Clerkenwell Design Week returns on May 19 – 21 for the 11th edition of the UK’s leading independent design festival, London’s most creative district…
Last year, 34, 185 individuals of the international design community flocked to the streets of Clerkenwell to attend one of the most-anticipated design festivals in the design calendar.
Since its beginnings, Clerkenwell Design Week has worked in synergy with the natural growth of vibrant Clerkenwell – an area full of design showrooms, practices and creativity – flourishing into the much-loved independent design event.
Now in its 11th edition, the festival has become a well-established, key event in the design calendar as well as a platform for brands to launch their latest products. In 2019, Established & Sons debuted works from renowned designers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec and Konstanin Grcic, and the show welcomed high profile speakers like Sebastian Wrong, Benjamin Hubert and Neisha Crosland.
Building on the success of CDW’s 10th anniversary last year, for 2020, designers and architects are being told to expect a show full of the latest designs, innovations and creative ideas, striking installations celebrating the fascinating history of Clerkenwell, as well as hundreds of design-led fringe events, pop-ups, workshops, talks and showroom presentations.
This year, Morag Myerscough will be speaking as part of Conversations at Clerkenwell and joins Sebastian Cox on the line up so far.
A number of brands will be marking significant milestones at the 2020 show, including iconic British furniture company, ercol who will celebrate their 100th anniversary as part of CDW. ercol will be launching a collection of new pieces which have been designed and developed in collaboration with Norm Architects, these pieces not only reflect ercol’s heritage and craftsmanship but build further on ercol’s vision for the future. For CDW, ercol will present their new Norm collection, pieces from the Originals collection, the Pennon table, and pieces from the Von collection.
Renowned Danish furniture manufacturer, Fritz Hansen, will also be bringing to life their first UK standalone showroom, which has just opened on Cowcross Street in Clerkenwell. The beautiful, two-floor space in the heart of London’s busiest district for architecture and design, will play home to the full collection of Fritz Hansen furniture, lighting and accessories. New pieces from Nendo see a chair created from household waste, Ant Deco is a re-imagined version of the classic Arne Jacobsen Ant chair and exciting new collections of accessories, as well as reissued pieces will be seen for the first time during CDW. The space is designed to be a restful backdrop for the Fritz Hansen universe and a hub for designers, specifiers and customers alike.
Presenting at CDW for their inaugural year, UniFor, the contract sector of Italian design brand The Molteni Group will be exhibiting an interactive workspace of the future in a stand-alone display at Design Fields, showcasing the new Touchdown unit by Studio Klass.
Focusing on sustainability at CDW, Cosentino will be encouraging visitors to recycle their guides and maps in special collection points around Clerkenwell. These will then be collated and turned into a sculptural papier-mâché installation after the event displayed in their showroom. Billi UK will be providing five drinking water points around Clerkenwell for the event, as well as distributing reusable bottles for free to CDW visitors. In a collaboration with Bee Midtown, they will also be helping distribute collector’s edition glass bottles to lucky visitors at random.
Bee Midtown will also be partnering with CDW to rejuvenate the Three Corners Adventure Playground on Northampton Road. As part of this, they will be offering seed planting in conjunction with Bee Wild, a project committed to encouraging bees into the area to pollinate plants, thus preserving the urban environment.
Each year, one of the highlights of the show is CDW Presents, showcasing specially commissioned, site-specific street spectacles across Clerkenwell.
In celebration of Clerkenwell’s history in the clock-making industry, time will be a key focus for the 2020 edition of CDW Presents, with four large-scale horology-themed installations dotted throughout Clerkenwell.
Another highlight commission of CDW Presents is Scale Rule, a project focused on inspiring young people to become the next generation of designers, architects and engineers. 2020 will mark five years of the project, which brings together local school students and Clerkenwell-based architectural practices via a series of workshops to create and realise a design installation. For 2020, Scale Rule will return to its original location in the Garden of St James, creating a kinetic installation that responds to movement.
Growing in synergy over the eleven years of the festival, Clerkenwell has flourished as one of London’s creative hotspots. From CDW’s humble beginnings with less than 40 showrooms participating back in 2010, CDW now sees more than 100 showrooms participating in the event. Integral to the festival are the local resident design showrooms, providing an array of stimulating events from talks and workshops to major installations and parties.
The sheer popularity of Clerkenwell Design Week is evident by the growth of exhibitors – with more than 200 brands participating for 2020. CDW’s exhibitions are hosted in distinctive spaces around the area linked by a route running through the centre of EC1. There are seven exhibitions, each with a different curatorial focus, ranging from cutting edge international design, to emerging talent, lighting, luxury interiors and the best of British design.
Main image credit: Clerkenwell Design Week