Posted by Joy Young
Filed Under Culture
Vision 2020

The Astro crew recently traveled through space and time to the WGSN ‘Vision 2020’ presentation to find out what we can expect for 2020!

Here are some key takeaways from the talk that resonated with our crew:

Better, Not New.

Products with highly personalized or customizable features cut down waste and will create design that people will want to keep. What we learned is that DNA will play a big part on personalization. From medicine, cosmetic, products or diet; all of these can be tailor made for your experience and rethinking ‘Designing for everyone is designing for no one.’

More Human, Not Superhuman.

Large companies are recognizing the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) in the workforce, realizing that being able to connect on a human level is better for the employees and company as a whole. For the consumers, they are seeking a more meaningful experience, so the value and message of brand is more important than ever. In 2020, sensory touch and physicality will be important in the world of invisible tech, while technology is becoming more human.

Blast From The Past.

Ethnobotany (a traditional look at how people used plants, medicine, and religion) and primal power (caveman living) are an interesting view point of looking at how our past ancestries once lived. Diet, vegetation, and even climate played a large part in how we survived. Taking that knowledge into the future, what problems can we solve? Looking at the ‘impossible burger,’ we can see the popularity of a new kind of “meat.” The veggie burger is taking on a new look and not just for our health but for our planet too.

Empowering Up.

Social media and other online outlets continue to give a voice or platform for those that didn’t have one otherwise. Gen Z is speaking up, it’s a global movement that they are collectively demanding lowering the voting age and social change. This will influence design, music, and culture. An interesting fact that we learned is that orange is becoming a significant color for the youth in the U.S. As many teens marched in bright orange for ‘March for Our Lives’ gun-control protest—a color hunters typically wear to avoid being shot in the woods.

People First.

New approaches to ethnographies will open up a deeper understanding of user needs. WHY is more important than how; consumers don’t want to be sold to, they want to be heard and get involved. Brand and product can provide a platform with basic needs and let the consumer make and create the rest. Give them a sense of ownership, make it become their own

After the talk, we also asked our design teams what they think is coming up in the near future:

From our brand team,

“I wonder what will become of the sharing economy… will it really take a village? The way we gather information, purchase and communicate with each other has already started to become siloed. The speed of the internet will be instantaneous so that we’ll always have the feeling of being connected. This will cause the relationships we have with each other, brands, and products to come from a more intimate and tangible place. People will expect to have experiences that move, surprise, and delight them.” — Robin Marich

“More than ever people are craving authenticity in all aspects of their life. With younger generations growing up connected to the internet, our bullshit meters are stronger than ever. Brands that step back from trying to sell something, and tell an authentic, and human story will connect with people more than ever.” – Shea Sjoberg

From product design,

“We are definitely seeing the desire for technology to become less obtrusive; blending into your lifestyle rather than being too overt. People want the benefit of technology without the social and physical baggage..” – Brett Newman

‘’Digital feels very impersonal, it’s important to have physical and tactile interaction between the user, environment and things, to create a more human approachable experience to technology…’’ – Francois Dransart

Also, if you haven’t been to MoMA lately, there are some great exhibitions happening. This week we took a little design field trip to check out the mesmerizing surrealism master Rene Magritte ‘The Fifth Season’ Collection, and the influential American artist/furniture designer Donald Judd ‘Specific Furniture’.

We are feeling inspired! Hope you are too.