Young Japanese men and women are ditching the car as a status symbol, sparking concern for car companies.
That from this story in the Oregonian (via Planetizen). The same can be said of many young Torontonians. I see it in my own life. I am a child of the car culture. Growing up in New Jersey, older kids used to rebuild their GTOs and Barracudas on our street. But now the car I like the most is the one vintage car I own. A couple of years ago, I traded a 10-year-old car for a newer model. Every day now I wish I had the old one back. People will still buy cars, but vintage and used will be back, and more sumptuous Minis, Prius, and their like will supplant today’s luxury cars and SUVs as the aesthetic as well as the economical choice.
Much the same is true of the rise of more compact, energy-efficient (and in some cases modern design) houses or apartments over mega-square-foot McMansions. John Seabrook wrote a fascinating book on consumption trends some years back called Nobrow, where he argued that the old notion of conspicuous consumption as status differentiator is giving way to new, more subtle forms of status differentiation. I have little doubt that the Great Reset will reshape consumption and design more and more along these lines.