Renowned Dutch forecaster Jan Agelink of Buro Jantrendman is visiting South Africa this August to present his Trend Safari 2020. We picked his brain about the top destinations on his must-visit list, informed by two of this season’s biggest overarching trends.
TREND 1: IT’S ALL HYPERREAL
Agelink uses words like immersive, saturated, Instagrammable, futuristic, and experiential when discussing hyperreality as a trend. “We are becoming so used to immersive digital experiences full of sights and sounds that we long for the same in real life,” he says. “We want physical reminders of digital spaces that tickle all our senses.” These destinations give the sense of straddling the line between virtual and reality.
TATE MODERN IN LONDON
“My favourite artwork is Olafur Eliasson’s Your Rainbow Panorama, 2015. It was completely forward thinking in terms of the trend for immersive experiences,” says Agelink. “It’s a giant, circular glass corridor which makes you feel like you’re walking in a rainbow.” It isn’t at the Tate this summer (it’s in Aarhus, Denmark) but several of Eliasson’s works with the same feel have been set up there. Called In Real Life, the exhibition focuses on the fragility of nature in the climate-crisis age and includes a giant wall of moss, water installations made spectacular through light, kaleidoscopic mirrors, and a 39m-long fog corridor. It’s entrancing, evocative, and a must-do if you’re in London this year.
THE MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM
The Museum of Ice Cream is a pop-up installation that is driven by the forces of imagination and inspiration. “It focuses on ice cream, but it could have been anything that is full of colour and interesting shape — the point is to give visitors a feeling of engaging all their senses and being immersed in an other-worldly environment that seems completely new and exciting and that’s begging to be photographed and shared,” says Agelink. “It’s experiential, joyful, and feels fresh and new.” The aim is to engage all five senses — think a slide propelling visitors into an inflatable pool full of sprinkles surrounded by candyfloss-pink walls — and, of course, actual ice cream is involved. It is in San Francisco until 22 September and it’s “Summer Camp” time.
ATELIER DES LUMIÈRES
The past and future collide in this Parisian museum where works by history’s greatest artists are digitally projected onto the 10m-high walls, floors, and ceilings of an old foundry. “Every few months they pick an artist, like Gustav Klimt or Van Gogh, and it feels like you are walking in their artwork. It’s totally overwhelming and an ingenious way to make art accessible and exciting for a new generation,” says Agelink.
TANK SHANGHAI MUSEUM
This installation aims to immerse visitors in Mother Nature’s masterpieces and make people an integral part of the artwork though interaction. “The current teamLab exhibition at TANK Shanghai museum is called teamLab: Universe of Water Particles in the Tank. It’s in a former oil reservoir and the shape makes it feel like you are immersed in a waterfall,” says Agelink. “When you reach out and touch it, it transforms into a field of flowers. It’s poetic and futuristic all at once.”
TREND 2: DOWN TO EARTH
It couldn’t be more opposite to hyperreality, but communing with nature, paring back, and embracing all things earthy is the other trend on Agelink’s radar. “It’s all about slowing down, enjoying the organic in pure surroundings and prioritising sustainability,” he says. “Inspired by the Japanese philosophy of forest bathing, the idea is to find harmony and balance by experiencing nature.” For the antidote to digital overload, pay these places a leisurely visit.
THE SALT FESTIVAL
“In this nomadic art project, giant saunas allow up to 150 people to relax together and commune with nature, going back to basics through traditional skills and culture,” says Agelink. The festival focuses on celebrating the Nordic landscape and is situated in one of the breathtakingly beautiful, unspoiled areas that abound in Scandinavia. It’s currently in Oslo, Norway.
Submerged 5.5m below the icy waters of the North Atlantic in Norway, a visit to Under restaurant combines the gastronomic experience of eating a unique immersion menu by head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard with unparalleled views of the ocean floor and all its wonders. “It’s a concrete rectangle that’s been plunged into the sea, semi-submerged. It seems like science fiction, with a view of an almost-science-fiction landscape below the sea. The interiors are austere with no frivolity, allowing patrons to enjoy the aquarium in the sea. It’s so simple,” he says.
The Finnish word for zero is nolla and that’s exactly what informs this getaway — zero emissions. “The mirrored A-frame is a zero-waste space with energy produced yourself and you feel relaxed just looking at the photographs of the cabin perched at the edge of a lake,” says Agelink. It’s put together like a puzzle and can be moved with no damage to the landscape — reminiscent of a tent. The mirrored surface of the design by Robin Falck gives the impression that it is part of the natural surroundings rather than encroaching on them. It’s tiny so you’re advised to pack light if you’re planning a stay. Beware though, just like a tent, there’s no interior bathroom — just an outhouse. The best part? You can book a stay on Airbnb.
“Sweden’s tourist board has teamed up with four of their Michelin-starred chefs to create a unique dining experience where guests travel deep into natural surroundings, forage for the ingredients, and help to prepare the food before sitting down to share the meal,” explains Agelink. They’ve turned the entire country into a do-it-yourself gourmet restaurant that lets you book a table deep in a forest, find your own food, make your own meal, and enjoy “The Edible Country”.
• From the August edition of Wanted 2019.