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Design in rapid change since 2000The understanding of design has been in rapid flux for the past 15 years. Here are five critical developments in the evolution of design since 2000:
1. In about 2000, a new expectation was born that functional objects should also be attractive.
2. Products such as the iPod gave way to the idea that design could drive what the product does. “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like,” said Steve Jobs in 2003. “Design is how it works.”
3. Design became a way that social change was expressed as it became more clear how integrally design was linked with various elements of culture.
4. Social media showed that design is powerful and pricks the emotions. Both Gap and Tropicana saw their rebranding efforts skewered by fans, prompting them to switch gears.
5. Design is now seen as not just valuable itself but actually capable of producing value.
Rob Walker of The New York Times sees that final adaptation in the development of design since the new millennium as the opening of a golden age of design or Design Age. One of the best examples of this golden age, he says, is Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs, the manufacturer of a design-centric smart thermostat.
Forecast for the golden age of designBritish paint company Dulux recently came out with its Colour Forecast 2016, which provides ideas for the most cutting-edge looks in business, based on the trends and changing expectations of the Design Age.
Basically what Dulux does is offer various color combinations that they think will be particularly popular and that fit within certain themes.
Generally speaking, the natural hues highlighted by Dulux relate to the increasing focus on personalization and uniqueness of our spaces. They also highlight our increasing desire for sustainability, according to Lana Bortolot of Entrepreneur.
“Sustainability has taken on a new meaning for the office, shifting from a focus on the environment to one on the whole being,” she says. “The new sustainability is human-focused, … thanks to growing evidence that a happy employee is a loyal and productive [one].”
The four themes are Bio Fragility, Retro Remix, Future Past, and Infinite Worlds:
• Bio Fragility incorporates the natural shades of flesh tones and stone.
• Retro Remix brings together clashes of fancifully bright colors and muddier ones.
• Future Past is based on the shades of steampunk.
• Infinite Worlds uses primarily dark colors with glowing accents.