Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Have a little Faith
I try not to watch the news or read a newspaper. Ironic really, since I have journalism qualifications.
The reason I avoid the news is because I no doubt see or hear something that I find so alarming I can't get it out of my head for days, and it affects my sleep.... and I'm an ordinary sleeper at the best of times.
Yesterday, I must have let my guard down somewhat and came upon the story about overseas companies buying up Australian agricultural land.
In 1950, when baby boomers were children the world population was 2.55 billion. Only sixty years later, it is now 7 billion, and by 2025 (in 15 years time) it is predicted to hit 8 billion.
That is a quadrupling of the world population within the life of a baby boomer. You can imagine how important is is to protect productive land, and to treat it in a way so that it remains productive in the long term.
Anyway, in a roundabout way, this got me to thinking about our current insatiable thirst for nostalgia. Vintage is the catch cry in the fashion world. Turn on the television and you'll see reruns of MASH, I dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, I love Lucy, Green acres and The Flintstones. Trawl Ebay and all kinds of everyday items from the 50s, 60s and 70s are going for ridiculous amounts of money, like Fiesta ware (below) and remember my Sebel chairs.

This nostalgic twist was predicted years ago by the 'futurist' Faith Popcorn (below). (www.faithpopcorn.com

She is a New Yorker who has been 'predicting' future social trends for companies for a long time. I don't mean predicting, as in the gypsy type way, but rather she analyses the way we live now to see what we will be doing in the future.
One of her trends has been what she calls 'Down Ageing'. That's when, nostalgic for their carefree childhood, baby boomers find comfort in familiar pursuits and products from their youth.
What has also been the case with this trend is that not only are boomers looking back, but younger people are finding solace in the years before they were born. So they become nostalgic for a past they never lived....enter Mad Men!

I am 38 (well, almost 39) and I have given up trying to keep abreast of new products, technology, gadgets and social networking. With respect to Ms Popcorn, it is almost a no-brainer that in our chronically fast paced and ever, ever, ever changing world that we would reach back into our childhoods for a security blanket.
I find constant change, seemingly for the sake of change most of the time,  irritating and stressful. I can only imagine what it must be like if you're 75.
I know this subject is unrelated to renovating, but I find it interesting all the same.
I've listed Faith's other trends below. Remember she came up with some of these a decade or more ago. She likes to document all of her future trends so we know that she came up with them first.

1. 99 Lives – Too fast a pace, too little time, causes societal schizophrenia and forces us to assume multiple roles.
2. Anchoring – A reaching back to our spiritual roots, taking what was secure from the past in order to be ready for the future.

3. AtmosFear – Polluted air, contaminated water and tainted food stir up a storm of consumer doubt and uncertainty.
4. Being Alive – Awareness that good health extends longevity and leads to a new way of life.
5. Cashing Out – Working women and men, questioning personal/career satisfaction and goals, opt for simpler living.
6. Clanning – Belonging to a group that represents common feelings, causes or ideals; validating one’s own belief system.
7. Cocooning – The need to protect oneself from the harsh, unpredictable realities of the outside world.
8. Down-Aging – Nostalgic for their carefree childhood, baby boomers find comfort in familiar pursuits and products from their youth.
9. Egonomics – To offset a depersonalized society, consumers crave recognition of their individuality.
10. EVEolution – The way women think and behave is impacting business, causing a marketing shift away from a hierarchical model toward a relational one.
11. Fantasy Adventure – Modern age whets our desire for roads untaken.
12. FutureTense – Consumers, anxiety-ridden by simultaneous social, economic, political and ethical chaos, find themselves beyond their ability to cope today or imagine tomorrow.
13. Icon Toppling – A new socioquake transforms the world as the pillars of society are questioned and rejected.
14. Pleasure Revenge – Consumers are having a secret bacchanal. They’re mad as hell and want to cut loose again.
15. SOS: Save Our Society – Rediscovering a social conscience of ethics, passion and compassion.
16. Small Indulgences – Stressed-out consumers want to indulge in affordable luxuries and seek ways to reward themselves.
17. Vigilante Consumer – The consumer manipulates marketers and the marketplace through pressure, protest and politics.
You can see a little movie on each one of her website if you're interested.
Alright I promise I'll get back to paint colours and cushion covers now....I just think it's interesting to consider where we've been and where we're going sometimes.


  1. Great post. Very interesting, we were discussing exactly this with a bunch of people the other day most of which wouldn't have been caught dead in a second hand shop,now they cant get enough. Quality and craftsmanship was another reason they changed their consumer habits (where furniture is concerned) they were tired of replacing things every few years but couldn't afford to purchase properly made furniture. I must add these are the same people that used to laugh at my thrifty recycling ways. Megan xx

  2. Ah quality! Hence the phrase, 'they don't make em like them used to'.

  3. I really enjoyed your post today. Certainly a little different but something to really think about. I also saw the news about our land being purchased by o/s buyers. Slightly alarming! ;-)