Discovering innovations at Clerkenwell Design Week 2024

Wojtek Jakwert, Head of Furniture Design, Technology and innovation

Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) is the UK's leading independent design festival, bringing together some of the most innovative minds in architecture and design. Each year, this vibrant event transforms the streets of Clerkenwell into a showcase of the latest trends, cutting-edge materials, and groundbreaking ideas in the design world. It’s a must-attend event for anyone passionate about pushing the boundaries of creativity and sustainability.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Wojtek Jakwert, Peldon Rose’s Head of Furniture, to discuss his insights and experiences from CDW 2024. Wojtek and his team attended the event with the goal of discovering new products, materials, and trends that can inspire their interior office design projects. In this interview, Wojtek shares the highlights of his visit, from innovative sustainable materials to exciting talks with leading designers, and how these insights will shape the future of Peldon Rose’s projects.

Q: Hello! How was Clerkenwell 2024? What do you look forward to most and what did you want to get out of attending?
A: The team looks forward to Clerkenwell Design Week every year. It provides a great source of inspiration for the workspaces that we design and deliver and helps us to make connections with manufacturers and suppliers.

Q: What were the standout trends you noticed at this year's Clerkenwell Design Week?
A: As we’ve seen over the last few years, there is an ever-increasing push on sustainability, circularity, and the use of biodegradable and natural materials.

Q: Talk to me about some of the designs you saw. What was special or unique about them?
A: We saw some incredibly innovative materials used in product designs this year. For example, Wehler’s new collection featured a chair made from recycled insulin pens. Vank and Vepa showcased furniture made from hemp and flax. Additionally, there was a notable appreciation of classic materials like timber, wicker, and rattan, which highlighted the importance of timeless designs in driving the circular economy.

Q: You attended Patricia Urquiola’s talk at Andreu World’s new showroom. What was it about? What did you learn?
A: Patricia Urquiola is one of the most influential designers in the world. She recently collaborated with Andreu World on a new collection that uses biomaterials to create sustainable, biodegradable furniture. She also redesigned their London showroom, which launched on the day. Patricia’s talk covered the collection, the showroom design, and her inspiration behind it. We were fortunate enough to have some one-on-one time with her, where we discussed the future of design and how to ‘channel your inner Zendaya’ to become the best creative you can be.

Q: What else did you get up to at Clerkenwell Design Week?
A: There was plenty to do! Senator transformed their showroom into a nightclub with Gok Wan making a DJ appearance. We attended various workshops, including one at Vank’s showroom where we made our own modular seating. We also caught up with industry connections and made many new ones. Clerkenwell Design Week is our biggest opportunity to discover new ideas, materials, and suppliers, fueling our creativity for the year ahead.

Q: Did you have any interesting conversations with suppliers or designers? Were there any insights they shared that stood out to you?
A: Yes, we spoke to several suppliers about the event itself. One thing that stood out was how crucial it is for them. Many suppliers don’t have a London showroom or a large presence in the market, so these three days at CDW are vital for connecting, showcasing their products, and discussing collaborations.

Q: What makes CDW such a unique experience?
A: Clerkenwell Design Week is free flowing, three days of organised chaos. You never know what you’ll bump into or who you’ll find in a pavilion, showroom, or just walking around the area. Everyone here is eager to connect, exchange ideas, and feed off the creative energy that fills the event.

Q: How do you plan to incorporate what you learned into your own projects?
A: The main purpose of attending CDW is to discover what’s out there, what’s new, and what our clients will love. We immediately act on what we find, discussing collaborations with new connections and presenting our discoveries to our designers to inspire them. We aim to excite our clients with these new materials and products, doing all the research so they don’t have to. It’s a joy to then see those products make it into our visuals and designs – it confirms for us that we’re making a difference every day.

Detail shot of brown terazzo worktop with brown leather seating

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