Well then. Here's one for all you culture buffs who pride yourselves on staying abreast of trends as they come and go each year. New York-based sparks & honey is out with its annual A-Z Culture Glossary of 2017: The Trends You Know to be Relevant, a compendium of cultural trends the agency predicts will...wait for it...change the world in 2017!
To get one thing out right up front: Trump is nowhere to be found on the list.
This is the agency's third outing of the list which, to date, has received over 2.4 million views on Slide Share. Which makes perfect sense because some of the trends and terms used to describe those trends are just whack.
To come up with the list, the agency uses a framework called the Elements of Culture to organize its cultural trends. The 100 trends in the report are broken into the following five categories: Aesthetics, Media, Tech/Science, Humanity and Ideology. Among the trends to watch for 2017 are:
Agendered Iconography– letting go of traditional binary gender signage; using symbols and language in favor of gender fluidity;
AI Morality – expect more public debate around the principles for designing a future in which artificial intelligence makes moral decisions and the ethics of AI's decision making;
Background as Foreground – especially when it comes to content, consumers push the creator's intended message to the background and bring an unexpected idea into the spotlight;
Death Positivity – new conversations and innovations are emerging around how to make death a more positive experience for both the living, and the dead;
Inclusive Economy – brands are becoming increasingly aware of a lucrative market--people with disabilities--and are working to adapt or invent products and services to address their needs and wants;
Insect Food Debate – in the rapidly growing market for alternative proteins, we'll begin to consider the implications of consuming a species that outnumbers and may even terrify some of us;
Museumification of Everything – Artists and brands have begun curating and exhibiting everything (artifacts from broken relationships, ice cream, stuffed animals.) In 2017, expect brands and institutions to capitalize on this trend as an opportunity to engage new audiences;
New Sobriety – as fitness and well-being become more aspirational, expect to see a heightened interest in achieving balance between healthy and indulgent choices;
Polyamory – monogamous coupledom is being challenged by alternative lifestyles, and polyamory is beginning to establish itself into mainstream culture;
Recycle Chic – recycled products are getting invited to the high-end fashion party, breaking the stigma that sustainable products are just for hippies.
Of this year's trends, sparks & honey CEO Terry Young said,"What's really fascinating about this year's trends is the extreme polarization of culture. We're noticing an increasing disruption of the marketplace and consumer behavior, illustrated by the many 'cultural tensions' and counter-trends in this year's A-Z Culture Glossary. One example of those tensions is the decreasing indulgence in vices (like tobacco and alcohol) to alter mood states (New Sobriety) and the use of technology to mimic the effects of traditional medicine and recreational substances (Tech Drugs).