World leading engineered surfaces manufacturer shares three trends influencing next-generation decorative surfaces
For years, interior surface designers have drawn inspiration from their environments in order to create delightful and innovative engineered surfacing materials specified in architectural spaces. From familiar and traditional to futuristic and contemporary, design inspiration can be found all around structures, elements, and styles that surround us every day.
Committed to developing beautiful, high-performing products that meet the needs of today’s market, the team of designers at Wilsonart spends hundreds of hours each year researching and assessing the latest material, fashion, architecture, color, industry, and societal trends that influence the next wave of surface design and innovation.
As a company, we differentiate ourselves by utilizing a ‘big picture’ research and development process that allows Wilsonart to look beyond today’s surface needs, and instead, looks towards the future of surfaces. Ultimately, this approach allows us to create products that can help a designer or architect tell their unique story—a complete story—for the spaces they materialize.
- Gwen Petter, Director of Design at Wilsonart.
Sharing their most recent findings with us, Petter reveals three important trends influencing the next generation of decorative surfaces.
Trend #1 – Localism
Localism is rooted in the “brand of me” societal trend, where individuals crave personalization and the curation of their spaces to celebrate what is unique to them but goes a step further by bringing individuals with shared interests together to celebrate what is unique to that area. These self-curated communities source local art, culture, materials, and colors to tell their own stories. From restaurants and hotels to hospitals and schools, more businesses and brands are adopting this concept of Localism by adding design elements that embrace the unique identities of their local community.
Whether a space is made up of materials and colors found in the surrounding landscapes or custom signage and fixtures inspired by local cultural influences, Localism is a simple and effective technique used to bolster a brand and build connections among a community. Through Wilsonart’s Digital Print Studio, designers and architects can create a completely customized laminate for countertops, walls, and signage, or select from nearly 500 additional curated designs, to help make every space unique.
Trend #2 – Experiences
Recent research confirms that more people, especially Millennials, are collecting experiences instead of things because experiences help us to live in the moment. As more people see the value of collecting experiences, brick-and-mortars are working to meet this growing need by creating genuine, immersive events and activities to help attract customers.
Retailers, hotels, and restaurants are focusing on one-of-a-kind experiences that play to “emotional” loyalty instead of “transactional” loyalty. These companies do so by captivating our senses through our surroundings, and the materials that make up those surroundings can help heighten the experience. Wilsonart’s wide variety of new surface options, accommodate any brand in any space and can help enhance wayfinding, provide practical function, and add creative flourish and flair for lasting impressions.
Trend #3 – Wellness
In a hyperactive, hyper-connected society saturated with ads, noise, and media, people are finding their happiness and comfort in wellness solutions that offer much-needed respite. Health and wellness is no longer just a focus in the home, but also a part of many workplace wellness strategies to help prevent diseases, improve productivity and boost employee satisfaction. Cognizant companies are increasingly focused on designing adaptable and comfortable environments that aid in their ability to recruit, sustain and retain top talent. In fact, according to an in-depth report by Zion Market Research, the corporate wellness market is estimated to increase to $8.6 million by 2025.
Beyond workplaces, hospitals, schools, and service industries are transforming their environments by incorporating tactile surfaces and biophilic design to help reduce stress, foster collaboration and promote renewal. A number of texture-enhanced surface materials and nature-inspired collections released by Wilsonart in the last year support this ever-growing trend to create familiar home-like environments outside of the home.