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Creative comeback

Clerkenwell Design Week returned properly for the first time since 2019 and the event truly delivered in terms of trends

Over 140 world-class design showrooms partnered with CDW from 24-26 May, where visitors to the festival in London’s EC1 area could view the latest designs, innovations and creative ideas, as well as experiencing hundreds of design-led fringe events, pop-ups, workshops, talks and showroom presentations.

Bene, the Austrian manufacturer unveiled CASUAL, a furniture collection consisting of a bench, lounge chair and table all by Bene Designer Christian Horner and displayed in a beautiful vermilion shade. Intended to be places of togetherness and interaction, the benches and tables are available in three heights, so users can converse eye to eye with someone standing while agile working is encouraged at the Medium height with the Low seat height being that of a classic bench. The design is a response to hybrid working and the fact that informal conversations that couldn’t happen during the WFH era are increasingly important as people return to the office. High-seating was a definite trend elsewhere as office workers increasingly want to touch down and either engage in concentrated work or come into the workplace to collaborate. Sustainability was also part of the design brief with close attention paid to the reduced use of materials in the product development stage of CASUAL.


Fritz Hansen, which celebrated its 150th anniversary at CDW 2022, marked the occasion with a special installation as well as previewing new products. Deadgood also presented new launches at the event, including ReWork. This design, by David Irwin, is a simple yet comprehensive modular seating collection. It is intended to meet the demand for dynamic, hybrid workspaces. Thanks to its flexible design, ReWork can be easily reconfigured and is suitable for focused work, collaboration or a mixture of both and can add structure to open plan spaces, creating a focal point within an interior and define areas as required. The collection is a response to the new working patterns and cultures that are becoming entrenched in the modern workplace.


Elsewhere sustainability ran through design presented in furniture brands. Arper presented new collections Mixu, Kata and Kinesit Met as well as a new edition of its Aston series. Mixu is a sustainable and versatile collection of chairs and stools designed in collaboration with international architectural and design practice Gensler. Kata by Altherr Désile Park is Arper’s first solid wood lounge chair designed with circular sustainability at its core.

Sustainability was a strong theme at Humanscale too with visitors to the showroom having the opportunity to immerse themselves in the manufacturers efforts to save the planet. Humanscale’s Smart Ocean and Liberty Ocean chairs which utilise material from discarded fishing nets, pulled directly from the ocean were both on display. Product launches, meanwhile, included NeatCharge, Humanscale’s innovative cable free charger for mobile devices. Humanscale also teamed up with Square Mile Farms, an innovative start up, which put urban farms into the heart of cities where people live and work. Two ‘farms’ were on display for Humanscale visitors, providing fresh, healthy zero travel miles produce.

About Sarah OBeirne

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