ColourNext 2012: The Process


ColourNext is an innovative trend forecasting initiative for Indian interiors, developed by Asian Paints and conducted in collaboration with the Center for Knowledge Societies. The ColourNext process includes gaining an understanding of emerging societal trends and changes in consumer behavior, and thereafter predicting their impact on design and décor choices. The resultant output includes an in-depth analysis of four prominent societal trends, along with information about relevant social events, media and brand associations, moods, emotions, and an expertly curated colour palette related to each trend.

ColourNext 2012 marks a decade of this work, which has been widely influential in defining colour choices in interior decor over the course of its evolution. This time around, however, certain changes were made to the process in order to make it a more wide-ranging trend forecasting, where the focus was not solely on colour and visual trends, but on larger societal trends.

The process began with preliminary secondary research of online sources, where researchers collected both textual and visual data of prominent changes and news from different industries. Alongside this, researchers also conducted a ‘visual scan,’ a comprehensive record of various kinds of visual data prevalent in everyday contexts, from magazines, newspapers, high fashion and design to hoardings and billboards. They then began to assimilate a realistic picture of what these various changes in society, technology, media, design and culture could mean for visual design and aesthetics.

Seven strong social trends emerged from this phase of data collection, which were then presented to experts during in-depth interviewed in order to validate and refine them. Visual design trends were correlated to these seven societal and lifestyle trend stories, garnered from a visual bank of over 1000 images. 700 of these were selected to be presented as stimuli during ‘creative studio workshops,’ where the team invited experts from a range of different backgrounds to collaboratively predict visual and design trends for the coming year, of which eleven were considered pertinent for the coming year.

This was followed by focused interviews with experts in different industries such as media, space design, architecture and interior decor in order to ground the trends in local happenings, whilst keep global influences in mind. Collaborative creative workshops were held to validate these, followed by a discussion on these trends by a panel consisting of seasoned sociologists and media experts in order to filter these down to the strongest trends.

Thereafter, workshops were held in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, engaging 32 experts and 60 students in various creative settings. These day-long intensive creative studio workshops created a vast pool of fresh visual themes, that were filtered down and fine-tuned to make up the final themes of ColourNext 2012. This happened in eight collaborative workshops where the Asian Paints and CKS teams worked together with colour consultants to cluster and filter the entire set of themes.

The information from all these sessions was collated and presented at Style Leader Workshops, where leaders and design thinkers from various industries like architecture, photography, art-direction, product design, apparel design, media and design education came together to decide upon the best possible thematic visual directions for the year 2012. Once the themes were voted upon during these workshops, the project teams from Asian Paints and CKS were able to finally crystallize all the information into the four major themes being revealed later today, at the ColourNext 2012 launch.

As a final step, the team collaborated with colour consultants to translate the final themes into colour and material palettes. These palettes sought to capture a critical part of the visual expression of every theme as well as the meanings, emotions and moods that themes are meant to express. The launch today will present installations on each of these themes, which will also be the subject of discussion for ColourNext Dialogues, to be held the following day, the 24th of January (see agenda).

Agenda for ColourNext Dialogues 2012

As we mentioned in a post earlier this week, the Center for Knowledge Societies is collaborating with Asian Paints in organizing an event, ColourNext Dialogues 2012, a a first of its kind conclave on colour trends, forecasting and visual directions in Indian society. The conclave, to be held at a restored mill in Byculla, Mumbai on January 24th, 2012, will be an intensive half-day discussion on the visual significance of observed and predicted social trends.

Speakers will Include

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how do dating services work Valerie Bonnardel, Reader in Experimental Psychology, University of Winchester
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The event, moderated by Dr. Aditya Dev Sood, will begin with a walk through the installation spaces, in order to introduce the themes to participants. This will be followed by discussions on the visual, especially colour-related, significance of each of these themes. An agenda for the day is provided below:

10:30 – 11:00 Installation Space Walkthrough

11:00 – 11:10 Welcome address by Aditya Dev Sood

11:10 – 11:20 An Introduction to Colour Next and its Objectives by Mr. Joshua Karthik

11:20 – 11:40 A Dialogic Approach to Colour Trends

11:40 – 12:00 Presentations of Themes by Sneha Raman, CKS

12:00 – 12:30 Interactive Session on Themes

12:30 – 13:50 Panel Discussions on each Theme

13:50 – 14:00 Closing Note and Invitation to Lunch

Participation at ColourNext Dialogues is by invitation only. However, if you are interested in attending, please contact Vedika Khanna at cks@cks.in