Clerkenwell Design Week: Quick Fire

Following CDW2017 we asked our designers to pick some of their highlights. From stand out pieces to future trends, some thought provoking answers.  But just where did Ben get those pork pies?

Torin Lee – Design Engineering Intern

What really stood out for you at the show?

I know it was designed in our studio but I have to say Think Quietly by ThinkingWorks.  I find it unique and very distinct.  At the show I saw lots of unique products that were not different – TQ does not conform.

Did you get a feel for any emerging trends?

There was an obvious trend in colour palates and finishes.  The trend for kitchen utensils, plastic electronics and now veneered furniture continues towards earthenware colours and finishes – like a kiln fire with a similar matte texture. 

Best place for lunch?

You can never go wrong with The Albion.

Best freebie?

The guys working on the ‘London Boulevard’ space development project were handing out a pretty big range of stuff.

 

Ben Rawlings – Product Designer and Design Engineer

What really stood out for you at the show?  

For me the stand out exhibition was ‘The Gallery’. The Gallery is made up of several companies, all experts in different specific fields of office related furniture and products.   Brought together, they create a showroom that’s highly considered and designed to promote productivity in a relaxed, comfortable environment. Using innovate tech, ergonomic furniture and a clever use of space it had the modern ‘Google office’ feel that effectively meets the modern need for simultaneous collaboration and privacy in an office.  

Did you get a feel for any emerging trends?  

A couple of trends really stood out for me - I’ve already touched on the first. The move towards collaborative open offices has meant that people are now realising that privacy is also required for effective working.   Designers are now incorporating subtle methods of providing privacy with clever uses of materials and structure. What was most intriguing to me was the design of collaborative, meeting spaces and booths that utilised acoustic foam and paneling to ‘privatise’ conversations or provide a quiet workspace without sacrificing the open plan design of the modern office that aims to promote interaction and collaboration.  
A second, is something I have followed with personal interest for a while – bringing the outdoors inside. People are now working longer hours and in the winter months go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. There are proven health benefits such as stress reduction and increased productivity related to increased air quality provided by indoor plants. I would like to think that productised solutions such as Urban Live Picture will be the start of an increasing trend in coming years to remove the maintenance involved with having indoor plants, allowing indoor greenery to become more common place.  

In your opinion, who was the most exciting designer?  

I might be accused of being bias as it was designed in our studio but ThinkingWorks has the most intriguing set of designs as it visually breaks the mould amongst the other showrooms exhibiting. While often beautiful looking, the physical size and presence of products such as meeting booths, room dividers and conferencing areas has a tendency to feel very heavy.   The ThinkingWorks product range uses an interesting mix of lightweight materials and joinery to create a range that has the same functional benefits of the aforementioned but it allows the room to feel much more lightweight and easy to configure. This will allow people to plan and utilise space a lot more optimally.  

What would you like to see more of?  

I would like to see the trend of bringing greenery into the office meet with the latest trends in furniture so that there is more synergistic approach between promoting health and productivity in office environments.  

Best place for lunch?  

All homemade - I make a pretty good chicken sandwich.  

Best freebie?  

Pork pies and beer.