Colour is coded.
But, just like roses aren’t always red and violets are sometimes a sunflower yellow, code can change colour too.
Ask the bride from Kerala whose beautiful white saree raises quite a few eyebrows among her Punjabi baraat. Or the Japanese bus driver who, like us, stops at red, but goes at ‘grue’. In a country that had only one word for blue and green till World War II, even today traffic lights are the bluest shade of green possible.
While there are some universal ideas about what a colour symbolises, colour association is cultural, and can be deeply personal. At Asian Paints, we understand that every colour has a spectrum of interpretations, as diverse as the people who experience it. In fact, that’s what inspires us.
In its 14th edition, Asian Paints ColourNext is its most comprehensive yet. It goes beyond colour, because cold steel and a handwoven rug can both be the exact shade of grey, but a completely different feeling. Material, texture and finish work together to create a forecast for spaces that draw from the mood of the nation, exploring social, political, economic and visual cultures across cities, big and small. Like a tapestry of experiences and aspirations, ColourNext 2017 tells four distinct trend stories, with a palette of its own. And yet, each finds an echo in the other, in the underlying pursuit of a delicate balance.
As we decipher societal trends at a time when the world at large is feeling a push towards standardization and the pull of traditional roots, like culture, colour is getting decoded. As designers, makers, artists and influencers, there is only one thing more liberating than the freedom of expression. The freedom of interpretation.
This phase lays out the foundation for the trend forecast and helps in formulating micro trends by gauging into consumer sentiments and societal moods. We observe, identify and map out the various activities and thoughts transpiring within societies. Our process starts by gathering a panoramic view of the prevalent societal culture and visual culture. We also conduct discussions and interviews with experts from various disciplines and backgrounds across the country.
With in-depth brainstorming sessions and workshops, we track movements of opinion leaders, brands, markets, spaces, consumers and much more while simultaneously connecting it with trend intelligence from the previous phase. The forward thinking of various experts involved in our workshops, helps us to assess the influence our forecast might have in diff erent domains of the society.
The objective of this phase is to add a visual form to the complex cultural processes identified and shortlisted in the previous phase. Along with the visual depiction, colour, material, finish, texture and pattern, palettes are defined and developed for every theme. This is accomplished by engaging experts and students from creative fields b y means o f interactive workshops.
Our research culminates with four top and most relevant trend directions that capture the upcoming societal moods, attitudes and visual cultures. Our analysis feeds directly into the decor style for the next year. The four trends forecasted for the year 2017 are Slow Living, Elixir, Local Pride and Bot is Human.