Our Top Takeaways from Clerkenwell Design Week 2022

 

The Ben Johnson Team were excited to be back at the industry extravaganza that is Clerkenwell Design Week as it made its return this year and, as the UK’s leading independent design festival, there was plenty for us to be excited about!

From workshops and product launches to networking events and showroom exhibitions, we’ve pulled together our highlights and the top take-home messages that dominated the event, plus we’ve got some insider sneak peeks and industry tips to inspire your next commercial interior design project.

Key Themes from Clerkenwell Design Week 2022

Flexibility

We really noticed the focus on flexibility in the workplace being key this year. Hot-desking is now incredibly popular (as we highlighted in this previous post) and we’re seeing a lot of office product and furniture swaps to multipurpose items and better storage – such as lockers and folding pieces – as a result of this.

Eco-friendly

As you might expect, there was also a big push on recycled and sustainable products. This has been the case for a while, but it’s certainly ramping up this year. We spotted lots of fully-recyclable products and planet-friendly materials, like hemp, bamboo and even tabletops made out of recycled yoghurt pots or old jeans!

A wide variety of brands are presenting new ways to use waste materials without compromising on style at all and we’re here for it.

We’re loving seeing so much exploration into how furniture can be made more sustainable. This is evident in both using more sustainable materials in manufacture and, additionally, looking at extending the lifespan of the furniture pieces themselves, for example by having removable covers for upholstery or removable tops on solid products which can be washed, replaced or refurbished.

For more ideas, check out our past post all about Sustainable Office Design.

Social spaces 

More and more social spaces are being included in offices this year and it’s now being treated as a priority. We noticed more informal meeting space options than ever before, due to the boost to overall wellbeing and morale that socialisation amongst colleagues provides, which in turn has a positive effect on productivity.

We recently covered this in a post about creating the perfect breakout spaces but it just goes to confirm that designing for workplace wellbeing is still a top priority in the current climate.

Cute little break-out nooks like this offer employees the chance to work away from the desk environment, or to chat and collaborate informally but with some degree of privacy.

Key Trends

Colour palette

Colour-wise, we saw a lot of uplifting, natural hues such as warm terracotta, which is especially big this year, alongside pastel colours, especially pink and an earthy sage or olive green, which seems to be everywhere right now. There seems to be a lot of combining versatile cool and warm shades together, to create a scheme that feels both soothing and optimistic to really maximise productivity.

Raw finishes

The more natural, raw, organic finishes on metal work give a rustic yet contemporary look that sits perfectly alongside those aforementioned colour trends, especially in very industrial spaces. It also feeds into environmentally-friendly efforts by reducing the number of processes in finishing a product.

Our recent project with West Barn Co. is a great example of this trend in practice:

Textured fabrics

There’s a big use of textured or woven fabrics on everything from soft furnishings, chairs, cushions, dividers, flooring and even wall treatments. This adds to the cosy, homely feel as well as providing great relief from any noise pollution within the space.

This combo, coupled with the colour scheme mentioned above, says a lot about people’s attitudes to coming back to the office after working from home and wanting the workplace to feel more homely too.

Plants galore

Biophilic design is still a focus, likely due to the natural, decorative aesthetic, the eco-credentials and the multitude of benefits to staff.

So many, in fact, that we covered them in a previous blog post, along with providing tips about choosing which plants for your office design and how exactly plant life can provide a boost to productivity.

Our Favourites

Favourite Showrooms

The Boss Design (pictured below) and Work Stories showrooms really stood out for us. They both showcased an extremely wide range of products and showed them in situ, dressed with effective lighting and plants for added effect. We‘re big fans!

Favourite Product

The Boho Chair from Frovi and the FourAll Lounge Chair from Ocee Design, pictured below, were our winners, although there were so many amazing products it was hard to choose!

Top takeaways from Clerkenwell Design Week 2022 - Ben Johnson Interiors

FourAll Lounge Chair from Ocee Design is part of a collection of simple, soft seating made up of a low and high back chair, a sofa, and single and double stools.

Impressed? Us too.

After three years, this year’s long-anticipated CDW was certainly a big one and we weren’t disappointed! The chance to reconnect with fellow industry pros, designers, manufacturers, architects and brands was an unmissable opportunity; it was amazing to feel that buzz again, and chat about the design trends and necessities of a post-pandemic world.

Top takeaways from Clerkenwell Design Week 2022 - Ben Johnson Interiors

We reckon that this year more than any other, the trends we saw on display reflect the wider shift towards the responsibilities that we as designers and you as business owners have towards both the environment and employee wellbeing.

Across the board, from design schemes, products, materials and architecture, there is a requirement now to understand the importance of that. It’s clear that we must all share opportunities to lean toward eco-friendly options and work with sustainability in mind, but in a way that offers the best for the individuals that make up your office team. Both areas that we here at Ben Johnson Interiors are proud advocates for.

If this or anything else we’ve discussed today sounds like something you’d like to incorporate into your workspace for 2022 and beyond, get in touch and let’s get that ball rolling.