2021 and 2022 in Ten Words

Karl Finn
2 min readDec 31, 2021


The five words that defined 2021, and five you will need to know in 2022.


Meta: Facebook’s regeneration reflected the fast-evolving relationship between the digital universe and the physical world around us.

Crypto: Digital currencies began to influence markets like never before, while NFT artworks shook up the contemporary art world.

Suborbital: We witnessed major galactic milestones and a thoroughly modern “space race”, signalling a new era of space tourism.

Healing: Google and Pinterest reported an influx of searches for individual and collective healing. We expect this will continue, as we all find ways to thrive in the intra-pandemic period.

Regenerative: More than sustainability, this type of design aims to remedy the damage caused by human behaviour (for instance, rewilding and urban microforests).


Cellular agriculture: The process of generating ingredients in a bioreactor, replacing the need for intensive farming practices to “grow” coffee, meat and other staples.

Post-consumer: From a machine that reduces worn clothing to fibres from which new garments can be made, to the resale revolution, giving objects a “second life” is becoming a major consumer motivator.

Multi-species: An increasingly-popular design ethos that prizes empathy and care, and places animals and humans as equals in a thriving ecosystem. For more about how this is shaping the future, listen to Carole Collet in conversation with WGSN.

Negentropic: The idea of “negative entropy”, a concept from physics which roughly translates as chaos draining energy, is inspiring everything from mindful life guides to utopian architecture projects. Expect to see it pop up increasingly in 2022.

web3: The next generation of the internet and connected devices, described by experts as a decentralized universe that unites the digital and the physical.

For more trend analysis in 2022, sign up to Predictedit’s regular newsletter.

Beautiful images courtesy of: Negentropic Landscapes (Art Center College of Design); Fabiano Rodrigues and Bob Price at Pexels.



Karl Finn

Writer in London. Currently run events at Google, formerly V&A and Sotheby’s. Founder of Predictedit, a newsletter bringing together trends, research and ideas.