Back to nature at Clerkenwell

Where for the last few years industrial materials and geometrics have ran supreme, Industry Designers at this year’s Clerkenwell seemed all a quiver about the natural world.

There was a lot to take in. To whiz you through, here’s an overview of what was on display.

Coming into 2018 we had a mix of woods, marbles and raw metals… well they’re here to stay. Lots of amazing combinations of the natural patinas in varying product ranges are now appearing in durable veneers, tiles, scratch resistant surfaces. We’re also seeing the trend move into the commercial sector and home office.

There was still a space for industrial materials, such as concretes, steel and ply’s. However in dwindling display as our relationship with nature strengthens, amid a year that has pricked our conscience and highlighted the negative impact we have on our planet.

Lots of space for manufacturers showcasing sustainable and recyclable/recycled products. “Embodied energies” and “eco-friendly” are now commonly used terms across the industry. The lack of a plastic straw, anywhere in the city didn’t go unnoticed either. Another step in the right direction and a marker of a trend that’s set to become a way of being.

Back to design. Complementing the natural materials, a plethora of indoor planting devices. Every showroom was adorned with hangers, living walls, trees, vines and climbers. Kitchens incorporating herb gardens and even micro eco-systems. The future is looking bright, as it combines greater convenience and our penchant for nature.

Light fittings, fabric and finish design, morphed into organic free flowing pattern, awash with depictions of nature. Again there was an incredible rise in the use of organic materials, huge seed pod lights, woven rattan/reed and cork, switches and sockets left raw and rusty. Pots and pottery in the show, again rough and crude in there imperfect, natural organic forms.

All in all a big win for local sustainable manufacturing, natural finishes, organic materials and a great step towards a more conscientious future for the industry. Big win for Papilio Design too, having incorporated sunken herb troughs, and mixing natural materials for the last year or so, we’re happy to see the trend is finally catching on….

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