knowledge centre > clerkenwell design week 2019 penketh group trend report

Clerkenwell Design Week 2019: Penketh Group trend report

Clerkenwell Design Week is a highly-anticipated date in the design calendar and this year, CDW celebrated reaching double figures with its 10th annual instalment.

As is customary, our team of workplace consultants, interior designers and space strategists headed down south for a few days of southern sunshine, exhibitions, instalments and new product releases. Oh, and a few catch-up beers with some of our partners, manufacturers and customers of course!

Last year, we shared our CDW 2018 Trend Report so thought we’d make it a bit of a tradition and share our key trend take-aways for #CDW2019

The benefits of biophilia are still big licks

We’ve spoken many times before about the advantages of biophilic design and how biomimicry can help attract and retain staff and it seems the connection between nature and commercial design is only getting stronger.

Plants, greenery, organic fabrics and natural colours were prominent at CDW this year, perhaps more so than ever before.

Although Frovi weren’t actually participating in CDW this year, we did swing by their showroom while we were in the area to check out the ‘Colony’ concept installation.

The showcase featured many botanical elements – alongside Frovi’s new outdoor furniture offering – all of which demonstrate that biophilia design is here to stay.

Open plan indoor-outdoor office

Increased focus on sustainability and conscious design

As with most industries and most sectors right now, sustainability and eco-responsibility continue to climb the priority ranks in the world of commercial product design.

From subtle suggestions to dedicated exhibitions, conscious design was everywhere and it’s going nowhere (for good reason too).

We (sadly) didn’t get chance to catch the Humanscale guest talk on Plastic Through the Camera Lens but we did manage to get better acquainted with the innovative Nomique ‘Plastic Whale’ table (pictured below).


The new meeting table has been designed to replicate the look of a whale with the ‘blow hole’ at the top housing integrated power and matching seats with tail design feature.

The table surface has been made using recycled water bottles from the canals of Amsterdam and was designed by Marius Smit to help efforts towards making the world’s waters plastic-free.

Wellbeing is more than just a trend

Much like biophilia, wellbeing and wellness is a trend that continues to pick up pace. In fact, it’s less of a trend and more of a shift into fresh new ways of thinking about employee experience and the interconnectivity between work and personal lives.

Under the umbrella of workplace wellbeing sits ergonomics and Steelcase have been innovating within this area with the development of intuitively designed commercial furniture.

We were impressed by demonstrations of the weight-activated SILQ Chair (pictured below) and the collaborative SW_1 Table which has been designed with human usability in mind.


Privacy is more important than ever

In this age of constant-connection, round-the-clock working hours and increased communication, distraction and concentration can become a bit of an issue.

We’ve spoken before about how things like personal storage, individual focus and privacy can be problematic in open plan, collaborative workplaces and how important it is to provide solutions for this.

Earlier this month, we predicted that, with the decline of the open plan office, we would see more instances of things like privacy booths, pods and temporary space division. At CDW, this was certainly the case.

We were particularly inspired by Naughtone’s new release, ‘Hue’ (pictured above) which has been designed to maximise use of odd spaces and provide an escape away from the desk or high footfall areas.

Muted colour palettes and metallics

In terms of fabrics and finishes, our experts reported back that blush pink, pastel greens, light blues and rich mustard tones are all the order of the moment.

These are being mixed with gold, silver, bronze and copper metallic frames for a more resimercial look and feel. We imagine the new Spacestor Palisades gold grid is going to be a hot topic over the coming months!

For more on our trip to CDW, head over to our Instagram story highlight.

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