Clerkenwell Design Week returns for its eighth edition this May, hosting the very best in international and homegrown design talent across a string of venues, installations and showrooms.
Key to Clerkenwell Design Week’s success is the ability and willingness of its organisers to adapt and evolve the show in line with industry demands and trends. Indeed, in recent years CDW has played a crucial role in championing London’s creative industry, developing increasingly collaborative relationships with the local community and public bodies.
This year’s edition will focus on refining the visitor experience and access to the extensive combination of exhibitions, installations and live events across over 100 spaces.
As ever, the event will encourage visitors to explore a central spine running the length of Clerkenwell, reaching Exmouth Market to the north and Smithfield to the south. Specialist wayfinding design agency, Space Agency, will bring the trail – which links seven temporary exhibiton spaces, as well as a series of commissioned installations – to life with a specially designed way-finding scheme, allowing visitors to easily navigate the medieval street pattern.
A specially designed talks space in Design Fields has been created with the aim of increasing footfall in the north of Clerkenwell, and will be hosting a talks series entitled ‘The Conversations at Clerkenwell’. The temporary structure well be complemented by the Design Library –a space where visitors can relax, refresh and recharge whilst enjoying reading a wide selection of leading design publications.
As ever, Clerkenwell’s showrooms will play an integral role in the festival. Amongst the 90 taking part, highlights will include Arper’s Bloggers Lounge – the official digital hub of the festival; Clerkenwell London will return with the Design Undefined, a selection of projects from some of the most innovative talents on the capital’s design scene; and Ege will present Atelier, a new collection of rugs by renowned designer Christian Lacroix.
Newcomers to the scene, Pentagon Tiles, will be opening a new space on Leather Lane, anchoring the project within the industrial heritage of the area. Architect Simon Astrige chose metal shipping containers painted red and yellow to root them further within their context by matching the bricks of the neighbouring listings.
Albemarle Way, a concentrated area of showrooms in central Clerkenwell will also be transformed, for the first time, into a pedestrian space where a series of events and installations are planned.
Another unmissable exhibition will be the British Collection, located in the striking barrel-roofed Crypt of St James’s Church on Clerkenwell Green. Now in it’s second year, the exhibition will showcase the best of British furniture, lighting and product design.
Here, Hand & Eye Studio will display its contemporary terracotta lamps, London-based James Burleigh will debut the new Mylo benching system and Giovanna Ticciati will present the first pieces from The Trees – a new collection of unique lighting made from plaster and bronze.
Detail at The Order of St. John, meanwhile, will focus on fine craftsmanship and high glamour, showcasing some of the most prestigious names in the luxury interiors world. Poliform will return for the launch of the Mondrian collection by Jean Maire Massaud. Inspired by the infamous Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian, the collection comprises of a sofa, three coffee tables and the Stanford armchairs, all designed with a contemporary edge and elegant feel.
Samuel Heath will bring his new Bauhaus-inspired collection of taps and showers, while Swedish textile manufacturer, Svensson is set to present its spring 2017 collection.
Aside from the central exhibition spaces, this year will also see some of CDW’s most ambitious installations to date, including The Beacon, supported by Perspex, a 7.5m tall structure, located at the entrance to Design Fields. Inspired by the Tower of Babel, the structure will feature an internal staircase encased in a typographical design which celebrates internationalism. Visitors will be able to climb up the internal staircase to a viewing platform over-looking a cross-section where the industrial meets historical Clerkenwell.
Also in Design Fields, Buzzispace will make their UK debut of Buzzijungle, a playful elevated work-lounge space made from lacquered steel that visitors can climb, lounge and meet in.