Returning for its third year, Clerkenwell Design Week (22-24 May 2012) continues to build on its successes and highly regarded reputation with a dynamic and inspiring programme of product launches, parties, auctions, debates and pop-ups in addition to exhibitions, installations, open studios, workshops and more.
About the programme
Showcasing the very latest furniture/product innovations from over 50 manufacturers - CDW is now firmly established as a launch pad for new collections, whilst also offering an unrivalled opportunity to see a wealth of new designs hot off April's Milan furniture fair 'catwalk'.
Made in Britain: CDW is becoming known for supporting and showcasing homegrown design talent. Young designermakers from around the country, from Cornwall to Nottingham to West Sussex, will be exhibiting their latest designs. British participants include: Another Country, Assembly Room, Bark Furniture, Dare Studio, deadgood, the new brand G&T by Bethan Gray, GuyandBrown, London manufacturer Hitch Mylius, Imogen Heath, Jennifer Newman, Liam Treanor, Ochre, the Scottish collective Textiles Scotland, Whetstone Oak and Young & Norgate.
In addition to the 40+ furniture showrooms, CDW will span three special venues that are rarely open to the public: the Farmiloe Building (a former lead/glass merchants warehouse), The House of Detention (a subterranean Victorian prison) and new for 2012, the Order of St John's Priory (featuring an incredible 12th Century crypt and charming garden). These venues provide an evocative backdrop and juxtaposition to the contemporary designs and installations.
Clerkenwell's design beacon
The revolutionary Solar Tree lighting concept, manufactured by the Italian lighting brand Artemide, will be installed in Clerkenwell's St John's Square. Launching at CDW, this beacon of design will continue to be enjoyed until September 2012. It will be Clerkenwell's creative contribution celebrating London's year of the Olympics. The six-metre tree, designed by Ross Lovegrove, features clusters of LED lights at the tips of ten stalks. It is inspired by the organic forms of nature, combining pioneering design with cutting-edge, eco-friendly technology.
Another star component of CDW is its many cultural offerings - where modern creativity and historic interest intertwine.
The Gen Lane pop-up gin bar will reference the conceptual starting point of Hogarth's infamous Gin Lane etching (1751), transforming the third floor of the Farmiloe Building into an inspiring and socially interactive space. The bar, realised by up-and-coming London-based designers Alexander Hills/Mathew Freeman, will naturally be stocked with a London-distilled tipple; the award winning Sipsmith gin.
The Small Coal Man's Travelling Theatre by the UK-based Aberrant Architecture will draw on Clerkenwell's rich theatrical history. Taking inspiration from resident Thomas Britton (1644-1714), who in 1678, founded a ramshackle concert hall above his coal shed and drew audiences from far and wide. The theatre will host daily performances during the festival.
Studio Mischer'Traxler, the Viennese design duo will be presenting their Collective Works at the Frameless Gallery, located in one of Clerkenwell Green's historic 18th Century buildings. Each day the installation will produce a unique wooden veneer basket and will rely on audience participation to activate the machine. This interactive production process questions the relationship between man and machine, the audience transformed into workers.
This year's festival will provide a golden opportunity for design shopping, perfect for those who like to feel their design goodies in the flesh.
Taking residence inside the Farmiloe's wonderful warren of rooms the stylish French fashion brand Veja will be showing their new, sustainably sourced A/W 2012 trainers and accessories; Dezeen Watch Store is a must for watches by high profile designers and Etsy, the online handmade marketplace for fashion, accessories, gifts and homewares, will be exhibiting an exclusive showcase of some of their best prints and artworks.
CDW will also welcome design newcomers from further afield, in particular, Eastern Europe. Many have remained in London after completing their design education at the capital's internationally renowned design schools, including Latvian designer, Arthur Analts, who will exhibit his new furniture designs in the UK for the first time. The Hungarian design-craft collective, FISE, will present a number of young designers and the Czech Centre, will be showcasing winners of the 2011 Czech National Awards for Student Design.
Let there be light
Lighting is enjoying a particular renaissance right now and will be strongly reflected at the festival. A few participants are: Angelpoise who will launch their Original Range chrome plated desk/floor lamps; Anthony Dickens' modular Tekio lighting system inspired by traditional Japanese paper lanterns; Beau McClellan's dramatic LED lighting installation, Fluid (suspended from the full height of the Farmiloe Building); Fay McCaul's Knitted Lights - comprising fibre optic/iridescent acrylic woven light panels; Ochre's Seed Cloud - featuring solid cast bronze stems each housing a LED illuminated tempered glass drop and Humanscale's new Horizon LED task light.
Celebrating Clerkenwell's creativity
London's EC1 postcode is regarded as the creative core of the UK. CDW celebrates the area's artisan workshops, nestled amongst the architecture practices, design studios and fashion brands by incorporating them within the highly popular Open Studio Programme, offering a unique peek into their day-to-day operation. This, combined with over 40 furniture and flooring design showrooms - including Ahrend, Alias, Allemuir, Bene, B Loose, Bulo, BuzziSpace, Boss Design, Cassina, Cappellini, Desso, Domus, Forbo, Flos, Haworth, Humanscale, InterfaceFlor, Knoll, Koleksiyon, Kusch + Co, Milliken, Moroso, Ochre, Orangebox, Poltrona Frau, Steelcase, TOTO, Vitra and ZIP, all of whom will be opening their doors to launch new products, hold talks and debates on cutting edge design issues will get London's definitive design hub buzzing!