DAB:You have forecasted trends for some of the biggest brands on the planet– is there one brand that you are particularly fond of?
One of the most successful products that have come from my forecasts is the Nissan Micra, which I have helped invent since 1987. In 1993 it won Car of the Year and received numerous other prices. This was the first time that a car manufacturer had asked a trend analyst to design a car, and even though I don’t drive (!), it became a big success. It was also the first time an automotive maker truly considered lifestyle as an important tool for the conceptualization of a product. The Micra represented an emerging lifestyle that fused opposites like work and leisure, outside and inside, body and soul. Over the past three decades, I have also helped create electronics for Philips, beverages for Sprite, watches for Swatch, shoes for Camper, cosmetics for Estée Lauder, fragrances for L’Oréal and telecommunications for Siemens, among countless other products and services. Some of the most important projects in my career have been related to social movements and consumer trends for ministries and cities, notably the Dutch Ministry of Environment and Public Transport, the country’s Brabant region and for the city of Lenz in France.
DAB: What’s the next technological advancement coming in interiors, including kitchens, and how important is it to be innovative?
One of the biggest trends in kitchens these days is actually people’s love of cooking that has been taken to new heights, sometimes turning the kitchen into a creative laboratory. This means that appliances and accessories need to be much more sophisticated. Controlling temperature with precision is one such technology now accessible to everyday consumers, as seen in the new Chef Collection oven by Samsung. One can prepare different foods at different temperatures all at the same time or continue to warm something while other foods finish cooking. Other appliances such as fridges and dishwashers are turning into intuitive high-tech thinking machines, elevating the humble kitchen into a smart professional workspace.
DAB: How does quality design enrich a person’s life?
Design is everywhere, even in places we don’t notice. It’s therefore important that design reflects our lifestyle and how people are evolving. The importance of the well-being industries has, for example, elevated scent, soap, food, textiles and accessories as well as hotels, spas and sports clubs to becoming almost spiritual places. We are able to recharge and reinvigorate ourselves in these design temples.
DAB: What do you Dabble in when you are not trend forecasting?
To be honest, everything I do and see if related to my work, so my holistic lifestyle is strongly connected to my forecasting work. But I am actually an avid cook and love reinventing dishes for my friends over the summer months when I’m travelling less. In the future, I also hope I will be able to dabble in painting!
DAB: Tell us about your trip to Canada this year and your role in helping to launch the Samsung Chef Collection?
I was invited to share some important farm-to-table lifestyle trends, which are very important for the Canadian market; especially now that the boundaries between town and country are blurring. I was happy to help launch Samsung’s Chef Collection because it’s a very well-designed high-quality group of appliances. I am especially in love with the Samsung Chef Collection 4-door refrigerator which is quite smart itself and economic energy-wise. This was actually my first public appearance ever in Canada! Toronto was inspiring since I was able to see an artistic side of the city, visiting some local design and fashion stores. I look forward to coming back again soon.