Self-sufficient and sustainable communities in harmony with the environment are growing in popularity. In addition to their ecological focus, these communities also integrate economic, social, and cultural aspects through participatory management and permaculture. Ecovillages offer a post-modern way of life where we all work, have a voice, and collaborate.
We are transitioning to a more emotional, feminine age, guided by feelings and intuition. What astrologers call the Aquarian age is the same as what economists call conscious capitalism. It is the age of awareness for philosophers, the chaordic age for intellectuals, and the digital age for technologists. Humanists call it a new humanism, and retailers call it a crisis.
It is worth looking closely at advertising to identify this compulsory condition: is it really the great villain responsible for unleashing the consumerism that is ravaging people and the planet? The answer is not so simple. Consumption, advertising and their symbolic meanings can be approached from another perspective. Advertising campaigns start to incorporate new contemporary codes that give rise to the culture of care: it’s time to talk to consumers with respect about this new concept of consumption.
Study no longer focuses on the illness, but on the individual as a whole – the mind, body, and spirit. The patient is now seen as primarily responsible for their own recovery, and is led to understand that healing works from inside to out, not the other way around. In this process, the search for simple and natural solutions grows stronger.
Feeling the need for freer and more significant activity, and perceiving the new consumer-focused landscape, ad makers start to deny the age of excess. But if consumerism is reaching its end, what is advertising supposed to dedicate itself to? The answer is that the tug of war will be between two schools: one that wants to sell more and the other that wants to sell better.
The challenge of design is to maintain relevance in a saturated world. Who needs excess? More than just a trend, it is a matter of responsibility. New creators propose innovations that predict the desires of the future and inspire the traditional market.
We are living a time of urban flight, looking for our wildest essence, for simple life nirvana, for a bigger purpose and something that makes us more meaningful to the world. Conscious consumption, permaculture and running away from urban chaos are hot topics. After all, our true core is not what we can buy, but what we can be.
The current environmental scenario demands a complete change on human’s mentality. That also implies a change on the criteria of what “success” is, specially concerning to people and business. New codes substitute capitalist models, revealing the urgency of sustainable economy.
Sharing economy blossoms along with the post-modern liquidity. Having access to more things, and them being more disposable, we create an exponentially more fluid identity, more compatible with ourselves. We are not what we have, but what we access.
Given the notion of conscious consumption that emerges in our society, the tendency is that remarkable — or revolutionary — products of the future will be those capable to translate our yearning for long-lasting objects, capable of defying the discarding logic. Modular technology questions the validity of fast-paced production cycles, blocking planned obsolescence.