The Taste Divide: Baby Boomers vs. The Millennial

11am, Friday

ALAC Theatre
Art Los Angeles Contemporary
Barker Hangar
Santa Monica Airport

In the past year an abundance of press has been lavished upon the buying power, life style and design preferences of what has been referred to as The Millennial Generation; the peer group born between 1982 and 2002. They already account for an estimated 1.3 trillion dollars in direct spending, a figure that will reach its apex in the year 2030. Millennials are distinguished from older generations by their spending habits, brand preferences, values, personalities, and general outlook on life. Furthermore, they engage with brands far more extensively, personally, and emotionally— and in entirely different ways— than have other generations.

A recent article in USA Today reports that Marriot Hotels and Ikea have teamed up to start a line of hotels, AC Hotels and Hilton has created a new lifestyle brand called Canopy. These hotel brands are targeted for Millennials who they believe are unique travelers who want to stay constantly connected through social media, are interested in coffeehouse-like spaces where they can work and play, and who prefer unique, local amenities. They prefer instant gratification and a comfortable, modern setting. But the difference between the Millenials and other generations may not be that extreme especially when considering the plasticity of baby boomers— particularly in the way they embrace change. Baby boomers are an educated, wealthy, and technically proficient generation who appreciate fine design and also want to be connected, but boomers don’t want to waste time figuring out how to turn on an interactive device. The question this panel asks is, are these differences and tastes between the generations also reflected in their tastes for different kinds of art? Imbedded in this inquiry is the question of whether or not these differences might have more to do with the birth of the information age.

Participants: Eugenio Re Rebaudengo, Chantal Blatzheim, Pujan Gandhi, Suzanne Deal Booth, Frédéric De Goldschmidt
Organized by: Warren Neidich