affective design

Exploring Emotional Design

A Top Trend for 2007: Status

Trendwatching.com has an article about how status will be a top trend for 2007. But we’re not just talking about status in the traditional sense of owning and displaying expensive brands…

In consumer societies of the past, the person…

who consumed the most, the best, the coolest, the most expensive, the scarcest, or the most popular goods.. typically also ‘gained’ the most status.

Due in part to the increasing awareness and sense of guilt created by the effects of conspicuous over consumption, traditional ways of displaying status will have less meaning for some people in 2007, according to Trendwatchers.

Some of the trends they mention include “Transient, Connective and Eco-focused lifestyles”. These three trends describe people who are freeing themselves from the hassles of ownership and possessions, using social media to connect and working to reduce their environmental footprint.

First off, I wonder whether these trends are more applicable to younger people who do not already possess more traditional status symbols. Will people who have already achieved status in the traditional sense be as affected by these trends? Second, do these trends represent genuine movements away from over consumption and towards greater environmental sensitivity, or are they simply “trends”?

Status is an important consideration for affective design and it will be interesting to see how designers, brands and marketers employ these trends to attract younger consumers, especially those who don’t want to be consumers in the traditional sense.

For more on status, see:
“Affluenza” and Consumerism

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