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Our Approach to Design Trends

Through our ‘design research’ and considerable ‘research about design’, designprobe is observing and interpreting what is going on and the future direction of design.

Not so long ago, the quest for profits was simply the pursuit of getting your products to the marketplace. This is perhaps best expressed by Henry Ford’s famous customer service salute: "You can have any colour you want as long it is black." Things have changed a little since then. Today, anyone with a billion dollars can buy the technology to build a global car manufacturing operation. However, as the financial statements of these companies show, this is no longer enough to satisfy a highly educated and choosy consumer – particularly in a competitive and ever-changing global market.

In seeking a competitive advantage, major corporations have now turned to design for their edge in sales.

The power of such an approach is demonstrated by Apple Computer’s ‘iMac’. Apple took up the challenge to exploit the opportunity of transforming the beige box that was a typical computer into a must-have designer desktop. In the process, they managed to save a potentially fatal fall in their market share and turn themselves into a computer industry leader once more – as well as creating a tidal wave of imitations.

The secret to Apple Computer’s success lies first of all in spotting the opportunity and secondly in knowing how to exploit it. Whilst many others knew the beige box that typified computer design was boring and screamed out for a change, the key to a new model was to shift the paradigm of design.

The key to shifting the paradigm of design is design research and mapping design trends before they happen. This is not an easy task. One may compare it to spotting the butterfly whilst it is still a grub or spotting the frog whilst it is still a tadpole.

At designprobe, our design trends research is revolutionary because we do not look simply at current design. We look at the seeds of where these designs will grow from – not when they happen, before they happen. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, ‘the research part is easy, asking the right question to start the research is the hard part’. Likewise, seeing the future of design is directly linked to knowing where to look.

As a framework for the process of where design derives, we have developed ‘The Creation Model’.

At designprobe, we believe the future of design comes from conceptual frameworks developed by artists and others and is manifested in new technology and then into design. In other words, it is the thinking behind new technology that shapes new design paradigms. Our design trends are based upon this premise.

Our Latest Design Trends Release: The Seven Design Principles of Every New Thing


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