Well, it’s that time of the year again, when interior designers, furniture-makers, and architects get giddy at the prospect of what to expect over the coming year (and beyond). Yes, it’s the May Design Series 2015, taking place between Sunday 17th and Tuesday 19th May at the London ExCel Centre, and where 500 brands from 26 different countries will be represented.
The May Design Series is curated for businesses, but don’t let that put you off going. Whether you’re new to the world of design and looking to learn more, you’re after some cutting-edge living room design ideas, or you’re a student or business looking to network and find inspiration, there will be something to pique your interest at at least one of the Series’ seminars, conferences, and exhibitions.
This year’s May Design Series will be as varied as ever, and this is reflected in its focus on the entire design spectrum: furniture, lighting, décor, DX, as well as kitchen, bedroom and bathroom (KBB) design. Yes, there will be lots of amazing interior décor for residential homes displayed, but built environments of all types are also covered. Hospitals, schools, commercial buildings… How these spaces are designed, planned, and made have an effect on our mood, productivity, and general wellbeing.
With this in mind, one of the biggest highlights at the 2015 May Design Series will be the talks and presentations on Biophilic Design – an integration of nature and interior spaces. The May Design Series will be discussing its own report on this new design phenomenon, and the evidence on how and why such a design method works so well.
Another big question at this year’s May Design Series will be “how do macro-trends (e.g. aging populations, demographic shifts) affect design?” No doubt you’ll have heard about ‘big data’, and it’s a subject that will likely have an influence on design and production, not just computing. As we develop the tools to capture information about people’s wants and needs more effectively, the more design will reflect these desires.
Up-and-coming trends – as well as exemplarily executed classic designs – are a major part of the May Design Series. This not only applies to furniture and décor, but to colour as well. Hence this year’s collaboration with Global Colour Research, which has identified two specific colour trends for Spring-Summer 2016: Brink and Tropic.
Brink is a colour palette of particular interest for designers and retailers in the fields of furniture, home décor, and textiles, with 2016’s colours looking to be a range of soft greens, pinks, reds, golds, and browns.
Tropic, on the other hand, is likely to be the main colour palette for architects, and those who work with materials, lighting, and glass. The range of colours for tropic are curious combinations of bright and dark colours, intended to uplift and excite. Expect bright yellows, reds, and blues, alongside darker purples, midnight blues, and soft, dusky oranges. The intention here is to be both exciting and calming – ideas that meld well with Biophilic Design.
Britain has had a burgeoning design industry for many years, and this will be on display at the Future British Classics Exhibition during the May Design Series. Examples will include New Design Britain Awards 2015 finalist Alison Smith’s ‘Geometric Pendant’ and sculptures by DeadGood & Hobs 3D.
As for fabrics and wall coverings, 2015 and 2016 will be filled with patchwork styles, lace designs, and Art Nouveau-like flourishes. Bohemian, Moorish, and Japanese influences will definitely be seen, and there will be plenty of Tropic and Brink colour combinations.
There are items that will undoubtedly stand out from the crowd at the May Design Series this year in that they are not only great designs, but also functional and flexible with regard to how they fit in with their environment. The Side Table by Emodi below is one fantastic example of this.
Finally, we move onto bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. In 2016 bedrooms are expected to be airy, spacious, and with a heavy emphasis on white and other calming colours. Kitchens are following a similar design ethos to bedrooms, with a focus on natural stone materials and strong, solid concrete. Meanwhile, bathrooms will see warm, relaxing colours mesh with whites.
These, of course, are just a taster of what can be expected at this year’s May Design Series. We at Sofa Workshop can wait to head down to the London ExCel Centre and we hope to see you there!