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Author: Hayley Francis | Category: Design

This May, the renowned Clerkenwell Design Week was held for its ninth year, hosting the best design exhibitions from the UK and beyond. Clerkenwell is London’s leading design district, and is home to many creative businesses, design consultancies, showrooms and architectural practices. The festival reflects this culture, with hundreds of exhibitors attending each year, showcasing their product ranges through showroom presentations, workshops, talks and installations.

Our lead Interior Designer Carys Jones, and Business Development Manager Ceri Jenkins attended this year to take a look at the inspiring exhibitions.



Collaborative Working.

This year, there was a big emphasis on collaborative working. Exhibitions showcasing meeting and working booths, and ‘library style’ tables with charging points and lighting. This prominence really shows how flexible, modern working is encouraging communication and productivity through collaboration. Gone are the days of boxed office design and silent, lone working. Clerkenwell Design Week really made this prominent and pushed the philosophy forward.







There was a very relaxed, domestic feel from many suppliers’ exhibitions at the festival, with the use of upholstered seating and natural materials making a big statement that we are moving away from standard, traditional workstations. Not only that, but some of our key suppliers had sustainability at the heart of their exhibitions. Biophilic design ties in with sustainability, and that was very much another major theme running throughout the festival. As an emerging trend earlier in the year, it seems that biophilia is here to stay.


There were also plenty of new and exciting product launches over the three days:



What is it: Diffrient Smart Ocean Task Chair

Smart Ocean is the embodiment of Humanscale’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing. They have partnered with Bureo; an emerging venture, developing innovative solutions to prevent ocean plastic pollution. Smart Ocean office furniture is built with recycled material that originates from Bureo’s Net+Positiva program.

Why we love it:

The Net+Positiva program is aimed at combating the impact of discarded fishing nets to the ocean, by facilitating waste disposal points off the coast of Chile and providing incentives for the collection of waste fishing nets. The Smart Ocean Task Chair is the first ever task chair that incorporates recycled ocean plastics in its material composition and is also Living Product Challenge-Certified.


What is it: AXYL Collection

This collection started with just the armchair and stool, but the family has been extended to include a range of tables; poseur and dining height. The key feature of this product is the inverted Y-frame silhouette, that has been carefully engineered to make efficient use of materials and is made from recycled aluminium. Chair Shell, Stool Seat, and table tops are all available in several different recyclable finishes.

Why we love it:

Each product in the collection is modular, and the components are mechanically fitted together, so each piece can be packed, and easily transported and disassembled for recycling at the end of its cycle.


What is it: The Chemistry Canopy

Clerkenwell Design Week 2018 also marked the launch of Senator’s new product, the Chemistry Canopy. This new product has been produced as a compliment to Chemistry Desking. It attaches to the desk, acting as a divider, so that if you need some time for quiet working, this canopy can give you that much needed privacy, without the feeling of isolation.

Why we love it:

Canopy’s fabric covered panels with optional pockets can be used to pin and store inspirational materials. A magnetic dry wipe board both inside and outside makes clever use of space and the addition of light adds some warmth.

What is it: Pailo

The Pailo range is a very different approach from Senator than we’ve seen before, and it looks great. It’s a move towards a more domestic working environment. The range features desks (single and back to back), and project tables built for a range of working styles.

Why we love it:

Pailo provides a softer approach to the more formal bench desking systems. We love that this range explores new ways to introduce fabric into the workplace.


Along with the inspiring new product ranges showcased at Clerkenwell, we were also very impressed with the ‘CDW Presents’ projects and street spectaculars around the festival this year. Pipe Line, by Lou Corio Randall, represented a new approach to street furniture, pushing the boundaries by showing that bike racks and benches can be fun and vibrant.

Behind Closed Doors, a collaboration project by Hakwood and Shape London, had an interactive installation that included miniature interior design concepts behind closed doors. We loved the creativity and innovation with this project.

All in all, we had a blast at Clerkenwell this year, and we can’t wait to come back next year to see how the creative design industry continues to push boundaries.