Material Trends for Navigating the Pandemic / #1: Renewed Perspectives

June 15, 2020

The pandemic has caused us to reevaluate what it might mean to design for a world that will never be quite the same, especially when it comes to how we gather in and use public spaces, like restaurants and retail stores.

Design has long been a community driven by passion, artistry, joy, invention, and of course, the details. In this new 4-week series, “Material Trends for Navigating the Pandemic,” our team of designers will share their perspective through weekly posts forecasting compelling ideas that will breakthrough paired with solutions to inspire.

In a script that’s rewritten each day, there are a few constants: we’ll need to look forward, to adapt, and to take nothing for granted. Let’s dive in.

Trend #1: Renewed Perspectives

Summer is here. We’re awakened and renewed with the smell of flowers, the sun shining, and the sounds of nature. We’ve gained a new respect for our environment and moments of tranquility that our time outside has given us.

We’ve seen the positive impact isolation has made on our environment – from air quality to plant and animal life. As businesses re-open there is an excitement to return to shopping, dining, and entertainment. Connecting back to these elements that were often the highlight of our days will ease the transition and reset our minds. Ultimately, we’re all trying to gain perspective and establish a new balance in our lives.

Warm neutrals paired with soft pastels will provide a feminine touch to the environment. Reflections of nature will be seen in textures, materiality, scent, and sound – creating an immersive experience that eases our anxieties. Integrated lighting that floods the space will feel natural and comforting. Spaces will not only welcome you in, but they’ll also invite you to stay and absorb your environment. Simple, conversational communication will provide that next level of human interaction that we’ve all desired.



Look & Feel

How to Activate

1. Amplify the natural light in your space. Consider larger windows or doors, faux skylights, and reflective materials placed strategically to reflect and refract light.

  • Coelux Faux skylights offer a flexible and cost efficient solution to inject your space with a realistic reproduction of natural sunlight.
  • Jockimo Artfully refract light with a colored mirror.

2. Incorporate natural elements to add warmth, texture, and a bit of earthiness. Focus on key customer experience moments.

3. Acoustics, paired with an immersive sound experience, will help to soothe and transport.

  • Baux  3D acoustical wall panels that are fun, colorful, and simple to install.
  • Casalis Moveable and flexible acoustical room dividers that come in earthy but vibrant colors.
  • Mood Media Create a custom sound to set the perfect mood.

Next week, we’ll explore Trend #2 Brutalist Beauty (think pristine, tech-driven, and orderly) and the solutions that bring this trend to life.