The 4 consumer design trends shaping society

D&AD team up with Future Laboratory to pick design trends making a change.

Each year D&AD documents and rewards the finest work by creatives across a range of disciplines through the D&AD Awards, and the D&AD New Blood Awards - open to aspiring creatives under the age of 24 and recent graduates.

With the New Blood Awards 2015 now launched (deadline 31 March), we invited D&AD and leading design consultancy The Future Laboratory to give us some insight into the key consumer trends that are shaping society.

From the ever-expanding role of technology, to our changing sense of identity and on to our desire to explore the more extreme ends of the spectrum, understanding these trends could help you think about the next brief you tackle.

01. Awakening Tech

Our digital and offline worlds are converging. We have become bedfellows with robots, we take advice from gadgets and we ask life's questions from mega-systems.

How can we embrace technology without losing our own humanity in the process? Perhaps the answer lies with designers who'll discover how to use technology in ways that inspire and engage people, and really makes a difference to them as they go about their day.

Example: The Magic of Flying

The four consumer design trends shaping society

This dynamic retail messaging won two DA&D awards last year

For British Airways, OgilvyOne Worldwide built the world's first billboards that reacted to BA planes flying overhead. Using an ADSB antenna, they read every aircraft's transponder data within a 200km radius.

The ads displayed each plane's flight number and the location of its departure. Dynamic retail messaging was also matched to each route, inspiring viewers to book. The campaign won two D&AD Yellow Pencils in 2014.

Example: Living Architecture

The four consumer design trends shaping society

A Black Pencil award winner, this project aimed to take the stress out of commuting

Rush hour at the train station is a universally stressful experience. NS and ProRail in The Netherlands wanted to improve the transfer process on station platforms, making it more comfortable, faster and safer.

Edenspiekermann helped develop LED strips positioned above each platform showing travellers everything they need to know. Using a system of coloured bands, they even indicate how busy the train is.

A three-month pilot at Den Bosch train station was very successful and travellers gave NS a significantly higher rating at the end of the trial period. The project won a Black Pencil at the 2014 D&AD Awards.

02. Sharded Self

Social media is changing how we interact, make decisions and form opinions. As we pin, post and preen our way to an ideal online identity, these personality fragments are forming the components of a new 'sharded self' – it appears as if we can inhabit as many lives as we like.

Example: Enjoy Your Privacy

The four consumer design trends shaping society

A wake up call to all smartphone users out there

Only one in three smartphone users install security software to protect their devices, which is staggering when you consider how much potentially embarassing information we keep on them.

Advertising agency Leo Burnett created Enjoy Your Privacy to challenge security apathy by dramatising the risks of leaving information and WiFi connections unprotected. Using WebSocket, users can pair their phones with their desktops.

However, once the synchronisation process is underway participants appear to gain access to seven strangers' phones. They can then see intimate photos, text messages, emails and financial information.

Each character has a secret, which is revealed when you view certain pieces of trigger content. An epilogue video plays once the secrets are revealed, explaining the campaign.

Example: ASOS Face/Off

The four consumer design trends shaping society

Awkward into awesome - fashion faux pas are avoided with this app

Last year students Lena Paik and Nicholas Cheong of Lasalle College of the Arts were New Blood winners with a proposed app for ASOS.

It's always awkward bumping into someone wearing the same outfit, so they created a new way for people to showcase their clothing choices and stage outfit battles.

You upload an outfit photo, and the app uses image recognition to search for challengers wearing something similar.

Other users can then vote, chosing the winners of these outfit battles every hour. The results are put on a leaderboard and the winners can then be featured on the ASOS site.

Find out about polarity paradox and super synaesthesia on the next page...