Latest stories / The future from a designer’s perspective with Louise Hederström

The future from a designer’s perspective with Louise Hederström


Our designers are up to date on upcoming trends and one step ahead in designing furniture. Offecct has therefore sent five questions to three of our designers to get their views on the future and what lays ahead. Following is Swedish designer Louise Hederström’s thoughts about what challenges designers will face in the future and how design could be affected.

What future challenges do designers face?
Designers have hopefully always been aware of making sure products have a long life, this is now more important than ever. The challenge is to think one step ahead, apply “circular thinking” in which the product is a part of a system that we don’t yet really know how it will work. Consequently, it’s essential to be involved throughout the process and to be able to follow the entire chain. We also need to think more carefully about being responsible in our use of natural resources.

How is design affected and how should we act in the ongoing global collapse and environmental debate?
We must endeavour to come up with a new calculation for the value of materials. At present we focus more on the hourly cost of processing than the actual cost of the material itself when it comes to emissions. We have to have the courage to weigh these against one another. Time is not just money, it also allows us to be more mindful of how we use natural resources. And that is the biggest gain.

We also see the value of local production, and flexibility here can be helpful when society is faced with rapid changes. I hope that more people will realise that production in Sweden and local production in general is a necessity for us all.

In what direction will the next generation be, in terms of behaviors that will influence the design of the future?
This is a generation naturally immersed in all things digital. Information circulates rapidly and there is a high level of awareness. This results in transparency, with sustainability and environmental awareness then being self-evident. Sharing and borrowing from one another is not a big deal, so a circular economy has already taken hold. Individual expression and creativity are also important and, when combined with interest in new materials, these will pave the way for better solutions.

How do designers look and act on new trends, and where are you at?
Generally speaking, I am extremely tired of short-term thinking. It’s so obvious at times like this that we need to think ahead and not just focus on what the quarterly report says. If we want to bring about sustainable change, we need to take a long-term approach. I will continue to focus on local production as much as possible. And work more with waste material and recycled material. In terms of design I will, as ever, draw inspiration from nature.

For Offecct, Louise has designed the chair Tailor and the room divider Green Divider.

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