Clerkenwell Design Week is a key event in the calendar of the Chameleon Business Interiors team. Giving us a glimpse of everything from brand new product launches to hands-on workshops, this year’s three days will be all the more important, as it’s the first in-person Clerkenwell since 2019.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to keep an eye on the competition and check out which trends are expected to be big hits in 2022 and beyond – and also assess which looks might not stand the test of time.

With key design pillars like sustainability and hybrid working continuing to lead the way in what businesses are looking for in a workspace, our head of design, Kevin McIntosh highlights what he’ll be looking out for during the event and what delegates can look forward to during the three days.

 

Q:What are you looking ahead to as potential highlights of Clerkenwell 2022?

A: There are always a number of talks that will discuss relevant industry subjects and it’ll be great to have the opportunity to see them. Clerkenwell is a prime industry event that manufacturers use to release new products and it’ll be the first proper Clerkenwell Design Week since pre-lockdown. It’ll be a fantastic opportunity to see what everyone has been up to!

Q: What themes and designs do you expect to be most prevalent this year? Will designs for social workspaces continue to dominate?

A: The use of the current buzz phrase ‘hybrid working model’ is likely to fade over time but what it represents is potentially here to stay. Despite the government’s recent announcement, employers continue to navigate their way from post-lockdown and working from home – and they are asking more questions about what’s required from the workspace.

They are definitely looking to entice workers back to the office but equally, flexible working has some massive benefits that shouldn’t be dismissed just because it’s been decided that the pandemic is over.

The hours spent commuting just to go and sit at a desk – when most people will now have that set-up at home – can be used more productively and so this potentially redefines what the workspace is used for. Yes, there will still be a large requirement for desking but there also needs to be a facility to enable collaboration, flexibility, meetings and to temporarily escape from the busy work lives we lead.

Q: How much do you expect sustainability to play a key role in the event and which areas of sustainability are you most interested in hearing about?

A: I think the recent announcements of irrevocable climate change and the harm we are doing to our planet will have been a wakeup call and manufacturers will be looking to do more.

A lot of manufacturers are already considering their carbon footprint and recycled content in their materials, but it will be interesting to see what further changes manufacturers are making to integrate environmentally friendly elements – not just carbon offsetting.

We will also see a bigger focus on what happens at ‘end of life’ of a product and minimising the impact of what it takes to make it in the first place. As a designer, it’s always a tightrope walk between what the clients wants, what’s affordable and what’s better for the environment.

Historically, ‘being green’ has always come at a cost, and so it’s always fantastic when you can help the client make better environmental decisions with products that are better as standard.

Q: Are there any trends we’ve seen over the last year that you are expecting to see a decline in this year?

A: I am potentially expecting to see a decline in the use of birch ply due to events in Ukraine, where a lot of those materials are sourced from but other than that, I expect to see consistency on the key themes we have experienced over the last few years.

Q: How does what you see over the three days influence Chameleon?

A: It is great to get to have an intensive deep dive into the industry and see what the manufacturers and our peers are up to. Along with our own unique designs and elements, this wider knowledge helps us to be certain that we are providing exactly what our clients need.

We have a delegation heading down to London to take in the exhibits, product launches, networking events and everything in between.

Keep an eye out on our social media channels and right here on our website to find out what we learn from our three days at Clerkenwell. We can’t wait to share our insights.