Rio Architects

Unpacking standout themes from Clerkenwell Design Week

It’s been another inspiring year at Clerkenwell Design Week. As a team, we’ve been writing our personal highlights of our visit that unveiled a vibrant array of design innovations and trends for 2024. Here’s what caught our eye – our standout themes and insights from Clerkenwell that will shape the design world in the coming year. 

Closing the loop

Sustainability isn't going anywhere

The central theme this year was sustainability. With a strong focus on circular design. We found that businesses have been reworking existing products to reduce their carbon footprint and developing new, eco-friendly solutions. 

Companies like Camira Fabrics and Wehlers perfectly demonstrated how they achieve circularity in their product manufacture with their creative installations and effectively closing the loop.  

Plants plants everywhere

Green foliage was all over the place. We noticed a fair few furniture pieces that incorporated plants directly into their designs. The integration of greenery was seamless, enhanced aesthetic appeal and promoted a healthier indoor environment.  

A new modular aesthetic

One of the standout features was the use of segmented details in furniture. Aptly named pieces showed us how segmentation can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. This trend illustrates the beauty of modularity, allowing for flexible design configurations that cater to various spaces and needs. 

The trend towards adaptability and responsiveness in furniture design was evident. Pieces with flexible functions meet users’ evolving needs, offering versatile and easily reconfigured solutions. This adaptability is particularly valuable in dynamic workspaces and multi-use areas. 

Earthy tones and bold colours

The colour schemes predominantly featured earthy tones like rich browns, rusts, and mossy greens, often accented with vibrant colours, creating a dynamic and visually appealing contrast. This trend promotes a well-balanced and grounded interior, enhanced by lively and energetic touches. 

On the flip side, we also saw bright, bold colours fearlessly clashing together. The daring use of bright yellows, oranges and greens in the same piece of furniture showed how suppliers aren’t afraid of going bold. 

Bespoke lighting

Custom designs

Greater demand for unique, tailor-made designs in lighting and acoustics highlighted to us the growing market for individual preferences that allows for a more personalised interior space.  

Collaboration and shared spaces

An interesting development has been the increasing collaboration between companies. Businesses are working closer than ever and sharing spaces to showcase a full offering, such as fabric companies, acoustic raft manufacturers, furniture designers, lighting and acoustic specialists partnering to produce a comprehensive range of products. This approach enhances the overall design experience and provides a cohesive presentation of complementary products. 

The collaborative spirit at Clerkenwell and the focus on customisation and sustainability underscore the direction in which the industry is heading. By embracing these trends, we can create environmentally responsible, aesthetically pleasing, functional and adaptable spaces.