Creative Design Trends

January 27, 2016

Lauren Hayley Coetzee, Black Snow Group’s own senior designer, comments on the 2015 that was and the 2016 to come:

The raw, immense and vast creative talent in the South African market never ceases to inspire me, in all artistic footings. From the plethora of artisans to the space availability for creatives to be, well, creative – our local home-grown market is on an international scale far beyond our conception.

2015 brought an explosion of trends which will carry into 2016 without a doubt. Simplicity, geometric symbolism and experimental colours were on the forefront. I’m anticipating, with great hope, that we can continue making use of these basic design tools as they carry much weight and impact without overwhelming the eye.  However, one of the most surprising trends was a continuation of retro “designspiration” from the vintage 50s, 60s and 70s and the more colourful 80s and 90s. The SA market saw an influx of this now non-dated look in all forms of design, from apparel and photography to textiles but, more particularly, within the walls of SA homes. Interior design became the forefront to showcase your need for some colour or artistic celebration and the support of local art was quite extraordinary.  We can all give ourselves a pat on the back for this brave movement.

Personally, I am thrilled at the development of community precincts which allow for the collaboration, expansion and flourishing of small, independent creative companies and creators under one roof. The most notable of these is the ever evolving Maboneng precinct in Johannesburg. Not only are the available spaces for expression unique, but you only need to step into one of the boutiques, galleries or restaurants to know where the current trends are sitting. It’s a molded space where urban rejuvenation and inspired minds are generating extraordinary things.  And all over the country, similar concepts are ensuring that the continuation of artistic manifestation is possible and readily available.  The Watershed & Woodstock Foundry (Cape Town) and the Station Drive Precinct (Durban) are only the beginning roots of more to come. South Africans have a sui generis passion for the arts which will safeguard the progress of such projects.

The expression of art and its beautiful freedom to do so is so unique. SA hosts its own distinctive trends, ahead of those brought in from the ponds abroad. It becomes some-what problematic, in the best way possible, to distinguish which direction the design world, specifically within SA, will take in 2016 due to the surplus of influences and ideas. But isn’t that exciting? We can prepare for an indulgence of the senses and be more than inspired for the year ahead, even if Rose Quartz is one the Pantone colours of the year.