Clerkenwell Design Week once again inspired designers, architects and Londoners alike to celebrate London as a creative design hub. Editor Hamish Kilburn identifies five installations that took art outside the frame…
In seven exhibitions across London’s much-loved design district, exhibitors at Clerkenwell Design Week displayed the latest products and emerging trends on the market.
But in between each tented venue, creepy crypt and a deserted nightclub were a number of artists, designers and architects reflecting their creativity on the city’s streets. CDW showcased commissioned site specific installations across Clerkenwell. For CDW’s 10 year anniversary, visitors were asked to expect the most exciting street spectacles yet, and here were just a handful of the main attractions.
Once Upon A Time
The installation took inspiration from the rich and sometimes dark historical tales of Clerkenwell. For the initiative, CDW collaborated with Chelsea College of Arts, BA Graphic Design Communication students to create a series of graphic installations inspired by the stories relating to the significant locations. The six winning entries were selected by a judging panel including; Max Fraser, CDW Content Editor; Priya Khanchandani, ICON Editor, and David Barnett, Chelsea College of Art Course Leader, BA Graphic Design Communication. In conjunction with the project, Lansdown’s London hosted a number of historical walking tours during CDW exploring its past as a centre of making, from clock-makers to gin distillers.
The piece was a dramatic trail of 10, three metre high candle like beacons designed by pioneers within the creative industry. The installations, symbolic of birthday candles also formed part of CDW’s wayfinding strategy to help guide visitors across the exhibition route. With a nod to the area as London’s creative heart, each installation showcased the designers’ individuality and imagination.
Created by Beau Kerouac in collaboration with ‘The Big Issue’, the installation intended to bridge gaps in society by confronting visitors with 10 door-sized gateways to eyes that are sometimes hard to look into, telling the stories of vendors from our city streets. Using AR technology, Beau Kerouac invited visitors to question how an act of respect; simply making eye contact, can change someone’s day for the better through shared experience.
The large installation, which was displayed at St John’s Gate arch, responded to the theme of history and heritage by proposing a new structure that subtly draws on the historic form whilst bringing in materials and geometries that reference the design culture of Clerkenwell today.
The concept played with the idea of space and enclosure, by inserting a densely built timber structure within the void of the archway. This was then carved away to allow a route through and to frame the historic features of the site. The timber frame was filled with moments of colour that intensify towards the top of the arch, drawing visitors’ gaze upwards towards the historic architecture. The colour was created by using recycled materials and fabrics that reference the design identity of the area.
While on the site, the pavilion highlighted details of the archway and drew parallels to the 10 year anniversary of CDW. When moved to a new location, the pavilion will take with it the geometry of the archway to act as a casting of the original site.
For their second CDW collaboration, Jestico + Whiles and Porcelanosa Group teamed up with Studio Fractal and Architainment Lighting to display a new and experimental immersive experience, which was entitled Pareidolia.
The immersive installation explored concepts of movement, memory and pattern with an impressive large-scale digitally fabricated installation made of Krion, a Porcelanosa product derived from natural minerals.
Hotel Designs was a proud media partner for Clerkenwell Design Week 2019. To read the editor’s round up of the entire festival, including news of the major product launches during the three-day-show, click here.
Main image credit: Sophie Mutevelian