Trend Forecasting

February 10, 2014

What is a trend?

Trends are all around us and have become an essential part of the consumer world. People follow trends directly and indirectly of a consequence of what is happening in society. Trends aren’t just relating to the latest fashions but also relate to bigger influences in the way society is moving.

“A trend can be emotional, intellectual and even spiritual. At its most basic, a trend can be defined as the directing in which something (and that something can be anything) tends to move and which has a consequential impact on the culture, society or business sector though which it moves.” (Raymond 2010, p.13)

In relation to interior design trends have a large impact upon the discipline, whether it be a decoration trend, a trend in colour and even goes to as far to how social and cultural changes change the layout and use of the home. Society and world changes are having a bigger impact on interior design more than ever and designers have to follow these movements to be aware of the future trends.

What is trend forecasting?

Trend forecasting is a vital part of the elements that make up interior design and leads the developments that make interior design the way it is today. Trend forecasting is predicting the future trends in all aspects of life and design based upon in depth research.

Who are trend forecasters?

“By definition and activity, trend forecasters are lifestyle detectives: men and women who pend their time detecting patterns or shifts in attitudes, mindsets or lifestyle options, that run against current thinking or how people normally behave, live, dress, communicate and trade.” (Raymond 2010, p.12)

Trend forecasters research the current world situations and the directions that social and economic circumstances are taking, to predict trends, both short and long term. These trends, over time, translate into consumer trends and transfer into the mass market, or develop into a new way of living, in which designers have to be aware of and design to adapt to this new cultural and social changes.

Trend Theory

Trends that become mainstream are more often than not predicted by Trend Forecasters. Most trends would have ran though a lifespan process, from the start of the trend (the trend forecast) to the trend being adapted into the mass market and eventually diffused out. This is known as the Diffusion of Innovation by Everett Rogers. The Diffusion Theory system indicates the popularity and following of a trend.

‘It does so in the form of an S-shape curve, the lower part of the S being occupied by our Innovators and Early Adopters, the upper parts by our Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards.’ (Raymond 2010, p.19)

Henrik Vejlgaard’s Diamond Shaped Trend Model:

Henrik Vejlgaard’s Diamond Shaped Trend Model is a mapping system that allows trend forecasters to map rough calculations to how long a trend will last based upon the trend influences, such as, the area people live, levels of technology available and cultural elements to name a few. Vejlgaard predicts that home design lasts five to seven years upon his rough calculations off plotting the speed of a particular trend through each of the shaded zones on the diagram left, below.

By using trend theories trend forecasters can identify the mapping process of the predicted trends and how long they predict they will last. They can also look at how different influences can be found in different areas, for example, a city compared to the countryside. A good example of how Henrik Vejlgaard’s Diamond Shaped Trend Model helps trend forecasters is

‘City dwellers, for instance, may be keen to buy into all trends organic and rural but people in the country may want the urban ideal. Therefore a trend towards living the rustic ‘good life’ might not be adopted in the countryside at all – because there it is neither new nor, given the hardships such a life can bring, even desirable.’ (Raymond 2010, p.25)

Trend forecasters can also use the Diffusion Theory to see where the trends are heading and their peaking points and from this is anything can be learnt or predicted as a follow on.

It can be seen that trend forecasting is an in depth and complicated discipline, but an essential one, to indicate where social, economic, cultural and political trends are heading and how they are influencing and changing the world we live in.

Right: Henrick Vejgaard Diamond Shaped Trend Model (Raymond 2010, p.25)

 

Information from own website © 2013 Erika Davies:

http://erika-davies.wix.com/trendforecasting#!trends-and-forecasting/c1oyx

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