Autumn 2021

CnTFactory’s Trend Report

Top 5 colour and trim trends

The CnTFactory looks for innovations and new materials in fields such as architecture, art, fashion, and design. For autumn 2021, the team examines a range of materials and trends, from inflatable steel to the renaissance of post-war furniture design. Follow them here for more / Instagram @cntfactory


Experimental Polish designer Oskar Zieta uses advanced design tools to create sculptures and objects that intertwine science and art. Zieta Collection draws on architecture, engineering and design, exploring themes the designer describes as “controlled loss of control.” 
Zieta experiments with unique FiDU technology – inflating flat, steel forms with compressed air and changing them into stable, durable 3-dimensional objects with intriguing shapes. Metal alloys such as steel, copper and aluminum have a plasticity that allows for manipulation. Zieta uses thermal colouring – high temperatures to extract the beauty of metal without the use of chemical dyes and reagents.
In a similar vein, Japanese designer Satomi Minoshima created an inflatable leather furniture collection using a premium and long-lasting material to play with boundaries of inflatable furniture, often seen as a quick fix or throwaway product.


Inspired by traditional crafts and Korean elegance, furniture design studio Arijian elevates the mother of pearl to an ultra-intricate level. Arijian’s work embodies a unique modernity and their designs fit into contemporary lifestyles, going beyond the scope of simple furniture. The craftsmanship used in the Goryeo Dynasty around 1,000 years ago transforms the Mother of Pearl into an art form. With time-honoured techniques, Mother of Pearl’s radiant colours become like a jewel when carved and polished; fashioned into flowers and birds thanks to skilful hands crafted by years of experience.


The post-war era was the dawn of a nonconformist period with design intent on surprise as a younger generation rebelled against the bourgeois idea of home. Best remembered are iconic forms such as the Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair (1958) and the distinctive Rattan Peacock Chair (1947) by Hans Wegner. Bouclé sofas and armchairs in greens, turquoises, yellows with tapered legs and buttoning, or relaxed and luxurious velvet sofas in equally bold colours also spring to mind. Lush houseplants and abstract geometric wall art round off the memory.
These themes have made their way into automotive interiors – mainly concept cars. For instance, BMW’s 2021 iVision Circular Concept has a mono-materials aesthetic with clever new joining techniques to make the seats look like pieces of furniture. In the front, two separate lounge seats with integral head restraints with velvet-like upholstery made from recycled plastic are held within a light-gold aluminum frame. The back of the slim front seat shells are made of recycled plastics with a terrazzo-look finish.


While maps have almost always held intrigue fitting the spirit of discovery, cartographic patterns or map designs are taking the aesthetic appeal and practical function to automotive interiors. Prominently featured in Audi’s latest concept car, the graphical refinement of geographical information conveys the use of smart technologies that make up modern automotive interiors. It sets the scene to a mindset of technological discovery.
The Volvo C40 Recharge Interior features a topography inspired translucent back-lit decor that emanates a natural, soothing glow and a contemporary vibe.
The map on the Jeep Renegade console is a little nod towards Moab, Utah, a place famous among Jeep aficionados for its unparalleled off-road setting. Complete with coordinates to find the trail to enjoy Jeeps on a little adventure of your own.
A topographical map of the moon's Mare Tranquillitatis, or Sea of Tranquility, the site where Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their historic lunar landing in July 1969 are overlaid on the metal speaker grills for the Hummer EV's Bose Premium sound system. 
The same lunar surface pattern is repeated on the rubber floor mats and on the lining of a pass-through compartment in the centre console.


The unprecedented worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 has challenged and pushed companies towards using virtual influencers to promote their products on platforms like Instagram bypassing the new constraints. 
Perhaps the trendiest of them all is virtual model Imma. Created in 2018 by Tokyo-based CG company Modeling Café, she soon took the internet by storm with her edgy and striking pink hair.  
It is not hard to understand why this approach is attractive to brands. These new kinds of models are designed to fit brand values, adding another dimension to the brand’s overall communication beyond just a product, a signature colour or an iconic pattern.

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