In a previous professional life, I spent many hours forecasting fashion trends. For me, this is still an integral part of what I do as a designer. This week I’ve been asked to submit my ideas for 2010 landscape design trends for use in various ways (more on that at a later date). Trendspotting might seem paradoxical to gardening–with its self image of dirty wellies and hands in the soil, but it’s not.
An accurate and viable trend forecast is not something you just pull out of your hat. Forecasting is research based and takes knowledge and just more than a little bit of intuition. A wide variety of influential sources are used to make trend predictions: business and consumer trends, pop culture, lifestyle trends, what’s happening in other design disciplines, books people are reading, movies they are watching, etc., etc., etc.
The example below is not a trend prediction, but these photos collected over the last year in my ‘idea’ file point in a direction that shows the trajectory of a possibly emerging trend for garden furniture and accessories. The illustrations show one small idea in what could become part of a larger trend of looking to nature to inspire garden accessories and furniture.
The next photo is known as ‘The Bird’s Nest’ and was not necessarily inspired by a real nest but it is its visual cousin and was seen by billions of people as part of the 2008 Olympics. Hmmm. Architecture and sports influencing garden trends?
And lastly, the photo below is on the back cover of the current issue of Garden Design–note the name of the furniture- New Bird’s Nest…
Often emerging trends are alien looking. We’re not ready for that yet. Think about all of the times you have seen someone wearing something and you think to yourself ‘I would never…’ and then a year later you’re buying it as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. That happened because the arc of the trend (sometimes years long) reached your market.
Below is a well researched trend report on broad garden trends for 2010 from The Garden Media Group. Take a look and use your own powers of observation to connect the garden trend dots.