Clerkenwell Design Review 2017
The Ben Johnson Interiors team are always in the know when it comes to the very latest designs and new products to make your workplace simply the best it can be for productivity, staff-wellbeing and aesthetics.
So, do you want to know about all the very latest gadgets, gizmos, furniture and fantastic designs that are out there now? Read about our Ben Johnson Interiors visit to the amazing Clerkenwell Design Week in London!
We split into teams to cover as much of the event as we could. Below are our collective Top 10 Clerkenwell design highlights in no particular order for 2017.
1. Naughtone – small showroom but a great demonstration on how finishes count! We loved the Cloud in Paul Finish fabric with wooden tops and black legs, ideal solution for the Home or office (1). On the look-out for something different, we also loved the sliding storage unit in fabric, how cool is this! (2)
2. Spacestor – it started with the van (1) – we didn’t get a lift though! The Spacestor showroom was one of the highlights of the show, we loved “Railway Carriage” breakout booth and phone booth (2). At Ben Johnson Interiors we have installed a number of auditorium seating products, and we are always sceptical of furniture solutions that aim to provide this but we liked Bleachers (3) which provided a flexible module solution. We loved Palisades, (4) a multi-purpose solution for dividing space, storage and a creative display feature which even included a fish tank, we already have a few projects in mind for this!
Spacestor also impressed us with their efforts to advance the sales process through a new high tech, online configurator. You simply use the configurator to create your product and you’re issued with an image and reference number so it’s simple to get an end price. Great use of technology!
3. Sedus – We have been a dealer for 2 years now and Sedus has quite a few gems of products that can make a real difference to an interiors scheme. We love their new chair Se-Joy (1) with its range of mesh back finishes – very comfortable – and we couldn’t resist entering the Selfie competition (2). We also loved the Mastermind high table with Octagonal tops (3).
Sedus were also demonstrating a Smartworking Technology, which was very impressive if you are an agile business and want to make it easier for your staff to find a workstation. It’s also great for monitoring how the space is utilised.
4. Isomi – we loved this. It was our highlight of the day! Solid surfaces – which basically means corien, concrete and steel boardroom tables, receptions, feature branding/lighting, entrance signs. If you were there, we hope you timed it right and caught the presentation. This was very impressive and demonstrated – with highly creative use of materials how the product is installed and manufactured.
5. The meeting pod.co – not sure we will have much cause for these pods in the Yorkshire and North East, but if we come across a scheme requiring futuristic pods, they will be on our list (1). Even with the bright interior (2)
6. Orangebox – what a great showroom facility. We loved the new Eva chair (1). Its range of finishes made it perfect for flexible working areas, meeting rooms and even boardrooms with its chrome arm detail. We also liked the large light weight flip top table with the honeycomb top and hidden castor (2) and the Vari credenzas in various finishes . We also have a few projects in mind for the co-working meeting tables with the tilting spotlights, shown in a choice of desk or poser height in a range of finishes (3).
We all enjoyed a great seminar entitled ‘Evolutionary Ergonomics’ presented by Jim Taylor, Head of Design and Wellbeing at Orangebox. Jim explored how workplace design and office culture has developed and must continue to grow and adapt in order to thrive and survive.
7. Connection – never disappoints, we loved the new layout of the showroom and the choice of finishes. They are on top of the latest trends embracing biophilic design, industrial and rustic finishes, acoustics, wellbeing and co-working. We especially loved the new co-working tables and the Tube hot desks with space underneath to put your bags (1) and also the Hygge range named after the Scandinavian wellbeing way of life –‘ Hygge (pronounced HUE-gə or HOO-gə) is a Danish and Norwegian word which can be described as a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)’ (2)
8. Creatif – we have used Creatif for many years to provide bi-folding wall systems but we wanted to call in to see their acoustic products. We loved the cork Organics Beehive acoustical wall (1)(2).
9 Flexiform – a new manufacturer for us to visit, but our pal Jason has recently joined them so we couldn’t resist. This was a surprising highlight of the show for us. We loved the rustic-feel storage and very ‘on-trend’ tables (1), also the fun element including Subbuteo table (2), and write-on table. The team also checked out the virtual office technology and were very impressed on how it could be utilised in the sales process. Using an Oculus virtual reality (VR) headset, with full 360° view, you can experience what your office may look like in the future (3). As a clever addition, you can also change the height of the viewpoint to see how it would look to a disabled employee.
10 Finish Trends – On the whole, there was a great variety of colour, textures and finishes at Clerkenwell 2017.
Pink has been at the forefront of design for a while but now there’s a natural step towards stronger reds. Soft pastel shades are everywhere and with a growing desire to reconnect with nature, deep and saturated green nods compliment the ever-popular botanical/ biophilic trend.
Texture trends ranged from plush velvets to super smooth and sleek solid surfaces.
In terms of materials, the use of concrete and blown plaster finishes, the combination of an array of metals teamed up with raw, natural materials such as cork, plywood, brass triumphs over copper. Marble is still popular.
Once again, our annual visit to the Clerkenwell Design Week was an immensely useful and enjoyable experience for our design teams. We found out about the latest, innovative furniture and products to recommend to clients, we explored new trends and technologies in workplace design and we socialised, networked and learnt from design colleagues from all over the world.
This years’ experience was a true inspiration to us all and our new insight, knowledge and creativity will undoubtedly enhance all our client work over 2017 and beyond.