Striking a new balance
Anna Moldenhauer: Anja, you are in charge of directing the trend activities for Heimtextil Trends 22/23. What is important for you to implement here?
Anja Bisgaard Gaede: By means of the trends we want to present prime examples of the options available to us for sustainably shaping the textile sector – and with what products we can achieve this goal. Though the trend analysis coincided with the first peak in the Covid 19 pandemic the nature of the issues we are dealing with had already emerged. “Next Horizons” describes a new mindset that insists on a sustainable handling of resources and changes to the existing production system. We need to adopt a circular, long-term approach to planning, manufacturing and recycling textile products.
At the beginning of 2021 and also for January 2022, Heimtextil had to be canceled because of the Covid 19 pandemic. How much of the content of the originally planned “Nothing New, Everything New” edition could you put to use?
Anja Bisgaard Gaede: Trends are dynamic and since they don’t end abruptly, we were able to put the work done for “Nothing New, Everything New” to good use while at the same time refining it through new insights. Moreover, we don’t necessarily understand sustainability as a trend but more as a necessary principle. In the latter context we look at what options we have for recycling textiles. For the Trendspace we elaborate on but also expand our existing material manifesto. This space will be used solely to showcase those materials that meet our sustainability requirements.
What made you choose the four trend themes “Deep Nature”, “Hyper Nature”, “Beyond Identity” and “Empowered Identity”?
Anja Bisgaard Gaede: Our choice of trends is determined by our being able to communicate the concept of our research to as broad an audience as possible. As the content is shown both in the physical space of the trade fair and online it is very important that we reach each of the various target groups. So, you could argue that there is also a very pragmatic aspect to the four trends because they are intended to help people appreciate the bigger picture.
To what extent will there Trendspace also have a digital presence this time?
Anja Bisgaard Gaede: As regards the online presentation we are working with a large number of visualizations such as films, photographs and a sound track. In other words, the new online trend world will be represented in various dimensions. We’d like to enable our visitors to explore our findings online and offer them as many different angles as possible. In addition, this time the Future Materials Library will exist solely as an online materials library that presents pioneering materials for interior applications; it is being curated by the London design studio FranklinTill.
You are a trend researcher and have also developed your own technique, the “Spott Method”; how do you integrate it into your work with the Trend Council?
Anja Bisgaard Gaede: With the Spott Method I conduct customer analyses on a neuro-scientific basis so as to understand and predict customer behavior. Though we all contribute our own research in Trend Council at the same time we seek a joint basis. Time and again I find it fascinating that this is the case every year even though we all have our own approaches. Speaking for myself, I develop guidelines for every trend, analyze who the target audiences are as well as following an aesthetic and thematic approach.
What can the textile industry do better in your opinion in terms of sustainability and handling resources sparingly?
Anja Bisgaard Gaede: Whether we manage to shift swiftly to a sustainable mindset in the textile industry depends immensely on how much effort is needed. I think we should get a move on. If we respond too late, we will run out of time and industry will lag behind developments.
You are based in Silkeborg, Denmark. How does working from this location influence how you see the industry?
Anja Bisgaard Gaede: Copenhagen as a hotspot is not far away from Silkeborg but I feel that you need to leave the centers more often in order to understand normal life and with it the market mechanisms.