A preview of Clerkenwell Design Week 2015

A preview of Clerkenwell Design Week 2015 0

1504_CDW_Showrooms_FV-027The organisers of Clerkenwell Design Week have announced the latest up to date details of its events and showrooms programme. Taking place between 19 and 21 May, this is the sixth year the event has taken place in London’s creative centre. Over 80 showrooms will take part this year, hosting a range of activities, discussions, showcases, product launches and talks. Confirmed keynote participants include designers such as David Adjaye (top), Michael Young and Patrizia Moroso. New participants this year include heritage brand Carl Hansen & Søn and modernist storage specialists USM. Office furniture firms Wilkhahn and Connection Seating will both open new showrooms on Great Sutton Street, while flooring manufacturer Milliken is significantly expanding its Berry Street premises.

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The UK’s enduring and understandable love affair with Scandinavian design

scandinavian designThe British have an enduring love affair with Scandinavia. From Norwegian Wood to Ikea, Abba to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and all the other manifestations of Nordic noir, the country’s love affair with everything Scandinavian shows no sign of abating any time soon. We have a particular affinity with Scandinavian design, which is both familiar to our shared Northern European sensibilities and exotic at the same time. Its influence extends way beyond Sundays spent assembling a Billy book case. Like all the best design, we love its simplicity and functionality, its order and attractiveness. The influence of Scandinavian furniture design in particular has been palpable in the UK since the 1950s when the first waves of modernism crashed on these shores and were lapped up by a population eager to build a new world following years of war.

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Natural daylight increases wellness of office workers finds new study

The importance of exposure to natural light to employee health and the priority architectural designs of office environments should place on natural daylight exposure for workers has been highlighted in a new study. According to researchers from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign office workers with more light exposure at the office had longer sleep duration, better sleep quality, more physical activity and better quality of life compared to office workers with less light exposure in the workplace. Employees with windows in the workplace received 173 per cent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night than employees who did not have the natural light exposure in the workplace. There also was a trend for workers in offices with windows to have more physical activity than those without windows. More →

Insight confirms partnership with Clerkenwell Design Week

phoca_thumb_l_AUG_NEW_Showrooms_000Workplace Insight has confirmed a partnership agreement with Europe’s largest commercial interior design event, Clerkenwell Design Week. The event takes place each year, uniquely using the showrooms and other spaces that make the Clerkenwell area of London home to more creative businesses, designers and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet. It is also part of the East London Tech City hub.  Now in its fifth year, the 2013 event attracted 50,000 registered attendees and thousands of others visitors. Insight will be covering the event, which will take place from 20 – 22 May, focussing especially on the intellectual content that forms a central element of the week’s content. We will be inviting the many eminent speakers and commentators to share thoughts and ideas in the build up and aftermath.

Hospitality giant receives second LEED certificate for sustainable HQ

 Wyndham Worldwide HQ wins second LEED silver award

Wyndham Worldwide, one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, which counts the Travelodge and Ramada chains amongst its brands has received a second silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for its New Jersey-based headquarters. One of the green initiatives was the introduction of a sustainable purchasing policy that encourages the purchase of ongoing items such as lamps, electronic goods and furniture, to be environmentally friendly, conserve natural resources, minimize waste and reduce toxicity. More →

Dual source lighting schemes illuminate the way ahead for office design

Element790_Siemens2_MToo bright, too dull, too much glare – lighting (alongside air conditioning) is often one of the most contentious factors in a workplace. Office workers need illumination to read, write, type and interact. Yet many workplaces get it wrong and fail to consider the downsides of poor lighting, and as such staff will suffer from eye strain, headaches and postural problems, leading to sick days, not to mention lost productivity and mistakes. Eighty per cent of office workers experience at least one negative effect from poor quality lighting, according to researchers Bruskin Goldring, and 68 per cent of employees complain about the light in their offices, according to a study by the American Society of Interior Designers.

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Daylight exposure has ‘remarkable’ effect on office workers’ health

The architectural design of office environments should take into consideration how natural daylight exposure contributes to employee wellness say the authors of a new study which observes a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and office workers’ health. Compared to workers in offices without windows, those with windows in the workplace received 173 per cent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night. Workers without windows reported poorer scores than their counterparts on quality of life measures related to physical problems and vitality, as well as poorer outcomes on measures of overall sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction. More →

Video: The greening of the workplace should begin with individual behaviour

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There is an understandable temptation when we consider the ways in which we might green our buildings and organisations that we focus primarily on designed and engineered solutions. But as this blog on Greenbiz points out, we can achieve a great deal by looking at the behaviour of individuals. It is a point made in an entertaining way by my favourite TED Talk of all time, delivered by  Rory Sutherland (above). It’s fair to say that if he were to consider ways in which to change the behaviour of individuals, the printed note above the photocopier and the label on the light switch wouldn’t display enough innovative thought for him.

Brussels to challenge the UK in court on Green Deal VAT

Office at nightThe European Commission has confirmed intends to take the UK Government to court to force the Treasury to impose the full rate of VAT on energy-saving goods which are a key element of the flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme. The Green Deal is designed not only to improve the UK’s environmental performance but also boost the economy. The commission issued a statement yesterday confirming it would refer the UK to the EU Court of Justice over the practice of imposing reduced VAT rates on green goods which it claims break EU law and won’t deliver the aims of the government’s flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme.

Plenty of innovation in Stockholm. Just ignore the price of beer.

Nendo Stockholm

They say first impressions count so after landing in Stockholm it was a shame that mine veered towards a personal negative rather than a positive when I discovered that my hotel room interior was purer in design than a polar bear’s coat. To a problem solving mind like mine, this didn’t add up. Surely the cold climate would venture towards a more luxurious, cosy and comforting aesthetic. My second impression inevitably arrived courtesy of a local bar. I could have sworn I’d ordered a 40cl beer rather than the bottle of Bolly the bill suggested. So with those problems dismissed from my mind, it was heartening that the rest of the trip to the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair was roundly positive.

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British Land named Carbon Champion at CIBSE awards

British Land

British Land has been named Carbon Champion of Year in the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Building Performance Awards 2013. The awards recognise building performance excellence in 12 categories, with other winners including Max Fordham, Norland, Atkins and London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The CIBSE awards recognise and celebrate the best performance, innovation and practice in design, commissioning, construction, installation and operation of sustainable buildings and the manufacturers whose technologies enable energy efficiency. More →

Lights off as France announces new energy saving law

SwitchThe French Environment Ministry has announced that a new law will come into effect in July that requires non-residential buildings  to turn off interior and window display lights each night. Under the new legislation lights in shop windows will need to be turned off at 1am and lights in office and other commercial buildings switched off an hour after the last employee leaves.  The new law is planned to save around 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year as well as enough energy to power 750,000 French households. The ministry believes the law will change attitudes and help the country become a pioneer in reducing light pollution and energy use.