How will we eat, live and consume 2021? 13 creatives on tendencies ahead




WORDS Hanna Nova Beatrice

How will we eat, live and consume 2021? How will we travel, communicate - and feel? Will we move into a culture of longer-term thinking? After a year defined by challenges, mostly spent confined in our homes, we all long for a brighter time ahead. We asked a number of creatives about their views of the year to come.

Illustration by Siri Carlén, featured in the first issue of The New Era Magazine, published in October 2020.

Paola Bjäringer
Gallerist, founder of Misschiefs

”Togetherness is the new luxury, and how to be together again will be the number one obsession. Culture and the arts will be increasingly recognized as necessities. Isolation and frugality remind us of what’s essential; sharing a home-cooked meal with friends and family, dancing until dawn to your favorite live dj, visiting your neighborhood art gallery. To consume less but better quality, more durable and always local will be a priority. Solidarity is the best remedy to a crisis! Brand survival will be proportionate to how human-centered strategy is prioritized as the core of the business. No more bullshit.”

Lotta Agaton
Interior designer

”I think we will see a backlash to the hyper connected and throwaway culture we live in today. Both in regards to sustainability – we really need to calm down – but also for the sake of our own health. I can already sense a shift in what my clients ask for. Quality is very important, but there is also a growing interest in local production, and there is more care in details and good craftsmanship. I find this very comforting for the future.”

Hanna Nova Beatrice
Founder The New Era Magazine

"The effects of having been isolated from friends and family, lacking touch, togetherness and travels, and seeing the world in turmoil, will make for a vulnerable start of the new year. We have to be good and generous to ourselves and each other. In the long run I think our new learnings will make us better at looking after what we cherish, not taking anything for granted, be it a friend, a partner or the world at large. I think we will be more careful with what we spend our money and time on, making more conscious decisions. Do I want to invest my money in a company that don’t look after their staff? What type of culture do I want to be a part of? Do I like where I am? Is this something I will keep forever? This quest for quality will push us all to do better and make way for a healthier everyday."

Jenny Nordberg

”Moving forward I think we will crave genuine relationships, genuine conversations and genuine work. Shallowness will only seem awkward. Since we have yet another crisis that need solving - the climate crisis - we will focus on real and efficient actions. The pandemic taught many of us to turn down gigs that were free, low paid or of little interest, daring instead to focus on the good stuff. I think that’s the way forward. When it comes to decorating our homes, we will opt for more is more, finally.”

Katie Treggiden
Journalist and writer

”I would like to see more design brands moving to a triple bottom line model and measuring success, not just based on profit, but taking into account on people, planet and profit. Accreditations such as B Corp and initiatives such as 1% For The Planet provide really useful models for this sort of thinking. I would also like to see more equity – racism, sexism and environmentalism are absolutely intersectional and we are still a very white, male industry – if we are going to really innovate, we need more diverse perspectives. As Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katherine K Wilkinson say in the introduction to their brilliant anthology of women's writing on climate change, "to change everything, we need everyone.”

Spencer Bailey
Founder The Slowdown

“I think we’re moving into a culture of longer-term thinking. Or that’s my hope, anyway. Companies will increasingly strive to find a healthy middle ground to be able to produce quality at scale. We’ll see more and more local initiatives and local production. There is going to be a lot of focus on the climate crisis, and on finding sound solutions for products that follow a cradle-to-grave approach. Collectively, as companies and individuals—as a world—we all need to slow down. The best ideas take time, they require struggle and trial and error.”

Emma Olbers

”We will start to explore and enjoy the outdoors to a much greater extent and we will value time spent with those we care for even more, not taking anything for granted again. Solidarity will be increasingly important, to care for the greater good rather than the individual good. We know that the pandemic, caused by a zoonosis, and the climate crisis are two separate things, but we also know they steam from the same problem, an unbalance in the eco system. Many will look at deforestation, global warming and environmental depletion with a more holistic view and a bigger urgency than before. I hope we can all start the year with measuring our carbon budget and then lower it with 20 percent from the previous year. It will make for a great New Years resolution.”

Neil Hugh Kenna
Neil Hugh Office

”Looking ahead I believe differentiation will be more crucial than ever. Choice-fatigue is real, whether it be on the menu at a restaurant or when deciding which dining chair to purchase. There is so much noise competing for our attention, and differentiation is a mechanism that allows brands to cut through and stand apart. Brands that differentiate, not on price but on value - be it intrinsic or perceived - will continue to flourish.”

Marcus Fairs
Founder Dezeen

”This year showed us how, when the cars stopped driving and the planes stopped flying, the earth began to heal. The skies were bluer and the birdsong was more beautiful. That was a collective experience that will live with us forever and is something I think we need to hold onto as a symbol of both how simple it would be to stop our destructive ways, but also of how disruptive that would be to the global economy and people’s livelihoods. Looking ahead we need comfort, reassurance, laughter, friendship. We need new, more modest, local experiences. And we need to find interesting ways to get together in smaller numbers.”

Stefan NIlsson
Trend forecaster

”We are entering a new decade and we do it in a laid back manner. The last ten years have put an enormous pressure on our lifestyles, always connected and always under inspection and scrutiny. This experience, in combination with the pandemic and other global phenomena such as Black Lives Matter, will affect how we live, work and consume in the years to come. I see five phenomena that will preoccupy us; community, as opposed to loneliness, activism, sustainability, health - and pleasure. The new luxury is to have time to care for oneself, to sit back in a favorite chair with cup of coffee.”

Faye Toogood

”The industry will be forced to break down and re-access everything. It can’t continue like this - the pace, the waste, the neglect. It is hard for us to remember that it is not all about newness, but we need to remind ourselves that less is more. We must also demand better from ourselves and others to create a better future for the next generation. We need to think about what necessary really means.”

Tove Regnander and Hans Hjelmqvist
Founders of Grand Relations

”Health, and how we spend our time, will be the biggest topics in the year to come. To invest in our wellbeing will be important, and regarded as a luxury. Even though we need to be fully digitalized in sales and communication, tranquil calm moments in the comfort of our own homes will be a priority. Resting in a favorite armchair surrounded by hand picked pieces of design, with a beautifully printed magazine in our hands, is a re-discovered luxury experience that we believe is here to stay.”

Cristiano Pigazzini
CEO Note design studio

”Not letting the furniture fairs dictate the new launches in the same way as before, designers can work on their products in a completely different way. We can take our time finishing the product properly, and the manufacturing companies are able to test construction, market and sales before they launch something new. This will make way for fewer products in much better quality. Overall, it will bring significant improvements to the table. In general I think we will see less "show pieces” and more substance. Showrooms will experience a renaissance and become important for the brands and their communication. I also think we will travel less. The pandemic has made us understand how wrong and useless our way of working was. I believe these changes will be good for the entire industry.”