"Super technology is going to ask for super
tactility" - Li Edelkoort at Dezeen Live


Interiors and products will need more tactile designs as the use of computers and screens makes us crave a sense of touch, trend forecaster Li Edelkoort predicts in this last movie filmed at Dezeen Live.

"The more screens we have the more our figures are afraid we’re going to disappear," she says. "I feel it already in my fingers that they want me to touch lots of things so I don’t loose contact with touch." Edelkoort therefore predicts that textiles will be increasingly important in interior design, supporting the increasingly nomadic lifestyle that mobile technology permits.

"You can be in the middle of the desert and people will think you’re in New York," she says, "So you become anonymous and you don't care anymore where you are. I think that sort of freedom which is going to be created will make us want to have lots of textiles, lots of rugs, we will have portable tables, portable sinks, portable lights like lanterns."

This nomadic attitude could also alter our social relationships, she suggests. "This liberty we have now in work and play will reflect also in the other parts of life, so eating, sleeping, entertaining, we would be more nomadic about that, not always sitting at the same table with the same partner."

Edelkoort proposes grandparents and grandchildren as "the new couple of the future," as people live longer and choose more freely who to spend their time with. She thinks that "individualism is over and so people care much more about family, even if it’s chosen family and friends," leading to a more compassionate society. "It’s all about a society which is, let’s say, softer, more rounded, more textured."

Li Edelkoort at Dezeen Live

Above: image by Michael Baumgarten

Edelkoort begins the talk with an image showing the hands of a child and elderly person. "There is a falling away of the generation gap, whereas grandparents are very young and young children are very old," she says. "They hang out together for a while... it means that you can be a baby your whole life, or you can be already old even when you’re born. I think that age is now going to be more of a mental thing than a physical thing actually."

Li Edelkoort at Dezeen Live

Above: felt cushion by Peta Lee and designs by Coral Stephens

The next image represents nomadism and shows textiles with portable furniture. "We have all our devices we can work and stay wherever we want," says Edelkoort. "This new feeling of freedom, which is fairly recent, is only now starting to modify the brain I believe."

Li Edelkoort at Dezeen Live

Above: Mine Kafon by Massoud Hassani

Her third image shows Massoud Hassani's device for seeking and destroying landmines, based on a wind-powered toy and made of bamboo and plastic components. "It’s a mine killer, but its completely organic and very cheap," Edelkoort says, adding "it’s very beautiful how a childhood toy can become now such an amazing device."

Li Edelkoort at Dezeen Live

Above: Teresa Toys by DMOCH

Next is a set of building blocks for children comprising rounded wooden pieces and small leather balls. "This is to teach babies how to feel form and how to create buildings and skylines, and it’s like soft toys instead of the square toys," she explains. "Of course, already the babies have their screens so this is to counterbalance the screens."

Li Edelkoort at Dezeen Live

Above: photo by Thomas Straub for Madé for View on Colour

The final image shows a mask incorporating bones and introduces the 2013 Arnhem fashion biennial (MoBa 13) that Edelkoort is curating on the theme of fetishism. "There is a moment in fashion where there is this super need to be very fetishistic. There is animalism, there is children’s behaviors, there is of course bondage, there is lace, there is fur, feathers and so on," she explains. "I'm going to investigate why."

Edelkoort concludes with the idea that "trend forecasting is like archeology but to the future", explaining how she looks for little fragments in current culture to predict what's coming next.

Dezeen Live was a series of discussions between Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs and a number of designers and critics that took place at design exhibition 100% Design during London Design Festival this September.

Each of the four one-hour shows, recorded live in front of an audience, included three interviews plus music from Dezeen Music Project featuring a new act each day. We've been posting all the movies we filmed on Dezeen and you can watch all the movies from Dezeen Live here.

The music featured in the movie is a track from Business Class Refugees by Indian record label EarthSyncListen to more songs by EarthSync on Dezeen Music Project.

See all our stories about Li Edelkoort »
See all our stories about Dezeen Live »
See all our stories about London Design Festival 2012 »

  • backward

    Over and over this woman is so out of touch. For years we have seen her putting on exhibitions and promoting works that are one-off, heavy, ugly and difficult to move or transport and now she is talking about objects focussed on portability as being the way forward. What kind of a trend forcaster is this? If anything she is looking backwards.

  • taptap

    The interviewer rightly pointed her to a contradiction: the supposed closer family ties, working more in teams etc, yet having a detached nomadic lifestyle. Unfortunately Edelkoort did not react to that.

    I will not even start going deeper into her ideas about the age gap.

  • DMOCH is Swedish, right?

  • vincent

    She looks around a lot, notices some things and puts “In the future people will…” or “today there is a trend towards…” in front of it.

    • Henk

      I saw once a presentation of hers: LOADS of beautiful images (that you can mostly see here on Dezeen) put together mostly in a colour-coordinated way (whitish images together, blueish together and so on) and lots of “in the future…” talk, that most of the times was contradicted later in the presentation. I think this is mostly for managers and so, who have no clue and need someone to tell them what is going on.

  • pipo

    It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Lidewij says something, it gets picked up in the media and picked up by creatives and designers and voila… products based on her prophecy get produced. It’s not a bad thing though.

    • New Year

      Not very accurate. Her tastes are very much behind what is really happening. Her comment on black for example, is two years too late. She has a mainstream taste and is not in touch with the bleeding edge.


    Gosh, are there people still trying to be futurologists? This is SO nineteenth century.

  • Brenda

    In 2002, during her academic reign of terror, Edelkoort mercilessly dressed down my sister for applying to the Master of Design program at the academy with an “irrelevant” portfolio based – in name and content – on the premise of Archaeology of the Future.

    My sister is an archaeologist – deeply steeped in the tools and artifacts that have shaped a civilisation – plus one of the most naturally talented BFAs I’ve seen, but she’s no match for a bulldog of a woman with too few clear-cut ideas of her own.

    I’m all for synthetic thinking, but I’ve never been okay with profiteering.

  • Ruth McNaughton

    Personal opinion is one thing, but Edelkoort’s forecasts have shaped our fashions for over the past decade. Whatever your personal belief, as a designer, as a professional, be objective, her forecasts have been used by brands all over the world, and successfully. Maybe she hasn’t predicted your personal beliefs, but she has forecasted trends which can be integrated into mass culture. And she has proven her accuracy time and time again.

    Be objective, look at the facts, her wisdom translated into products has worked! She has been able to inspire products which are practical to what people are feeling. Don’t be ignorant and close minded. People who believe they know everything (and more than Lidewij Edelkoort) will go on living with the same knowledge they have today without ever growing. Edelkoort is a visonary, she makes mistakes, tries to improve on them, and allows designers to see into modern culture and what people are feeling.

    Instead of looking at her predictions negatively, use them to create beautiful things which mirror what people are seeking and feeling. Come on man!