Au­then­ti­cally De­signed


As de­sign­ers in a vastly chang­ing world, we are con­tin­u­ally called upon to keep up with the fore­cast­ing of col­ors, trends, and ex­pec­ta­tions of the di­verse and dis­parate pop­u­la­tionwe serve. While we are aware of trends that drive in­ter­est and ex­po­sure in the mar­ket­place, we also con­sider de­sign is­sues that cen­ter around well­be­ing. We are con­cerned with deeper is­sues of how we best nav­i­gate the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties pre­sented to us, and how our spa­ces for home, leisure, and work sup­port us to that end.

At Heim­tex­til (the In­ter­na­tional Trade Fair for Home and Con­tract Tex­tiles held in Frank­furt, Ger­many), “Well-Be­ing 4.0” trends for 2016/2017 was pre­sented with four themes as the fo­cus: Pro­tect, En­er­gize, Nour­ish, and En­rich. Th­ese themes are de­fined by an in­te­grated ap­proach to restor­ing a peo­ple-cen­tered de­sign fo­cus with a stronger ap­peal to the senses.

The Pro­tect theme is about pro­tect­ing our phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal needs. It pre­dicts a clean aes­thetic, or crisp, un­der­stated de­sign. It goes hand-in-hand with a ver­sa­tile range of well­ness prod­ucts and detox pro­grams. As a valu­able and rare com­mod­ity, si­lence takes cen­ter stage.

Re­duc­tion of noise pol­lu­tion is an el­e­ment too of­ten dis­re­garded. The dif­fer­ence be­tween elim­i­nat­ing noise and un­con­sciously ac­cept­ing it can have a great im­pact on tran­quil­ity, fo­cus, and men­tal clar­ity. Ac­cord­ing to the­World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, “Ex­ces­sive noise se­ri­ously harms hu­man health and in­ter­feres with peo­ple’s daily ac­tiv­i­ties at school, at work, at home, and dur­ing leisure time. It can dis­turb sleep, cause car­dio­vas­cu­lar and psy­chophys­i­o­log­i­cal ef­fects, re­duce per­for­mance, and pro­voke an­noy­ance re­sponses and changes in so­cial be­hav­ior.” Sound ab­sorp­tion and re­duc­tion can be achieved by spec­i­fy­ing build­ing ma­te­ri­als such as sheet rock (for ex­am­ple Si­len­tFX noise-re­duc­ing gyp­sum board); dou­ble- or triple-pane glaz­ing; sound-ab­sorbent floor­ing such as cork, wood, or car­pet; air-tight construction (two or three lay­ers of gyp­sum board, min­eral fiber in­su­la­tion, and air gaps in fram­ing); and ap­plied el­e­ments such as win­dow cov­er­ings. Or for the more ad­ven­tur­ous, dec­o­ra­tive acous­ti­cal pan­els that dou­ble as an artis­tic in­stal­la­tion, such as Xorel by Carnegie Fab­rics.

As Heim­tex­til an­nounced En­er­gize— en­hanc­ing tech­nol­ogy with high-energy el­e­ments to boost feel­ings of well-be­ing — as a trend, Claire Bar­liant, man­ag­ing edi­tor of Metropo­lis mag­a­zine con­trast­ingly claimed an­other trend, the “year of slow tech” that sug­gests phys­i­cal ob­jects are due for a come­back, “coun­ter­act­ing our ten­dency to stare at screens.” Homes with li­braries con­tain­ing at least a hun­dred books lead to im­proved scholastic per­for­mance. We re­cently fielded an in­ter­view with a jour­nal­ist in­quir­ing about the fu­ture of, and de­mand for, home li­braries, sug­gest­ing a trend away from phys­i­cal books and read­ing.

The Nour­ish and En­rich themes are geared to­ward of­fer­ing a bet­ter life and greater well-be­ing: nour­ish­ment for the soul, sen­si­bil­i­ties, and in­ter­nal bal­ance. As stud­ies con­tinue to show that we need to feel con­nected to other liv­ing things, so an in­fu­sion of nat­u­ral sen­sory ma­te­ri­als and ref­er­ences con­tin­ues to be high on our list of pri­or­i­ties in in­te­ri­ors we de­sign. One ex­am­ple of an ap­pli­ca­tion is nat­u­ral, wo­ven win­dow shades, not only shield­ing us from glare and con­tribut­ing to our pri­vacy and sanc­tu­ary, but ones made of ve­tiver can also pro­vide aro­mather­a­peu­tic prop­er­ties and a visual con­nec­tion to na­ture. We be­lieve that de­sign can pro­vide so­lu­tions great and small to the chal­lenges of the world around us. “There is no longer an out­side to the world of de­sign”, ac­cord­ing to pro­fes­sors and ar­chi­tec­tural his­to­ri­ans MarkWigley and Beatriz Colom­ina.

Heather Van Luchene, ASID and Steffany Hollingsworth, ASID are part­ners in HVL In­te­ri­ors, LLC, an in­te­rior de­sign firm of­fer­ing pro­fes­sional res­i­den­tial and hos­pi­tal­ity de­sign ser­vices. Both are New Mex­ico li­censed in­te­rior de­sign­ers. They can be reached at (505) 983-3601 or info@ hvlin­te­ri­


Xorel ArtForm acous­ti­cal pan­els by Carnegie

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