I am going to predict the future right now: contemporary is dead. It's no wonder, really, when you see the types of films that are the most popular, the types of fashion on the run-way, or the types of cars we're driving. Beam me up Scotty, or ring for the Butler, but not all of us are Astronauts or Lords and Ladies. All of this influences design, society, and human nature. We're all trying to do more with less, or more with more depending which side of the bridge you live on.
Some of the largest, most interesting design changes I noticed at KBIS was actually that luxury has started to return in a small way and most of the junk has disappeared, finally (or it was hiding on the outskirts in the cheap booths, but no matter because no one goes over there.) Everyone has a different view of luxury and for such an important show like KBIS I found that some vendors still were not at their best or there just wasn't enough oomph to catch my attention. Either that or the booths were too small and there were just to many people in them to move around. The commonality through the show was that some vendors were still showing stock cabinets, finishes that look poor to the naked eye, and moulding details that just weren't filled or as polished as I would expect for my clients. I want to see quality at big shows like KBIS, and I just wasn't seeing it everywhere.
Perhaps it is because I returned from London Design Week (#BlogTourLDN represent!) in the fall and I am still reeling over the amount of beautiful things that I saw. I literally have a stack on my desk of stunning objects, designs, and products that I haven't been able to get to.
I have taken note, however, that we are venturing into some uncomfortable territory with design because everything is available, nothing is as truly unique anymore, and we've gone in the direction of what's old is new again (and if I see another designer using a Blue Willow pattern and trying to pass it off as a new trend in delft blue - the colour - I think I'm going to vomit.) There a pretty blue-grey colour that some of us designers were picking up on and I think this finally signals a departure from grey. When you do find that glimpse of inspiration, it hits hard and strikes a few cords.
If I could just say this to all the manufacturers out there: so many of us spend a lot of time and money to get to big shows and we expect better, we expect to be knocked off our feet at every turn, we expect booths to be manned with enough people to great us all, and we expect it because you only get a few minutes to make that lifetime impression.
Luxury had never really left, but this whole contemporary thing seems to be retreating into the shadows.