Consuming in 2023: forecasts from Ipsos and Catawiki

Nostalgia, inclusion, analogue backlash: these are the trends in a market guided by the Millennials, guidelines for consumption in the new year, according to the online sales platform and the marketing research institute. We talked about it with Gabriele Buratti, architect and designer

Teatro Magico by Saba, design 967 Arch – Photo © Beppe Brancato
Teatro Magico by Saba, design 967 Arch – Photo © Beppe Brancato

The study
Lots of surprises are in store inside the 2023 Trends Report, a survey on consumer trends for the year to come conducted by Catawiki, the leading European platform for auctions of special objects, in collaboration with Ipsos, one of the most important international market research firms.

Analogue pastimes: Checkmate chessboard by Giorgetti, an object reinvented in a design key
Lamps from the Akari family by Vitra, design Isamu Noguchi. Photo @glory_bo_portishead courtesy Vitra

First of all, the most influential consumers will be the Millennials, given the fact that the members of Generation Y, born from 1981 to 1996, are those with the most available income. Consumer trends will respond to their personalities and the years that shaped them, the 2000s. Hence big comebacks for fashion and automobiles, memorabilia of the digital era to analogue pastimes to balance out the hours spent in front of a screen during the pandemic.

Soft shapes: Za:Za sofa by Zanotta, design Zaven

Towards a new maximalism
In design and décor conventions are put aside in favor of a more individual style that dares to try unusual combinations, within a triumph of maximalism: eclectic and bright colors, emphatic patterns and tones, contrasting styles.

Eva van den Oever, an expert on contemporary art, sheds light on the reasons why maximalism will be in vogue in 2023: “We are currently in a minimalist mood, which leaves room for the inclusion of maximalist objects.”

Eclectic colours: fabrics from the Damasco Today collection by Rubelli, seven bright, contemporary variations of a classic textile art
Soft shapes: Jeff sofa by Pedrali, design Patrick Norguet – Photo © Andrea Garuti, art direction Studio FM, styling Studio Salaris

This trend can be seen on TikTok, where #cluttercore is going viral with over 73 million views, where the reels show spaces packed with lively and multifaceted objects, densely crammed in and yet somehow effectively organized. 

Desire for relaxation
The report reveals how the pandemic has prompted us to think about the home environment: research (Silvia & Barona, 2009; Watson et al., 2012; Bar & Neta, 2006; Aronoff, 2006) demonstrates that the human brain tends to associate sharp corners with anger and anxiety, while relaxing contentment is connected with rounded shapes. Therefore people will choose rounded lines that can contribute to create a more hospitable, inviting space. 

Annick van Itallie, an expert on antiques, explains that “harsher architectural lines can be softened by tapestries reinvented in a modern way, for a personal, enveloping touch.” Pieces most coveted in 2023 include the Bend Sofa by Patricia Urquiola (B&B Italia) and the rice paper lamps of Isamu Noguchi (Vitra).

Gabriele Buratti

Gabriele Buratti comments
“An interesting analysis,” says the architect and teacher of Interior Design in the Design Department of the Milan Polytechnic (2003-2010), and the founder with his brother Oscar of the studio Buratti Architetti. “In relation to design and architecture, we should first of all note that our work goes well beyond a dimension of one-year trends: when we design furniture or buildings, we have to think about a much longer life span.”

“The situation is delicate,” Buratti continues. “During the pandemic, all of us considered the idea that something had to change, in our lifestyle and our work. Actually, we have then realized that nothing has changed. My design work does not respond to emergencies or short-term attitudes. We have simply expanded certain aspects, such as digital communication, that were already in use.”

“In my view, the point is something else,” he explains. “In the pandemic, during conference calls, I realized how many ‘ugly’ homes there are – if I may say so – though those homes are inhabited by intellectually interesting people: houses lacking in a design, an idea. What is at stake is not to follow a trend, but to raise the bar, also in terms of aspirations and culture, in our projects.”

Mix of eras: Esosoft sofa and coffee table, design Antonio Citterio (2022); Capitol Complex Chair armchairs, design hommage à Pierre Jeanneret (reinterpretation of a late 1950s design); Ambassade screen, design Charlotte Perriand (1966-1969); Refolo bench, design Charlotte Perriand (1953); Berger and Méribel coffee tables/stools, design Charlotte Perriand (1953 and 1961). All Cassina

This observation has led Buratti to think about the quality of the places we inhabit: “We have to understand that the spaces in which we live, whether they are homes, offices or schools, are important because we spend a great deal of time inside them. So they have to be thought out with a new awareness, to be well made and of high quality. In the Catawiki/Ipsos study, what interests me is the discourse on fluidity and avoidance of codification: only by disrupting certainties and going beyond them can we hope to create a more beautiful and livable world.”