31st May 2019

Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

Last week some of our London team were lucky enough to visit Clerkenwell Design Week to get some exciting new inspiration.

Here’s a round up of the top three key themes they came across:

1) Biophilic design.

What is this? According to Oliver Heath Design “Biophilia (meaning love of nature) focuses on human’s innate attraction to nature and natural processes. It suggests that we all have a genetic connection to the natural world built up through hundreds of thousands of years of living in agrarian settings.”

Biophilic design brings elements and materials of the natural world in to the built environment for improved well-being.

“There have been numerous studies over the last 35 years on the benefits to the built environment through improving a connection to nature.” For example in hospitality design, guests are “willing to pay 23% more for rooms with views of Biophilic elements.” Read more…

“Biophilic design is so important,” said contemporary lighting and furniture designer, Tom Raffield. “I am really inspired by the fact that there are no straight lines in nature.”


2) Bold Colours.

Throughout the show we have seen bright bursts of colour, lending themselves to many themes. Similar to Milan Design Week, primary colours are becoming more prevalent in textiles with a strong use of intense bright colours such as blue, red and mustard yellow.

Jeff Andrews of Jeff Andrews Design says, “Right now, I am loving deep, rich jewel tones with an edge. Bold indigo, hunter and emerald green, and dark teal all feel ready to have a moment outside of the kitchen. We’re layering living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms with paints, fabrics, accessories, and rugs in these colors to create drama against a backdrop of white architectural elements.” (Image right: Jeff Andrews Design). 

This theme was extended by CDW by introducing artwork to tell stories of local history surrounding EC1. The center image tells the history of an explosion that happened here in 1867, now represented as a geometric vinyl explosion of bright colours. Blast Blue, Prisoner Pink and Yard Yellow, ​​​acted as a contrast to the traditional red brick of the surrounding area. Read more here:

(Image left to right: Jeff Andrews Design, Natasha Lopez – House of Detention, Ulster Carpets London team visit.)


3) Bauhaus Minimalism.

A modern take on Bauhaus Minimalism using softer colours and more textures to celebrate 100 years of the influential design movement.

But what is the Bauhaus style? Cate St Hill has described the style brilliantly in her blog:

“The Bauhaus was an art school that was established by architect ‘Walter Gropius’ in Germany in 1919. They wanted to bring together architecture, interior design, crafts and textiles and put it on the same level as fine art – unifying creativity and modern manufacturing.” Cate goes on to explain the fundamental elements of this style;

“The Bauhaus style is all about reducing things down to their basic elements and it’s synonymous with clean, pared-back spaces and streamlined forms.

“Bauhaus is not just a trend, it’s a way of thinking about design, the way we live and how we use our spaces.” This unique style has lead us to what we know today as minimalism, influencing everything from open-plan living to iconic flatpack furniture.

Clerkenwell saw a major influence in Bauhaus styled textiles; block patterns, geometric shapes and pops of bright light colours brought this trend back into focus.


Design at Ulster

It is important for Ulster to remain at the forefront of design, therefore events such as Clerkenwell Design Week are crucial for our teams, not only to network but to learn and recognise the shifting trends and patterns in interior design and architecture.

Ulster’s designs can be found adorning beautiful spaces on every continent. Our advanced PSYLO™ technology gives designers the freedom to design carpet with no restrictions on scale and the unique capability to use a high numbers of colours to create depth and texture.

Ulster has long been established in London, producing striking axminster carpets for many prestigious establishments such as The Savoy, Claridge’s, The Hoxton, Shoreditch and, most recently, The Dixon, Tower Bridge. After a recent relocation of its London based team, it is now proud to be situated in the bustling design district of Clerkenwell; the capital’s vibrant, creative heart.

Hamish Kilburn editor of Hotel Designs , rounded up the Clerkenwell event by saying;

“The three day festival continues to highlight and celebrate the extraordinary creativity housed across London’s historic Clerkenwell. Representing the area’s dynamic energy and creative diversity, CDW has become a show like no other – championing the local community, established and up-and-coming design brands. Hosting more than 200 exhibitors, including more than 100 showrooms, seven installations, seven exhibition venues and a series of workshops, talks and walking tours, CDW 2019 certainly delivered.”

We look forward to see what the next year brings to the design industry!