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In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the focus has shifted to our homes. Prolonged periods spent at home are awakening new expectations. It is clear that quality and durability are in demand again. What used to apply primarily to fashion is now increasingly applicable to interior decorations. Items of furniture express a newly established awareness of changing circumstances and one’s own attitude and personality. In the first article of our three-part series on the Interior Trends 2021, we present “New Simplicity”.

The EVO-C Chair by Jasper Morrison is living chair history. The cantilever chair has the strength of a tubular steel chair by Marcel Breuer and will not be inferior to it in terms of durability. © Vitra, Marc Eggimann. © Vitra, Marc Eggimann.

“In complex times, things have to become SIMPLER.”

Barbara Friedrich has been observing the housing and design scene for many years. In the 2000s, her magazine Architektur&Wohnen described a ”New Simplicity”. We asked her: What distinguishes the trend of 20 years ago from today’s “New Simplicity”?

Barbara Friedrich: “At that time, it was more about form than an aesthetic statement. Minimalism and purism were the expression of a rather elitist style of living; as a counter-design to the wild design ideas of the 80s and the colourful plastic furniture à la Philippe Starck for Kartell & Co. in the 90s. I see the current ‘New Simplicity’ as an effort by designers – and industry – to make products simpler, more comprehensible, more human again. Not only, but intensified by the current Corona pandemic, many people are longing for things that make life and work, which are becoming more and more complex, easier. Products and living spaces (keyword HomeOffice) should take this into account, not with nostalgia and anti-tech romanticism, but precisely with the achievements of technology. Sustainability, cradle-to-cradle, recycling, climate protection, CO2 footprint – these are all important, indispensable arguments in product design today. And many designers and manufacturers are on the right track.”

Designjournalistin Barbara Friedrich
Barbara Friedrich, design journalist and former editor-in-chief of Architektur&Wohnen magazine. Photo: © Bärbel Miebach

At home, critical examination of the logic of growth translates into a desire for simplicity. This increases the demand for timeless, purist statement pieces and multi-generational furniture. The furnishings are characterised by clear lines and a timeless objectivity. They should be flexible, while remaining appealing in the years to come. The emphasis is on formal reduction and functionality without sacrificing atmospheric and sensual qualities. Today, people would rather save a little longer and opt for furnishings that promise longer-lasting pleasure as life-long companions. This creates order and space.

“Colour is one of my greatest passions”

Photo Fatboy © Fatboy
Designerin Carole Baijings
Designer Carole Baijings. Photo: © Koos Breukel

”Colour is one of my greatest passions,” explains Carole Beijings. ”I am always inspired by the juxtaposition of colours we see in nature. I like to design collections with several colour choices, so there’s always one that best suits a particular interior.”

Dutch designer Carole Baijings brings colour into the home with a brand-new interpretation of FATBOY’s iconic beanbag. The Edition Original Slim is just as comfortable as the Fatboy Original beanbag, but has a smaller format that fits everywhere. Lounging deluxe.

Creating free spaces and expressing one’s own personality

Fewer, but deliberately selected eye-catchers bring calm into the home. It is all about creating free space and at the same time expressing your personality within your own four walls. This creates space for individual heirlooms, custom-made products and configurable, modular furniture that can be designed to suit your wishes in terms of colour, shape and materials.

The ICONIC AWARDS: Innovative Interior annually honour outstandingly designed products in the interior design industry and communicate the industry’s quality and trends. The following submissions are exemplary for the New Simplicity trend:

Sessel ADELL von ARPER
Adell by Arper. Foto: © Arper Spa, Lievore + Altherr Désile Park, Photo: Arper.
Gira Cube Bewegungsmelder
Gira Cube by Gira Giersiepen. Photo: © Gira Giersiepen GmbH & Co. KG.
LavaPura Duschtoilette
LavaPura by Hansgrohe. Photo: © Hansgrohe SE, Phoenix Design GmbH + Co. KG
NikolaTesla Fit by Elica. Photo: © Elica S.p.A.
RainButton Bedienelemente für die Dusche
Rainbutton by Hansgrohe. Photo: © Hansgrohe SE, Phoenix Design GmbH + Co. KG.
Stoccolma Leuchte
Stoccolma by OliveLab. Photo: © OliveLab s.r.l.
Garderobe genius77
genius77 by Corunicum. Photo: © Corunicum.
Regal Tojo-solo
Tojo-solo by Tojo Möbel GmbH. Photo: © Tojo Möbel GmbH

Carole Baijings and Barbara Friedrich are members of the jury of the ICONIC AWARDS: Innovative Interior. Texts and images of this article are partly taken from the ICONIC Design Special 2021 “Interiors, Innovation, Inspiration” (in German), published as an insert in the January issue of FAZ magazine.

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