Key takeaways from the first day of Frame Awards 2020

Amsterdam – We deliberated category winners across sectors with our global jury of spatial design experts, talked and workshopped with some of the best and brightest in the industry, explored the next space on film with IDFA and announced Soft Bodies, HOK and Workplace Solutions as the three studios that will go on to have prototypes developed for The Agile Workplace 2.0, our design challenge with Orgatec. This just scratches the surface of day one of Frame Awards 2020, which was jam-packed with insights, innovation-thinking and interpersonal connection.

Listening in at the Pedrali Stage, we learned from our New Voices speakers on the topics of spatial design’s intersection with sexuality, semiotic analysis’ role in the integration of immersive technologies and how architects can borrow from the UX playbook. At the Chemetal Stage, D/Dock held two intimate ‘campfire’ workshops with the prodding questions: Why do we try to pretend that design isn’t first and foremost a commercial business? And, is a drive towards individual expression and authorship compatible with truly serving client needs? Talks at the Iris Ceramica Group Stage outlined the future of surfaces that can create healthier habits, and spaces that promote comfort, authenticity and inspiration.

Below, find our day one takeaways from the main ASB Glassfloor Stage. But keep in mind that this is just the beginning: tomorrow is the climax of Frame Awards – the loaded day two programme leads up to our awards ceremony, where we will celebrate the designers and studios practicing at the forefront of spatial design.

HOLISTIC HOSPITALITY

The takeaway: Hospitality must offer space for contemplation

As SLOW cofounder Claus Sendlinger put it during his talk A place for purpose: designing slow: ‘Today’s consumers are looking for purpose. They’re not interested in design and architecture, but in happiness, health and real relationships.’ Sendlinger explained the importance of designing spaces that connect people to a higher purpose, especially in an era when time, distance and our attention spans are increasingly compressed. It’s a strategy he believes will keep hospitality relevant.

Today’s consumers are looking for purpose

FLEXIBLE FUNCTIONALITY

The takeaway: Big companies are redefining flex space

What does big business want from co-working? WeWork, for example, is redesigning the corporate workplace, trusted by major brands to appoint and manage their offices. Scott Rominger, creative director at the co-working company stated that ‘The future of work is changing. Global companies are demanding more from their office spaces. For large organizations to scale globally and efficiently and maintain a productive workforce, they need customized co-working spaces.’

BIOPHILIC BUILDING

The takeaway: Interiors can become true habitats for nature

Rapid urbanization is reducing access to green space despite our knowledge that living alongside nature is integral. This fact, for MOSS cofounder Nina Sickenga, sets up a design imperative: ‘To counteract today’s urbanized, indoor-oriented lifestyles, we need to bring nature back into our daily lives. Cities should incorporate mini oases and ecosystems, in and on top of buildings.’

Designers should give humanity comfort in owning fewer but better things 

CONSCIOUS CONSUMPTION

The takeaway: Environmental consciousness will guide supply and demand

‘Designers should give humanity comfort in owning fewer but better things and living on less but better space,’ thinks Vitra CEO Nora Fehlbaum. Charing the key recent shifts in domestic design, Fehlbaum offered her insight into where we’re headed next, considering that the last decade has been transformative for home design as a result of new technologies, social media and more.

PERSONALIZED POP-UPS

The takeaway: Pop-ups will connect with customers on deeper emotional levels by telling personalized stories

According to StudioXAG creative director Gemma Ruse, ‘Data and technology will allow for temporary spaces to adapt and change depending on the user, harnessing the power of emotion and allowing for more engaging narratives to drive brand loyalty.’ Ruse showed how StudioXAG creates retail moments that live a lot longer in the memory than on the shop floor.

The essence of luxury must meet the human essence: our real needs, values and desires

EXPERIENCE OVER EXCESS

The takeaway: Tomorrow’s luxury is defined by experience rather than material excess

Dr Martina Olbertova, founder and CEO of Meaning.Global believes that ‘The essence of luxury must meet the human essence: our real needs, values and desires. Luxury managers need to make sure that they embody these new values to connect with their audience in the 21st century in ways that are seen as relevant to them. And Designer of the New Age Marcel Wanders makes a point that ‘Luxury starts where functionality ends – where your deepest wish is fulfilled before you knew you had it.’

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