Milan Design Week is an event not to be missed. It always surprises, introduces latest trends and innovations, pushes boundaries of what design is through extraordinary exhibitions and brings together one of the largest creative crowds together.
For these, and many other reasons (such as simply being huge fans and massive enthusiast of it), this Material Monday, we explore the most interesting projects that advanced how we look at haptic experiences and successfully ideated on how we can introduce tactile design into surrounding products and environments.
Our most favourite picks explored new tactile ways of interacting with technology. Across all projects, we witnessed intricately delicate designs amplified by a muted palette of matte, tinted neutrals. Use of these gentle yet highly emotive colours, in combination with haptics, very successfully humanised technology in current worldwide overload of it. They insightfully moved the transactional and informational layer of technology to the background, while tapping into what we are looking for when we open an app, message, check the phone screen, watch Netflix, swipe Tinder, browse Facebook and Instagram, converse with Siri and Alexa or open a new tab in a browser, and that layer is emotional.
The reason behind these success stories lunched at MDW, is that the sense of touch is intrinsically emotional. Tactility speaks to us not only in visual shapes, but also creates a subliminal dialogue with us by stimulating the receptors in the skin. It is a memory maker. It is a form of social glue that binds people to other people, objects, spaces and brands more than anything else in the world. It is a unified sensation that helps us build a connection with the environment we are in.
In essence, Milan Design Week has given us an introduction into a new and upcoming technology boom – emotive tech. In this trend we will see technology brought to life by the touch of a hand, just like in the following projects:
HIDDEN SENSES by Sony
CRYSTAL RAIN by Kawai
TRANSITIONS by Panasonic Design
FORMS OF MOVEMENT by Nendo
SOFT WEAR / SOFT FUTURES by Google
ALTERED STATES by Snarkitecture
DESIGN ON THE EDGE OF EXPERIENCE by Dassault Systèmes
If you are interested in hearing more insights about and opportunities behind introducing tactile design into your brand or project, or are interested in booking one of our CMF workshops titled ‘Tactility Speaks’, please feel free to get in touch.