What’s Modern

I got to be part of an enlightening discussion about what’s modern now.  In the 30’s Art Deco was the rage and considered the height of modern styling.  In the 50’s and 60’s, Scandinavians designs ruled and have made a resurgence now refereed to as mid-century modern.  In the 80’s and 90’s things were high tech and slick with lots of hard polished surfaces.  As we turned the corner on a new century the epitome of modernism was eco conscience designs, re-purposed materials, and tiny carbon footprints.

Art Deco:    Mid-century lamp:

Thierry Mugler, 1990:    Blu Wearable Smartphone Looks Like a Smart Wristband:

So what is modern now?  Well the answer shocked me – Mobile is modern.  We can create an app for our events with yapp.us.  We can turn on our heat and our ovens with our phones while we are out, change the color of lights, call a ride to our home or hotel with Lyft or Uber, check-in on our flights – all with mobile apps. We are nothing without our social media fixes and constant connection with others.   All this mobile use drains the batteries and not surprisingly the trends in the industry surround keeping us connected and charged.  There are small cubes that can act as centerpieces that hold a battery, in a decorative environment of course, with an array of cable ports capable of charging every iPhone and android at the table.  Furniture is now equipped with outlets and USB ports to allow everyone to power up as they recharge their feet after a couple hours on the tradeshow floor.  Even the fashion industry has gotten in on it and Fendi has debuted a handbag with a built in charger – genius.  And inspite of my status as one of those sandwiched between baby boomer and  gen xer,  it’s all fascinating to me.

I attended TSE when it was held in Orlando the last time in 2003 twelve years ago and the advances that have been made in the industry are astonishing.  Maybe I had a mobile phone then, maybe not.  They didn’t hold such prominence in our everyday lives.  I certainly didn’t have an app that showed me where seminars were or one that allowed me to video chat with my dog back home! It begs the question of what advances with mobile technology we are bound to see in the next three to five years.