What’s going on at Clerkenwell Design Week? – Day Two
Whilst day one was full of hustle and bustle to enter the design week, day two has been a much more laid back affair. The sun is out, but only showing its head between lapses of cloud – not that that will put a dampener on the festival.
Wednesday continued in the same vein that Tuesday kick started, with collaboration and interconnectivity being of upmost importance.
After an excellent first day of the festival, Bisley continued to impress with an intriguing talk from Andy Swann, Workplace Strategist at BDG architecture + design, titled: ‘When people thrive, work places thrive too’, looking at the significant and ever changing relationship between people, businesses and the workplace.
Andy posed questions to the keen audience including: What does design mean? What has changed in your workplace in the last 10 years? Why do people go to work? And how well is your company designed to help people thrive?
The talk paid tribute to the 2018 Matter Of Fact exhibition and the idea of the contemporary time capsule, which was developed by Bisley in collaboration with Dirty Furniture, and will be running until today (Thursday 25th). Today, the workplace and our roles within it are constantly changing and adapting, whatever the industry. Design is an integral part of the world and has shaped every industry in a unique way. Job roles that mean something to one person will perplex the next – as people are being allowed to go about their jobs in their own way, designing and adapting as they do. We have more opportunities today to work in our own way, but with that comes a responsibility to work.
“Workplaces are platforms for people, rather than an alter to worship at”
People are what drive business. People are the reason that companies flourish, and if they are happy with their workplace then that too will be the best iteration of itself. Andy gave the example of when he worked in retail and the company would put on a show for the customers, whilst the employee backroom was a dingy shadow of the shop floor. People need to be valued so that they can value the company in return.
What is the employees reason for coming into work? It’s beyond just earning an income? Companies are starting to understand behaviours are differing. There is no set structure to produce an efficient, happy workforce: it comes from listening to employees, working together and respecting each other.
The talk left listeners invigorated, encouraging them to enjoy Clerkenwell Design Week‘s second day, as well as looking at their workplace from a fresh perspective.
Light Experience @ Fabric
Now, if you’ve been to Fabric on a night out, today will be quite the culture shock – Clerkenwell Design Week’s Light Experience was a much classier endeavour.
With Vexica, Lane By Post, Calex Holland, Graypants, and more, all putting on stunning displays, Fabric was filled with light of every kind at every corner. Their electricity bill is going to pay for it though.
Whilst the club may have been a maze to manoeuvre, twisting and turning into different rooms (God bless anyone trying to find your way around it on a night out), it was a perfect continuation of the interconnected nature of the festival so far – all different lighting companies working side by side in a space that not everyone would consider.
Is there a better way to close a day than a nice refreshing drink? No, no there is not. Your feet hurt. Your back has that nasty ache in it. Your head is starting to feel like your neck isn’t actually strong enough to hold it up anymore. Of course, wanting a nice drink at the end of the day is one thing, but being treated to a gin that literally changes colour is a whole new kettle of fish.
The lovely people at Knightsbridge treated us to exactly that. In a space filled with bespoke furniture of all colours, it looked and felt more like a quaint bar than an exhibition stand. Phipp’s Gin, included at the Knightsbridge showroom thanks to Macc Events, changes from its original colour when citrus is added to it. A piece of alcoholic magic.
Beyond the bar section of the space, Knightsbridge showed off some of their bespoke workplace furniture. The table and chairs, each in a loud and vibrant design, were comfortable enough to keep in with the laid back and almost bar-like vibe that the gin brought, something that would foster an informal and creative mood in an office-space – though the gin would probably be best left at home.
Today continued on from yesterday’s message of connectivity and community. Andy Swann’s talk was filled with messages of companies finally listening to and valuing employees – as they’re what keep them running. This power that people have influences design in every way. The pragmatic things, like how to organise working or where to work, but also the abstract, such as how ideas can be formed in order to get the best from employees, and in turn the company too, are all affected by people.
A calmer day compared to yesterday, but one that left us with plenty to think about. The weather for today isn’t forecast to be great, but we can still look forward to an excellent close to the festival.