Clerkenwell Design Week 2014

Finally working my way through the various post ideas I have had over the last number of months, and Clerkenwell Design Week is next on the list. Luckily for me, the longevity and integrity of the design on display in May (gulp) means that this post is still fresh.

Apart from the obvious design perving and ideal-home daydreaming that comes with industrial design and interiors, it was inspiring to see how designers are working in disciplines other than fashion. Trends work across all sectors, and it is interesting to see how they are interpreted for different outcomes and uses.

There was a predominance of clean geometric pattern, which comes as no surprise given that people seem to be in a minimal, Scandi frame of mind. The influence of Moroccan tiles was also still notable.

clerkenwell design week 2014, geometric patter, tile, design, surface design, lighting, foscarini, floor tiles, wall tiles

There was also a trend of fun and quirky cute. Whimsical hand drawn illustrations featured heavily on homewares and furnishings, implying a mood for irreverence and a young spirit.


clerkenrwell design week 2014, interior design, furnishings, fabric, print, pattern, ceramic, plates, delph, tableware, quirky, illustration, handdrawn, screenprint

The notion of longevity and sustainability also seems to be on people’s minds, as solid hardwood and natural, long lasting materials were heavily featured. Pretty much everything I saw had a strong emphasis on quality, crafted design that would endure, perhaps playing into people’s recessionary budgets, but also no doubt influenced by a desire to stem the tide of disposable, wasteful products.

As a textile designer, I was naturally interested in the furnishing brands exhibiting. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in fashion’s slower paced cousin, there was an emphasis on sustainability and local industry. The notion of heritage and craftsmanship prevailed.  High end interior furnishings being manufactured in the UK, companies creating industrial strength carpeting and fabrics fro recycled hessian and wool blends all point towards a collective conscious that is making moves in the right direction, however gentle they may be.

clerkenwell design week 2014, furnishing fabric, textiles, print, pattern, wallpaper, screenrpint,  colour, trend, brocade, devore, weave

Overall, it was really refreshing to see how design works on a slower and more craft focused pace. Granted, people furnish their homes with different motivations to how they clothe themselves, but it is good to see how designers and brands recognise that they can add value to their brand by using sustainability and social responsibility to create aspirational, luxury products. This is something that the fashion industry really needs to take note of.


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