Clerkenwell Design Week


Clerkenwell Design Week 2017

8 Jun , 2017  

Clerkenwell Design WeekThe tail end of May is an exciting time in London. It’s not just the (relatively) delightful weather that gives locals that rare chance to be out and about in shorts and sunglasses. It’s during this time that the Clerkenwell area – home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet – is host to the Clerkenwell Design Week , UK’s top interior design and architecture festival.

Last year itself saw 34,973 attendees flock the streets and over 300 exhibiting brands! There are fairly few exhibitions that bring about a sense of excitement like the Clerkenwell Design Week does. But then again, CDW isn’t an ‘exhibition’ in the traditional sense of the word.

What sets CDW apart is its non-conformance to the boundaries of an exhibition hall or building. Why confine visitors to a concrete space, when London has so much to offer. You’ll also find that exhibitors aren’t forced to stick to conventional exhibition stands – there’s space in old churches, underground prisons, and even the park! There’s something for everyone – from exhibits and installations to seminars and workshops for those looking to interact and learn.


Clerkenwell Design WeekIt’s not all work and no play either. Londoners make sure to take full advantage of their few days of  British summer! Brands and showrooms put their best foot forward and open their doors to anyone wanting to view and learn about their respective products – there’s breakfast, lunch, and drinks. And how often do you see an ice-cream truck outside a furniture showroom? Patrons of CDW speak will also speak highly of an assortment of after parties one can attend, just incase you thought the ‘networking’ ended with the close of business 😉

We decided to pay a visit to London this year to check out Clerkenwell Design Week 2017, and we weren’t disappointed. Here’s a highlight of what was on.


Clerkenwell Design Week
LED lights suspended above the Bleeding Heart Yard

Bleed – Lighting Design Studio, Popcorn and Red Deer

This stunning display of LED lights suspended above the Bleeding Heart Yard, a collaborative creation between Lighting Design Studio, Popcorn and Red Deer, was assembled to create a unique interactive experience for visitors. The interactive element is the part wherein visitors like ourselves could place their fingertip on the sensor, and the lights would react to their heartbeat – flashing on and off at the same rate!

Clerkenwell Design Week
Order: Installed at the Arch of St John

Order by Aldworth, James & Bond

Multidisciplinary design group Aldworth James & Bond, designed this installation for the Arch of St John. Working with material producer Corian, ‘Order’ features 145 to 700 mm long interconnecting octagonal Corian forms inspired by the Cross of St John. Each of the nine sections formed a multidimensional structure that aims to push the boundaries of component based digital fabrication.

As we walked through this space, we could easily see what purpose this structure serves – Order celebrates the arch and its design is rooted in the renowned history of Clerkenwell. Placed within one of the festival’s most renowned areas, ‘Order’ was the gateway to the festival.

What we loved!

Clerkenwell Design Week provides a phenomenal opportunity for exhibitors to showcase products against stunning scenery and architectural backdrops. The exhibitions this year were divided into six major spaces – Design Fields, Platform, Additions, Project, British Collection & Detail.

Clerkenwell Design Week

As you can imagine, that’s a lot of walking. It wasn’t easy, but we’ve picked some of the best from the show.

Clerkenwell Design Week
Luctra: LED lighting that replicates natural daylight


LUCTRA® is the first biologically effective LED lighting range that closely replicates natural daylight to support well-being and performance in the workplace in a targeted and effective way. Each person has an individual biological rhythm. The more closely our daily routine follows this rhythm, the better we feel and the better we perform. Daylight is the signal generator which synchronizes our inner rhythm with the natural course of the day.

Luctra makes for a useful addition to workplace accessories, especially in the Middle East. The Sunshine may be abundant, but having to work 8 to 5 in a closed, air-conditioned office robs us of some much needed exposure to natural light.

MySlouch: Glow in the dark lamps!
MySlouch: Glow in the dark lamps!

My Slouch

The creators of the one-of-a-kind Glow-in-the-dark beanbags were back this year with its display of Glow-in-the-dark lamps and shades. The clever shades absorb the daylight and/or bulb light and once turned off they continue glowing, giving light naturally in dark areas. It’s a quirky add-on to spaces looking to create the most of a dark setting.

Clerkenwell Design Week

Focused by ThinkingWorks

The first designer and manufacturer of height-adjustable desks in Australia, ThinkingWorks quickly established themselves as a company who combined exceptional quality with ingenious creativity.

The Focused Workstation from their Acoustic Furniture immediately caught our attention – an interesting combination of acoustic elements and furniture with a quirky design. Designed and engineered to the most exacting principles of automotive design., the super strong chassis is covered by a soft, tactile panel. The table features activity infill trays that have been designed and manufactured using 100% post-consumer recycled materials and are easily interchangeable.

Parentisit – Acoustic Wall Modules. Photograph © Andy Stagg

Parentisit – Acoustic Wall Modules by Arper

Arper’s acoustic line of products include Parentisit – acoustic wall module that reduces extraneous background noise and creates a space for concentration. What’s unique about this system is the option to customize it with the addition of a speaker or ambient light.

Arper gives us the flexibility to choose from three available shapes — a circle, a square or an oval – these geometric forms can stand-alone or be paired together for greater impact. The signature and elemental shapes of Parentesit complement Arper’s clean, minimal language to create a visual element that is as functional as it is modern.

Brexit Design Competition

Clerkenwell Design Week
Brexit Passport Design Competition by Dezeen
Clerkenwell Design Week

A personal favorite of ours, the Arper Showroom was temporarily home to the winner+eight runner ups of the Dezeen Brexit passport design competition. The passports were displayed in a custom-made installation designed by graphic design studio Alexander Boxill.

For the novices among you’ll who’ve never been to a design fair, CDW is a great place to start. As you can probably tell, it’s a well spread three days of exhibits, learning opportunities and some good old ‘networking events’ a.k.a parties. And having only finished it’s 8th year running, Clerkenwell Design Week seems like it’ll only get bigger and better!

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