Trend wall

As I told in my previous post, I finished five months internship at Avec last week, a company that develops all sort of craft supplies for big stores in the Netherlands. The most amazing thing was that I got my own trend wall there, which I could use for all the signals I found (see the picture above). Before this, I mostly did all my trend research on my computer, making it hard to cluster signals and mix them up. The trend wall gave me the opportunity to innovate my own trendwatching method and it was both exciting and difficult. It was hard to get this freedom and decide what I wanted to do with it, but it was the perfect way to experiment.

Every week I 'cleaned' the wall. I took everything off and started over. I picked signals randomly and hung them on the wall. I found those signals everywhere: blogs, Pinterest, magazines, folders, fairs, interviews etcetera. After a few days I mostly saw a pattern of signals I had found. I then rearranged my wall and put together the signals that were alike. This way, I had two or three trends on a wall each time. I then started searching specifically for signals that matched those trends, so I could strengthen the story and background of the trend.

After I did all that, I wanted to explain the trend in an understandable and easy way to Avec. They like it when trends are being translated into concrete examples, so that's what I did. I created digital moodboards with images that represented the atmosphere of the trend, but also gave a little impression of craft ideas that could be made when talking about a specific trend. I also added short lines to the moodboard that explained what the trend was all about, but in a short way, no long text pieces. Avec liked it this way, they understood what a trend implied and what kind of crafts could be made. 

You can see one of my first moodboards above. It's about a trend I called 'Dierlijk Woud', which you can translate to Animal Woods. It's about the woods and all wood animals that live in it (foxes, deers, wolves etc.). I showed some examples of a embroidery deer and a crocheted fox scarf and added words like 'back to nature' and 'sustainability'.

I really liked working like this. It's easy to assess everything like this and to cluster signals quickly. Normally, when working on a computer with trend research, it's difficult to compare several signals to each other. It's easier to actually hold them in your hands and move them around as much as you like, since sometimes it occurs that you were wrong about a trend or that a signal isn't as strong as you believed it was at first. I recommend using a trend wall like this to everyone who is researching trends or other subjects (like target groups maybe?), since you can get a nice overview of all the signals you've found. I'm thinking about getting a wall like this at home, so I can gather everything that inspires me there.

One last thing: to show you how dynamic a trend wall like this one could be, I made a short video with all the pictures I took of my trend wall. This way, you can see how many times I changed it and how it evolved, It's nice to change so quickly, since it keeps you focused and it doesn't get boring!

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