Now in it's ninth year, Clerkenwell Design Week throws thespotlight on thescores of architecture studios and furniture brands in the area. Tucked between the City and the West End, Clerkenwell is home to more creative businesses per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Coveringtwo-and-a-half square miles of everything from furniture to lighting, textiles to accessories, making it the perfect place to get your design fix.
Clerkenwell Design Week 2018 kicks off today,with hundreds of talented makers and design brands throwing open their doors to the public for a three-day design festival. Hundreds of (mostly free) events are taking place in the 90-plus showrooms and studios that line the streets.It’s great fun and it’s free,so head over there in your lunch hour or after work – but hurry, as by Friday it will all be gone because Design “Week” actually runs for three days, from Tuesday May 22 to Thursday May 24.Register at clerkenwelldesignweek.com. Here are some of the highlights that are not to be missed...
Head over to Spa Fields on Northampton Road to see all the latest designs from a whole host of modern furniture and lighting brands all under one roof.
Alongside some of the most exciting home-grown designer-makers, Design Fields will also be presenting a diverse range of the best in international contemporary design.
Explore Tacchini's vibrant furniture ranges, Abstracta's pioneering acoustic designs, and some lush new seating from Calligaris.
Looking for a freestanding bath with impact? Bette will be showcasing some of their latest designs, including their boundary-pushing upholstered bathtub.
For tactile and textural design, you'll want to run your hands over Casalis's contemporary 3D woven acoustic textile panels.
Meanwhile, Scandinavian brand Edsbyn is unveiling its new Hug Chair...
... alongside other new designs.
Find more cutting edge furniture at the Alias stand, with more modern seating showcasing the brand'ssignature expressive minimal style.
AKABA has embraced the love of slender legs and slim structures and combined it with the need for more environmentally friendly and recyclable design with its innovative range.
Ondarreta's latest range continues the theme with a selection of skinny bar stools and book shelves.
And who said outdoor furniture had to be basic?
Hospitalityfurniture manufacturers iSiMAR are debuting a new contemporary outdoor range.
Prefer something a little more sumptuous?
La Cividina's scultpural and velvety seating won't disappoint.
Open from 10am to 9pm during CDW.
Italian brandPiavalwill debut at #CDW2018.
Head over to Design Fields DF21, for the unveiling of a new elegant chair and two contemporary new armchairs.
There's plenty new of interesting designs at the Tacchini stand, from vases to rugs, and from various new seating designs to contemporary tables and desks.
Christophe Pillet 'Memory Lane' chair showcases a radically simplified design with a slender metal structure, top-stitched upholstery with elastic webbing visible on the back of the seat.
Architectural shapes inspired the Daze collection of low tables, with futuristic lines by Dutch design studio Truly Truly.
Patrick Norguet designed Jak, a small desk with a light metal base that supports a top equipped with USB ports and a shelf, as well as a small compartment concealed by a small drop-front door.
Architect Umberto Riva is primarily known for his abstract paintings – one of which is displayed on the Nello Spazio knotted rug.
His signature geometric pattern is also showcased on the Rituale rug.
Pi–Dou is the re-release of the eponymous vase created by Florentine ceramist Alvino Bagni, who designed it shortly after visiting the Pompidou Centre in the late 1970s.
The vase is formed by two intersecting elements, freely based on the tubes that run along the facade of the famous Paris museum.
He also designed another series of vases – the Bubble range (pictured above) – as well as a lamp inspired by motorcycle helmets called Miss Pack.
Every year Clerkenwell Design Week presents new design projects and street spectacles, commissioned specially for the festival and featured prominently around Clerkenwell.
Inviting some of the leading pioneers in the creative industry, these projects aim to push the boundaries of design, in terms of concepts, process and material capabilities.
This year, they're painting the town pink.
Hakwood and Shape London have collaborated on a miniature street-scape 'Behind Closed Doors' that features a series of Dutch style tall town houses, all are clad in Hakwood Wall Tiles and with small doors revealing a series of miniature interiors designed by various architects from Shape’s Dragon Fly Place Collective.
Following the pink theme, Pipe Line – designed by Lou Corio Randall – is a new approach to street furniture. From bike racks to benches, the objects are formed from a single continuous curved line of steel tube which appears to emerge from the ground, twist and turn into shapes before re-entering the ground. Spot them near Spa Fields.
When you think of polystyrene, the words 'environmentally friendly' probably don't spring to mind. But the material happens to be one of the most sustainable materials as it can be endlessy recycled.
To raise awareness about the reusable material, polystyrene manufacturers Bakers Patterns have created a series of sculptures made from recycled polystyrene.
As well as hosting furniture and interiors showrooms, Clerkenwell is also home to a variety of other creative practices including architects, branding agencies and craft studios. Many of them are hosting workshops, displays and installations.
Watch Naori Priestly demonstrate paper folding techniques to make 3D structure from paper at the Modular Origami demonstration between 4pm and 5pm on Tuesday 22nd Map. CatchIkuko Iwamoto decorate cups by applying porcelain sip dots between 3:30pm and 4:30pm on Wednesday 23rd May.
Local resident design showrooms also play an integral part toClerkenwell Design Week, providing plenty more modern design ideas, contemporary furniture launches as well as a stimulating programme of topic-led events including talks, demonstrations and workshops and product launches.
From high-end furniture and lighting to kitchen and bathroom brands and even material manufacturers, you'll want to pick up a map and tick some of these off your hit-list.
Allermuir are opening their bright new showroom just in time forClerkenwell Design Week, and will be celebrating with a daily breakfast each morning, followed by music and drinks throughout the afternoons.
For lighting, pop into Arlico to see their range of on-trend architectural lighting products.
In search of some home office inspiration? Bene is presenting STUDIO a new workplace system of smartly designed desks, shelving and accessories that can be mixed and matched.
For Scandiphiles, Bolon is unveiling their new collection Elements. Inspired by the natural world, Boloncommissioned Neri & Hu to create an installation that communicates a contemporary, nature-inspired aesthetic.
For something brand new, Deadgood are opening their first ever UK showroom at 46 Old Street, showcasing their eclectic collection of British designs.
Hitch Mylius are launching ‘Quiet Surfaces’, their third collaboration with Designer Magnus Long, consisting of commercial style furniture.
Love the fish scale trend? Vicalvi will be showcasing their porceiling and ceramic tiles, concrete, carpet, wood floor and natural stone and paint packages, including these lovely wall tiles.
COLOUR OF THE YEAR
Thought Pantone was the only colour of the year to have on your radar? Think again.
Johnstone’s Trade will reveal Voice of Colour’s 2019 Colour of the Year through an immersive, colourful pop-up at Clerkenwell Design Week.
Located in Brewhouse Yard, visitors can join Johnstone’s Trade colour experts to gain exclusive insight into the themes and colours shaping the 2019 Voice of Colour trends guide – with a focus on next year’s standout Colour of the Year.
Up and coming design students from Metropolitan University will be exhibiting their contemporary designs.
Inspired by the great outdoors, Catia Cabral designed Fardo; a comfortable bench made from straw.
Krishma Sokhal exhibits Delicacy, a set of square and rectangle small storage trays made fromearthenware clay, coated in a clear glaze with opal lustre speckles.
Dog-Eared, by Ella Merriman, was inspired by a book with curled dog-eared corners. The shelf can be used in many contexts to hang items on the curled hook whilst holding smaller items on the flat shelf surface.
Spanish furniture brand Andreu World has launched its first collection by Swiss Argentinian designer Alfredo Häberli.
Dado is a series of modular sofas and a single seater chaise longue.
To mark this new collaboration, the designer will be in conversation at Andreu World’s brand new London showroom (104-110 Goswell Road) on 23 May.
Danish brand Mater will be unveiling the new Mater Earth Gallery, a concept store and showroom at 36 Myddelton Street, with earthy, textural and sustainable lifestyle products, from furniture and homeware to lighting.
They'll be celebrating with a drinks reception on Wednesday 23rd May, from 6pm.
Space Copenhagen have expanded their sleek, Scandi-style Gleda collection for Benchmark, launching at Clerkenwell Design Week.
Fusing Space Copenhagen’s signature refined aesthetic with Benchmark’s craftsmanship, the new additions include the Gleda dining chair, Gleda lounge table, Gleda side table and updates to the Gleda lounge chair.
On a budget, or just want to take home a piece of design from the week?Design Best will be opening a SALE SHOP offering discounted product from some of the best loved British design brands in a single location – Light at Fabric nightclub.
Expect to see a range of home and personal accessories, clothing and small lights from Tom Dixon, Anglepoise, Folk and Ally Capellino, all at discounted prices. Pick up something special that will fit inside your bag; a little retail therapy after pounding the streets of Clerkenwell.
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Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.
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