Clerkenwell Design Week Review – by Century Office

Clerkenwell Design Week 2018

The warm days of Clerkenwell Design Week have come to an end. The displays have been taken down and EC1 can now return to being the peaceful and tranquil place it was.

But that doesn’t mean to say that this year’s CDW hasn’t left its mark. To anyone that visited Clerkenwell or simply passed by, there will be something that sticks in their memory, whether that’s the free sample from Newby Teas or standing in the many-mirrored ‘A Piece of Sky’ by Sky Frame.

Tuesday – CDW Presents:

A few of the various showrooms and installations that we enjoyed were:

Next Generation Design Pavilion – Designed by GCSE students from across London through educational workshops and created by Scale Rule, this installation is their response to the theme of ‘sustainability’. The layers of the structure are there to represent the past, present and future and the colours create a ‘kaleidoscopic oculus’ which encourages visitors to look up through it and take in all of the natural features around them.


Agar Design Company – Based in Platform, this small section was home to some unique tables. Each table-top had been laser cut to create either an Aztec pattern or a piece of map from London or New York City.

Royal Approval – Located by the historic St John’s Gate, this folded aluminium structure was created by Kinetech Design in collaboration with Amari interiors. Being most prominent in the Elizabethan era, the Gate was used for some of the first performances of Shakespeare’s work. The installation by Kinetech Design was therefore inspired by the Elizabethan ruff and showcases the company’s signature kiri-origami style. The LED backlighting adds another layer to this piece as it creates a calming and soothing effect. Having this type of subtle lighting over the harsh, clinical feel of basic white lighting made the structure more inviting to passers-by.


The Creative Edit – Their pop-up shop in Basement84 (it’s the downstairs of what used to be a print works, but is now home to Easton Regal Hairdressers), features work from independent designers as well we local creatives and UK makers. The shop sold everything from originally designed coasters through to beautiful pop-up cards of varying designs. Some of the products on sale would make perfect additions to an office – whether it’s a home office or corporate office. These striking and unique pieces will add a touch of colour to your workspace and will subsequently make your desk a more uplifting space.


Your Tote Counts – A great example of upcycling in a world that is drowning in un-recyclable produce. Designs were created by students from the Chelsea College of Arts and were used by Print Club London to breathe new life into numerous amounts of unwanted tote bags.


Brintons – Designed by Timorous Beasties, the Craigend collection is the newest addition to Brintons range. The designs were inspired by the various natural qualities underfoot; to this end, they would make a great addition to any office that strives to use biophilia to make their spaces more relaxed.


100% Design – The next major industry event in September; their ‘Peel to Reveal’ wall gave visitors the chance to peel away a sticker to gradually reveal 100% Design’s new visual identity. This oddly satisfying action of peeling the sticker also meant that visitors had a chance to win a £100 Conran voucher.


Grillo – What could be better than the smell of a barbeque cooking some of your favourite foods? Aside from sun-cream, it is the undisputed smell of summer. Grillo creates the perfect atmosphere for a social gathering and takes outdoor cooking to new heights, whether that’s for a commercial or residential space.

Bircan Tulga Photography

Behind Closed Doors – At the entrance to Spa Fields this year was a beautiful installation from Hakwood and Shape London. The structure includes 7 small rooms (each designed by different architects) that could be viewed by opening a small door. Each room was created with a backstory in mind and some of their features could even be utilised in office or home environments – one room was built so that it was ‘sensitively connected’ to nature (low impact on the environment).



Wednesday – Showrooms around CDW:

Recurring themes and patterns in and around showrooms during Clerkenwell Design Week seemed to be centred on de-commercialising the office interior. We saw a trend of pastel colours and plants as well as sofas that work with today’s modern world by providing USB ports, cable trays and air chargers.



Non-electric sit/stand desks were another eye-catcher. This ergonomic piece of office furniture has less of a corporate feel and is also more eco-friendly due to its lack of electricity, but still encourages employees to change from seated to standing once in a while. This range is similar to that of Century Office’s Liberty and Autonomy Pro sit/stand desks; although these do use electricity, the consumption becomes very low after a period of inactivity.