New habits, new design approaches

We need to adapt to the new reality, and we need to do it quickly.

New routines have rapidly forged habits of cleanliness and distancing. Companies have had to look over their work cultures and processes. New approaches combine the physical environment with digital channels.

Rijks, the Michelin-starred restaurant of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, created Make-Away dining. You pick up your food kit, and the chef streams you instructions. They include the table setting and a Spotify list composed by a bartender to complete the experience.

In offices everywhere, hybrids are being created to combine the best of the digital world with personal and analog meetings.
The COVID pandemic has made it clear that we can’t go on as we have. It makes us question how society is structured.

Slack, Zoom and Teams have demonstrated that school and work can be managed remotely. As the labor market broadens geographically, more talent can be attracted. Traveling across the world for a meeting no longer makes sense. Why are we constantly on the run and stressed?

A side effect is that we have a cleaner planet. Values such as justice, health and greater well-being grow in importance. We have had to rethink and reconsider what is valuable in life. Is it temporary? Even if the pandemic leaves deep scars, a few positive effects have already changed our behavior, which in turn influences any number of design fields.

Aesop is a skin, hair and body care company that builds its stores to reflect sustainable design. In direct contrast to the hamburger chains that aim to look and feel the same regardless of where they are located, Aesop shops are drawn by local designers, out of local materials, and woven into the local design language.

Instacart and Doordash are companies that sell deliveries to your door. At a time when people increasingly want instant gratification, visits to department stores are being limited. Online medical consultation and remote diagnostics are also on the rise.

As people, we have needs. We want to hug and love each other, meet friends and chat with colleagues. We seek out physical and personal experiences. It is in our nature to attend matches, concerts and design fairs together. The pandemic will not change our DNA, but it will affect our habits.

We at Horreds respond with design solutions for individual locations and increased distancing. Since 1936, we have produced our furniture here in the little Swedish factory town of Horred. This shortens transportation needs and slowly builds a sustainable society. Get in touch, and we’ll gladly tell you more.

Sources: Frame, McKinsey & Co., Aesop, Forbes.

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