Ep. 57 Clever Extra: Neoculture

In this special Clever Extra, we tackled an incredibly fascinating topic: Neoculture. “What’s that?” you’re probably asking… yeah—that’s exactly what we said, too. Neoculture is a term coined by Tarkett that basically refers to the cultural and societal shifts we’re facing and how those impact architecture and interior design. This fascinating “cultural renaissance” that blends cultures and defines new ones is based on extensive research by Tarkett and Suzanne Tick, Inc. We spoke with designer Suzanne and Chris Stulpin, Chief Creative Officer for Tarkett, about what Neoculture means exactly… Have a listen and keep reading below to find out more (we promise you won’t want to stop listening…):

 Right: Suzanne Tick / Left: Chris Stulpin

Right: Suzanne Tick / Left: Chris Stulpin

Right off the bat, we were hooked on this topic because we’re living in it right now and witnessing the societal and attitudinal shifts taking place in society that are resulting in these new cultural paradigms.

These attitudinal shifts include population growth, increase in ridesharing and public transportation (with a decrease in purchasing a vehicle), globalization over nationalization, a focus on sustainability, and increase in technology.

 McAllen Public Library by MSR Design / Photo by Lara Swimmer

McAllen Public Library by MSR Design / Photo by Lara Swimmer

As a result, the architecture and design community will be affected and therefore, should better understand the mega-trends that will directly influence how architecture and design projects will change. In some cases, they’re already changing! The pressure is on the A&D community now more than ever to help shape this new culture.

 McAllen Public Library by MSR Design / Photo by Lara Swimmer

McAllen Public Library by MSR Design / Photo by Lara Swimmer

 Photo:  Aerial Agents

Mega Trend #1: Purpose Positive

This trend looks at the old infrastructure of failing retail space and how they can be transformed into new communities. For example, how can we turn old parking lots into something useful? Could large, old shopping complexes be sub-divided into smaller retail spaces, multi-family housing or live/work spaces? Can old big box stores become libraries, continuing education and centers for the arts? The idea that people can create sub-communities within their communities is not new, but now needs to be retrofitted into existing space, especially as the population grows.

 Tomorrow Building in Chattanooga, TN / Photo: Karen Culp

Tomorrow Building in Chattanooga, TN / Photo: Karen Culp

 Tomorrow Building in Chattanooga, TN / Photo: Karen Culp

Tomorrow Building in Chattanooga, TN / Photo: Karen Culp

Mega Trend #2: Sub-Urbanization

Younger generations are getting priced out of big cities and are therefore migrating outside of city centers to create new cities and new communities, rich with culture and diversity that are also walkable. By 2030, more than ½ the global population will live in emerging market cities like this. 60% of the demand for housing will be in the “urbanizing suburbs” for at least a generation.

 Arcade Providence / Photo by Nicholas Millard

Arcade Providence / Photo by Nicholas Millard

Mega Trend #3: Regenerative Generation

This focuses on society’s desire to decrease their carbon footprint and “vote” with their dollars for brands and experiences that align with their values. Many brands that are successful in this model are part of the sharing or giving economy, such as TOMS, Airbnb, and Blue Apron. Consumers are concerned with buying locally sourced products, eating farm-to-table, and even more to the extreme—renting items rather than buying to keep them in the lifecycle.

Mega Trend #4: Future of Betterment

New symbols of status are emerging that are more focused on personalized programs and custom wellness initiatives. With the added benefit of technology, they can easily make appointments and even get health advice virtually. Consumers are also looking for integrated ways that their health can improve with things like sound, color and light, which interior designers and architects can naturally incorporate into the environment. Meditation pods or rooms are popping up in offices and even airports all over the world.

Open-Vessel-meditation-pod-1.jpg

Open Vessel Meditation pods are cocoons paired with an audio experience the user can set through the built-in tablet, with the options being: Relax, Energize, DayDream, Meditate in Silence, or Listen to Music.

Listen to our conversation with Chris and Suzanne to hear more examples of each of these Mega Trends and what our society might look like in 2030 or 2050.

What Mega Trends are you seeing in your communities? How are you incorporating these into your design? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To learn more about Tarkett, visit tarkettna.com.