What's trending in the World of Design - by DE&E Director of Design, Jen Rudland


The world of events is dynamic, reflective, and expressive; it is inspired and informed by what is resonating with us as individuals and communities. As such, our eventscapes continue to play a pivotal role as we seek to connect in an authentic manner, and create environments that are transformative, immersive and memorable.

Being connected to one another, to humanity, to the earth, our design inspiration turns to the elements that capture our mind and heart, our waters and the colour of the soils and sands that often run through our fingers or sit beneath our feet. This in turn allows us to explore beautiful earthbound colour palettes and pigments, reaching toward the myriad expressions of brown, deepest umber, cacao and tobacco through terracotta to pink clays and sophisticated barely-there neutrals. The possibilities are breathtaking.

These palettes are joined by the gamut of spice tones, of chilli and mustard yellows and the surprise addition of acerbic yellow which is gracing our catwalks and will likely make its way to our tablescapes in surprising juxtaposition to electric blues or indigo.

Sisal, rattan, wicker, rope continue to capture our attention and imagination, as do soft tufted wools, leathers and beautiful velvets. A multitude of decorative embellishments will continue to define and refine the details of bespoke tablescapes where we linger over shared plates and stories.

Oversized shades and suspended textures such as dried palms and organic elements will punctuate the design and thematic realm, at times left in their natural state; at others, dyed or sprayed to capture another essence.

We continue to explore materiality with a love of concrete; slate; travertine; terrazzo, marbles, agates, drawn from the natural or built environments, our cities and landscapes. Timber remains alongside these, as we explore strong shapes with a brutalist edge, simultaneously feeling comforted by rounded shapes reminiscent of the moon, the planets and all that softens the experience of a harsh world.

Our love of greenery and foliage continues and expands; we seek to bask in their freshness and energy. More is absolutely more and this extends to print and pattern alongside living features. We start to explore hyper-tropical; ways that metallics and neon’s speak to the layers of greenery and further explore the incredibly complex and majestic colourways and qualities of the creatures that inhabit our jungles and tropical scapes.

We see the Pantone Colour of the Year – Living Coral – speak as a panacea to our overloaded digital lives and our respect and concern for the environment. ‘Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages light-hearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.’ As a colour, then, uplifting and vibrant. And we will see event styling and themes inspired by the underwater world, as deep-sea blues and marine greens sit alongside living coral in a sophisticated immersive eventscape. Underwater is re-imagined as a Submerged treasure-trove.

Destinations continue to infuse event design and theme. Morocco remains a strong thematic direction, as a valuable source of inspiration. Japan will start to emerge more strongly in our thematic experience, as we look toward the Summer Olympics in 2020. This will continue to inform and propel our creative thinking with pattern, shape, colour and structures.

And closer to home, with Australia a most appealing destination of choice for many inbound events in the meetings and incentive market. The expressions of local themes provide endless opportunity.

Finally, our love of Art Deco – with its symmetry, opulence and formality continues, as does our connection with Mid Century Modern.

Whilst there are a number of ways, we see trends emerge, many are with us for decades and our interpretation, design concepts and contexts are limitless by what we can achieve together.


Jen Rudland

Director of Design

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