PROSPECT: The interior design industry in the 2020s

Published 2019-12-11

Few industries are as sensitive to trend as interior design - that's why it's difficult to predict. However, Semrén & Månsson's interior design studio believes that these are the trends that will get the most significant breakthrough in the coming decade.  

Smart environments
Digitalisation might still be in its infancy, but it is rapidly gaining ground also in our physical spaces. With the developments in technology, new work methods appear, where phenomena such as digital nomads and activity-based workspaces quickly have become commonplace. The new technology allows us to interact with our environment in entirely new ways. Sensors that measure everything from how a space is being used to our physical conditions provide the opportunity to tailor environments to current needs, something which will soon be a given.   

- When technology is integrated into furniture and artefacts, we quickly accustom to adjusting light, acoustic environment, and physical incubation to fit the mood we are in or the task we have in front of us. At the same time, we become less tied to a specific place and might opt for renting office space or equipment on a weekly, daily, or hourly basis, says Ulrika Burman, studio manager at Semrén & Månsson.

Increasing sustainability
In times of climate change, 'flight shame' and environmental awakening, there is probably nothing more outdated than the throw-away culture. Instead, there is a growing interest for long term sustainable investments, with smart services for reuse and up-cycling (i.e. repurposing existing products and material) and different kinds of rental services for those who want sustainable interior design. How about renting a lighting service with fixtures and everything, instead of purchasing lighting that only works with the current decor?

- Unfortunately, it is still difficult to provide exact pieces of furniture when it comes to second hand since a long time passes between concept and tender documents for purchase and delivery. However, the digitalisation helps to speed up the progress, says Ulrika Burman. 

At the moment, it is often more expensive to renovate an old piece of furniture than to buy a brand new one, if you calculate the transport, labour cost, and material. But for those who dare to commit, the payoff will be all the greater: reuse is an excellent way of protecting the environment, while simultaneously building an image that attracts both clients and employees who value environmental responsibility. 

The environment reflecting who we are - or who we want to be
A place is no longer just a place, but more often so a manifestation of the culture, driving force, or brand behind it. The sense of being 'us', community, and context are central topics in both our private and working life - we search for a deeper meaning in what we do, and the interior design concept becomes a way of reflecting the 'right' values. Before it was all about showing an image to clients and partners, and today it is just as important to attract the right kind of employees, who will thrive and want to work in a particular environment. 

- It's about creating experiences and develop destinations, rather than decorating a space - a trend that we welcome and that demands close collaboration with the client. We ‘set the scene’ together, and through the interior design we create the presence and identification that bring people together, says Ulrika Burman.