Back to the Future

It's always exciting to look to the future but, sometimes we need to look back first. The year is 1964, I'm a five-year old at the World’s Fair in Flushing, Queens and the future is all around me. Check out these 20 awesome things visitors saw at the World’s Fair. On the 50th anniversary of the Fair, the Daily News wrote about the futuristic aspects of the attractions and pavilions: “Model rockets featured in NASA’s exhibit promised a trip to the moon was just years away. Visitors to the futuristic IBM Pavilion sat on a moveable grandstand that carried them up to a theater. Ford showed off its radical new Mustang. And utility companies touted how atomic energy would provide cheap, limitless electric power.” marked the 50th anniversary with these observations about what the Fair got right and what it got wrong. “The New York World's Fair of 1964 introduced 51 million visitors to a range of technological innovations and predictions during its run. Fifty years later, some of those ideas have turned out to be commonplace in our world, such as video phone calls and asking computers for information. But some of them—colonies on the moon and jet packs as a mode of everyday transportation—remain firmly on the drawing board.

“Another bit of technology (along with an annoyingly hard-to-forget song) was introduced by Walt Disney with the It's a Small World attraction: robotic animation. That 'animatronic' exhibit and three others, including one featuring a robotic President Abraham Lincoln, showed characters moving in lifelike ways, including smiling and blinking. This is the first time that millions of people had the opportunity to see something that could be described as robotic.”


My memories of the Fair are vivid because it was like nothing I, or anyone else, had ever seen or experienced before. My 11-year old brother “driving” the car on the Ford's Magic Skyway past scenes featuring dinosaurs, cavemen and a futuristic cityscape. General Electric's Progressland where we were seated in a revolving auditorium called the Carousel of Progress watching an audio-animatronic presentation of the progress of electricity in the home. And the summer of ’64 was so oppressively hot that for the first time ever, I saw my parents drink beer at the Schaefer Pavilion.

It’s hard to believe but in a little more than two years, the year 2020 will be upon us. While we won’t have a World’s Fair to tell us what life will be like in 2020, we do have this thing called the internet where we can find some predictions for what will be trending that year and in the years to come. Here are two interesting predictions for what the workplace and the look of our bathrooms (2 places where we spend a lot of time) will look like. And in the design world, color will influence everything, from what we buy to what we wear.

Which Trends Are Expected to Dominate the Workplace by 2020?

In this opinion piece by Nikos Andriotis, there will be a deluge of Millennials in the workplace with more than 36 percent of the work force made of people born after the Baby Boomers. Here’s what the changing demographics will mean:
  • Employees are projected to stay longer in the workforce in the coming years, which means that basically five generations of workers from diverse backgrounds will work together in collaborative teams.

  • Globalization and virtual workplaces will also play an increasing role in the changing landscape of the workplace, causing more fluid shifts and flows of talent.

  • Cultural diversity will eventually mean that businesses will need to incorporate a broader set of values than today. This means that companies will have to radically rethink all of their internal interactions, especially those involving their human capital: namely how to approach, deploy, develop and retain people.

    While consumers satisfaction will still be important, employee experience will be a key ingredient to any company’s success. Artificial intelligence and big data will drive business decisions and “as machines take over mundane tasks, employers expect more complex, creative and varied functions from their people.”

    In short, the big business challenge will be to “effectively manage talent or inspire and empower employees. The bottom line is that companies are simply unprepared for how flexible the 2020 work force will be.”

Bathroom Trends 2019 / 2020 – Designs, Colors and Tile Ideas

Here are a few excerpts about bathroom trends from

“Often the concept of the bathroom design is linked to the whole living space design arrangement, and its style is determined by the full visual idea. There is also a variety in the bathroom design trends when it comes to the minimalist bathroom’s design for small urban dwellings and the luxurious large houses with bathtubs, jacuzzi and large walk in showers.


“Despite the variety on the subject one thing is sure, the big names on international design scene are working on bathroom collections, inventing and collaborating with manufactures for creating a wide variety of shower and bathroom appliances. Which comes to show the importance of the subject—the trends in bathroom design are strong and influenced by global developments as any other aspect of interior design tendencies.

“One of the most significant questions in front of designers today is how to accommodate small-scale living without compromising luxury and style? The unprecedented increase in urbanization in the world and the limitations in housing impose the question and offer intriguing creative possibilities.”

The Color to Watch for in 2020: Neo Mint

When it comes to any type of design, color can be extremely influential. Trend forecasters at WGSN are predicting that Neo Mint will be the color to watch for in 2020. Sydney Frazer agrees and recently on, he writes, “Neo Mint harmonizes science and technology with nature. It has a cool, futuristic tech feel but also connects with plant life and nature. The color is also a hope for a more gender-neutral society, where primarily feminine or masculine colors will be left behind. With its nature-inspired tones and futuristic coolness, Neo Mint will be the color that welcomes us into a new world.” For more on the futuristic, tech inspired color of 2020, click here.

Here are a few more predictions for the future.

The Top 12 Health Chatbots
From the Medical Futurist

Meet Molly, Eva, Ginger, Replika, Florence, Izzy—your new chatbot friends aiming to make your life better. In the last years, smart algorithm-powered, text or voice-based interfaces have multiplied, and they are also taking their place in health care. The Medical Futurist believes they will ease the burden on doctors in primary care and help patients learn to take care of their health responsibly. Do you want to try one? Check out the following health chatbots!

RIP, Minimalism. Retro Logos Are Back!
The pendulum is swinging away from clean, modern aesthetics toward curvy, retro designs. It’s not uncommon to see an evolution from a flat logo to something dimensional or vice versa. But over the last three years in particular, from a typography standpoint, we’ve seen a transition toward very austere sans serif logos. Google flipped from a serif font to a sans serif, and other major brands like Verizon, Calvin Klein, and Century 21 did the same. Part of what’s going on here is the idea of clarifying the message and conveying transparency. Unfortunately, when it becomes too sterile, it also strips these brands of their personalities. However, this year, the pendulum is starting to swing in the other direction. When design moves toward this level of simplicity, designers counter it. Very expressive logos are making a comeback, which is a direct result of nostalgia–and pop culture reboots.

18 Trends Futuristas Are Watching
The Futures Forum 2018 Trend Report was curated by Dr. Claire Nelson, with 9 women futurists from around the world. Some examples include increasing women's role in leadership and increasing attention to inequality & opportunity creation.