Images: Produzione Privata Acquatinta Pendant Lamp, Sparkle by Tokujin Yoshioka for Kartell, Snowflake by Tokujin Yoshioka for Kartell


The mega-trend Transparency is popping up on our radar more and more. There’s just something about; it’s crisp, honest, clean, pure, clear, accurate, and certain. It seems fragile yet strong, non-deceptive, smooth, and delicate yet firm.

We have seen it a lot on the catwalks this year, and increasingly in interior, product and architectural design.

Images: Frank Transparent Cupboard, Martha Stewart

In terms of marketing design, brands have to move from ‘having nothing to hide’; to pro-actively showing and proving they have nothing to hide. They have to replace lofty statements about ‘values’ and ‘culture’ with real, clear-cut evidence, or statements about actual results. There is also a call for greater transparency in food labeling, so that consumers can make the best choices for their diets.

Transparent interpersonal relationships are also in vogue- typified by frankness, communication, and accountability.


Images: Clarity bike by Design Affair, Familiale Globe, Isam Glass Table by Sebastion Scherer
Images: Chair by Alvi Design, Hair Very Salon by Maker, Luminous Table by Tokujin Yoshioka for Glass Italia

Perhaps it is the ‘new neutral’?

Images: Layers of fine translucent fabric

Used in spaces, transparent elements give a feeling of openness, space, light and purity. You can see what it really going on, giving a feeling of trust.

Images: Dental Studio by MMV Arquitecto
Images: Minarets by Ezgi Turksoy & Kacper Hamilton, In Between glassware by BCXSY for Inframince


Images: Corian Super-Surfaces Showroom by Amanda Levete Architects, Transparent concept home designed to showcase a series of modern glass furniture from Santambrogiomilano, House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects



Images: In fashion, it is a particularly sexy, bold, and yet discrete.

In terms of materials, think glass, Lucite, Perspex, PVC, vinyl, resins, ice, diamonds, water… the list goes on.

We love the ways in which you can play with transparency; you can layer different levels of opacity, colour and material and open up spaces in new and innovative ways. It gets our vote.


“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” Joe Sparano