The Simpler PR team recently headed to Clerkenwell; the stretch of London home to more creative businesses and architects than anywhere else in the world, for the sixth annual Clerkenwell Design Week. Incorporating open showrooms, themed exhibitions and pop-up installations, the event showcases both renowned industry talents and emerging new designers.

Housed in the Grade II listed Farmiloe Building, the Design Factory at Clerkenwell illustrated the best of both British and International contemporary design. A well-established barometer of both existing and forthcoming interior trends, and typically indicative of the design direction to come, we thought we would take a look at some of the top trends to emerge from our wander around the area…

A Beacon of Lighting Inspiration and Innovation

Cutting edge design and truly innovative technology both featured in the lighting exhibited across the factory. In a clear diversion from traditional form, lighting in a range of unique shapes was exhibited across the factory.  An asymmetric shade moulded from one large single sheet of metal, a floor lamp crafted from just two slim discs connected by a single pole and shades formed from two cones, rather than the one used traditionally, all featured. Technology too was used in new and creative ways, with intriguing and exciting results. A small, candled-shaped light which can be turned on and off by simply blowing on the ‘wick’, a pendant light which can be dimmed by moving a hand underneath the glow and a table lamp featuring a closed, rather than open, base and top for added safety and easy cleaning, all featured.

‘Made You Look’

Many of the displays in the Design Factory also had a playful side and it was clear designers had blended a dash of irreverence and cheekiness with traditional design, for fun yet sophisticated results. Ornaments and furniture in traditional finishes and seemingly conventional designs featured humorous undertones which were only visible on a second look. An ornament finished in a classic white crackle glaze and seemingly traditional in style incorporated a hot dog into its design; the outside of a dressing wall featured the outline of a winking eye and an ornate glass lighting fixture crafted out of individual flying figures which were only discernible on a second glance, were all on display.

 Mid-Century Modern Style

The clean lines, simple shapes and minimalism of retro, mid-century modern style dominated much of the furniture on show in the factory. Scandinavian and Danish style influenced the mid-century look in its heyday and had clearly driven the design of much of the furniture, sofas and armchairs on display. Dressers and console tables with rigid outlines and turned legs, straight back sofas and chairs and an overt focus on function dominated many of the displays.

Mindfulness, At Peace With Nature

The growing interest in mental wellbeing and having a healthy home life as well as career also impacted on design. Many displays embraced the rise of mindfulness – something which is almost becoming mandatory for health in the modern world, and others channelled the growing appreciation of the benefits of nature on both emotional and physical health. Deadgood dedicated a section of their stand to products conducive to mindfulness and DI CLASSE; who aim to ‘bring nature indoors’, showcased ceiling pendants inspired by, and crafted from, leaves and trees. There was also a clear respect for using natural materials in their natural form, rather than encouraging them to divert from this; the linear grain of wood was used to create the geometric pattern on a coffee table and a table crafted from a single length of wood taken from one tree all featured.

After our trip to Clerkenwell, we mused on the fact that some of the design trends which look like they will be key in the months to come, are also essential for success in PR. The innovation and creative ways new and developing technology had been used in the lighting designs is similar to the way that inventive ideas and solutions and utilising technology to maximise results are integral to PR success. The sense of fun and positivity on show in many of the displays is also essential for generating effective results and key to our outlook at Simpler PR. Reacting to changes in cultural opinion and trends is important for effective design, but also for success in PR; it is important to be able to both recognise and advise on the movements to come. At Simpler PR we are well versed in each of these elements! If you would like to see how we could use these skills to help your brand, do give us a call on 01494 793501 or email marie@simplerpr.com !