Asked about the latest living trends – as is often the case in spring after visiting a furniture fair or viewing current housing projects – one is almost tempted to say: “Do as you like!” As if it would be that easy!! No, it is definitely not randomness producing strange effects, there rather seems to prevail an unbridled lust for living, for being at home, for shaping one’s own small world. Is this down to the low interest rates, agitated world politics or the unpleasant weather? Or is a faint longing for stability, established and familiar things emerging in our digitalised world? The only thing that is new is, after all, the fact that there actually isn’t anything new! No new forms of living, no new materials, colours or shapes – instead we see strangely familiar things remixed. Will there be a post-post-modernism after the reanimation of the frequently invoked mid-centuries? Heaven forbid! On the other hand, the increased interest in living, which comes along with the pride in one’s own four walls, which is to an increasing extent reflected in sharing, posting and blogging via digital media, also has a delightful aspect! The intensive dealing with design could eventually lead to informed and demanding clients, of whom there are still too few, and with whom architects and interior designers could implement remarkable, individual housing projects. When doing research for this housing issue, we have made many such finds worldwide: whether postmodern family apartment in Greece, introverted townhouse in Sweden, soaring infill in Spain, brick residential cube in Argentina, black-and-white bungalow and mystic industrial loft in Belgium or mini apartment in Berlin – they are all far from run-of-the-mill mainstream! Since new as well as tried and tested products are advantageous for the implementation of good ideas, we show you what caught our attention at the spring trade fairs: furniture (starting on page 30), floor coverings (as from page 64) and home textiles (starting on page 72)! Enjoy the inspiration!
Petra Stephan, Dipl.-Ing.