Surface Design Directions

Introducing AW 2021/22: Web

With drivers from digital anxiety and deep fakes to black swan events and uncertainty, this direction is informed by the hyper-real world of computer renders.

Visually the aesthetic is synthetic; patterns are graphic, referencing digital connections through grids and webs, and imagery is pixilated and glitched with biological references.

Web was first published in MIX Magazine issue 59, and the following material and surface directions explored in more detail in our AW 2021/22 Global CMF forecast.




There's a digital and graphic feel to pattern with the uncertainty around new and synthetic media played out through glitched imagery. Capturing movement at high speed, motif is obscured and colour fused in this digital pattern by Kinnasand.



Imagery is pixilated and digitally woven in Alexandra Lucas’s experimental structures evoking the scattering of digital data and algorithms. In effect, surface patterns appear disrupted by technology.



Under the microscope

A growing fascination for hybrids informs research as well as design at a cellular level. Outcomes veer towards the biological and organic, sourcing inspiration from a microscopic point of view. Of note, 3D rendered microbe sculptures by Wang & Söderström.


Pattern Focus




We are at once fascinated by the fleshy and rubber-like structure of succulents and the extraordinary tactility of their fractal patterns. Through biomimicry the microalgae filled Indus tiles by Bio-ID Lab, obtain the vein-like channels of leaf structures while filtering toxic chemical dyes and heavy metals from water.



Natural and synthetic collide to hybrid effects in Anya Haber’s Microscopic Vision collection, where fractal forms are reinterpreted in silicone and lamé.



Work with Material and Colour?


Building on the design directions first published in MIX Magazine, our bi-annual Global CMF Forecast features concepts and colour and material palettes illustrated with more than 250 fully credited images.

Both publications are included in Colour Hive membership. Members can access our forecasts including the Trend Influences, Global CMF Forecast and Design Impressions for AW 2022/23 and the full forecast for SS 2023 is out now.


Click here to find out how Colour Hive membership can work for you.



Image credits from top:

MIX Images © Colour Hive | Kinnasand | Alexandra Lucas | Wang & Söderström | Nicky Clarke Glass | Bio-ID Lab | Anya Haber, Photo Tyler Judson