Design Trends That Are Transforming Our Lives Online

By Debbie Meltzer

In Israel we pride ourselves on the hi-tech engine steaming our economy. Even when it seemingly runs out of puff, we prop it back on the pedestal of national pride. But is hi-tech our only trophy industry? Aren’t we overlooking other streams of talent in our zest to brand this place a technology powerhouse?

There is an unlikely runner-up playing the global field… Commercial design here is booming. It is taking front stage and winning hearts. It’s getting attention, accolades and awards in film festivals, La Biennale and other prestigious European events.

Just as IT must venture off shore for future survival, these bourgeoning design hubs must focus outwards. They need to monitor the trends… or better still – create them. So what up and coming design trends are crawling into orbit?


Sustainism. Sustainism is replacing modernism say the dutch duo Architects Michiel Schwarz and Joost Elffers. They would like us to believe Sustainism is shaping everything; from design and business, to food, housing and community.

Their book (oddly enough called Sustainism) –splats slogans like: “Less is more” to “Do More with Less”, From “nature as resource” to “nature as a source”…. “From planning to co-design, from appropriation to open-source exchange….

Ok I agree, these elitist terms make you want to grit your teeth and gag. But, call it what you want, “green” design is setting the tone. Still, why create complex terms when you can use EcoDesign?

Digital surfaces transforming spatial designIn an era of mobile everything, where we touch, slide and click to access the world, digital design was bound to break through walls. Digital panels make the perfect peep holes!

Huffington Post writer and guest curator believes digital surfaces combine two concepts: The first offers a non-static alternative to paint, wallpaper, wood paneling… The second challenges consumers to experience teleportation – where you are potentially in two locations at once, dually experiencing the here and the anywhere. Cool.

Responsive web design – the idea that websites should respond and adapt to all devices and situations – smart phones, tablets… is already game changing.

Designer Ethan Marcotte in his book on the topic shows us how. He explores the responsive architecture concept – How physical spaces respond to the people passing through them, sought of like re-imagining what a space can do.

In his book he explains why responsive web design can and should change the rules: “A more responsible approach would mean building our stylesheet with “mobile first” in mind, rather than defaulting to a desktop layout. We’d begin by defining a layout appropriate to smaller screens, and then use media queries to progressively enhance our design as the resolution increases.

Infographics makes a splash – 2011 and onwards is supposed to be the era of infographic designs. Infographics are beginning to invade the digital world. Their value comes from our need to makes sense of the senseless streams of content.

So forget about the written word. Now is the time for interactive graphic maps, charts, diagrams and instructional designs. After all who has time to read? Why not opt for instant gratification?

We are seeing more and more visualized data and, simply put, it conveys a more pleasant experience. See some creative examples here –

New age photography –I love the way photography is twisting and turning lately. Take Madrid based photographer – Gonzaga Manso and his ghostly fashion photos. He is truly re-defining aesthetics. Enough with the dramatic white backgrounds framing every brand shot. Finally someone has the balls to go for the mystique to create high visual impact. Take a peep at