Regarded by many as one of the leading trend analysts in the retail, business and built environment, Dave Nemeth of Trend Forward - a trend driven, design thinking strategy agency that assists companies in doing things differently - has taken over the reins from Bev Hermanson as editor-in-chief of Designing Ways.
Nemeth joins Stienie Greyling (advertising) and Christo van Eeden (layout) who have both been with the magazine since inception 15 years ago.
I asked Nemeth what motivated him to take on this additional role and what motivates him in general, as well as what he believes will be the top trend in design this year…
How do you feel about being appointed editor-in-chief at Designing Ways?
It is an absolute honour to be editor of this iconic publication that has been an industry favourite for the past 15 years.
When was the effective date?
I officially took over on 1 March but have been writing articles for the publication for over a year already.
What will the role entail?
I am responsible for sourcing all the content, writing feature articles, reporting back on both international and local design, as well as coming up with new initiatives and layouts. Basically, overseeing everything in the magazine and of course building relationships with designers, brands and advertisers.
What are you most looking forward to?
Taking this great publication to even greater heights, increasing the circulation and taking the title internationally.
What’s at the top of your to-do list?
Ensuring that only quality content and images get published. This is a glossy mag and the visuals have to be incredible. I want to create a visual feast on every single page, leaving the reader to immediately look forward to the next issue.
What motivated you to take on this additional role, and how do you plan to juggle your work at Trend Forward with that at the publication?
Due to the nature of my business, I am constantly doing design research and communicating with designers and architects both here and abroad. It is a great fit for what I already do.
When it comes to trends in any area it is important to understand that one of the biggest drivers is the consumer. There has always been the belief that interior trends follow on from fashion, but this is no longer the case.
What do you love most about your career and design in particular?
The fact that it is so varied. One week I am coming up with a new business strategy for a client and the next creating and producing a TV ad. Seeing results due to doing things differently and applying design thinking principles are possibly the most rewarding things that keep me constantly driven. I live by the notion that “design is everything.”
What are you currently reading/watching/listening to for work?
At any stage, you will find me reading about four books at the same time, and the current selection includes: Innovation by Design by Thomas Lockwood and Edgar Papke; WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly; Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently; and The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm by Tom Kelley.
Music is also a big motivator. Our office features two turntables and my vinyl collection of around 1,300 records. Music varies depending on what we are working on but everything from Nick Cave to the Black Keys and even Blondie. I enjoy watching TED Talks and documentaries focusing on design and architecture.
What do you believe will be the top trend in design during 2018?
Design that has meaning and tells an authentic story.
There is such a backlash to mass production that consumers are looking for uniqueness and products that are handcrafted or have a unique story behind their design or manufacture.
Tell us something about yourself not generally known?
I have been doing martial arts since the age of five. I was one of the youngest South Africans to receive a full black belt for karate. I then took a different path doing Jeet Kune Do – the style and art created by the legendary Bruce Lee. I went on to do MMA (mixed martial arts) for many years, and I have just taken up traditional boxing.
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