Clerkenwell Design Week kicks off today (20 May), taking over the historic London district for three days of exhibitions, talks, events and parties.
More than 200 new and established designers and manufacturers from Britain and around the world will showcase their latest works in showrooms, galleries and historic buildings. Here are some of the highlights of the next few days.
The Campanas and Barber Osgerby are among the big names launching products at this year’s event. The Brazilian brothers’ Bastardo for Edra (pictured above) – an irregular-shaped sofa upholstered in a massive layer of goosedown with three, loose, cylindrical cushions – can be seen at the .IT showroom. Meanwhile, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby are launching their Mews range of tiles for Domus, inspired by London and produced by Italian ceramic design house Mutina.
Elsewhere, Brintons is launching a collection of photorealistic carpets by multi-faceted Spanish designer Cristian Zuzunaga, made using the brand’s “high-definition weave” technology.
At the Design Factory exhibition in the imposing Farmiloe building, Anglepoise will reveal the result of its collaboration with fashion designer Paul Smith – an interpretation of the Type75 table lamp originally designed by Kenneth Grange.
Other products worth looking out for are Another Country’s Workstead range of industrial lighting; Decode’s variation on its Vessel light (pictured above), echoing the idea of a ship in a bottle; lighting collections by Örsjö's – including Skyline, inspired by the architecture of different districts of Stockholm; and Hero by Buster + Punch, a bronzed gun metal and brass light inspired by the work of traditional blacksmiths.
Talks and events
As part of a programme of talks at the Farmiloe building, Icon editor Christopher Turner will talk to Ron Arad and Asa Bruno about their studio's approach to architecture. He will also interview the Campana brothers about the influence of art on design.
Over at the Arper showroom, Sol Campbell, Edwin Heathcote and Vicky Richardson will consider the question “How do we make London the best city in the world?”, while at the Scandinavian Business Seating showroom, Form Us With Love will discuss the ever-increasing need to invest in design.
Each day of the festival, Peter Murray will be leading a bike tour of Clerkenwell, taking in the Clerkenwell Workshops, the Goldsmiths’ Centre and architect AHMM’s Morelands headquarters, among other local sights. Over at Sto Werkstatt, Pilbrow and Partners, UHA London, Madoc Architecture and Coffey Architects will be presented their ideas for the future of Clerkenwell Green, a neglected piece of London's public realm, to a review panel chaired by Paul Finch.
At the Clerkenwell Collection, representatives of 3D-printing store Imakr will discuss the digital aspects of 3D printing and how this will affect the design community. It will also host a talk by curator Kate Goodwin and cinematographer Shizuka Hariu, who worked together on the Sensing Spaces exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Design studios such as Studio Weave, Okay Studio and Russ and Henshaw (its Tile Mile pictured above) have created installations specifically for Clerkenwell Design Week, which are dotted around the area.
Last week, Icon asked several local architecture firms to rethink the Old Street roundabout – their responses will be on display on a series of plinths along on Clerkenwell Road.
Meanwhile, online store Triitme.com’s stand in the Crypt on the Green will feature installations by Cristian Zuzunaga and urban artist Ricardo Cavalo (pictured above), who will create a 4m x 2m mural live on site.
Elsewhere, Vitra’s showroom will feature the results of “Tailor My Tom Vac” – an effort by 26 design firms to redesign Ron Arad’s 15-year-old Tom Vac chair – one of which is pictured above.
Sto Werkstatt is featuring an exhibition of five interactive multimedia works that explore the complexities of representing architecture in its various forms – from the built environment, to the virtual spaces of digital gaming, the architectural follies of the imagination and the traces that a human body leaves in a space. Among these are 3D-printed architectural sculptures by former Design Museum designer in residence Adam Nathaniel Furman.
On the glass front of Paul Archer Design’s headquarters, artist Luke Embden is creating a graphic installation based on the practice’s vision for the transformation of the railway cut of Farringdon station into a public square.
If you’re flagging after all that activity, pop by the “Urban Gin Garden” on Clerkenwell Road, for gin-tasting and to sample bespoke cocktails.