Design inspiration at Clerkenwell Design Week  

We trod the pavements of Clerkenwell at the end of May at the much-anticipated Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) – an event we always look forward to. CDW is a hive of culture and creativity and a great place to connect and exchange ideas.

Our own showroom was very busy, clocking up lots of footfall, and our workshops were buzzing, as interest in biophilic design continues to soar. In between attending to this, we visited other showrooms, attended product launches and listened to talks – it was bold, colourful and thought-provoking, a real feast for the eyes.

Key takeaways

Re-purposing materials

Sustainability was at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds at this year’s event, and we saw a lot of imaginative repurposing of materials, such as using tiles to clad furniture. In a world moving towards Net Zero, where refurbishing the old will always win overbuilding from scratch, understanding the sustainable qualities of unlikely materials and re-purposing what might otherwise end in landfill is a win-win for both client and planet. We also liked the zero-waste credentials of this Camira fabric, which is made from all the recycled wool which falls off the loom - textile circularity!

Modularity for reconfiguration

Continuing the theme of Net Zero design, modularity was everywhere. Modular products are flexible by nature, easily rearranged to meet a variety of needs whilst saving on building footprint. The same product can be modified again and again, extending its ‘lifetime of usefulness’, thus saving on waste.

In our shared showroom, Spacestor featured their configurable furniture –available in a huge range of styles and finish options.

The Solus showroom featured Meccano-style peg walls to display their tiles – very cool!

In our showroom we featured our modular planted furniture – this works particularly well in open-plan spaces, providing subtle screening and private retreats (that can be easily moved for ultimate flexibility) without killing the open-plan vibe.

Inclusivity and wellness

We touched on this in last month’s blog, but designers and architects are really switching onto inclusive design and incorporating sensory ergonomics into their spaces. As one exhibitor said, ‘one person’s sound is another person’s noise’. We all have different ‘personal comfort settings’ when it comes to light, sound and heat etc, and what we require on a Monday morning may not be the same as on a Friday afternoon, when we are meeting a deadline. Providing a variety of sensory experiences in a work-setting allows individuals to adjust according to their needs, enhancing comfort, wellness and performance.

We think this is why biophilic design is being embraced so wholeheartedly in the workplace. Our basic human intuition is to connect with nature – it pleases the senses and gives us an enormous feeling of wellbeing. Biophilia can be used to enhance an open-plan space, but it can also be used as a retreat – creating a zone where we can re-set our brains – checkout our whitepaper on Nature and the brain!

CDW23 was jam-packed from start to finish – exhausting and exhilarating. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing and have returned to our biophilic day job brim-full with ideas.

CDW will return on 21-23 May 2024, and we look forward to seeing you there!