Details of the seventh edition of Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) sponsored by Renault have been released today, and it promises to be the most ambitious celebration of this distinctive and creative London quarter yet. Set across three days, 24–26 May, CDW will host the best in design from around the world, and feature a huge range of home-grown talent.
Visitor experience is at the heart of CDW 2016, and key changes to the show this year aim to provide a rich and varied exploration of design, for the expert and newcomer alike. A compelling combination of exhibitions, installations and live events across 120 spaces will enhance the festival’s reputation as one of Europe’s most distinctive design events.
This year CDW re-draws its boundaries with a new layout and destinations, focussing on the use of public space, diverse architecture and the area’s strong roots in making. New places and spaces are to be opened up, inviting thousands of visitors to explore Clerkenwell with fresh eyes. Supported by the local community, and directly engaging over 100 local businesses, CDW provides the opportunity to network with the business of design and enjoy the best of London’s history, food, drink and architecture. Clerkenwell Design Week is now firmly on the international cultural map.
The new layout includes a central spine running the length of Clerkenwell, reaching Exmouth Market to the north and Smithfield to the south. Devised by local architects OMMX, the new master plan is brought to life with a marked route, allowing visitors to easily navigate the trail linking eight temporary exhibition spaces and a series of commissioned installations. Headline sponsor Renault returns, building on the success of their debut last year, with a full-scale environment focused presentation at Design Fields including the groundbreaking EOLAB concept car, the return of a fleet of electric Twizys shuttling visitors across the show, and opportunities to test drive the all-electric Renault ZOE on-site.
The eight exhibition venues include four specially constructed structures as well as firm favourites such as the Crypt of St James and the House of Detention. Running north to south the exhibitions are as follows; Design Fields (curated contemporary design), Platform (up-and-coming designers), Project (leading international brands), Additions (interiors products), British Collection (UK designers), Detail and Detail Pavilion (luxury interiors), and Icon’s House of Culture (International curated exhibition).
Joining the line-up as an essential CDW destination and acting as gateway to Clerkenwell’s showrooms, Brewhouse Yard will be temporarily transformed for the festival. Working with local partners, both of the Yard’s resident architecture practices Studio Egret West and BDP will transform large parts of the public domain to celebrate CDW and embrace purple as the colour of creativity. Brewhouse Yard is set to be a new focus for CDW, with a dedicated café, information point, pop-up workspace for visitors, and programme of events.
The award-winning Lyall, Bills & Young Architects designed Goldsmiths’ Centre will become CDW’s live events hub as part of the new master plan. Hosting CDW’s ‘Conversations at Clerkenwell’, this stellar talks series will feature a host of high-calibre speakers exploring current industry topics, including a series of salons curated by Dutch designer Ineke Hans. The wider programme includes a pop-up exhibition on the craft of contemporary goldsmithing, the launch of the Goldsmiths’ Centre’s new membership programme for those in the design field and a series of workshops bringing craft and making to life. The partnership between CDW and the Goldsmiths’ Centre will make this central Clerkenwell venue the social and cerebral hub for CDW. Detail on the live events programme will be released in April.
Clerkenwell’s commercial design showrooms extend the area’s influence beyond London. This year, over 85 showrooms will take part in CDW. From new arrivals Allermuir, to pioneers Vitra, these spaces offer a window to the best in contemporary manufacturing and design, showcasing the latest products and concepts, for contract, architecture and interior design. Expect specially staged product launches, talks and activities across the three days.
The full programme will be announced in the coming weeks, highlights include: ‘One Thing After Another’ is an installation created with Sam Jacobs for Sto Werkstatt, designed to question our limits. Ever-stretching boundaries, this collaboration promises to be a must-see during the show. International design practice Hassell, along with Scandinavian seating brand Hag, will create ‘Sensorium’, an immersive journey through an urban pleasure garden, hosted in their showroom. Extensively researched, this experience draws on the colourful history of 18th Century Clerkenwell, drawing historic influences, contrasting the absurd and the real.
Swiss masters of design Vitra will create an installation focusing on colour and textiles, featuring the new colourways of the Polda sofa, by Dutch designer Hella Jongerius. Top brands from Italy such as Moroso, Cassina and Arper, will all welcome design-savvy visitors to their Clerkenwell homes.
New showroom BD Design will bring the works of Salvador Dali to life with their handcrafted pieces, launching the new Dali chair at Clerkenwell. Reflecting the fact office and workplace design provide fertile ground for exploring new technologies and testing design thinking, Humanscale has a packed programme of talks and new launches, focused on innovations and co-working, all curated by brothers Mustafa & Erhan Afsaroglu from HLW and UMO Architecture. Orangebox have created a ‘living lab’ in their new purpose-built home in Northampton Road to demonstrate the reality of their Smartworking™ philosophy. Visitors can explore the five floor space dedicated to collaborative workplace for the first time during CDW. Workplace furniture experts naughtone will also showcase their new collection of 100% UK made pieces.
Cross-culture collaborations come from Camira Fabrics of Huddersfield who launch a new collaboration with Norwegian / French textile designer Torunn Myklebust, which promises a new direction for their ‘Synergy‘ collection. Meanwhile Bolon invites visitors to experience ‘Material Interventions’, a collaboration between the innovative Swedish design company, and London-based designers Doshi Levien that showcases Bolon’s new collection at Flooring Concepts.
Bright colours and abstract shapes from British rug designer Helen Yardley will be staged at a pop-up space within Craft Central, which will open its doors, offering an enticing glimpse into their industrious maker’s workshops. Newcomers Forest & Found will also host workshops for those who want to get involved.
Exhibition – Design Fields
Design Fields, staged at Spa Fields, next to one of Clerkenwell’s gems – Exmouth Market, is set to become a vibrant new destination for the show as CDW expands its boundaries north. Spa Fields is one of the important open spaces in Clerkenwell; Design Fields will bring the public realm into play for visitors and locals alike.
As part of this brand new CDW space OMMX has designed a series of temporary structures inviting visitors to explore innovations, events and presentations within Design Fields. Alongside some of the most exciting home-grown designer-makers, the show itself – set across two floors – will present a diverse range of the best in international contemporary design.
Thonet will show their classic Bauhaus era tubular steel chairs in a new guise, ready for the outdoors, “Thonet All Seasons’. Dedon, headed by entrepreneur Bobby Dekeyser, will bring their handcrafted outdoor furniture with ground-breaking designs to Clerkenwell this year. Created in collaboration with international designers, they incorporate designs that embody the combination of modern technology and century-old craftsmanship. MAGIS, the Italian furniture brand, will show their newest collections for the first time to the London audience.
Hailing from Sweden, Offecct explores new ways of approaching the office, and will show their latest design solutions, while Danish sustainable brand Mater, known for their furniture, bring their first collection of rugs, ‘Info Rugs’. British designer Theo Williams’s new venture with Qualita, Another Brand, will bring their ‘Tavolini’ collection of tables.
Exhibition – Project
Project, one of the new shows within the Garden of St James, will host over 20 leading manufacturers presenting furniture, lighting and contemporary product design.
Dutch brand Palau, whose designs span home and office, will present new designs such as the armchair Rama by Arik Levy and modular seating system Corals by Robert Bronwasser. German lighting experts Luctra will launch their new office collections that promise to harness light’s positive effects on well-being in the workplace.
Knightsbridge Furniture, based in Yorkshire, will launch new seating collections Bebop and Gogo. Created by acclaimed designers David Fox and John Coleman, the contemporary collection of furniture, promises to be a stylish new addition to the brand.
Exhibition – British Collection
Also new for 2016, British Collection will be located in the stunning barrel-roofed Crypt on Clerkenwell Green, St James’s Church. Some of the UK’s most exciting homegrown talent will showcase their latest furniture, lighting and product designs within this unique space. Waterloo-based Hand & Eye Studio will show their elegant innovations in extruded terracotta lamps for the first time, while Clerkenwell based Jennifer Newman Studio shows the simple solutions for indoor, and outdoor, furniture with an industrial aesthetic. Contemporary furniture designer Liam Treanor will show alongside James Burleigh, Ocee Design and The Workshop, by Minale + Mann, all promising to show the best of British design. Very Good & Proper will debut the new VG&P Dowel Table, as well as showing Rail and the new Wedge Shelf, both designed by Felix de Pass.
Exhibition – Additions
Also set in the enchanting Garden of St James, Additions is the place to discover small pieces perfect for the home, from candleholders to tableware. Over 30 exhibitors will show their best and new pieces. Clavering launches contemporary designs for fine bone china, all made in Stoke-on-Trent. Monica Bispo brings her ceramic pieces that fuse innovation with craftsmanship, created in her studio in Milan, Nicola Suckling shows her hand-painted ceramics collection, and Taz Pollard shows bright contemporary vessels and planters.
Exhibition – Detail & Detail Pavilion
The principles of fine craftsmanship and high glamour, showcasing the best and most prestigious names in the luxury interiors world, are laid out to explore in Detail. Selected brands will feature throughout the venue’s majestic church and cloister garden. In addition to the church itself, the venue stretches onto the street with the Detail Pavilion, on St. John’s Square, with a focus on luxury surfaces.
Visitors can discover a wealth of design for the home, from the farthest corners of the UK, Italy, and beyond. Uplifting fabrics from Harlequin & Scion will be on show, as will the avant-garde finishes of Anthology’s wallcoverings, and American fabric experts Zimmer & Rohde’s new Spring collection.
Cornish-based Sebastian Blakely shows his Italian-inspired, industrial-edged furniture pieces, while Glasgowbased Chris Turner will debut his new Greystone Desk, the latest to follow his Cubist collection.
Firenze-based Fred & Juul, bring their modern furniture pieces inspired by old techniques, entirely handcrafted by artisans in Tuscany to Detail. Also from Italy, family-run Poliform will show the MAD collection by Marcel Wanders, their latest international collaboration.
Pioneers of boutique brassware, The Watermark Collection’s bathroom and kitchen designs are handmade in Brooklyn, New York. Visitors can get involved with the creative dialogue through a hands on ‘play centre’ where materials and format can be explored. International pioneers in ceramics, Maratzzi, will also bring their latest collections to Detail.
Exhibition – Platform
Platform returns to the House of Detention, with over 40 exhibitors in the atmospheric venue, creating a stunning backdrop for this curated collection of emerging and cutting-edge design.
Artist and sign painter Archie Proudfoot will exhibit ‘A Gilded Cage’ a new body of work to adorn the venue’s cell walls, that combines gold, glass and steel. ‘A Gilded Cage’ will be the first time he has shown threedimensional work. Baker Street Boys will also join Platform for the first time, showing their strong collection of furniture ‘Pick n Mix’. Founded by Tomasz Danielec and Arek Glanowski in 2014, the first collection compelled celebrity interiors designer Meg Mathews to become their backer and brand ambassador. Leytonstone’s Laura Lea Design will showcase South-London designer Lorna Snyson’s compelling textile designs, another debut at Clerkenwell.
Back to Clerkenwell Design Week after five years, brothers Kieron and Brendan of Solid Soul Design bring their new, sculptural products that bridge the gap between street art and functionality. The Norfolk-based designers Simon and Monica Cass behind par avion will unveil their full ‘pi’ collection of furniture and homeware made of English-sourced materials such as bog oak, willow skein and flint from Norfolk.
Passionate about creating sentimental design with a modern twist, the London-based Zita Menyhart Studio, will launch a new table lamp as an addition to her [W]eight series. Royal College of Art Graduates YenChen and WaChen demonstrate untamed experimentation with a wide range of materials and technology in their work. At Platform, they will reveal their newest art design objects.
Exhibition – Icon’s House of Culture
Returning for a second year in a brand new location, Icon’s House of Culture will feature a curated selection of top international brands within the world-famous Fabric nightclub. This stunning Victorian building opens its doors to a number of key international design brands including Resident from New Zealand, leading Italian lighting brand Catellani & Smith, Japan’s Di Classe, Spain’s Expormim and Denmark’s Norr11 to name but a few.
CDW Presents, the festival’s commissioning programme, brings design and architecture to the streets and public spaces of Clerkenwell with a series of original installations, for visitors to experience. Pairing innovative practices with materials producers, the results are always spectacular adding a new dimension to historic sites in Clerkenwell.
Swedish practice White Arkitekter has designed the Museum of Making, for the headline project space on St John’s Square. Sponsored by Equitone and staged in collaboration with design curator Pete Collard, the architects have drawn inspiration from both their home vernacular and the history of Clerkenwell to create an exploded barn pavilion. Within this, vitrines will show items from the Museum of London collections drawing on the area’s rich heritage of making and crafts. A series of hands-on workshops will also take place, staged by local partners including The Goldsmiths’ Centre and Craft Central.
Hakwood, a global leader in the design and manufacture of engineered wood flooring, makes its UK debut at CDW working with emerging practice, FleaFollyArchitects. Celebrating the craftsmanship and quality of Hakwood’s range of products alongside the narrative driven approach of Fleafolly, the project is set for Clerkenwell’s iconic Arch of St John.
Architects and engineers from Clerkenwell’s Grimshaw and AKTII have developed CDW’s first education and community project. Working with GCSE students from across London a series of workshops, run by Scale Rule – a collective of young engineers and architects – identified a winning design which will be realised for CDW with the help of the Library of Things. The project includes on-site construction, completing the rare opportunity to gain an insight into the full design process, from concept to realisation. The space, within the Garden of St James, will provide a partially covered space to sit, eat and relax for visitors and locals throughout the summer as a lasting legacy of CDW in the area.
Fringe Activities sponsored by Greene & Co
As part of the Fringe programme, a selection of 25 design studios, architecture practices and creative businesses will open their doors to the festival’s visitors, with an exciting series of activities and exhibitions curated for CDW. The line up so far includes: Ben Adams Architects, Craft Central, Lipton Plant Architects and Wilkinson Eyre. Also expect food and drink offers from Clerkenwell’s purveyors of the best in London cuisine, with discounts and specially designed menus for CDW visitors throughout the three days of the show.
William Knight, Show Director – Clerkenwell Design Week Clerkenwell is one of the world’s most exciting places to organise a design festival; the history, commercial strength and occupying a special area in the world’s creative capital, it’s truly dynamic. Reflecting the everchanging nature of EC1, Clerkenwell Design Week is also dynamic and a truly unique event. With a series of changes this year we’re enhancing the visitor experience, offering more than ever before and reflecting the fact Clerkenwell has huge relevance beyond its borders. As an international hub for design, the spotlight CDW focusses on Clerkenwell is an important international moment in London’s design story.
• Clerkenwell is one of the most important design hubs in the world, home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet
• In the last two decades, Clerkenwell’s unique variety of buildings has been transformed into studios, showrooms and workshops, attracting architectural, design and creative practices
• Part of the Borough of Islington, Clerkenwell is a dynamic area, with a long tradition with creative indus -tries stretching back to the Industrial Revolution, where craft workshops, printmakers, clock makers and jewellers thrived
• Today traditional crafts such as printing and bookbinding still flourish, alongside contemporary design -ers, independent producers and international brands
• Over 80 world-renowned design brands have their showrooms in the area including Arper, Bolon, Bulthaup, Poltrona Frau Group, USM and Vitra to name just a few
• Clerkenwell houses more than 200 architectural practices, including BDP, Studio Egret, OMMX, Howarth Tompkins, Wilkinson Eyre, among many others
• Clerkenwell Design Week activity is staged across an area measuring roughly 2.5sq miles
Clerkenwell Design Week 2016
Locations: Across Clerkenwell, London
When: Tuesday 24 – Thursday 26 May
Travel: Barbican and Farringdon stations
Cost: Free to register via www.clerkenwelldesignweek.com
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