5 big trends for the future

This post is an addition to a post I read on Co.Exist some time ago. In this post, Sarah Krasley talks about 5 cutting edge trends that will (according to her), change the way we design products. First of all I want to share the post with you because it’s a great post, but secondly, all of these trends are directly related with sustainability! If you look at the article this way, the big trend (and let’s hope it’s more than just a trend) for the future is sustainability.

You can read the post here, I’d like to discuss the 5 trends with a focus on sustainability.

1. Circular economy

A topic I’ve been working on with Plan C the last year is product-service systems, or selling the use of a product (as a service) instead of simply selling the product. My collegue Peter made the infographic below that shows the different types of Product-Service Systems and their environmental potential.


2. A connection between producer and consumer

Local production leads to a better connection between buyer and seller. In a sustainable economy, based on stuff like the new materialism, being connected with what you buy matters greatly. The strongest way to connect with what you buy is to connect with the maker of that product.

3. Sustainable materials

I don’t think I need to explain how sustainable materials can be used in sustainable products.

4. Design at the molecular level

One of the most interesting trends in sustainable industrial design (in my opinion) is biomimicry (copying nature and evolution in design). A lot of the things copied from nature have to be applied on a molecular level.

5. More information means better decisions

Open source is essential when talking about better information on the full chain and life cycle of a product. Transparency is more than just a hype. It will turn out to be essential for connecting with your customers (see point 2). Check also this previous post on open-innovation.


About leyssensjan

Jan Leyssens is a designer and entrepreneur who strongly believes you can’t turn sustainability into a positive story if your main focus is on negative impact. When designing, he is always looking for the overlap between activism and entrepreneurship, technology and community. His main expertise lies in strategic business model development, Circular Economy, the makermovement, and social innovation. With a background in Industrial Design, Jan quickly shifted his focus towards business design and using the design process in strategic management. Jan is the father of two kids and founder & CEO of Regenerative Design, co-founder of Full Circle, ImpactBoost, and the Circular Design map, podcaster, storyteller, and changemaker.

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