Fjord Trends organically bubble up from our designers and creatives around the globe, and tell a story of people and their relationships with the planet, technology, brands, and each other. Each trend stands on its own, but a natural connection across the set always becomes clear. Last year’s trends spoke to how people and businesses had to chart new territories as the shock of the pandemic subsided. This year, the dominant theme is about the need to respond to changes in all relationships—the threads that form the new fabric of life.
The choices we make next might impact our world and its structure in more ways than we can imagine, and it all points to shifts in people’s relationships—with colleagues, brands, society, places, and with those they care about. People are also coming face-to-face with the impact they’re having on the planet, and finally accepting they cannot go on behaving as though people were separate from nature. People’s growing sense of agency is manifesting as a shift in their relationship with work, which is fueling the rise of side-hustles and kitchen table businesses. This independence is putting pressure on organizations to show people the value they can get from being part of a collective. Supply chain challenges and a growing urgency to live more sustainably are changing people’s relationship with materialism, forcing them to adjust their thinking. The metaverse is providing a new place to go, create and have experiences with others in real time. While its exact form is not fixed, we believe it’s the setting for a cultural evolution that will alter relationships between people and brands. Whether in the metaverse or the physical world, what we choose to buy will increasingly be determined by brands’ ability to provide the right answers in the right way and at the right time. Organizations’ responses to these shifts must be wrapped up in care. As a practice, design can be used to help companies reach beyond showing empathy and move towards expressing care for all—not just the few. We’ve had two years of disruption to the systems on which society is run, and it’s taking its toll. There are challenging times ahead, but we believe there are also great opportunities to design new systems, and new ways of being. We should define how we—collectively and individually—consciously stitch together positive relationships to create a fabric of life that’s good for people and the planet