EXPLORING CLERKENWELL’S CHURCHES, PRISONS & NIGHTCLUBS WITH A DESIGN TWIST:
The eighth edition of Clerkenwell Design Week has certainly proven itself as a highlight of London’s design calendar for 2017. Once again focused on celebrating and highlighting the innovation and creativity stemming from London’s historic Clerkenwell quarter, CDW was home to over 250 exhibitors, spanning across more than 90 showrooms and six exhibition venues.
The event also featured ten installations that blurred the line between design and art, along with a series of workshops, walks and talks that further showcased the best of new British and international design.
We’ve gone through the whole festival and were thrilled to pick up some delightful new products, innovative designs and trends that are bound to leave their mark on how the industry will develop over the next couple of years.
Nearly one hundred showrooms welcomed design lovers from all over London and beyond, hosting talks and workshops along with new product launches and installation presentations. There were also some fabulous newcomers to Clerkenwell’s design scene – including celebrated brands such as Sven Christiansen, Gabriel Group, Muuto, Arper and the much-anticipated opening of Leather Lane Porcelain Gallery by Pentagon Tiles, which was designed by Architect Simon Astridge.
The festival also delighted visitors with several funky pop-ups from ercol and Anglepoise at Albion Clerkenwell, as well as the collaboration between Brintons, Shezad Dawood and Deadgood for the Deadgood x Breather Lounger, the latter welcoming guests to revel in the panoramic views over London’s iconic skyline, complete with freshly brewed coffee from Workshop Coffee.
CDW Presents was an insight into temporary architecture, materials and the use of public space, as a programme dedicated to exploring urban designs that everyone can enjoy. The specially commissioned installations were spread across CDW’s exhibition trail, giving visitors the opportunity to interact with each work.
As we walked from south to north, the Arch of St John was adorned with Order by Aldworth James & Bond with Corian.
Looking over the road, we found Shinola Detroit and Giles Miller’s The Bolt: A Celebration of Craft, one of our absolute favourite stops during the festival. The Detroit-based design and manufacturing brand worked with the British materials composer for their debut at CDW. Their project was a large-scale piece of architectural sculpture, installed within St John’s Square and perfectly resonating with the area’s history.
Going deeper into Clerkenwell, Scale Rule returned with the Next Generation Design Pavilion in the Garden of St James’ Church, while Clerkenwell Close offered visitors the opportunity to walk through Hakwood and Sally Hogarth’s Double Vision installation, leading right into Northampton Road, where Ideal Standard showcased artworks from Fountain 17 along the Finsbury Business Centre.
The CDW trail ultimately brought us to the already-famed Design Fields, where the Perspex® Brand had mounted its superb Beacon installation – best experienced by climbing the 7.5m to the platform overlooking Clerkenwell.
The Playbox was another highlight of Clerkenwell’s design show, created by Shape London and Fraher Architects, along with the BuzziJungle by BuzziSpace. Sally Hogarth also worked with Karndean Design for a series of installations titled Kaleidoscope, which were tastefully sprinkled along the exhibition trail.
Six exhibition venues held hundreds of new designs, from home décor and accessories to luxury textiles, furniture and gorgeous ceramics, along with bespoke surface finishes, lighting and contemporary artworks.
Design Fields was, by far, a favourite highlight of ours, situated just north of Clerkenwell, near Exmouth Market. The space hosted a broad range of objects from international brands such as OFFECCT, Swedes and John Lewis, and it was also home to Conversations at Clerkenwell.
The Garden of St James was the chosen exhibition space of several innovative design brands under the PROJECT umbrella, including Knightsbridge Furniture, Moventi, Moduleo and Palau, spanning over two generous structures brimming with contemporary lighting, furniture and accessories.
Last year, Clerkenwell Design also launched its British Collection section, which returned this year in the Crypt of St James’ Church on Clerkenwell Green with stunning new collections from both returning and new exhibitors – included amongst them were Hand & Eye Studio, Morfus and Adventures in Furniture, all acclaimed representatives of creative home-grown design talent.
St John Square hosted Additions, showcasing some charming small home décor pieces from both emerging and establish talents – worth mentioning here were Beatrice Larkin’s new works for the Monochrome collection and Transport for London’s latest designs with TFL.
DETAIL was a haven for high-end interior design through its choice of exhibitors, each celebrating fine craftsmanship and glamour. Dedar, Frassk and Poliform were featured throughout the Church, the Crypt and the charming Cloister garden at The Order of St John, alongside Jonathan Field – a revered designer and manufacturer of striking bespoke and one-off furniture pieces, inspired by Yorkshire panoramas and sourced from high quality timber.
PLATFORM returned to House of Detention, the subterranean venue where new product launches were presented from twenty of the world’s most promising design brands, including From + Beyond, D.A.D. and Urban Roof Gardens.
ICON House of Culture also returned to Fabric for its second year, as the legendary nightclub was the chosen exhibition space for stunning new lighting and furniture designs from both British and international labels.
Some Fringe Designs:
Clerkenwell Design Week also pushed to expose the creativity that the Clerkenwell quarter has to offer across its endemic businesses and practices, along with its already established showrooms and brands.
Legendary design duo Fredrikson Stallard opened their studio to CDW guests throughout the festival, while Stirling Ackroyd teamed up with FORA to present A Space To Be Brilliant, a series of insightful talks focused on workspace design, held by celebrated designers and architects.
Last but not least was Goldsmith’s Centre, which opened an extensive programme of material workshops, talks and drop-in sessions, sitting alongside a large-scale installation and stunning displays in the main area.
Coshamie is a London-based boutique digital marketing agency that works exclusively with interior design and contemporary art brands, with a focus on great strategies – individually designed to grow brands and fit budgets. Our #EspressoBlog mirrors our commitment to, knowledge of and passion towards design and art. To find out more, have a look at our services or one of our case studies.