into emotionally appealing design. It includes some uncommon combinations of materials and products, such as paper and linen. Other elements that speak to the senses are super-thin films, soft textile structures and innovative visual accents.

“Opulent Narrations” is rich in allusions, decorated and dramatic in presentation. A courageous trend world with a penchant for eccentricity and historical quotations, this picturesque look is marked by precious oriental materials and a love for opulent details. It involves the use of artistically decorated porcelain, precious stones, ornate leatherwork, brocades, embroidery and relief carvings.

Ambiente is a fair where brands launch innovative products, designers set trends, and decision makers and traders place orders for the entire season.