Everything you need to know about Clerkenwell Design Week 2018

There was loads to see at this year’s event, here’s a little rundown of just some of the marvellous treats that were on offer…

Set across three days (22-24 May) Clerkenwell Design Week returned for its ninth edition, hosting the best in design from the UK and beyond, and featuring a wide range of talent from the area, from young entrepreneurial start-ups to well established design practices.

Navigating the trail, north to south, from Spa Fields down to Farringdon, 2018’s incarnation featured hundreds of fringe events – showroom presentations, workshops, talks, public-facing installations – all with design at their heart. Also, this year, sustainability was a key theme.

A major project was Your Tote Counts. Chelsea College of Art, in partnership with CDW, is addressing the issue of a surplus of cotton tote bags replacing plastic bags. A Screen Press installation will be situated outside Farringdon Station, where visitors can bring unwanted totes to be customised with designs created by Chelsea College of Art students, giving them new life.

Proceeds will go to the CDW 2018 charity partner, Maggie’s, which opened at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 2017. You can find donation points peppered throughout Clerkenwell.

For the third year running, Scale Rule will be giving St. James’ Churchyard a new focal point by realising an eye-catching pavilion design, conceived by GCSE students from around London. This year’s winning concept responded to the theme of sustainability by proposing a sensitive metaphor: layers representing past, present and future will create a kaleidoscopic oculus, inviting visitors to take a moment to direct their eyes up and become more aware of key natural elements around them.

A number of architectural practices, including TDO Architecture, have been commissioned to create way finding sculptures in polystyrene for the Reform project – they will be situated around Clerkenwell during the week. The sculptures will be produced by Bakers Patterns studio, which specialises in polystyrene model making and manufacturing.

A festival favourite, Design Fields, will present leading furniture, lighting and product design from around the world. Spanish family business Ondarreta will be displaying its new DRY modular shelving system. Loll Designs will be showcasing its most popular pieces – from the classic Adirondack lounge chairs, to their new outdoor furniture, all produced using 100 per cent recycled and recyclable material, mostly from discarded plastic milk bottles.

“Polystyrene is considered one of the ‘bad’ materials of our time as it can’t be recycled through regular municipal recycling schemes,” says Max Fraser, Creative Director of CDW Max. “However, if the material is sent back to the manufacturer, it is 100 per cent recyclable. So, we are commissioning these beacons at CDW, with their end-of-life destination fully diverted from landfill”.

Talented young designer Lou Corio Randall will be exhibiting his Pipe Line pieces throughout Clerkenwell, demonstrating a new and colourful approach to street furniture, from bike racks to benches, all formed using a single continuous curved line of steel.

CDW are also proud to present a collaboration with Kinetech Design and Amari Interiors. St John’s Gate notoriously enjoyed the first performances of some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays (Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth), and The Master of Revels at the time was a man called Edmund Tylney, who was responsible for theatrical censorship throughout the reign of Elizabeth I – Kinetech Design have drawn on the history of the arch to showcase their strong kiri-origami style, in a structure that mirrors an Elizabethan ruff.

Design Studio Timorous Beasties, renowned for its surreal and provocative textiles and wallpapers, will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of its collaboration with Brinton Carpets. A beautifully built pavilion in St John’s Square, designed by Mark Shaw of Shaw Architects, will showcase a brand-new collection of carpets, inspired by nature, and unveiled for the rst time during CDW.

Returning to the subterranean House of Detention, Platform will celebrate some of the world’s most exciting up-and-coming design talent. Exhibitors include: Arte&Stili, who specialise in bespoke handmade ceramic tiles, and crockery sets from Italy’s Amal Coast; Claire Po er Design, showcasing sustainable solutions for interior architecture; and John Eadon, an up and coming designer who uses traditional techniques to create contemporary designs. His latest MIMA collection draws on the influences and techniques of Windsor chair making, re-interpreting them to create new classic pieces.

Returning for the third year, British Collection will once again be located in the barrel-roofed Crypt on Clerkenwell Green, underneath the Church of St James. Focusing on some of Britain’s best design -furniture company Benchmark will be unveiling OVO, an exciting collection in collaboration with Foster + Partners. And look out for kitchen company DeVOL’s beautiful display of Sebastian Cox cupboards and award-winning handmade interior products.

Elements at CDW brings together a leading selection of ironmongery, hardware, switch plates and architectural accessories. New for 2018, the exhibition will take place within a street-market style pavilion on St John’s Square, becoming a go-to destination for designers looking for the perfect finish.

Also new for 2018, Light will take over Fabric nightclub, an exhibition dedicated to top international lighting brands with spectacular stand-alone installations. Exhibitors include Bert Frank and Rich Brilliant Willing, a Brooklyn-based studio that designs and manufactures LED fixtures for hospitality, workplace, and residential projects. Graypants @ Homepad will introduce the new Chrona range which is inspired by celestial shapes, and mimics the luminous glow of surrounding stars. World class design showrooms will open their doors, world class crowds will visit this hub of wonderful, inspirational creativity. World class art installations, globe painting, you’ll even find live sheep roaming the area.

Yes, Clerkenwell Design Week is back.