The three-day London design event is over for another year – here are some highlights from last week's festival
Icon spent three sunny days traversing the streets of Clerkenwell for the area’s annual design festival – along with more than 34,000 other attendees. As one of the event’s main partners, we are among the first to get hold of the official photographs – which you can flick through above.
Our team at Clerkenwell
We also popped up several times within the festival programme, with our deputy editor John Jervis hosting a conversation about retaining creative workspaces in London with the founder of philanthropic organisation Outset Contemporary Art Fund Candida Gertler and the founder of developer General Projects Jacob Loftus. As well as helping leather specialist Bill Amberg make a sunglasses case, Our editor James McLachlan participating in several talks, including a discussion about the Design Museum’s latest exhibition California: Designing Freedom with co-curator Brendan McGetrick, a panel about the fall and rise of Clerkenwell with critic Tom Dyckhoff and a conversation with Damion Bailey, senior UX concept and design manager at Bang & Olufsen.
Icon House of Culture
The Danish technology brand – which features in our current issue – was the sponsor of the Icon House of Culture, and took over an entire room (above) at the venue, Fabric, with a sound and light installation that incorporated its latest wall-mounted speakers. Even the sunshine didn’t stop people venturing down into the underground nightclub Fabric to enjoy displays by Artemide, Dare Studio and Norr 11, and enjoy Icon’s party on the Tuesday night.
Out and about
Out on the streets, showrooms threw their doors open, pulling in crowds with a mix of parties, workshops, talks and launches. Italian ceramic and porcelain brand Marazzi opened a new showroom, as did Danish brand Muuto and British architectural tiling brand Pentagon Tiles. At the Tarkett and Desso showroom, designer Kia Utzon-Frank presented her edible cake sculptures (above) and showed off the innovative twisting mechanism of her new flexible screen system.
A colourful little collaboration between British-Finnish furniture brand &New and handmade surfaces company Custhom caught our eye – it displayed characterful yet clean lined items against vibrant pattered backdrops. Always a favourite, the Clerkenwell London concept store’s Design Undefined exhibition including a collaboration (below) between graphic designer Anthony Burill and furniture designer Michael Marriott, with the former’s typographical artwork screenprinted onto the latter’s stools; tiles made of broken ceramics and television sets by sustainable materials company Alusid; and a light and mirror show by Jordan Söderberg-Mills.
As ever, the event’s bespoke installations attracted much attention – in particular, Giles Miller’s plywood pavilion on St John’s Square, which housed a pop-up display by Detroit watch brand Shinola within its seductive curves. You can watch Icon’s Facebook live interview with the designer here.
Among the notable attendees this year was London design duo Doshi Levien, celebrating 10 years of working with Italian brand Moroso and launching a large collection for retailer John Lewis – aiming to bridge the gap between high-end and high-street design. Elsewhere, carpet brand Brintons bagged the services of artist Shezad Dawood – just back from presenting his epic 10-part film Leviathan at the Venice Biennale – to create an installation that incorporated carpet designs, sound and video. Meanwhile, Domus hosted a talk with Sweden’s Note Design Studio about their Kaza Weave tiles (below) – images of which were widely shared during the event.
Not long ago, the Clerkenwell Design Week team revealed that they had appointed design writer Max Fraser as the new content editor for the festival. He was spotted out and about last week, no doubt taking mental notes, and we look forward to seeing what he brings to the event next year.