Workspace Design Show is the much-needed industry event that united commercial interiors during November.
Workspace Design Show saw over 2,500 people move through the doors of Islington’s Business Design Centre for its inaugural event to see the wealth of new products and leading edge discussions on offer.
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, came to the UK with 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 using products from a collaboration between Austrian company PROLICHT and Tom Dixon, which created a luxurious and moody backdrop. The VIP Lounge, meanwhile, designed by Yorgo Lykouria, founder and creative principal with Rainlight, was built by AASK US and curated by obo. The Design Talks Lounge, designed with comfort and flexibility in mind, was beautifully created by The Furniture Practice.
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 stu
nning 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. 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, Sheela Shukla, Director, Design at BDP, Claire Ness, Inclusive Design Lead at HMRC. 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.”
Esha and Charlie Bark-Jones said, ”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.”
The Workspace Design Show will be returning to the Business Design Centre 27 – 28 February 2023.