5 Industrial Design trends for 2023 – Product Design for the Future

It’s tempting to tune out from the steady drumbeat of information out there as creative trends come and go. But, if you are a design professional, staying up to date with Industrial Design Trends is crucial. In my opinion, nobody in the design field can afford to overlook market trends.  After all, this is the sector that often sets the pace for emerging trends that eventually impact the rest of the world. The future is shaped, developed, and created by designers.

This year, there are so many exciting, unique, and fun design trends that it was hard to choose just a few. Here are our top industrial design trends for 2023.

1. Circular design

Circular design – have you ever heard of it? For a while now, it has been universally believed that our society has to become more sustainable. The optimal route there, however, is not yet quite evident. There are multiple approaches, primarily for the economy. Sustainability in this context refers to circular, and one of the most promising strategies for attaining sustainability goals is circular design.

Circular design is an emerging trend in industrial design that is focused on creating products that are designed with the end-of-life in mind. It entails creating products that are simple to repair, recycle, disassemble, or reuse. This means using materials that are sustainable and non-toxic, designing products for longevity, and considering the entire lifecycle of a product from raw materials to disposal. It calls for an entirely new system wherein goods, services, business plans, marketplaces, etc., are created and organised with this goal in mind.

2. Smart products

As our world becomes more and more interconnected, the popularity of smart devices is redefining how products are being created.

The internet has already changed every aspect of our life, including how we connect, purchase, commute, and entertain ourselves. Furthermore, as technology develops, industrial design and development are being revolutionised. Brands and designers are recognising novel possibilities for learning how customers actually use their products in real-time and alter future designs by “smartening” up everyday products by connecting them to the internet.

Smart products can be found in various industries, including home appliances, automotive, healthcare, and consumer electronics. The trend towards smart products is expected to continue as technology advances, and consumers become more accustomed to the benefits of connected devices.

3. Sustainability and bio manufacturing

In recent years, sustainability has surfaced as a hot-button topic and a major design trend.

As professionals become more cognizant of their potential to harm the environment, design practices have been leaning toward sustainability. One of the drivers of this trend is the rapid progress in biomanufacturing.

This new turning point in material science allows for the creation of biobased products starting from highly specific raw materials, which include cells, molecules or extracellular meshes, some even being obtained from human skin. Production can go far beyond natural materials that have been used for eons, such as leather, wood and paper, which are all sourced from plants and animals.

4. AR and VR

If you spend time scanning the horizon for technologies that promise positive impact, it’s hard to find any more fascinating than AR and VR. Between the two, VR has a greater competitive edge due to its head start and established presence in gaming and entertainment.

Applications for AR and VR can be found in e-commerce, home renovation, and education. Transportation, healthcare, science, and other sectors are among the others that are exploring the potential of AR and VR.

This requires us as industrial designers to go from thinking in 2D to thinking in 3D. This involves building prototypes and user interfaces that leverage what the user sees around them. It’s about considering the user’s reality and designing products to better it.

5. Emotional design

Any design that aims to elicit an emotional response from the viewer is considered an emotional design. It doesn’t tell the user how to feel, it creates feelings in the user through deliberate design choices. It’s one of the most powerful tactics in a brand’s toolbox. You can’t engage users if you don’t appeal to their emotions. It really is that simple—and that complex.

Emotional design is becoming an industrial design trend because of the growing recognition of the significance of user-centred design. Designers are increasingly focusing on creating products that are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of individual users, and emotional design is a key component of this process. By designing products that connect with users on an emotional level, we can create more personalized and intuitive experiences that are more likely to meet the needs and expectations of individual users.

Emerging trends in industrial design are intriguing and revolutionary, and they are driving the sector in novel and creative ways.  These trends inspire innovation and encourage designers to explore new materials, technologies, and design concepts. As a result, a range of new and exciting products that blend these trends innovatively are coming up. Additionally, these trends shape consumer expectations and preferences, which influence the design decisions made by companies across a range of industries.

As industrial design trends continue to evolve and change, we will likely see even more significant shifts in the industry, with new technologies and design concepts reshaping the way we think about and create products.

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