Charlie Bark-Jones

April 18, 2024

This year, the Workspace Design Show will showcase a diverse range of lighting exhibitors, ranging from Daisalux and Luxxbox’s expert emergency lighting, Stoane’s bespoke, statement pieces, to Synergy Creativ, which specialises in biophilic lighting, Reon’s unique wall lights, Erco’s flexible spotlights, right the way through to Ricoman’s acoustic pendants. In short, we’re delighted that this year’s event really runs the gamut of commercial lighting. 

 We’ve seen a variety of lighting trends coming through this year. The emergence of sustainability as a priority in lighting will come as a surprise to no one. This year, however, it is evident there is a newfound enthusiasm for reusing products, hence the thinking behind the talk at this year’s show ‘The new aesthetic of repair and re-use in lighting design: Why we need a mindset shift’. We’ve assembled an expert panel to discuss this, including Dan Lister, Associate Director, Lighting, Arup, Ruth Kelly Waskett, Project Director, Hoare Lea, Simon Fisher, Founder & Director with F Mark and Kristina Allison, Senior Lighting Designer at Atkins Global.  

With the sector’s increased focus on contributing to reducing carbon emissions, lighting designers are and must increasingly be focussed on developing sustainable methods and long term solutions, ensuring products work to achieve energy-efficiency targets. Exhibitor Stoane Lighting, for example, is launching a new division called ‘ReNew’ which has been set up for just this purpose. Its products are designed so that they can easily be disassembled, have internal components replaced, upgraded and eventually parts recycled.   

Our theme for this year’s Workspace Design Show theme for 2024 is ‘Bloom’, reflecting the huge increase in biophilic design in the built environment. In design terms, biophilia seeks to integrate elements of the natural world indoors, fostering a deeper connection to the natural world. This trend is exemplified by our exhibitor Synergy Creativ, which specialises in design lighting fixtures such as living walls. In this way, it incorporates greenery to promote this connection with nature, promoting wellbeing and productivity by cultivating a serene atmosphere that visually connects inhabitants with flora and fauna. We expect to see more and more biophilia-inspired lighting in the next few years as in other areas of interiors. 

Statement lighting has long been an asset in the designer’s armoury. Unique and eye-catching lighting fixtures can take centre stage to wow workers back to the office – think dramatic atriums or areas where a big impact needs to be made – for example in town hall spaces or shared kitchens. Designers often focus on creating bespoke, statement pieces that not only provide illumination but also serve as artistic elements to elevate a space. Manchester-based Ricoman Lighting has created Flow Curved Linear Lighting’, which allows for countless dramatic possibilities. This system consists of straight and curved basic modules, which can be combined in different ways to create unique lighting projects. The modules can also be configured to classic circular luminaires, rounded rectangles, continuous waves or even more abstract shapes. Providing even more possibilities, single or continuous luminaires can be suspended or mounted on ceilings and walls with the light directing downwards, inwards, outwards and also twisting, making this product range ideal for larger spaces as a theatrical, suspended architectural lighting configuration.   

Lighting is also becoming more experiential with dynamic lighting effects such as colour gradients, motion sensors, and interactive elements able to create engaging and immersive experiences in both commercial and residential settings where the boundaries between light and art blur. Lighting fixtures can also serve as works of art themselves of course, featuring beautiful sculptural forms, and innovative use of materials to really bring out the brilliance in an interior. Lighting is also working harder than ever before with products having the ability to provide acoustic baffling or even sprinklers or M+E systems. 

Human-centric lighting is also set to continue its rise in popularity into 2024. This concept involves designing lighting systems that mimic natural light patterns to positively impact human health and well-being. This includes adjusting colour temperatures throughout the day to support Circadian rhythms to suit people’s needs. At home, this means keeping the light out when you need to sleep and ensuring you let the light in when you need to wake up and stay energised. In commercial interiors, whether that’s a workplace or other commercial environment it could mean providing a range of lighting from brighter lights to warmer tones, depending on the time of day. 

This fits in nicely with the idea of personalisation in lighting, another key trend set to continue. This not only includes overhead lighting but also the use of desk lamps, allowing individuals to customise the amount of light required on their individual workstations, as well as making an attractive addition to the physical desktop. 

Lighting is a key product category for us here at Workspace Design Show and we look forward to visitors exploring the thriving ecosystem of work life, including lighting up offices in a multitude of ways.