Over 2,500 people were welcomed through the doors of Islington’s Business Design Centre at the inaugural Workspace Design Show to see the wealth of new products and leading-edge discussions. The event united industry colleagues with each other after a pandemic-induced hiatus of over eighteen months with an overall theme of ‘Redesigning tomorrow’s commercial interiors together’. Says co-founder Charlie Bark-Jones, “It certainly feels to us like it’s a show that the industry wanted, and the support we’ve had has been phenomenal,” He has founded this, the first edition of the show, together with Esha Bark-Jones.
The duo, both vastly experienced event organisers with previous senior roles in Dubai, Australia and the UK, have given this a completely fresh approach to the workplace sector, which was welcomed by the contract industry. Innovation was everywhere from the moment visitors arrived, 65% of whom had a specifying role, stepped inside, with the first day culminating in a superb opening party sponsored by Woven Image. Upon arrival at the event, visitors were greeted by an installation by lighting designer Lauren Lever, Founder of Minoux Lighting Design using products from a collaboration between PROLICHT and Tom Dixon, which created a luxurious and moody backdrop. The VIP Lounge, meanwhile, designed by Yorgo Lykouria, founder and creative principal at Rainlight, was built by AASK US and curated by Obo. The stunning Design Talks Lounge, designed with comfort and flexibility in mind, was beautifully created by The Furniture Practice.
The event also had a dedicated area called the Leisure Zone curated by Spaces Taylored and Seven Hills Workspace.
Suppliers at the Workspace Design Show included Spacestor with their beautiful combination of California Cool and London Design, who were showcasing their Verandas meetings space. Agility in workplace design was in high demand and featuring among the strong presence from Spain was Kettal, displaying their stunning Pavilion O space. Other strong themes at the show were privacy and noise borne out by the plethora of pods on display at the show.
Indeed suppliers everywhere at the Workspace Design Show were furthering the sustainability agenda. Welltek, a distributor for brands including Naava, a manufacturer of green wall solutions that naturalises indoor air, reduces harmful chemicals and optimises humidity while Humanscale became the first ever to offer any product – let alone 26 – that is climate positive. Square Miles Farms live harvested vegetables at the show in a hydroponic growing tower and then the produce was available for attendees to take away.
Says Gill Parker, CEO of BDG architecture + design who was also speaking at the show, “It’s great to be out and seeing new products. As we said in the talk, lots of emphasis on acoustics. It’s great to see people again. There’s a real appetite for this.”
The organisers worked hard on the talks programme to ensure it encompassed a diverse range of thought leaders. These included May Fawzy, Founder of MF Design Studio and Director at BIID, Katrina Kostic Samen, Head of Workplace Design at KKS Savills, Claire Ness, Inclusive Design Lead at HMRC, Collin Burry, Principal at Gensler. Topics discussed over the two days included sustainable design models, how acoustics are transforming productivity and design for diversity and inclusivity. Speaking after his discussion Jack Pringle, managing director of Studio Pringle, “It was a conversation I really enjoyed especially where we managed to flesh out ideas about what the near future is going to hold and I’ve learned some things from doing that.”
Commenting on the show, Esha and Charlie Bark-Jones say, “There’s lots to think about thanks to the many insightful talks we’ve had with industry specialists and we’ve seen and heard about some very exciting innovative products from our exhibitors. All in all, we’ve successfully brought people together again to chat about all things workspace design.”
Register your attendance for the next edition at www.workspaceshow.co.uk
Workspace Design Show, 27-28 February 2023, held at the Business Design Centre, London.