Clerkenwell Design Week is in it’s 10th year and offers a great opportunity for us to view new products, look out for emerging trends and generally get inspired by the creative atmosphere.
The festival brochure describes Clerkenwell as home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet, making it truly one of the most important design hubs in the world.
This was certainly in evidence during our visit with such a wide array of open showrooms, new product launches, exhibitions and installations. The great weather, street food stalls and local bars and restaurants all joining in made for an exciting festival feel to the day.
The main exhibition areas offered some interesting and exciting spaces to visit, from churches and chapels to an old prison and a world famous nightclub.
Amongst the wide and varied choice of furniture, lighting, flooring, accessories and materials on show at Clerkenwell Design Week we spotted a number of trends:
We saw a number of different ways companies are making their products more eco-friendly and sustainable from the type of materials use through to the manufacturing method.
- Post-consumer content – Almost exclusive use of recycled and recyclable materials such as cardboard, PET bottles, sawdust and recycled tires.
- Third generation product – Use of material which starts as PET bottles, recycled into exhibition carpets then recycled again into products such as acoustic panels.
- 3D Printing – Allows companies to only manufacture what is needed in the most efficient way, materials used can be bio-based or recycled and the production process streamlined towards zero waste.
- Carbon Footprint – Analysis of production processes and internal systems demonstrated as a way for manufacturers to become carbon neutral across the entire product lifecycle.
Use of plants
We have commented before about the use of plants in office design and the benefit it can have on the well being of workers. This was a noticeable trend at Clerkenwell ranging from simple solutions furniture with built in planters to creating living walls of plants within office spaces.
Products like the Naava Green Wall offer a way to bring nature inside with added mood enhancing and air purification benefits.
We have recognised that our clients are increasingly moving to more open plan office environments to promote collaboration, flexibility and relationship building. We have reflected this in our range of mobile ThinkingWalls and whiteboard partitions.
Another trend well suited to open plan offices are standalone cubicles and privacy pods. We saw a wide range of these at Clerkenwell in a range of different sizes, styles, designs and materials.
They offer increased privacy and a room within a room, primarily using acoustic material to create enclosed meeting spaces and quiet zones within open areas.
Some of our favourite products were: