Industrial furniture trend 2020: interview with prof. Giulio Ceppi

Industrial design always amazes and intrigues furnishing enthusiasts: there is an unquestionable fascination in the details of the raw finishes and in the usage of raw materials, which are the driving force behind an era of mechanical ingenuity. Incorporating industrial interiors into a home or office environment is an excellent way to combine modern interior design with old materials that have been redesigned with a new look. The trends of industrial design are constantly evolving, even by virtue of the fact that this style is no longer the exclusive preserve of elegant city lofts and more and more connected to consumers’ sustainability ideals. So, which are the latest news in this area? And which obstacles does the furniture industry face in keeping up with the needs of the general public? We asked Professor Giulio Ceppi, architect and lecturer at the School of Design of the Politecnico di Milano and Design Director of Kindof. His experience guides us to discover the 2020 trends in the world of industrial design, navigating among technological progress, eco-design and a production chain increasingly influenced by news events and subject to radical changes.

Giulio Ceppi

2020 Industrial Design evolution: Giulio Ceppi’s viewpoint

Industrial design is increasingly influenced by consumers’ emotions and values. How would you design a product in 2020 that will win people’s hearts and minds, standing out from the crowd? Today it is impossible to design a furniture product if not connected with a specific brand. The lifestyle and the world where the brand wants to suggest and produce are fundamental: it is the brands with their strong identity which communicate with consumers, through product, service, communication, sales environments and special events. The product forms a part of all this, important of course, but always consistent and in resonance with the “semantic ecosystem” which is the brand.

Valore del marchio

Circular economy is a very strong concept in the world of industrial design. How close are we to achieve a state where eco-design is the standard followed by all furniture designers and manufacturers? Unfortunately, I think we are still a long way from what you say: if sustainability is certainly a must, which no manufacturer can avoid considering the life cycle of his products, the circular economy is still the prerogative of few pioneers, among them certainly KINDOF. Only more stringent regulations can make us step forward. In 2020, technology is hyper connected with design: which are the new technologies making their way into the furniture sector and how will they improve the design process? If we talk about design and parts engineering, it is evident that digital modeling systems make us achieving incredible technical advances today, just as BIM is a fundamental platform for interior spaces design. However, I believe that a sketch on a piece of paper is always a start…

Smart City entrance

Which materials, colors and finishes are trendsetting and why? Which, instead, will remain the prerogative of the past? I think it is clear to everyone how the world of contract in recent years has gradually moved towards dense and saturated colors, often preferring blacks and grays (neutral shades), as much as dark woods. In any case, the world is not as global as one believes and in Arab countries, rather than in India or the USA, I think it is difficult to impose these trends in an absolute way: they serve to “showcase”, to sell an imaginary reference, but, then, everyone declines as they believe, to the point of maximum personalization. The past often becomes vintage, and is more current than the present: you need to have taste, not follow fashions, as Coco Chanel used to say.

L'uso dei colori scuri, progetto BBOOK

Which are the major challenges that furniture designers will have to face in the coming years? Certainly what is happening to us with Covid-19 will change the global scenarios significantly, in terms of proxemics and distance (and therefore spatiality), in terms of materials and security, in terms of durability and flexibility. The supply chains will also become shorter and therefore the design will have to take into account, favoring personalization on the other hand. After all, we will have a lot to do on the functional level and redefining our living landscapes, without losing the environmental and sustainability issues, which is certainly a priority.

bosa GS4C


Industrial design is not a mere stylistic choice, but a real philosophy as well, which embraces the sustainability ideals and gives preference to numerous personalization perspectives. We have seen how deeply the industry is influenced by consumer sentiment and how important it is for brands to be able to tell the story of a product. Kindof has adopted this approach since its birth, giving life to sustainable and customizable furniture elements and complements, where the typical steel of industrial style is declined in a totally new, elegant and minimal design, enriched with style and elegance any type of environment.

Would you like to take home a piece of eco-friendly design by Kindof? Choose it from our website and you’ll get a free complement!

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