Designing is a very broad term, having many fields inside of it. But the reason those fields are under one banner is one similarity that it’s always evolving. Evolving in terms of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and tastes and preferences, which change generation to generation. The major change in tastes was seen with millennials. Generally confused with its latter generation Gen-Z, the millennial generation refers to the current adults, between about 22-40. This means this is the time when millennials control the world.
If you are a millennial, you know well how the digital world took over almost every aspect of our regular lives. Due to this sudden exposure to the world’s social side, the design trends changed crazily. People became broad-minded and their support for other cultures is a reason the tastes changed. While Gen-Z has room for anything new and creative, millennials may have been the last generation to have a specific taste.
Surely, not everyone has the same choice, but the average millennial may look for these in a design:
1. Minimalism –
This concept is applicable everywhere. From planning to interior designing. People choose an elegant color (generally a soothing pastel shade or white), and the idea of showcasing the minimum. We see how kitchen handles have been hidden and windows have grown big with plain frames.
2. Multi-use spaces-
Due to increasing density, the same piece of land now has to accommodate more and more people and their belongings. Thus, more and more high-rise buildings can be seen today and every space is being re-used. The first movie of the potter-verse shows how the space under the stairs is being used as a room. Sofas can now also be used as sofa-cum-beds or for extra storage. Thus, the traditional annex space is now being distributed like this among beds, stairs, sofas, and even ceilings.
3. Natural themes-
The interiors have seen another major theme other than minimalism. We can see wood in its purest form now. The concrete finish and exposed brickwork give a bold, raw look to space. Rooms have shades of white, cream, and brown, to match the natural look around. The plants have moved inside, adding freshness to any corner.
4. Cleaner landscaping –
People today are a lot busier. This has affected the landscaping too. Instead of vast lawns, we prefer smaller patches or just potted plants. These are easy to maintain, and look cleaner too. As mentioned before, plants have moved inside the buildings, giving landscaping a new form.
5. Mobile fixtures-
The lives have become very fast. Millennials don’t necessarily plan everything and expect everything to be fast and efficient. Thus, they need everything to be flexible and on the move. Thus, the schools, homes, and offices today have started using portable or semi-fixed furniture.
6. Parametric style-
This is generated by computational design. These designs are made to be more efficient. There are room partitions that are completely flexible wooden shutters. Such elements including parametric benches and tables, add a sense of fluidity to space.
7. Read the situation-
People need their comfort zone. This includes the function of a space. Although customized furniture is an option, to make more of it, we could pay attention to their placement too. For example, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, many people work from home, so they designed their comfortable corners. Similarly, people are a lot busier with their works, so many of them just order the food in. Thus, we could reduce kitchen space for such groups, like students, and use that area to design something for their recreation.
A true millennial would want their building to be as beautiful as another, but at the same time, also to be unique. Confusing, but possible. To fulfill these needs, designers found a way to re-use the waste. This concept is now being used to make interesting facades, wall-claddings, and highlighters. Old doors, windows, mirror frames, water pipes, cloth stamps, and even chair-bodies have found their ways into enhancing the beauty of a structure.
Though millennials might be minimalists, they often like to highlight certain points. This applies to any kind of design. For example, they might highlight a point at their workspace, or they might use a special widget on their phones for a certain thing they wish to see often. These points or corners may have certain functions or just some points they are comfortable in. Thus while designing, special points could be highlighted on a wall, or a room, etc. Now it could be a niche to showcase their achievements, or a corner of the house they would love to take a break at, or just a wall to stare upon.
Advertisements don’t quite work for these ‘digital natives’. They like to try everything and take a review. But designing isn’t a product, so we have just one option, creative presentation. However smart the functions and aesthetics are, there’s no use if the client can’t visualize and understand it. Thus, always try to keep the portfolio simple enough to explain the idea, creative enough to attract them, and crisp enough to have their attention throughout.
The key with millennials is, find a unique solution to their problem, and promote them as new trends for the world.