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How to Design a Better Future: Three Interior Mega Trends for the Next 20 Years

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What’s up, Design Baddies?

As much as we love to study and dissect existing classic and trendy interior design styles on this site, we are even more excited about the future of design, and the visual styles that are yet to emerge in the coming years.

While it is true that no one knows exactly what will happen in the future, there are some exciting macro trends that we can already see starting to unfold.

Two important visual trends we see emerging in the long term are: a) the move towards more organic and naturalistic interior architectural forms (biophilic and biomimicry design), and b) the popularity of more dynamic and fluid architecture (parametric design).

Think along the lines of Bucky Fuller meets the incredible buildings and interiors of star architect, “Queen of the Curve” Zaha Hadid.


How New Design ‘Styles’ Emerge

When thinking about the interiors of the future it makes sense to ask what will change in terms of how interiors are planned and constructed. Technological advancement makes new types of design possible, open the way for new and more avant-garde styles.

One important ways that new styles emerge is through developments in materials and construction methods. As new materials, processes and techniques for creating the buildings and the interiors of the future become available, there will continue to be evolution in terms of form, function and also style.

A second way new styles will likely emerge is through the continuing use of AI in design and architecture. From concept creation through to more data-driven predictions which can help designers execute better, artificial intelligence has a lot to contribute to the field; and we are only getting started.


Over the last decade we have already seen some important developments which foreshadow changes to follow in the interior design industry. Curious as to what these are? Keep reading!


Three Big Mega Trends: Biophilic, Biomimicry and Parametric Design


As the world becomes increasingly focused on sustainability and designers on biomimicry, the field of interior design is following architecture and beginning to shift towards more organic and parametric design techniques.

These approaches, which take inspiration from the natural world or use complex algorithms to create custom designs, offer a range of benefits for both the environment and the people who inhabit the spaces they create.

In this article, we’ll explore the key characteristics and considerations of parametric and organic architecture and design, and discuss how some specific emerging techniques may be used to shape the interiors we create in the near future.


Key Sustainability Concerns Driving the Move to Biophilic Design:

There are several key sustainability concerns in architecture, design, and the building industry which have concerned many designers, architects and engineers and which many are eager to change:

  1. Energy consumption: Buildings are responsible for a significant portion of global energy consumption, so reducing the energy demands of buildings is a major sustainability concern.
  2. Water usage: Water scarcity is a growing issue, and designing buildings that minimize water usage can help to conserve this valuable resource.
  3. Materials and waste: The building industry generates a significant amount of waste, so using sustainable materials and minimizing construction waste is important.
  4. Indoor environmental quality: The quality of the air, lighting, and acoustics inside a building can have a major impact on the health and well-being of the occupants.
  5. Adaptability and resilience: Climate change is leading to more extreme weather events, so it is important to design buildings that are able to withstand these events and adapt to changing conditions.
  6. Land use and transportation: The location and design of a building can have a significant impact on land use and transportation patterns, so designing buildings that minimize their impact on the environment is important.

The building industry has a major impact on the environment, and it is increasingly important for the industry to shift towards more sustainable methods. This is because buildings consume a significant amount of energy, water, and materials, and they also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and waste.

By making changes to reduce their environmental impact, buildings can help to conserve resources, reduce pollution, and mitigate the effects of climate change. Additionally, sustainable building practices can benefit the health and well-being of the people who live and work in the buildings, as well as the wider community.

Therefore, it is extremely important for the building industry to make changes and adopt more sustainable methods in order to create a more sustainable and livable future for all. Interior designers and architects play an important role in this shift.


Mega Trend 1: Biophilic Design in Architecture and Interiors

The interest in biophilic interior design has been growing noticeably in the last couple of years. If you’re not familiar with it, the biophilic trend in interior design involves incorporating elements of nature into the design of a space in order to create a more harmonious and healthy environment.

This can include things like incorporating plant systems, water features, natural materials, and natural light into the design, as well as including elements that mimic natural patterns and shapes.

The goal of biophilic design is to create a space that feels more connected to the natural world and that fosters a sense of well-being. Research has actually shown that biophilic design can have a number of benefits, including reducing stress, improving cognitive function, and increasing productivity. As such, biophilic design is becoming increasingly popular in a variety of settings, including homes, offices, and public spaces. We’re here for it!


Mega Trend 2: Biomimicry in Architecture and Design

Biomimicry in architecture and interior design involves taking inspiration from the natural world and applying the principles and functions found in nature to the design of buildings and interiors, not unlike the traditional Japanese design aesthetic.

This inspiration can translate to designing buildings to mimic the shapes and forms of natural structures, or perhaps incorporating features that mimic natural processes and functions.

For example, a building might be designed to imitate the way a termite mound regulates temperature, or to have a roof that functions like a leaf by capturing rainwater and generating solar power.


Biomimicry has the potential to become a trend in architecture and interior design because it offers a number of benefits. By taking inspiration from nature, designers can create buildings and interiors that are more sustainable, efficient, and adaptable.

Biomimicry can also help to create a sense of connection to the natural world, which can be especially important in urban environments where people may have limited access to nature. Additionally, biomimicry can be a source of inspiration and innovation for designers, leading to the development of new and creative design solutions.


Mega Trend 3: Parametric Design Methods


What is parametric interior architecture and design?


Parametric design is a design approach that involves the use of algorithms and computational tools to create complex, dynamic, and adaptable designs. In the field of interior architecture and design, parametric design can be used to create custom, data-driven designs that are tailored to specific spaces, needs, and contexts.

One of the key benefits of parametric design is its ability to generate a wide range of design options and variations quickly and efficiently. This makes it possible for designers to explore and test different design ideas and concepts, and to quickly iterate and refine their designs based on feedback and data.


Parametric design can also be used to create designs that are responsive and adaptable to changing conditions or needs. For example, a parametrically designed interior space might be able to adjust its layout or configuration based on the number of people present, the time of day, or other factors.

Overall, parametric design has the potential to bring a new level of flexibility, efficiency, and customization to the field of interior architecture and design.


We wondered about how parametric design is achieved in architecture and what methods are usually used in its construction and assembly. Two important construction technologies affecting this type of design are 3D printing and laser cutting CNC machines. It occurs to us that with the likely improvement in 3D printing technology for use in architecture, that its use in interior design will follow.


A Note on 3D Printing for Organic Structures and Forms

An exciting thought experiment is the idea of using more environmentally-friendly materials in concert with 3D printing methods. These materials could include either old-world building materials like adobe mud or cutting edge bioplastics, but either way they would be superior to current methods.

These more sustainable building materials could then be applied to biomimicry adaptations which produce more naturalistic and biophilic designs. Organic 3D printing could be used to create structures and objects that mimic the shapes and forms of living organisms.


This technology has the potential to revolutionize the field of interior design by allowing designers to create custom, one-of-a-kind pieces that are not limited by the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes.

For example, organic 3D printing could be used to create intricate, biomorphic furniture and decorative elements that would be difficult or impossible to produce using traditional manufacturing techniques. It could also be used to create bespoke, functional objects such as lighting fixtures or planters that are tailored to specific spaces and needs.


Besides its potential for creating unique, custom pieces, organic 3D printing could also help to reduce waste and improve sustainability in the interior design industry. Because the objects produced by organic 3D printers are built up layer by layer, it is possible to create them with minimal material usage, which could help to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing process.

As you can see, organic 3D printing really has the potential to bring a new level of creativity and customization to the field of interior design, while also helping to make the design process ever more sustainable and efficient.


How 3D Printing Techniques Complement Biophilic and Sustainable Design

3D printing has the potential to be a highly sustainable technology, particularly when combined with the principles of sustainable design. Three important ways are by reducing waste, encouraging production of organic, local materials and promoting adaptive reuse.

One way that 3D printing can be used sustainably in architecture and interiors is by reducing the amount of material waste that is generated during the construction process. Because 3D printers build objects layer by layer, it is possible to create complex shapes and structures with minimal material usage, which can help to minimize waste and reduce the environmental impact of the building process.


Another way that 3D printing can be used sustainably is by enabling the production of custom, locally sourced materials. For example, it might be possible to use 3D printing techniques to create building materials using locally available resources, such as recycled plastic or natural fibers.

This could help to reduce the environmental impact of transportation and material extraction, and promote the use of local, sustainable resources.


Finally, 3D printing can also be used to create modular and adaptable designs that can be easily modified or repurposed over time. This could help to extend the lifespan of buildings and interiors, and reduce the need for frequent renovations or replacements, which can be resource-intensive and environmentally damaging.

Overall, the combination of 3D printing and sustainable design has the potential to create more efficient, resilient, and environmentally friendly buildings and interiors.


Combining 3D Printing with Parametric Design Techniques


3D printing and parametric design are both technologies that are based on the use of algorithms and computational tools to create complex, dynamic, and adaptable designs. When combined, these technologies can be used to create highly customized, data-driven designs that are tailored to specific spaces, needs, and contexts.

One way that 3D printing can be used in combination with parametric design is by creating designs that are responsive and adaptable to changing conditions or needs. For example, when a parametrically designed interior space adjusts its layout or configuration 3D printing could then be used to quickly and efficiently produce the custom elements or structures required to support this adaptability.


Another way that these technologies can be combined is by using parametric design to generate a range of design options and variations, which can then be evaluated and tested using 3D printing. This can help designers to explore and refine their ideas in a fast and efficient manner, and to quickly iterate on their designs based on feedback and data.

Exciting, isn’t it? The combination of 3D printing and parametric design has the potential to bring a new level of customization, flexibility, and efficiency to the fields of architecture and interior design.


Benefits of Parametric Architecture and Design

Parametric interior architectural detailing is a design approach that allows for a high level of customization and can result in unique, visually striking designs.

While parametric architecture is dynamic and exciting in the larger architectural context, we wondered if there are actually any benefits to parametric interior architectural detailing or is it always simply excessive decoration?

Here’s what we learned:

Some of the potential benefits of parametric interior architectural detailing are listed here:

  1. Customization: Because parametric design allows for a high level of customization, it can be used to create unique and distinct designs that reflect the specific needs and preferences of a client.
  2. Functionality: In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, parametric designs can also be functional. For example, a parametric design could be used to create an efficient and effective layout for a retail store.
  3. Sustainability: Parametric design can be used to optimize the use of materials, which can help to reduce waste and improve the sustainability of a project.

That being said, parametric interior architectural detailing is not necessarily always necessary or beneficial. It can be a useful tool in certain situations, but it is not always the best approach, and at this point in time is often more expensive than traditional design methods.

It is important to carefully consider the specific needs and goals of a project and choose the design approach that is most appropriate for your needs and the needs of your end user.


Drawbacks to Parametric Design for Interiors

Parametric design techniques can be powerful tools for interior designers. However, there are also some drawbacks to using these techniques.

-One drawback is that parametric design can be complex and difficult to understand for those without a background in programming or mathematics.

-Additionally, parametric designs can be highly technical and may lack the creativity and personal touch that is often desired in interior design.

-Finally, parametric design may not be suitable for all types of projects, and may be more appropriate for certain types of spaces or design challenges.


Benefits of Organic Design Techniques for Interior Design

In organic interior design, natural materials such as wood, stone, and textiles are often used to create a connection to nature. These materials can be used in a variety of ways, such as for flooring, walls, and furniture. Organic shapes, such as those found in nature, are also commonly used in organic design, as well as curved lines and flowing forms. These shapes and forms can be incorporated into the architecture of the space, as well as into the design of furniture and decor.

Additionally, organic interior design often incorporates elements such as plants, water features, and natural light to create a sense of connection to the natural environment. Color schemes are often inspired by nature, using earthy tones and natural hues. These materials and techniques are used to create a cohesive and harmonious space that feels warm, inviting, and in tune with nature.


The benefits of using organic design techniques in interior design are quite numerous and include:

Creativity: Organic design allows for greater freedom and creativity in design, as it is not limited by mathematical equations or technical constraints.

Connection to nature: Organic design can create a sense of connection to nature and the environment, which can have a positive impact on mental and physical well-being.

Flexibility: Organic design is adaptable and can be applied to a wide range of spaces and design challenges, from residential to commercial interiors.

Aesthetics: Organic design can create visually interesting and unique spaces that are harmonious and pleasing to the eye.

Functionality: Organic design often results in spaces that are highly functional and efficient, as it takes into account the flow and movement of people, as well as the natural light, and ventilation.

Personal touch: Organic design often reflects the personal style and preferences of the designer, and can create a sense of warmth and intimacy that is often lacking in more technical or stylized designs.


Drawbacks to Organic Design Methods for Interior Design

While organic interior design can be beautiful and create a sense of connection to nature, there are also some drawbacks to using organic techniques for interior designers. One drawback is that organic design can be difficult to achieve consistency and uniformity, as it relies on natural forms and shapes that can be unpredictable. Also, organic design can be more expensive, as natural materials such as wood and stone tend to be more costly than synthetic alternatives.

The use of natural materials may come with the need for more maintenance and care, which can be time-consuming and costly. Organic design may also require more expertise and skill to execute effectively, as it relies on a deep understanding of natural forms and shapes. Finally, organic design may not be suitable for all types of spaces or design challenges, and may be more appropriate for certain types of projects or clients.


Organic vs Biophilic Design: What’s the Difference?

If you’re wondering about the differences between organic and biophilic design methods, you’re not alone. We had the same question. The bottom line is that organic design and biophilic design are both inspired by nature, but they have some distinct differences.

Organic design is recognized by its use of natural forms and shapes, such as those found in nature, as inspiration for design. It often incorporates materials such as wood, stone, and textiles and creates a sense of connection to nature through the use of natural light, plants, and water features. The focus is on creating a cohesive and harmonious space that feels warm, inviting, and in tune with nature.

Biophilic design, on the other hand, is a design approach that incorporates elements of nature, such as plants, natural light, and natural materials, into the built environment. The goal is to create spaces that foster a sense of connection to nature and improve the physical and mental well-being of the people who use them. Biophilic design often incorporates elements such as access to natural light, natural ventilation, natural materials and greenery to create a sense of connection to the natural environment.

In summary, organic design is a design style that is inspired by natural forms and shapes, while biophilic design is a design approach that incorporates elements of nature into the built environment with the goal of improving well-being.


Parametric vs Organic Architecture: What’s the Difference?

Another common question is concerning organic and parametric architecture and what the difference is, especially in terms of the techniques and materials typically used to construct them.

It turns out that the one might utilize a more traditional way of building while the other is cutting edge and require access to the latest building technologies.


Parametric Design

Keep in mind that parametric architecture is a design approach that uses computer algorithms to create custom, complex geometric shapes and patterns. As such it is often characterized by precise, mathematically-defined forms and a high level of customization.

In terms of techniques and materials used, parametric architecture tends to rely more on computer-aided design (CAD) and digital fabrication techniques, such as 3D printing and CNC milling. It may also make use of materials such as steel, concrete, and glass, which are more commonly associated with modernist architecture.


Organic Design

Organic architecture, on the other hand, is an architectural style that seeks to harmonize with the natural environment. It is characterized by the use of natural materials, such as wood and stone, and by the use of forms and shapes that are inspired by nature.

Organic architecture tends to rely more on traditional building techniques and materials, such as wood framing and stone masonry. It may also make use of materials that are more closely connected to nature, such as straw bales, clay, and earthen plaster.

To sum it up, the main difference between parametric and organic architecture lies in their approach to design. Parametric architecture tends to be more focused on precision and customization, while organic architecture is more focused on harmonizing with the natural environment and making use of natural materials. Thus, depending on your unique situation and what is available to you, you might be more predisposed to using one over the other.


In Conclusion

Both parametric and organic design methods can be valuable tools for interior designers looking to create more interesting, sustainable, and dynamic spaces.

Parametric design techniques can offer precision and technical efficiency, allowing for the generation of highly customized designs that can be adapted to specific design challenges. Organic design techniques, on the other hand, can offer greater freedom and creativity, allowing designers to create spaces that are in tune with nature and that evoke a sense of warmth and intimacy.

When used in combination, these two approaches can offer a balance of technical proficiency and creative expression, leading to spaces that are both highly functional and visually striking. Additionally, both parametric and organic design techniques can be used to create spaces that are more sustainable, by taking into account factors such as natural light and ventilation, as well as the use of natural materials.

As you can see, parametric and organic design methods can offer interior designers a powerful set of tools for creating spaces that are both innovative and in harmony with the natural environment.


Interior designers should also consider creating more biophilic interiors, as it can have a positive impact on both physical and mental well-being.

Biophilic design incorporates elements of nature, such as plants, natural light, and natural materials, into the built environment. By doing so, it can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase productivity. Biophilic design also helps to create spaces that are visually interesting and unique, and that foster a sense of connection to the natural environment.


To wrap up, as an interior designer, it is essential to be open to new design techniques and methodologies, and not to limit oneself to a single approach. Biophilic, organic, parametric, and 3D printed design techniques are all powerful tools that can help create more holistic and dynamic designs.

Biophilic design can create spaces that foster a sense of connection to nature, improve well-being and reduce stress. Organic design offers greater freedom and creativity, resulting in spaces that are visually interesting and unique.

Parametric design allows for precision and technical efficiency, generating highly customized designs that can be adapted to specific design challenges.

And 3D printing technology can help to create sustainable, efficient and cost-effective solutions. By incorporating these different design techniques, interior designers can create spaces that are not only beautiful but also improve the overall well-being of the people who use them.


Therefore, it is crucial to be open to new and innovative approaches, and to not be afraid to experiment with different methods and materials, in order to create truly dynamic and sustainable designs.

Biophilic design in particular often results in spaces that are more energy-efficient and sustainable, as it takes into account factors such as natural light and ventilation. Thus, incorporating biophilic design elements can help create spaces that are not only beautiful but also improve the overall well-being of the people who use them.

Sounds like a win-win to us!

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