CDW: Continental Successfully Transforms Its Trade Fair Stand into a Creative Playground

With balls in a myriad sizes and colors, a fan-shaped arrangement of columns in a striking color gradient, and rolls of material presented like flowers in a large vase – there’s no doubt about it: at the 2024 Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW), Continental chose an unconventional and particularly playful way to present its high-quality skai® artificial leather products. The public loved it – reason enough for a look back at three inspiring days at the design festival in the heart of London.

“A life less ordinary” – Continental could have easily used this or any similar motto as its unofficial banner slogan for this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week in London where, from May 21 to 23, 2024, the surface specialist exhibited for the first time at the design festival that is particularly popular among architects and designers –   and did so in a completely new way. The approach was to design the 18-m2 show stand to encourage visitors to experience the skai® materials up close in playful ways involving both sight and touch: there, countless exercise balls of various sizes and colors that had been covered with different skai® products were distributed across the entire exhibit area. The concept was a hit: “The balls showcasing the materials were the perfect icebreaker to get visitors talking,” said Lucas Peiffer, team leader of Healthcare & Public Areas and responsible for Western Europe.

skai® balls were the highlight and icebreaker

The colorful Continental playground received a constant stream of visitors over all three days of the festival, and architects, designers and students not only took the opportunity to share ideas, but were also active on the large pinboards that let them put together their own combinations of materials, shapes and colors. “Clerkenwell Design Week is quite simply a very special kind of trade fair. It has more of a festival character, as the event is spread over an entire city district, and even after the showrooms have closed there is still a lot of hustle and bustle on the streets,” says Tatjana Grund, Senior Product Manager at Continental. “Our stand was very popular – we had several hundred visitors, and most of them were primarily concerned about the issue of sustainability. Many were surprised to learn that artificial leather and environmental friendliness do not have to be mutually exclusive.”

The “Fab Four” from skai®

Specifically, as part of the German Pavilion in the Catapult building, Continental presented skai® VyP Coffee and skai® Evida Fiber, two materials that stand out for their exceptional sustainability and thus perfectly embody the motto Sustainability starts at the surface…” – which adorned the walls of the trade fair stand in large neon letters. For skai® VyP Coffee, for example, coffee grounds are incorporated into the production process, while 90% of the components in skai® Evida Fiber are made from natural and renewable raw materials. This is why some of these very components were featured in a particularly prestigious location on the stand, namely a glass pillar filled with coffee beans and cotton – making for another visual highlight!

This environmentally conscious product duo were joined by skai® Tovosoft EN and skai® Totexo EN to form a stylish quartet, and while the first two upholstery fabrics were a perfect match for the first part of Continental’s trade fair slogan, the latter two added ... and surface materials are our creative playground: space to unfold and develop, as these two materials can confidently be called the “young wild ones.” skai® Tovosoft EN, for example, entices with a voluminous flow effect that invites you to touch it, while skai® Totexo EN captivates with a textile grain and fascinating matt-gloss effect, lending an exceedingly futuristic look.

Younger generation impressed by skai®

Colorful, young, and unconventional – at Clerkenwell Design Week, Continental not only caused quite a stir with its unusual stand concept, but also proved to the budding generation of designers and architects in particular that the skai® brand and its products are an ideal partner for a wide variety of projects – and the more unusual, the better.




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