Future Watch: Dion Chang
Future Watch: Dion Chang
01 EMBRACE A LIFESTYLE OF LESS IS MORE – IT’S HERE TO STAY
“Less stuff, more stories”, that’s the current global trend and central mantra. People are looking at consumption in a new way: They are becoming more interested in having experiences and making memories than in buying more fast fashion.
This is also the case with property. People are buying smaller places. Compare the price of a large house with a lock-up-and-go, and you will see the value of the smaller property is exponentially more. People want to declutter, go smaller. An example is the nano-living spaces we’re seeing in Johannesburg, especially. It’s an international trend, one that global retailers like IKEA have picked up on by catering to smaller spaces.
02 GET READY FOR A HOME SPACE THAT’S BECOMING MORE FAMILY-FOCUSED,
BUT NOT NECESSARILY FOR THE REASONS YOU THINK
Even though the trend is to sell up a large house and go smaller, parents should think twice before they sell. Trend forecaster Li Edelkoort says millennials are staying at home longer and the prospect of them owning a property is not very likely – it’s simply unaffordable. You see this playing out in places such as London: people living in motorhomes and Wendy houses, and some even squatting. America is calling their millennials the new urban poor. A South African parallel is our fees-must-fall movement among students. Young people have high student debt and their degrees are not getting
them the positions they’re qualified for – the nature of the workplace has changed. This inequality sees people forced into community living or staying with their parents.
03 FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH THE TERM “TRANSIENT OWNERSHIP”
Uber and other ride-sharing services are making people think twice about car ownership, and platforms like Airbnb are selling experiences, not just accommodation. This runs parallel with the trend of less stuff, more stories – and technology is enabling the mantra. Flux is currently tracking the disruption of the automotive industry, looking at it in terms of digital mobility, as in using ride-sharing apps and not buying a car. This trend will impact the way we travel in major ways. Some of the large car manufacturers are embracing a future in which people will not own cars at all. A wide range of sharing services are already off the ground, and many people Uber everywhere. The idea of transient ownership can also be seen in the repurposing of furniture and other household goods; more things are being consumed in a communal way.
DION CHANG is the founder of Flux Trends, which identifies macro trends and interprets them for businesses. fl uxtrends.com, @dionchang
TEXT Dion Chang PHOTOGRAPH Supplied