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Back to Campus A/W 21/22

New Mythologies
Finding fresh meaning in ancient
wisdom amid an uncertain world

Cave-like dorms, primitive shapes and

handmade designs drive this trend, which
celebrates localism in a globalised world

Great Honour Goods

New Mythologies
Finding fresh meaning in ancient wisdom
amid an uncertain world

How do we make sense of a world that is splintering change, people are also looking to the past to glean
around us? New Mythologies explores the resurgence of wisdom from ancient knowledge and customs.
localism in a globalised world, and the value of looking
For A/W 21/22, these shifts will see craft, artisanal skills
to the past to inform the future.
and resourcefulness valued anew across design
Times are not as they once were. Old political alliances industries. Local nuances such as patterns and
are falling apart, economic structures are being patchworks will be celebrated, and consumers will be
challenged, and climate change is ripping up the rule prioritising the provenance of their purchases and
book for how the planet should work. Against this looking for items they can keep for a lifetime, not just a
backdrop, traditional power structures are being season. Natural materials, organic ingredients and bio-
upended. Individuals are coming together at grassroots innovations will be cherished, and recycling and circular
levels to drive changes that institutions or governments production processes will be championed.
cannot, and voices that have long been marginalised In this direction, bigger is not always better, and the new
are challenging the legacies of colonialism, and is no more valuable than the old.
revitalising indigenous cultures in the process. In the
face of rapid 

For more macro trend information, consult our Big Ideas, Future Drivers and
Future Innovations reports.
Action Points
In a fractured world, New Mythologies embraces
comfort, craft, artisanal skills and resourcefulness.
Products are imbued with a deeper meaning, with
materials, colours and shapes derived from the earth
1. Tap into the appeal of cave-like spaces: give
students comfort and protection from the outside
world by focusing on enveloping shapes, soft
tactility and privacy on demand.
2. Look to ancient culture and customs for
inspiration: primitive references and prehistoric
wisdom inspire sculptural shapes, new icons, and a
nomadic focus for furniture.
3. Balance rough with delicate: incorporate
elemental materials and rough-hewn surfaces in
your designs, but maintain a commercial focus.
4. Add interest with craft: the popularity of thrifting
and upcycling among Gen Z will see crafting
lifestyles gain appeal. Include mending and repair
as part of your product story, or engage with artists
on specialty collaborations.

JJJJo und
Mood & Colour a. Burnished Sunset

@ar d einv

b. Tarmac

c. Acid Lime

West E lm
d. Catechu Wood

New Mythologies features rough textures

T ar get
and primitive shapes, and focuses on earth
e. Unbleached
• Colours are inspired by organic dyes
harvested from the earth, with mineral and
vegetal shades

f. Electric Kumquat
• Balance earth tones of Catechu Wood
and Uniform Green with vibrant accents of
Acid Lime and Electric Kumquat
• Burnished Sunset and Tarmac give the
palette a collegiate feel
g. Uniform Green

Coloro: a. 014-40-26    b. 101-46-03    c. 057-71-33    d. 030-41-18    e. 036-89-06    f. 031-72-40    g. 041-28-11
Capr a Designs
Pantone: a. 18-1536 TCX    b. 18-4510 TCX    c. 14-0452 TCX    d. 18-0933 TCX    e. 11-0701 TCX    f. 14-1064 TCX    g. 19-0516
Key Directions
New Mythologies brings a sense protection and comfort to the dorm, with designs that are crafted, raw and earthy

Dorm Cave Handcrafted Modern Primitivism

RH T een Ant hr o po lo gie Ur ban O ut f it t er s

Raw Elements Symbolic Circles Outdoor-Inspired

Blo mus Ur ban O ut f it t er s Bo nt o n

Dorm Cave

RH T een
Luny a Mo r ihat a

As consumers, especially students, embrace the Dutch concept

of niksen, or doing nothing, the dorm becomes a protective
space for hibernation and comfort
• Young people are fearful of the outside world, so offer them a
refuge with spaces that have a cocooning quality. Also offer
curtain and room dividers for closing off spaces
• Products that close off the senses are important in shared
spaces. Rethink headphones, earbuds and eye masks to provide
a sense of protection and comfort
• For materials, lean towards high tactility, found in faux fur,
washed linen, bouclé, wool and thickly woven fabrics

Ur ban O ut f it t er s

Po t t er y Bar n West E lm
Modern Primitivism
Embrace primitive aesthetics for Gen Z spaces, pulling
references from prehistoric times and nomadic lifestyles
• Low-profile furniture such as futons, beds, sofas and tables
give spaces a more rudimentary and casual quality
• Sculptural shapes are key in this direction, creating products
that appear hand-carved or excavated from a rock
• For back to campus print and pattern, think black and white
line drawings, hand-drawn shapes and totemic motifs
• Pebble shapes inspire forms for ottomans, tables and
T he Flo r al S o ciet y Knud N ielsen decorative storage

Flo y d

Ur ban O ut f it t er s Ant hr o po lo gie PB T een

Symbolic Circles

Buf f y Ao y ama N o t ebo o ks

The Gen Z fascination with arcane symbols, astrology and

spirituality is set to grow, so embrace symbolic circles as a key
icon for back to campus products CB2

• Experiment with new meanings of circles and spheres, from

moon phases to the sun and the circle of life
• Crescents, half circles and full spheres offer a variety of print
and pattern inspiration. Outlines and minimalist line drawings
create simple but sophisticated motifs for soft goods
• On stationery and other paper goods, encourage students to
doodle inside circles with creative prompts and daily

Ur ban O ut f it t er s

Allso p Gar d en
Raw Elements

West E lm

Chen Chen & Kai Williams

Celebrate primitive forms, earthy materials, and raw,

elemental aesthetics, carrying on from the Nature's
Baxt er
Contours direction in our A/W 20/21 report
• Work with natural materials to give products a raw,
unfinished look
• Soften this direction by combining quartz pink
shades with earth tones
• Marbling and stone striations inspire patterns for
soft goods such as duvets, towels, tech accessories
and even artwork
• To reduce costs, use elemental materials for small
details such as trinket trays and storage hardware

Ant hr o po lo gie All Mo d er n CB2


S age & Clar e

S o ciet y Limo nt a

Create handmade and artisanal products that students

will want to hold on to for the long term
Mar t a Bo nilla
• Small ceramic items such as lamps, desktop goods
and decor offer a perfect opportunity to collaborate
with up-and-coming artists and makers
• For mass-produced items such as bedding and bath
products, create hand-painted graphics and imperfect
designs that steer clear of cookie-cutter prints
• Allow students to personalise their walls with bold
temporary wallpaper and appliqués
• Include mending kits for textile products such as
rugs, pillows and wall hangings

S t ephen Kent Jo hnso n Ant hr o po lo gie Junk N o t


RH T een
RH T een S mid ge

Camping-inspired concepts are perfect for back-to-campus

products, as students often move several times over the course
of their education. Modular and collapsible products allow for
easy portability
• Canvas will become a key material thanks to its durability.
Experiment with using it on everything from seating to storage
and bedding
• Use tent materials to create an easy pop-up room divider
• Offer reusable, biodegradable cutlery and lightweight
tabletop items. Take inspiration from Smidge, which uses a
corn derivative to make its lightweight products. Bold colour
combinations can be used to help differentiate ownership in co- Lay er x Chr ist o pher
living situations Raebur n

Ur ban O ut f it t er s Ikea
Lifestyle & Interiors Critical Path A/W 21/22
Macro Forecast Colour Lifestyle & Interiors Colour Materials Trend Concepts
Trend Concepts
A comprehensive round-up of the key
Future D rivers 2022 Global Colour
Colour palettes and usage direction solid materials trends for A/W 21/22.
The global macro-economic drivers WGSN's Global Colour report provides your to assist design development for
that will have a major impact in 2022, first view of what A/W 21/22 will look like. A/W 21/22 collections, presented as Packaging Trend Concepts
and strategies for success. This season, we present two palettes that three trended themes. Essential direction on the key colours,
reflect the duality of life lived online as much surface patterns, structures, materials
as offline – one with enhanced natural Trend Concepts and finishes for food, drink and
Future Innovations 2022 tones, and the other with artificial colours. product design.
WGSN’s Trend Concepts reports
What used to be known as The Vision
will now be published once a year, with Colour by Region
(formerly called Forecasts) present Holiday & Gi ing
seasonal design directions two
strategies for a 12-month period.
The five colours you need to know for years ahead of market. The A series of reports covering future
Future Innovations will outline the 12
the A/W 21/22 markets in Europe, China, materials report will not be trends for key seasonal events and
areas that will lead transformation
North America and South America, edited thematically trended, while interiors holidays, offering direction on mood
across industries in 2022. These will will be trended into three themes
from WGSN's Global Colour palette. and colour; food and drink; decor;
feed into our Big Ideas and Trend
per season. styling; and prints and graphics.
Concepts reports, but these reports will
Colour Evolution
no longer be thematically linked.
Explore how colours are evolving with
Lifestyle & Interiors Design & Product
Trend Concepts
Future Consumer 2022 tonal comparisons from WGSN's three Development
Seasonal direction to support the
An in-depth look at the consumer seasonal forecasts up to and including
entire development process for A comprehensive range of reports
drivers, priorities and profiles that will A/W 21/22.
interiors and industrial design, with offering direction for product
emerge in 2022, both globally and
regionally. Lifestyle & Interiors Colour analysis of lifestyle factors,
materials, finishes, patterns and
development covering all categories,
in line with our three thematic trends
Big Ideas shapes. Reports will be presented for A/W 21/22.
Lifestyle & Interiors Global Colour
as three trended themes.
A yearly report outlining five key ideas Seasonal, core and metallic palettes
for lifestyle and interiors industries, tailored for A/W 21/22 lifestyle and
distilled from our Future Drivers and interiors collections, plus our pick of
Future Innovations reports. the season's six must-have tones.
Related Reports

Big Ideas 2022: Lifestyle & Interiors Lifestyle & Interiors Trend Concepts A/W 21/22:
New Mythologies