As we finally, albeit slowly, return to a revised meaning of normality – society has adapted to place precedent on topics that might have been overlooked pre-covid. Clerkenwell Design Week is a prime example of this, with an overriding sustainability focus for 2022. The companies taking part in the infamous event have highlighted the new benchmark in the design and craft industries, proving that sustainability is not a trend, but much rather a standard which the consumer now (rightly so) expects.

A strong panel, led by Helen Parton  with guests including Lydia Randall (BDG architecture + design), Martin Gettings (Brookfield Asset Management), Tariq Abbas (HDR) and Sarah Ratcliff (Better Building Partnership) discussed the importance of a holistic view of buildings to achieve true ESG efficiencies.

Humanscale also hosted a conversation ‘Design for Life’, a panel looking at sustainable design for the home. Chaired by the renowned Kate Watson-Smythe (Mad About the House) and panelled by industry professionals such as journalist Roddy Clarke (Financial Times), interior designer Simon Hamilton, “Green Grad” Harry Peck, who makes furniture from ocean plastic and Elizabeth Margles, Chief Marketing Officer (Humanscale). The conversation provided insights to the average attendee that one could not find elsewhere.

The pink-flag clad showrooms that lined the streets of Clerkenwell displayed thought-provoking and innovative collections. A real stand-out was Bene, with its new ‘Casual’ collection, comfortable and functional seating solutions that adapt to any situation thanks to three different available height options, chorused by an apt ‘Casual Café’ to go alongside. Here you could not only view design brilliance, but sit alongside it, with coffee and strudel in hand. The Bene experience this year was immersive as a result and simulated what a work environment might feel like with ‘Casual’.

Wellness became another pillar of Clerkenwell Design Week 2022, sitting parallel to the sustainability focus. The wellness brand, Welltek, cultivated a wellness hub for the event, anchored to their showroom. The Finnish brand invited attendees to catch their breath and enjoy a moment of calm during the hectic week. It provided fresh, filtered air and calming light – giving the busy visitor a spot of silence to regroup and destress. This was a crowd favourite and highlighted the need for wellbeing structures in the current workplace climate.

Thanks to the exemplary efforts of all taking part, Clerkenwell Design Week 2022 is one to remember, and a hard event to top. Although energetic and bustling, the structure of the week allows for the visitor to choose when they would like to attend, and on what terms. There were over 400 events that took place across the festival, plus 150+ resident showrooms and 10 exhibition venues to explore, giving those who registered a post-covid experience to rival them all, with a wealth of resources, reminding us why CDW is the U.K.’s top independent event.