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‘The New Normal’: Thoughts on the design industry post-Covid.

15 Jan 2021
Home Studio

INTRODUCTION: Despite the current state of the world, we’ve been considering the possible positive outcomes and shifts within the design industry as a result of the last year. Our confinement to the studio, and most recently, home studios, has meant that our practice has had to adapt. What we’re interested in thinking about is how this will impact in the long-term, what new behaviours could change our industry and influence a new age of creativity and design.


This year has set in place the foundations for more flexible working. Design isn’t often a solitary task, so prior to 2020, we didn’t see this as a possibility. The benefit of making this shift en masse is that we quickly got used to seeing our colleagues and clients in their home environments, we adapted to the artificial resemblance of being in the same room and the new home-life distractions, all at the same pace.


With shops increasing their reliance on digital presence, we imagine a scenario where the thumbnail image of a product becomes just as important as the product itself. Design will have to account for stand-out and brand experience in digital as equally, if not more so, than shelf-presence and environmental design. This would also see the delivery element becoming an enhanced feature of the brand experience, so we may see future investment in design opportunities here.


Rather than curated exhibitions and displays, we may look back on 2020/21 and see an era of design inspired by home-wares, cleanliness and digital media. We’ve already seen brands responding to the zeitgeist with loungewear collections, DIY beauty, home fitness etc… so whatever trends emerge, we’ll be interested to see how our at-home state of minds have consciously and/or subconsciously affected design.


Reliance on digital means less waste. Designers have been debating the death of print for some time, my opinion has always been that print will not die, it will evolve. Having something in print will add value, it will become more important than surplus. So now we’ve acclimatised to digital working, perhaps we won’t be printing absolutely everything.


We think designers could be heading towards a better, more flexible and variable way of working, which are the ideal conditions for creatives (but we’ll be taking more of a look at that in our next blog post). So while we don’t see this being the end of studios and real-life human interaction, we see a future in design that allows for a healthier work/life balance that fits to individual requirements, which in turn, will allow for a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Article Image Cover: ‘Working From Home’, Library Design Studio Founder Lizzie’s home studio/living room through UK January lockdown. 


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