Clerkenwell Design Week 2017:
The Latest Trends in Office Design


“Clerkenwell is home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet” according to the CDW Festival website. It’s an event where key brands and companies gather to debut and showcase their latest designs and product offerings, with the intent to dazzle and impress a variety of industry professionals from the UK and abroad.


SEC Interiors once again descended upon this year's CDW Festival in London, looking to keep atop of the latest trends currently emerging in the office design industry. Here's our short recap on what we feel the key themes were from this year’s event, and how it may impact the world of office design in the coming years…

A Home Away from Home


Office workers are spending more time than ever away from their homes, and this has resulted in changing attitudes towards office design. At Clerkenwell, it was evident that many leading office furniture designers have moved away from the more static and formalised furnishings found in office spaces of old, and are now fully embracing comfort, colour and flexibility in their designs.


Homely touches can go a long way towards making an office space seem more appealing, and can potentially draw in workers who opt to work from home or out of the office. Mixed colours, feature walls, and soft furnishings are being introduced in office spaces the world over; creating relaxed and welcoming environments that help towards promoting employee productivity and well-being.


Key Takeaway: The domestication of the workplace is a rising trend that shouldn't be ignored! Making your office more homely and appealing will not only give your workplace an aesthetic boost, but it may also serve as a key tool for the recruitment and retention of employees, too. (

Contemporary Minimal Office furniture - CDW 2017
Ocee Design Chairs - Clerkenwell Design Week 2017

Thoughts on homely touches:

Homely touches "have softened the standard office atmosphere whilst marking it out as an exclusive place to work and visit."


Mark Brown | Lismark Office Furniture

Carpet tiles from Desso - Clerkenwell Design Week 2017

Designing for Generation Z


A key focus point at this years Clerkenwell was the emergence of Generation Z, loosely defined as the generation that was born after the millennials - between the years 1995-2010. HKS Architects ‘Future of Workplace Culture’ study found that Generation Z expect to work "not only in a home-based environment, but anywhere their work takes them – having a choice in their work environment".


Gen Z believe that technology has freed them to work independently and away from typical workplace structures, and so office design will once again have to adapt to incorporate the needs of this emerging generation in the workplace of tomorrow - and today!


Key Takeaway: Generation Z have already started to enter the workplace, which means there are now four generations working together under one roof. This includes: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. The modern workplace will have to adapt to balance the needs of all generations - a key consideration for the future of office design. (ersa)


Main Image: Paseidon / Pixabay

Designing for Generation Z
Generation Z - always connected

Thoughts on Generation Z:

Gen Z "has a unique perspective, in that all the information in the world is made available to them at the touch of a finger. They will expect this connectivity & speed reflected in their workplaces."

HKS Architects

Collaborative and flexible workspaces

Flexible Workspaces


It's official: "the open-office concept is dead" says Laura Entis of Fortune. Well, it's not quite dead yet, but it's well on its way. Employees are fed up with the continous distractions that are typically found in an open-plan office, and they want a solution fast!


Office designers are now looking to create hybrid spaces that offer a mixture of working areas, including: communal spaces, isolation pods and general break-out areas. SEC Interiors Design & Proposals Manager, Jonathan Richmond feels that "this year’s CDW was less about current trends in patterns, colours and furniture style, and more about the increased requirement for workplaces to provide a greater variety of spaces within their office design. By including zones for individual concentration, collaboration and areas for relaxation, it creates suitable environments for employees to work effectively, while making the office a more enjoyable place to work."


Key Takeaway: Open-plan offices are on the way out! Employees want their privacy back, and this means that existing workplaces may have to be re-designed to incorporate this particular need. Expect to see a rise in the demand for hybrid workspaces and furniture systems that prioritise solo and/or small group sessions.

Isolation Pods-Clerkenwell Design Week 2017
Breakout space furniture

Thoughts on flexible spaces:

"Developing multiple styles of 'workstation' and less of a fixed position will help in creating desirable working spaces for all - yielding long-term returns."

- Russell Coleman | SEC Interiors Sales Director

Flexible workstations - height-adjustable desks

So there you have it, another year, and another fantastic Clerkenwell experience. Workplace design is ever evolving, and we'll be sure to keep you up to date on the latest trends in the world of office design via our main blog over the coming year.


If you feel like you could be getting more out of your office space then you've come to the right place! We offer a complimentary space planning service that could help you to create a working environment where your employees can flourish and prosper. Get in touch below to find out more...



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Post by Adam Bissmire-Mullen

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