Changes in society affect how you feel and even what you buy and wear. Trend analyst Susanna Bjorklund and designer Sisse Collander presented such changes at Signals, a visually enchanting yet informative trends exhibition at Helsinki-based design fair Habitare.

 Susanna runs Enne, a trend analysis company.

The themes this year included Offline, a reaction to the age of digitalisation and overstimulation, and Coincidence, which explored control and serendipity. We speak to Susanna about her work and this year’s trends.

What have you learned about trends?

Trends used to last for years. Today, the cycles are too fast and people can’t keep up, which has led to the diminishing reliance on short-lived trends. People are – and should be – falling back on their own tastes, influenced by elements like culture and gender.

Do trends cross industries?

Yes. People interested in fashion are naturally interested in interior design; you’ll see the same trends from fashion going to interiors or art. Like the mixing of sportswear with luxury wear, there is a rise in combining design genres that don’t necessarily match. That’s how real homes are, after all. You have things that are designer items, or from the flea market, or hand-me-downs – not all of them match, but that’s why it looks good

A peek at the slow living trend we think will be trending this year. (L – R: Anno Collection Linen Pillow Covers, Linie Design Almeria Rug, United Strangers Brooklyn Sofa)

Happiness was one of Signals’ themes. How do you imbue a home with happiness?

It is subjective, but slowing down and paying attention to your surroundings helps. There was a lot of talk about Marie Kondo and decluttering but, in my opinion, being happy does not necessarily mean having fewer things. It is to see beauty and meaning in items, from the furniture I have long saved up for, to something that reminds me of my grandmother.

What is your best “coincidental” purchase?

We found an old mangle – a device used to smooth out laundry before modern irons – in a barn, and turned it into a dining table. It is made of solid oak from the 18th century, and is the heart of our kitchen!

 Image: Anno Collection

What’s a trend that’s here to stay?

Sustainability [be it creating a long-lasting brand or being green] through transparency. Consumers want experiences now, which is why more brands are using social media to interact and inform consumers about their processes.