The Buzz | The Only Guide
An a-z of what everyone was talking about at CDW 2014
We were feeling blue thanks to .IT art director Daniele Bedini, who’s identified the colour Blue Cobalt as a design trend.
Brothers The Campana Brothers’ playful furniture design, including work for Edra, was a talking point in the Order of St John.
Katie Treggiden was CDW’s official blog partner (Confessions of a Design Geek). Her highlights included Sebastian Cox, Head & Haft and Lovely Pigeon’s jewellery.
Visitors needing a battery boost for their smart phone were in luck: Clerkenwell is the first wireless charging hub in the world, thanks to Aircharge, a division of Ergo.
Førest London’s FT30 chairs
Celebrating its second anniversary, these specialists in mid-century furniture gave CDW visitors a glimpse into their careful restoration process with four FT30 chairs (by
Dutch designer Cees Braakman).
Grow Your Own
The cocktail hour came on the final day of a sunny design festival. Portal restaurant featured Fringe events (sponsored by Urban Spaces with The Gin Garden) including a Grow Your Own Cocktail workshop.
Ron Arad’s headgear was a familiar sight at CDW. The designer, artist and architect kicked off Conversations at Clerkenwell alongside Asa Bruno, director of Ron Arad Architects.
Architects Paul Archer teamed up with graphic artist Luke Embden, who designed this performance piece during CDW for the practice’s shop front in Farringdon Road.
Jaguar F-Type R Coupé
Working with headline sponsor Jaguar UK, Italian lighting specialist Foscarini created this illuminated sculpture featuring the Tuareg LED lamp and the Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé.
Sir Kenneth Grange had plenty to talk about, including his collaboration with Anglepoise. He wasn’t the only Grange: adventurer and photographer Lucinda Grange appeared in the
British furniture manufacturer Davison Highley worked with Bright Bricks on a Lego reinterpretation.
Singing in the shower comes with added volume thanks to bathroom manufacturer Kohler, which previewed its combined Moxie shower head and wireless speaker.
CDW’s global exhibitors included New York lighting specialists Workstead and Roll & Hill.
For the fifth CDW, OKAY Studio worked on an installation of five American hardwood species.
Johnson Tiles teamed up with colour expert Ptolemy Mann – her giant threewall mural in the Farmiloe Building launched Johnson’s Prismatics collection.
What next for product design? Gentrification: a force for good? How does furniture inform architecture? All key questions during Conversations at Clerkenwell.
Visitors to the Crypt on the Green witnessed the vivid colours and striking portraits of Spanish artist Ricardo Cavolo committed to canvas during his live installation for Triitme!
Famed for her embellished sculptural designs, Lauren Baker held a class on skull art as well as presenting her geometric sculpture made of multiple mirrored polygons.
The Techub pop-up space in Great Sutton Street – staged in association with Icon and onoffice – brought together the best in design and tech.
Celebrating 25 years of the Design Museum, Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola took part in the DM25 seminar alongside Rolf Fehlbaum of Vitra and museum director Deyan Sudjic.
Vitra’s Tailor My Tom Vac exhibition featured more than 20 adaptations of Ron Arad’s famous Tom Vac chair, including this reinterpretation by Studio Tilt entitled Transforming Objects into Memories.
The Leicester Square hotel sponsored Platform, which had a display of prototypes for a new W London drinking glass.
6 metres x 5.5 metres
Although the ‘infinity’ mirrors made it seem a lot bigger, these were the dimensions for Tile Mile at St John’s Gate.
Young jewellery designers
Designed by architects Studio Weave, the Smith pavilion in St John’s Square featured young designermakers from the Goldsmiths’ Centre hosting a pop-up jewellery and silversmithing workshop.
Cristian Zuzunaga discussed the inspiration for the Brintons carpet collaboration, which combines his digital imagery with state of the art weaving technology.
The fifth edition of CDW had a record 32,300 visitors. Clerkenwell Design Week returns next year, so save this date for your diaries: 19-21 May 2015.
Our columnist got on his bike for CDW…
During this year’s Design Week I led a series of tours on Tokyobikes (designed for comfortable city cycling) around workplaces in Clerkenwell. We looked at buildings like the Maxim Machine Gun factory in Hatton Garden, the diamond quarter, the Goldsmiths’ Centre in Britton Street, Morelands and the gin distilleries of Turnmill Street. We followed the story of how Clerkenwell shifted in the last 40 or so years from being a manufacturing centre to a creative hub.
The nature of trade changed dramatically after 1987 when the government changed the law to allow industrial spaces to be converted into studio space without planning permission; this saw off the last of the manufacturers in Clerkenwell as rents substantially increased. This shift is documented in the second edition of Alec Forshaw’s excellent book on Smithfield. The first edition published in 1980 is full of optimism about the jewellery trade, the clockmakers, the bookbinders and the milliners. The footnotes to the second edition published a decade later record their demise.
Clerkenwell Workshops, set up in the early Seventies by architect Mike Franks in the former stores of the London School Board, provided a workplace for craftspeople through this period of upheaval. In doing so it became the model for the sort of communal working environments that have transformed the quality of premises available for start-ups and SMEs across London.
The coming of Crossrail in 2018 will fundamentally alter the demographics of the area around Farringdon. What will that mean for the creative industries? Already the advertising agencies are moving here from the West End. Will the designers and architects be so successful that they can afford the escalating rents? Or will they too have to move further out, and help to regenerate places like Tottenham, Ilford and Redbridge – the Clerkenwells of the future?
Peter Murray is Chairman of NLA: London’s Centre for the Built Environment www.newlondonarchitecture.org