Q&A: Li Edelkoort

li edelkoort

INTERVIEWED BY Lindi Brownell Meiring PORTRAIT Koen Hauser

Ahead of her seminars at Design Indaba earlier this year, renowned Paris- and New York-based trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort gave VISI insight into what to expect from colour palettes, textiles and smart tech. According to our favourite soothsayer, the future is looking bright.

Looking forward to 2020, why do you believe homes will embrace the use of colour more than ever before?

Twenty years of great autonomous design coincides with the development of innovative materials, the testing of outsized volumes, and the adaption of changing rituals, and I predict that the new focus will be the use of colour. This taste for colour is just beginning and will grow in the next decade, influencing consumers to become happier. People’s innate fear of using colour is gradually giving way to the joy of manipulating it to transform materials and give new life to otherwise forgotten spaces and furniture. Colour will impose its rules and ruffles, changing objects by giving them another, more vibrant energy, possibly modifying the way we move through space, how we design different rooms and live out a more expressive existence.

Which colours will make up the 2020 colour palette?

Many colours are making waves and have the power to transform a home. A splash of yellow will wake up a room; a shadow of grey will design a space; and a touch of pink will make people smile. With the renaissance of colouring comes new codes of conduct, a contemporary culture of more local choices and unusual colour ranges that create incredibly sophisticated interior harmonies: A green range includes blue and yellow; a terracotta range includes pink and slate; and a neutral range can include skin tones and bone. Slightly off combinations make the same-old look brand-new and enticing.

What can we expect to see from the world of textiles? Will sustainability be front and centre?

I believe this might become the century of textiles. Fabrics have already made a comeback in the home and will take over most domains of design and innovation in the future. First signs tell us that fabrics will take on diverse roles: constructing bridges, crafting boats and planes, healing wounds, designing dwellings, protecting buildings and communicating codes. From locally crafted clothes to 3D laces and robotic knitting, designers will explore textiles further. The journey will be astounding! These endless possibilities are why the MFA in Textiles course I’ve created at Parsons School of Design is called Textiles Unlimited. Sustainability will be integrated into all aspects of materials, such as natural or biotech ingredients and slow craft, and circular design will see fibres from natural sources valued and reincarnated.

Do you think the trend of homes as sanctuaries will continue?

Absolutely! In chaotic and fearful times, humanity will naturally look for answers and find solace in its own inner circle. People will give more focus to their own way of living, making a house where they can cultivate everything human, as if designing their own sanctuary. On a quest for inner peace, people are trying to make the ordinary extraordinary and paying attention to all the senses. People are aspiring to take time out of time, searching for a world within a world, a moment to experience simply being present. A place to share our lives with the people and animals that we cherish, acknowledging the connecting force between all living things and creating an atmosphere that needs to be consoling and comforting – the idea of a house that heals.

Keep up to date with Li Edelkoort at edelkoort.com.