Design in 2021 – what will interior design look like?

As part of our series of design in 2021, 20.20 creative director Jon Lee looks at what will happen in interior design in the next 12 months.

What do you think 2021 will hold for interior design?

So 2021 is going to be a very interesting year. Can’t wait. As soon as we can stop thinking HANDS, FACE, SPACE.

There’s talk of a resurgence of the 1920s which feels like the positivity we need. It was the age of leisure, the age of travel. The Art Deco scene came out of this. People were flamboyant and free to travel. Some of my favourite interiors in the world came from that period. Grand Central Station (well, 1913 to be precise), Eltham Palace, the beauty of combined modern styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials. The key thing though with interior design, is that it has to be an experience. So what’s going to happen next year in the world of environments in 2021, what are we going to see and what are we to expect?

Now more than ever we desire human interaction. We have really missed that human contact. As a result, it is almost considered a premium, giving brands the perfect opportunity to elevate their experience. Because that’s what we are going to crave. It’s all very well to make an environment look good, and there have been some brilliant examples this year, but it is more than just what the interior looks like. The sum of how we are hosted, served, spoken to, what you can do there, is the experience and memory we take with us.

We are going to want to feel safe, connected and cared about, but we are also going to want to have our minds blown. The impact of an environment on your wellbeing is really important. And, it is scientifically proven that a pleasant environment has a positive impact on productivity, creativity. Most importantly, it makes you feel good. Feeling good in a space helps you get into a positive state of mind. Brands have had to quickly adapt to COVID-19 and it has not been easy for them. But when the screens come down we are going to want to have the time of our lives.

There is already a huge drive to source environmental friendly material, and we are certainly seeing some brilliant innovations out there, but we must keep pushing on this. I was lucky enough to be part of The Great Reset driven by the Purpose Disruptors, and that philosophy is certainly something we need to encourage and drive forward inside our industry.

Boulevard, by Soda Studio

What is your favourite interior design project from 2020 and why?

Even through a pandemic the work I have seen this year has been amazing, from the beautiful Garden Hotpot in Chengdu, China by MUDA Architects to Boulevard by Soda, this year’s Design Week awards winner. The awe-inspiring Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre by Steven Chilton Architects is worth mentioning too, the outside connects the theatre to its historical silk connection, it’s beautiful. And talking about beauty the Tate Britain’s decorated front by Chila Kumari Burman to celebrate Diwali is a must see. To actually go to somewhere that is shut because of an installation is brilliant and very beautiful. That’s what we need, more beauty, more uplifting places to visit. Experiences that will just make you smile.

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