As well as being the world’s largest presentation of commercial fabrics and textiles, Heimtextil – taking place at Messe Frankfurt from 8-11th January – pays close attention to emerging consumer and material trends in its Trend Space in hall 3.0. Furniture News presents the five key trend stories for 2019/20 and beyond …

A search for new lifestyles guided by mindfulness and sustainability will exert significant influence on product development in the coming decades, according to the team in charge of Heimtextil’s 2019 Trend Space, London’s FranklinTill Studio.

“We live in an era of uncertainty and mistrust in the established order,” says Caroline Till, the studio’s co-founder, who, together with her colleague Kate Franklin, led the consortium of designers and trend experts behind this year’s initiative, the International Heimtextil Trend Council.

“As a reaction, we try to live a meaningful, conscious life, based on positive relationships. We take responsibility for our lives and look for ways of life that fulfil our value system in search of a new utopia – a society that aims at promoting the wellbeing of all its citizens.”

The theme behind this year’s installation at the show is Toward Utopia – a world of new standards such as escape from complex lifestyles, a desire for deeper relationships, spiritual confirmation and greater meaning.

Toward Utopia aims to show which routes individuals can take to find a balanced lifestyle in the modern world – from those who seek temporary time out from the internet to reconnect with nature and defy the elements, to those who escape from the real world into a virtual realty. Others withdraw and find security in pure, minimalist rooms, or seek a nostalgic answer to uncertain times and surround themselves with beauty and luxury. Finally, there is the unconditional hedonistic desire for play, which is probably hidden in everyone.

The exhibition’s newly-designed Trend Space aims to suggest how these various scenarios might be lived out, by presenting a combination of exhibitors’ product, trailblazing projects and design initiatives, as well as the current colour trends.

“The new Trend Space at Heimtextil convinces with interactive and tactile worlds of experience,” says Olaf Schmidt, Messe Frankfurt’s vice-president of textiles and textile technologies at Messe Frankfurt. “Visitors are playfully inspired, involved and motivated to get to grips with futuristic, spatial design concepts. This creates a comprehensive picture of the design of future spaces, and we can get some answers to the questions of how we will interact, consume, live and work in the future.”

The five key trends’ immersive on-site staging is reflected in this year’s Trend Book, which is available to order from Heimtextil’s website …

Pursue Play

“In an era of uncertainty, political instability and environmental problems, we satisfy our need for optimism and creativity with play,” writes the International Heimtextil Trend Council.

“Playing helps us to find meaning in the midst of chaos and turbulent times. Designers thus playfully focus on uninhibited, tactile interactions and experiments. Daring, cheeky product, room and fashion designs are loosened up with a touch of humour. Shapes and colour palettes take on a surrealistic note and the concept of L’art pour l’art once again commands attention.

“The use of rich primary colours is playful and naive, while the combination of high-gloss and matt textures creates a palatable visual appeal. Abstract forms, bold play with patterns and exuberant textures challenge us to be imaginative and invent our own stories.”

Seek Sanctuary

“In the midst of our intense, hyper-connected everyday life, more and more people are looking for ways to cut off all connections – for utopian havens of peace amidst all the noise,” states the International Heimtextil Trend Council. “They retreat to urban oases where they can switch off to find relaxation, a new perspective and clarity.

“However, this essentialism does not mean that we have to categorically reject products. Rather, is it about the targeted search for and appreciation of design pieces and concepts that are simple, beautiful, functional and high quality. The combination of a minimalist colour palette with carefully selected structural details, curvy shapes and upholstery gives rise to comfort and warmth.”

Go Off-Grid

“The search for a new closeness to nature leads to a hankering for experiences beyond a networked everyday life,” states the International Heimtextil Trend Council. “It is an attempt to live more naturally, to return to the origins of humanity and to live in harmony with nature – and not against it. It is about cross-border experiences in remote locations, supported by high-tech survival equipment.

“The combination of hard-wearing technical aspects of outdoor textiles and workwear requires a sophisticated, utilitarian aesthetic, and promises durability and functionality. Colours and patterns inspired by nature celebrate the supposed imperfection of the natural.”

Escape Reality

“A new utopia can be rooted in both the digital and the real,” suggests the International Heimtextil Trend Council. “The potential of virtual and extended reality blurs the boundaries between fantasy and reality.

“We are working on a technology that enables deeper and more lasting experiences in daily life. Shimmering, iridescent surfaces have a transformative and optimistic quality, are transformed by movement and create a fleeting, intangible form of motion. Mother-of-pearl effects and high gloss create a unique dynamic in designs that seem to achieve the impossible by appearing fluid and in suspension as a solid form that could literally dissolve at any time.

“Ethereal combinations of light pastel shades create a surrealistic, hyper-real mood.”

Embrace Indulgence

“High-quality materials and rich colours, a modernist style and solid craftsmanship combine to form a utopian vision of the future of luxury,” writes the International Heimtextil Trend Council.

“In a modern age marked by uncertainty, we look back through rose-tinted glasses to earlier epochs, remember the comfort of the good old days, long for security and surround ourselves with a calm, inviting aesthetic.

“Cleverly combined, honest materials, creatively implemented ideas and simple opulence form a new kind of comfort, as well as giving rise to intimacy and a sense of tangibleness.”

Header image: Walala X Play by Camille Walala for Now Gallery (photography by Charles Emerson), representing Pursue Play