Clerkenwell Design Week is an independent design festival that takes place in Central London every year. A district that is home to many architecture studios and furniture showrooms, Clerkenwell is described as the heart and home of London design. For the duration of the festival, Clerkenwell is a-flood with colour, energy and a host of exhibitors. This year was their 10th anniversary and a team of our designers attended to be inspired by some of the art installations, exhibitions and design showrooms that take over the district for the event. We are excited to share with you our top 5 insights from Clerkenwell Design Week.
Pastel tones were a big part of this years’ Clerkenwell design week; from upholstery fabrics to hard furniture finishes, laminates in kitchens to ceramic tiles and terrazzo surfaces. An emphasis on injecting a space with feelings of positivity and happiness was paramount across many installations. This emphasis on colour is a continuation of the trends that our designer’s highlighted in their recent trip to Milan Design Week. On both hard and soft surfaces, the pastel tones create a soft, homely environment, promoting calm, grace and composure.
Serenity, Balance, Honesty. These are the words that our designers used to describe the use of natural texture – their second key insight from Clerkenwell. Presenting a talk on material trends, Phil Pond of Scarlet Opus spoke as a part of the Ultrafabrics Trends talk ’20:20’ on the importance of texture. Especially in the workplace, surfaces need texture for people to feel alive.
On the subject of texture in a transport environment, the car is becoming less of a car and more of a lounge, or even a second home – a space for meeting, working and even cinema.
Texture is emotive, evoking deeper levels of consideration and compassion for ourselves and the natural world.
Expressive Impressive 3D
3D surfaces are becoming more dramatic and innovative. Car manufacturers are pushing the boundaries in transport design, introducing 3D liquid printed wood components that create wood and cork effect panelling with the added benefit of improving the acoustic environment. With an excess of luxury giving way to space, light and quiet, it is increasingly difficult for designers to strike a true balance between these factors.
Mindful Office (striving for a better work environment)
The fixed desk is dead. Nowadays you can work anywhere, and for this reason, the office as we know it has become outdated. We see a clear trend and a need for a workplace to feel less like an office. Companies are striving to create a better work environment focused on balance, health consciousness and mindfulness, yet still promoting productivity.
Sustainability in design is becoming the standard and many new products are presented with an environmentally conscious story. Ultrafabrics focuses on delivering a vegan alternative to leather, whereas Alusid has developed Terrazzo tiles made from glass, ceramics and mineral waste – recycled TV and computer monitors – never comprised of less than 98% recycled materials. Ethically sourced, carefully crafted, responsibility in design is a must.