Aug 31, 2023 6:00:00 AM 13 min read

global Trade show trend report

Global Design Trends for 2023: 

Insights From The World’s Leading Trade Shows

There are many places where we can draw inspiration from, but none are quite as impactful as the displays from the world’s leading design shows.

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Across the globe, many of our favorite trade shows were back in full force this year after extended hiatuses brought on by the pandemic. We love being able to gather with industry leaders while getting a first look at the most influential and innovative designs of the year.

Attending and exhibiting at these shows provides us with a full spectrum of design opportunities. Rather than getting glimpses from individual sources, we can soak in all the inspiration we need in settings that can only be described as design heaven. We’ve spent all spring and summer jetting around the globe to discover the best of the design world, and are thrilled to report back with the trends that are going to dominate the scene in coming years. Without further ado, here are the top 4 design trends we spotted from the world’s leading trade shows!  

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Combating climate change and finding ways to reduce emissions was a huge talking point at all of the shows we attended, from BAU in Munich to Chicago’s NeoCon and even showed a popular trend at this years Domotex Asia show in Shanghai. Carbon reduction being one of our main focus points here at Universal Fibers, we love this trend topic!

Clerkenwell Design Week in London featured an array of raw, natural materials alongside a variety of carbon-conscious material solutions.  Universal Fibers®' own Thrive® matter was displayed in several spaces along the Clerkenwell route as well. The Stockholm Furniture Fair, Domotex Asia, and NeoCon also emphasized the use of natural materials like wool, leather, and cork alongside these innovative recycled materials from man-made materials.

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Milan Fashion Week and the Stockholm Furniture Fair reminded us of the 3 R’s with their use of upcycled vintage furniture and recycled materials made from diverted industrial waste. Upholstery foam made from excess sheep wool and bioplastics reinforced with waste, and the use of hemp materials were a few of the highlighted blends that showcased trash being turned back into treasure.  


A Nod to Nature

Going hand in hand with sustainable design materials, lush greenery and biophilic design were also massive features at Milan Design Week and Clerkenwell Design Week. Said to enhance the connection between humans and nature, biophilic design incorporates elements of nature into interior spaces.

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It’s long been known that being surrounded by nature promotes well-being and enhances creativity, so it’s no wonder that humans are increasingly craving greenery in the places they live and work.

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A large part of biophilic design involves using organic materials such as plants, wood elements, and flowers, but their presence can be complemented with textiles in natural color palettes like lush greens and earthy browns - which were prevalent on the tradeshow tour this year.


Bold Colors

The vibrant color trend that has been reigning in the realms of interior design, fashion, and even tech is showing no signs of stopping. It was clear to see that interior designers across the globe are still obsessed with hues that evoke optimism and energy.

Bold palettes were displayed at Clerkenwell Design Week and NeoCon, including playful primary colors, rich jewel tones, desert inspired tones, and cheerful pastels.

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Milan Design Week similarly showcased bright colors with an Italian twist: shades of red and orange paired with soft sky blues, recreating the feel of a coastal sunset or a citrusy cocktail. These terracotta hues were also on display at Stockholm Furniture Fair, where they were paired with classic neutrals such as sage and stone gray for a more understated feel. 

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After years of subdued minimalism and pared-back interiors taking center stage, maximalism is taking over in a big way.

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Fittingly, Milan Design Week showed this at its finest. The country best known for opulent architecture and design served up plenty of extravagant patterns (think all-over stripes and paisley prints), metallic accents, and print-on-print interiors.

Even at the Stockholm Furniture Fair, notoriously minimal Scandi designs were given an eye-catching upgrade with art-inspired prints and patterns.

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As design enthusiast ourselves, we look forward to seeing how these four trends are adapted to shape interiors in the near future. While some may seem to lend purely aesthetic features, and others dig deeper, they all pave the way for an innovative, brighter, and overall more exciting design future. 

At Universal Fibers, our design philosophy is a crucial part of our business philosophy. High-impact and inspiring designs reflect the world around us and design motivates us on our mission to serve both the industry and this planet that we all call home. 


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