Wood is trendy and attracts designers

Sustainability, a shared use of everyday products and a fascination for natural materials such as wood.

Those are some of the future trends within interior design according to German Design Council’s CEO, Andrej Kupetz. In this interview he explains the emerging trends.

Copyright© Lutz Sternstein

Since 2012, the German Design Council has awarded the German Design Award to “projects that truly represent pioneering contributions to the German and international design landscape”, as the mission statement sounds on the council’s homepage.

Andrej Kupetz is CEO of the German Design Council and here he shares his views on future design trends:

Which are the main trends in interior architecture and planning in 2017?

− This year, one of the trends in interior design is the desire for clear statements and positions that is also expressed in design: bold, intense colors as well as patterns that are both striking and geometric set accents that refuse to be overlooked.

− On the other hand, we also see simplicity with minimal use of color, recalling Scandinavian interiors. Color gradients set accents and likewise create fine transitions between materiality and transparency. Hard materials turn soft: frosted glass and unglazed ceramics create a sense of lightness and an authentic tactile experience.

How is the use of natural materials expressed in the designs?

− Natural and untreated materials such as wood, leather, wool, felt, rattan and natural stone are currently very popular and satisfy the need for earthy originality, clarity, and the reduction to essentials.

− Currently, designers are making abundant use of wood, which exerts a fascination as a natural material and as a design component. Its grains and shadings produce a versatile design element and inspire designers to do without additional colors and patterns to reveal its glorious beauty and diversity.

Can you give a specific example of designers’ use of wood?

Just to give one example, have a look at MDF panels which previously only had smooth surfaces. Today a material like "The Collection", which is the Swiss’ carpentry Strasser AG Thun's collection of unique 3D patterned surfaces in MDF, is in line with the current wood trend. “The Collection” is designed in collaboration with six designers and earned the carpentry the German Design Awards prize "Excellent Product Design − material surface".

Which type of innovation do you see in the projects nominated for a German Design Award 2017?

We’ve observed several different trends that are currently influencing and changing our society and our social lives. Sustainability has been a top priority for years, and this is reflected in interior architecture and in design in general.

For example, many projects involve innovative use of everyday products that doesn’t focus on possession, but on the shared use of these items.

Moreover, we’ve observed long-standing, intense examination and exploration of materials and production processes. Many designers are experimenting with recyclable materials and artisanal production processes that require less energy. And recently, Industry 4.0 has enabled production via digitalization and new processes such as 3D printing and the production of batches consisting of a single piece.

Read more about the prestigious German Design Award 

Read more: The Troldtekt® rhomb honored with a German Design Award 2017


  • The German Design Council, established on initiative of the German Bundestag in 1953, gives the award.
  • The first German Design Awards were given in 2012.
  • The German Design Award is given to designs within two different sections: In Excellent Product Design there are 27 categories, and in Excellent Communications Design there are 21 categories. Moreover, in 2017 Universal Design entered as a cross-over category.
  • More than 4.000 projects from 50 different countries entered the competition.
  • An international jury valued the entries and gave 45 gold prizes and 361 winners were chosen across the 48 categories.