Upcoming trends usually emerge at the beginning of every year. Runways showcase styles that are most popular, while décor magazines tell us what our homes might look like. For Asian Paints, the first quarter is the perfect moment to assess and interpret colour trends that will dictate the designs of homes in the coming year.
Colour has the ability to affect everything. This incredible visual tool has an impact on every aspect on us even when we don’t notice it. For close to two decades now Asian Paints, the country’s largest paint company, of which Beautifulhomes.com is a part, has produced ColourNext, presenting the company’s colour forecasts for the year. This representation is based on assessments of existing trends, and a prediction of the impact of societal changes on design and décor. Think of it as colours that represent our collective mood. But how does the Zeitgeist of a time get interpreted into something as tactile and specific as a series of colours? What sort of people are involved in such a selection process, and what makes them choose one hue over another? Allow us to give you a peek into the behind-the-scenes process of ColourNext forecasting.
Research and a lot more
The process involves six to eight months of research, exploring cultural and social shifts and interviewing experts in various fields to understand people’s mindset, choices and forms of expression. This understanding of the general mood manifests as the Colour of the Year, the dominating Colour Trends and the Wallpaper of the Year.
The research incorporates everything from social and cultural sentiments to behavioural changes and shifts. Discussions and deliberations with socio-cultural experts, social scientists, social commentators, designers, graphic artists, artists and brand consultants give insights into many different industries. This stage reveals a general idea of where things are.
After fine-tuning these concepts internally, the next stage involves an attempt to articulate the trends better. In a workshop, the design experts and artists deconstruct the different changes in taste and inclinations taking place in society. They talk about how these societal moods could be translated into a visual language. Then a final creative workshop involving architects, product and furniture designers, and people from the home décor industry helps the team figure out if these streamlined ideas have any value in the design industry. This is the crucial point at which a social trend is converted into a design trend.
The impact of 2020
Events of great magnitude have a long-term impact. And 2020 was certainly a dramatic year with far-reaching consequences. So, even conversations about 2021 must involve lessons learnt from the impact of the Covid pandemic. This once-in-a-generation event affected every sphere of our lives and altered everything from spending habits to causing ethical and moral shifts. To varying extents, we have all had physical, emotional, mental and/or financial changes this past year and of course it has impacted our worldview. The word ‘normal’ now denotes a time before the pandemic, while this period post the shock of 2020’s restrictions, inhabits a ‘new normal’.
For many, the changes of the past year have taught the value of the present. It has caused a reinterpretation of the concept of home, and what we seek within our homes. As the home becomes many things in one, it must now nourish and nurture us. Forced to look inward, metaphorically and literally, the environment we occupy has taken on a vastly different significance. These are the cues and inclinations the Colour team at Asian Paints worked with in their search for the family of colours that would represent a new era in décor, design and way of life. So what made the final list? Find out the Colour of the Year 2021.
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