Preview: what to expect at Clerkenwell Design Week 2024

Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) is back in the UK capital next week for its 2024 edition, marking its 15th year as a global design festival. The upcoming event is preparing to elevate the experience with new venues, expanded exhibition spaces, thought-provoking installations and a stronger-than-ever line-up of both British and international brands…

gatekeepers by Duffy installation at CDW 2024

With more than 600 curated events spread throughout and during Clerkenwell Design Week, complemented by a robust network of over 160 local design showrooms and 300 exhibitors across 12+ venues, we have sifted through the programme to give you a slightly more curated calendar of places to go and people to meet on the CDW2024 trail.

Starting at the very beginning – the installation at the the historic St John’s Gate of the Order of St John often becomes the defining image of the event and this year, in collaboration with Berlin-based surface designer Orsi Orban, Duffy London will transform the historic structure with a series of sculptures crafted to evoke a dynamic sense of movement, inspired by organic forms found in nature.

Jestico + Whiles and Bolon installation collaboration for CDW 2024

Image credit: CDW / Jestico + Whiles

Always engaging and interactive during CDW, local architecture and interior design studio Jestico + Whiles will collaborate with its neighbouring showroom Bolon on a project that will take over their shared courtyard at Sutton Yard in the heart of Clerkenwell. The studio’s design, complemented by lighting from Studio Fractal and Architainment, reimagines Bolon’s innovative woven flooring to create an immersive experience. Reflecting their shared sustainability values, this low-waste installation will repurpose Bolon’s flooring offcuts, which will then be reused or recycled.

Studios, brands and designers will be rolling out new collections across Clerkenwell and visitors will be spoiled for choice when it comes to furniture, finishes and fittings. This year British brand Morgan will be moving beyond its showroom walls and unveiling its ‘Barricane’ chair as part of the British Collection, at the Crypt on the Green. Designed by British designer Magnus Long, ‘Barricane’ is an ergonomic dining chair that marries traditional craftsmanship with modern design sensibilities, embodying Morgan’s commitment to both heritage and innovation.

‘Barricane’ chair from Morgan designed by Magnus Long

Image credit: Morgan

A visit to the Clerkenwell showroom Casa Gessi is always a design inspiration and the renewed layout, meticulously taken care of by the Interior Design team, allows visitors to live an immersive experience in the typical Made in Gessi style. Aside from that, it is worth the stop to view the Haute Culture collections of Perle and Jacqueline. Inspired by fashion as an expression of craftsmanship, Jacqueline introduces bamboo to the realm of luxury bathroom fittings for the first time.

Gessi window display London

Image credit: Gessi

At Detail at the Order of St John, the focus is on surface design, both underfoot and up the wall. This year Arte will be presenting its new Lanai collection, featuring hand-crafted designs inlaid or embroidered with rattan and raffia. It is always exciting to see these wallcovering in-situ to get inspired by the textures, colours and scale of the Arte designs.

Tarkett continues to shine a light on recyclable flooring solutions, and at CDW will be exploring the power of colour, inviting visitors to discover how it can shape our world in meaningful and impactful ways. The overarching theme, ‘Colour: From Palette to Purpose’ highlights the interconnectedness of colour with sustainability, inclusivity, and design explored through a kaleidoscope of interactive workshops, displays, talks and discussions.

environmentally friendly birdhouse-building from Tarkett at CDW 2024

Image credit: Tarkett

Along with a healthy dose of design classics, CDW continues its tradition of championing emerging talent, spotlighting a diverse range of newcomers. Showing at Platform, Selfish Customs, in collaboration with local makers in East Anglia, repurposes farming by-products such as raw fleece, reed and barley straw to create unique homeware. Visitors can explore the studio’s creations alongside Colombian art historian-turned-designer Manuela Cabrales, who is launching shawls, trousers and handcrafted lamps using materials like lotus fibre and orange peels. Also featured will be Barcelona-based Isabel Francoy’s La Sobremesa collection, which blends wicker weaving and glassblowing with modern design.

A personal-favourite point of inspiration is the exhibition Light, housed in the subterranean House of Detention, the former Victorian prison showcases an range of leading international lighting brands and spectacular stand-alone installations.

This year at Light, industry stalwarts such as Franklite and Lladro will be exhibiting alongside up and coming designers such as Tabitha Bargh, who will be presenting her new lighting collection titled ‘Poly’. Utilising waste estate agent advertising boards made from Correx, typically unsustainable and non-biodegradable polypropylene, Bargh reimagines sustainability, crafting each piece with precision in her Brighton studio.

BoConcept butterfly chair

Image credit: BoConcept

New for 2024, CDW will feature a number of International Collections, all showcasing a curated mix of leading brands and emerging talent covering furniture, lighting, textiles, surfaces, accessories and product design from around the world. In addition to the British collection, there will also be German, Danish and Italian collections lending a eurovision-esque note to the week, with brands like BoConcept, Thonet and Bottega Veneziana all showcasing design classics alongside new collections.

CDW_Conversations at Clerkenwell in Spa Fields_

Image credit: Sam Frost

As well as product showcases, showroom presentations and interactive installations, this year’s festival promises a wealth of design insights shared through its dedicated talks programme, Conversations at Clerkenwell. These talks, sponsored by RAK Ceramics, will take place in a purpose-built theatre in Spa Fields.

Neurodiversity has emerged as a leading topic gaining momentum among architects and designers, driven by the ambition to create environments that cater to diverse needs. As part of Conversations at Clerkenwell, Ultrafabrics will assemble a panel of experts from Gensler, Squire and Partners, Pantone, and the founder of Seedlip and The Hidden 20% podcast. They will delve into how multisensory design can transform and enrich our interactions with the world, particularly in workplaces and public spaces.

CDW 2024 looks set, as always to be an inspiring event, showcasing design, celebrating diversity and, make no mistake, ensuring your daily step count is way beyond target.

You can find more information about the events and showrooms taking place during CDW24 here.

Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of CDW24.

Main image credit: CDW