Every year I do a little exercise, a cross between New Year’s resolutions and trend-spotting. I look at fads and fashions and decide; which ones do I want to follow and which ones deserve to be pushed away. Then I make two lists, the things I want more of in the coming year & the things I can do without.
Both lists are, of course, a weird mix of personal bias and social vogue. Today is the first list, 13 things I want more of in 2013.
1. Print – specifically, printing photographs. Digital devices are a good way to store to large numbers of photos, but we are still physical beings and there’s something so much more tangible and substantial about printed images. Lab quality printing at home is getting cheaper all the time, with excellent printers like the Canon Selphy 900 or the larger and more robust Canon Pro1 (both of which I own and use). I suspect we will also see a renaissance in print books and more photographers releasing their own limited edition folios and e-zines.
2. Neo-Minimalism – I’m not sensing a return to the hyper-modern, empty surfaces and no personality look, popular in the mid-90s. But, It does feel like many people are embracing a “less is more” aesthetic, which includes less stuff, less clutter and also less concern for everything being design catalogue perfect.
3. Intentionality – Throughout the last year, I’ve noticed a lot of people trying to be more intentional about their life choices, making space to be more creative, changing career, or simply trying to make every day count a little more. I’m intrigued by the rise of new journaling apps like Day One and exercise/habit apps that connect to social media, all of which use technology to not just document our intentions, but reinforce them as well.
4. Vinyl – Along with the rapid decline of CDs, Vinyl has been a trend for some time. What we are seeing now though is a proliferation of new, fairly cheap turntables that will help to popularise Vinyl with younger music fans. This is part of a much bigger trend towards the physical appreciation of art, which is of course, a reaction against the digitisation of nearly everything.
5. Outdoor Exercise – Gyms are weird places when you think about it. The dodgy lighting, sweaty recycled air and social rituals that feel like high school revisited. More and more, I see people shifting to outdoor exercise, whether it’s portable routines like running or yoga, simple sports like cycling, or hauling the gym gear out into the park, as I do with my TRX, or as others doing (especially in Australia) with Swiss balls, weights and the like.
6. Artisanal – The trend to handmade, high quality, locally produced and well crafted is something that appears on both my want and do not want lists for 2013. I adore the the small maker trend when it manifests itself in local scenes, like New York’s burgeoning boutique spirit distilling industry. Artisanal foods and products are not only helping many cities and regions revitalise, they are also adding a welcome balance to standardised, one-size fits all hyper-consumerism.
7. Internet Radio – Although it has been an option for some time, internet radio has been tied to browsers, which meant it was of limited appeal to those who don’t work at a computer, or listening outside office hours. But, new apps & devices, together with a rumoured push from Apple might make 2013 the year for radio, especially as internet radio opens doors for new broadcasters to emerge (like Monocle 24) and existing regional stations to reach a global audience. Personally, I cook every meal at home listening to WWOZ, who broadcast amazing and fresh playlists of great music, out of New Orleans!
8. Making – A few years back I remember hearing how DIY & home crafts would die out as cheaper & cheaper products from China would turn us all into consumers of new, ready made goods. The prediction failed because it assumed we all wanted cookie cutter disposable junk. Instead, there has been a resurgence in crafts (see Etsy), reconditioning high quality older products (like bringingtape machines & old film back to life) and making new stuff, especially with the amazing 3D printers and other prototyping tools coming onto the market.
9. Latin American Cuisine – In traditional and Neuvo Latino forms, the food of South and Central America has been a big trend for a while now. But, 2013 will be the year it breaks out the Americas and becomes a global phenomenon. Sadly, there is still a lot of misinformation out there, which food writers & bloggers are lazily propagating. But, I’m still thankful the food and drink I grew up with is starting to be experienced and better understood around the world.
10. South East Asian Cinema – While Japanese, Indian, South Korean and Chinese films are well known around the world, South East Asian films have only recently started to make a big impact. Whether it’s art-house hits like the Cannes Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, or hard-edged action films like The Raid: Redemption and Headshot, it’s clear movies from this region are now well and truly “on the map.”
11. Real Bread – Chef Gregoire Michaud helped me clarify some thoughts on this. The days of being thankful for free but crappy bread are in the past. Thanks to the sourdough revolution, the artisanal baking movement and more adventurous home cooks expectations are rising with regard to good quality bread. I’m constantly surprised, on my travels, at the quality of real bread that’s now out there.
12. Internet TV – One thing I kept noticing during 2012 was the number of people bragging about how good Apple TV is, or buying one to check out the fuss. Add to this the other streaming and online services for films, TV shows and sports and you have the makings of a huge shift away from Cable TV and other conventional broadcasts. Expect 2013 to be the year many people look at their bills and renewal invoices and decide to “cut the Cable.”
13. Perpetual Education – The nature of education is changing and the idea of studying for a brief period of time after high school, to get a job for life is dead. When I was a kid, being a draftsman was considered a solid profession and school friends went on to become typists, print setters and filing clerks, all jobs that pretty much don’t exist anymore. We have to accept a constant learning cycle as we keep sharp for ever changing jobs and the technologies that support them. Thankfully services like Lynda, Coursera, MacProVideo & BerkleeMusic (along with many others) are there to meet our needs.