London’s Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) is an eclectic annual showcase of design, architecture, product launches, installations, exhibitions, showrooms, workshops and more. It’s not only a celebration in Clerkenwell, London’s leading design district, but one that draws in visitors from across the city, whether you work in it or simply are fascinated by it. With a pink lined path taking you on a journey through the CDW Festival, it’s easy to lose track of time and exactly where you are, in an absolute immersion of creativity.
Now in its 9th year, CDW brings together recognised profiles in the industry, alongside introducing new creatives and designers alike. The anticipation is usually for the CDW Presents, a collection of specially commissioned design projects for the event. These can be found across Clerkenwell, scattered in archways, in parks, or outside former prisons! In the last two decades, Clerkenwell’s unique variety of historic buildings has been transformed into studios, showrooms and workshops, which play host to the 3-day festival. Last year, 34,128 visitors attended the festival, and this year the total is expected to be more.
Open from 22nd-24th of May, the event is now closed, but here are the highlights from our visit:
Scale Rule: Next Generation Design Pavillion
Their third appearance in St Jame’s Churchyard for the CDW, Scale Rule’s installation is a result of a series of educational workshops with GCSE students from across London. The winning concept responded to the theme of sustainability, and invited visitors to look up inside the installation to become more aware of their surroundings.
HARU Stuck on Design; in partnership with Aurélie Andrès
A live installation performance art of HARU Stuck on Design, a Japanese company that specialise in the colourful design of spaces using lines of adhesive tape – which is able to be stuck onto any surface from walls, to furniture, to shop floors, to name a few. The live installation was done by French artist and designer Aurélie Andrès.
Brintons Presents the Craigend Collection by Timorous Beasties:
A pop-up installation that took over St John’s Square, where Brintons Carpets showcases (in large) their new Craigend Collection, designed by Timorous Beasties. The commercial collection is inspired by natural textures found underfoot such as sand dunes and stone moss.
Royal Approval: Kinetech Design in partnership with Amari Interiors, Timberfusion, and Applelec
An installation created by Kinetech Design in collaboration with Amari Interiors, at St John’s Gate, a destination that saw the very first performances of some of Shakespeare’s treasured works. The architectural structure plays homage to this history, shaped in an Elizabethan ruff.
Designer Stephen Hürlemann’s “A Piece of Sky”, SkyFrame
Here is where you could listen to the sound of the Earth, recorded by NASA, and astronauts speaking about their space experiences. It’s the first contribution that Sky-Frame, a sliding door company, has made to the CDW. The installation allows visitors to be temporarily separated from the crowds and noises of the festival.
Pipeline by Lou Corio Randall
A new approach to street furniture CDW festival with PipeLine, designed by Lou Corio Randall, to show that our city streets can be fun and vibrant, and not just functional. This one object of many around the festival, from bike racks to benches.
Images by Colwyn Foulkes Team.