Does Trendy Design Always Stand the Test of Time?

A bright pink kitchen decorated in the iconic style of the 1980s.
A bright pink kitchen decorated in the iconic style of the 1980s.

Architectural design comes to life in a variety of ways, often standing out against a landscape of traditional elements. Strong characteristics of buildings, houses, and other dwellings add eye-catching appeal and provide unique features that make their designers easily identifiable. This type of innovation garners attention and praise from other architects, journalists, and design enthusiasts — but of course, what might initially appear to be ingenious details can also be the very things that turn potential buyers and investors away down the road. That’s because extreme designs often come to be associated with trends, although that fact doesn’t come to light until some time has passed and it becomes obvious that the work isn’t timeless after all.

Although there will always be people with the money and appreciation for extremely unique architectural works, most eccentric features find a

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The push to redefine “good design” amid the Black Lives Matter movement

In 2015, Nextdoor, the location-based social networking app, gained a reputation as a locus of racial profiling. Users were sending alerts for merely spotting hoodie-wearing Black men walking in their neighborhoods. One damning report described Nextdoor as “a forum for paranoid racialism—the equivalent of the nosy Neighborhood Watch appointee in a gated community.”

In studying the problem, Nextdoor realized that its easy-to-use app was partly to blame.

Creating intuitive, easy-to-use products and interfaces is the domain of user experience designers. Don’t Make Me Think is both the title of a core textbook in the field and many designers’ professional mantra. An approach called “anticipatory design” even takes the virtue of speed to the extreme, promising a system so seamless that consumers never have to make a single choice.

But the very features that are meant to make technology easier and faster to navigate—like shortcuts and auto-complete functions—can

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Target Released a Documentary on Hulu That Explores Inclusive Design

With its own inclusive approach to design in mind, Target has released a documentary that showcases the cultural impact of design that aims to create more access for all. Available exclusively on Hulu, “Design for All” was produced by RadicalMedia and celebrates inclusive design through the eyes of three people whose lives have directly changed because of it. “The only time I really think about my disability is when I’m challenged with a product that I can’t use,” one person shares at the beginning of the trailer. “And then I hack it, and then I can use it.”

In 54 minutes, the film explores designs of everything from clothing to buildings to home products—and how inclusive design in those areas (and in every aspect of life) “improves the ways we relate to the built environment, to our communities, and to one another,” according to the film description

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102 Black Instagram Accounts to Follow for Home Design, Crafts, Gardening, and More

It’s no secret that design and lifestyle magazines—Country Living included—need to do a better job of showcasing the wonderfully diverse makeup of our country, and the crafters, designers, quilters, and makers within our communities. And because we know many Country Living readers are looking to support Black-owned companies and Black voices—and, as always, are particularly interested in the people and the stories and the cultural influences behind the products—we’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite Black makers, crafters, designers, gardeners, musicians, and other country creatives you can follow on Instagram right now (some of whom you may even recognize from the magazine, like Michiel Perry, above on her South Carolina porch). From a mother-daughter duo hand-sewing linen heirloom-worthy keepsake dolls to a female entrepreneur making Tennessee whiskey, you’ll find endless inspiration for country living that more fully represents the country.

DESIGN & LIFESTYLE

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