Intentional Design for a Sustainable Tomorrow: Highlights from Clerkenwell 2024

07.06.2024

Design Trends

Dfd Modus

The streets of Clerkenwell were alive with the spirit of innovation as design enthusiasts gathered to celebrate Clerkenwell Design Week 2024. This year’s event left an indelible mark on the design community, showcasing a future where design is intentional and impactful. Reflecting on the products, spaces, and materials that took centre stage, we explore how the principles of sustainable and adaptable design are not just trends but necessities for a world in constant flux. From the adaptability of furniture systems to the conscious application of materials and colours, here we revisit the highlights and key takeaways from the event that are shaping the future of design.

How might products and spaces work harder?

  • Design for Disassembly (DfD) is revolutionising sustainable design, creating products that can be easily disassembled and repurposed, contributing to the circular economy. The Modus Maluma Chair and Modus Edge Free collection are exemplary, with the former offering modular configurations and the latter being a foam-free, carbon-efficient seating solution.
  • Adaptable furniture systems have taken modularity to new heights, allowing for customisation and expansion through add-ons. The Bene Points System is a testament to this trend, providing a modular framework that adapts to changing workspace needs, emphasising sustainability and reducing the need for frequent replacements.
  • Versatile spaces are key in today’s design industry, focusing on dynamic and flexible environments that cater to multifunctional use. Designers are tasked with creating spaces that are modular, easy to reconfigure, technologically integrated, acoustically controlled, and have flexible lighting to support various activities. These spaces are not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly functional, maximising utility and anticipating future needs.

 

Bene Points System

Bene Points System

 

How might we apply colours and materials with greater intention?

  • Material applications are pivotal in design, with tactile experiences enhancing perceptions of quality and comfort. Surfaces like marble or metal offer sophistication, while wood or fabric bring warmth and relaxation. The tactile quality of materials is integral to comfort, influencing user interaction and overall experience. Designers are focusing on materials that are luxurious yet environmentally responsible, such as recycled materials and sustainably sourced wood.
  • Natural and recycled content strikes a balance between biophilic design and sustainability. Materials like timber and wool connect us to nature, improving mental well-being and productivity. Recycled content reduces environmental impact, supporting a circular economy and adding unique textures to spaces. This synergy represents a holistic approach to eco-friendly design, ensuring our built environment is beautiful, functional, sustainable, and connected to nature.
  • Brand colours in workplace design can amplify company culture and reinforce brand identity. Strategic colour application reflects a company’s ethos, influences mood, and enhances employee experience. It’s essential to use colours intentionally, supporting various aspects of company culture (beyond the brand) and considering their psychological impact. Consistency in colour use strengthens brand recognition while balancing brand identity with a broader palette presents a design opportunity. Thoughtful colour application creates spaces that resonate with company culture, inspiring and motivating users.
Workbench Material Board, J Adams Co Workshop, Justine Fox Colour Branding Talk

Workbench Material Board, J Adams Co Workshop, Justine Fox Colour Branding Talk

 

Clerkenwell Design Week 2024 showcased the pinnacle of design evolution, where functionality meets sustainability head-on. The discussions and exhibits this year have highlighted the importance of intentional design choices, whether it’s through the application of tactile materials, the integration of natural and recycled content, or the thoughtful use of brand colours. As we reflect on the insights from this event, it’s clear that the future of design is not just about aesthetics—it’s about creating spaces and products that are meaningful, adaptable, and respectful of our planet. Let’s carry these principles forward, crafting a world that’s designed for tomorrow.

 

For more information please contact Blair Boyle: Blair.Boyle@Savills.com