It is time for a new style called ‘Fusion Style’. The following Manifesto attempts to explain what it is, what it is not, and why you should care. The Fusion Style Manifesto will also formally organize ideas and trends, some old and some new, that have been gaining traction and attention for a long time.
Why do we need it? This new design paradigm is a reaction to the aesthetic shortcomings with the majority of current industrial design.
We have increasingly shiny, featureless, impersonal and often confusingly similar minimalist forms. [Fig 1.] In fact, it has been feared that current design trend of monochromatic shininess will reach a point where all objects will someday look like a black mirrored cube with no obvious controls. And then, six to 12 months later, the next mirrored cube will come out, with a 20% leap in performance, requiring everyone to dump their current model. Will they hand it down to their descendants? Some will try, but they will probably forget to include the correct charging cord.
Some might call it ‘retro,’ but Fusion Style is intended to be thoroughly current, high-tech, and innovative. It only incorporates recognizable elements of history and personality to provide a more emotional connection. This connection between product and user, when successful, is what makes you want to hang on to your investment long after a newer model has been released. Retro styling is technically superficial, at least when it involves re-issuing design classics, but then leaves out current advances and technology that might make it work better or more reliably. Fusion Style includes familiar elements, often re-inventing or combining them, and always uses the latest technological advance.
Why the name, Fusion Style? Inspired by mid-century Atomic Style, [Fig 3.] with it’s dynamic and futuristic forms, Fusion Style is both an extension and modern re-interpretation of that design language.
This is the optimistic era where “anything was possible,” when atomic energy was first being developed and commercialized, which then led to the name being used for much of the design at the time. Fusion power (whenever it may finally work) is the next generation of power technology after atomic power. Equally important, the word Fusion is often used to describe a tasty mixture of different food types or music. It is this creative and original blend of the brand new and the engaging familiar that make it special.