Design Indaba – Friday – Li Edelkoort

Second to last speaker on Friday was Li Edelkoort – trendforecaster.

A powerful presence on stage.

She spoke around a slide show for a trend forecast she made five years ago, outlining the main themes and commenting on how relevant they still are.

Throughout, she spoke of tensions between seeming opposites, and their resolution – masculine/feminine, old/young, health/danger, individual/group, work/leisure. She felt that where some of these have been exaggerated, we will now tend to explore areas where they overlap, or to feel free to explore both extremes.

For example – people would become simultaneously more serious about health – and more likely to take risks and indulge in risky behavior. Be careful about the quality of the food they eat – but risk more unusual foods, more luxury. Think of food not so much as sustenance and fuel, but as entertainment, snacking.

The images she showed were intriguing, and she is clearly a original and brave thinker. But I found the talk rather disappointing. Not so much because she was not making fresh forecasts, as that so little seemed to apply to my reality. It made me aware of that widening gulf between first and third worlds.

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