For 2013, we'll continue to see an interest in materials that are sustainable and manufactured responsibly, whether it's through recycled, reclaimed or renewable materials. Barbara Haaksma, vice president of design and marketing, Milliken global floor covering division, says: "Reclaimed wood is being used in interesting ways in multiple interior surfaces, including walls, ceilings and in sculptural forms to define spaces and create a warm, inviting atmosphere."
Product Designer Andrea Ruggiero predicts what started initially as a backlash to tasteless bling and hyper-consumption is a trend that is here to stay: valuing natural materials and their fullest expression over artificial materials and over-designed interiors. This implies a continued emphasis on locally manufactured and sourced materials and products. Moreover, he says this trend is trickling into the work-environment.
Anne Marie Commandeur, designer and managing director of Stijlinstituuts Amsterdam takes it a step further. "[Consumers] look for materials that breath authenticity, display crafts aspects, are from natural resources, or use innovative technology. But we also see a careful growth of interest for the synthetic, manmade and the technical. There is a growing realization that natural materials might not be the solution for a sustainable and resilient design future."
That makes sense when you consider the truest meaning of sustainability. And the literal costs. "Continued innovation in sustainable and environmentally-responsible materials, as well as energy efficient products and services will continue to emerge and influence the architecture, design, and construction industry as a whole," says Joey Kragelund, AIA, associate vice president, HGA Architects and Engineers , citing the evolution of LED lighting and plumbing fixtures.
"The integration of technology with electronic faucets, fixtures, and accessories allows for control of flow rates, power consumption. Self-sustaining power systems and photovoltaic cells collect and store energy utilizing the restroom's lighting systems," Kragelund continues. "All the major manufactures are making strides and advancements in this area."
"Techno crafts like laser-cutting and complex constructions in 3D manufacturing and digital printing are so interesting to explore," says Commandeur. "Light and projection will be used more and more as a building and shaping construction material."
Haaksma agrees. "Texture continues to play a role for a feel good approach," she says, highlighting the inviting quality of soft surfaces, especially how they interplay with light. "Materials that reflect light in unique ways are adding new depths and intrigue to interior settings." She says we will also see other unexpected materials, such as structural cardboard and different types of composites with unique properties."