At last, this issue strikes a note of cautious optimism. With some inevitable provisos it is possible to look forward and start considering what the post pandemic environment will look like.
In this issue featuring our final two directions for the season we look at two very different ways that habitual patterns formed during the pandemic will continue to exert influence.
In Home we focus on how tech and domesticity have become ever closer interconnected. Reflecting many people’s understandable reluctance to return to commuting and office life, this story examines the beguiling safety of the home and how tech is helping to support this seismic shift towards home working.
We also look at how retail is redefining itself to suit Covid sensibilities beyond simply refocusing from bricks and mortar to digital. From virtual marketplaces to rental, resale and recycling and the role of rendered realities.
In a more otherworldly direction Belief, we discover the influence of the inevitable magical thinking emerging as a response to the random fate of the pandemic. As we emerge into this brave new post-pandemic world in 2022, a fatalistic approach to existence speaks to new attitudes on both life and death, sharply defined by our recent collective experience.
In this we can chart a clear trajectory from Ritual (AW 2000/21) using the calming comfort of ceremonies and little protective actions to give us an illusion of agency when times are stressful and chaotic. Now though, these talismans are less about projecting a lifestyle; in the teeth of the pandemic they have taken on a much stronger form of magical thinking.
If there have been many commercial losers in the last year, there have been winners too and the fast-forward on tech development has been nothing short of astounding. In this issue’s special focus, we look at how the design world, often so much about the physical, is increasingly intersecting with the digital. We also find a new generation of digital designers that see no boundaries when it comes to overcoming issues of materiality.
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Image credits from top:
© Colour Hive | Lucy Hardcastle | Minju Song | Alex Andrews | Katie Taylor | Reisinger Studio