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5 new elements to look out for at Clerkenwell Design Week 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 new elements to look out for at Clerkenwell Design Week 2020

At an exclusive press launch in London, editor Hamish Kilburn learns how the organisers of Clerkenwell Design Week 2020 are preparing to make this year’s festival of design bigger and better than ever before…

Members of the press gathered at The Charterhouse last week in the heart of London to understand how the 2020 edition of Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) will once again demonstrate the vibrant creativity and originality of this three day celebration of design.

In London’s key hub for design and architecture, visitors can participate in new dialogues between showrooms and designers, hear from influential voices in the world of design and experience upcoming talent and innovating brands who are taking part. 

Here are five take aways from the press launch.

1) CDW Presents will be themed around ‘CLOCKWORK’

Each year, CDW presents new design projects and street spectacles, commissioned specially for the festival and featured prominently around Clerkenwell. Inviting some of the leading pioneers in the creative industry, these projects aim to push the boundaries of design, in terms of concepts, process and material capabilities. Often a response to the local area, CDW Presents allows visitors the opportunity to discover Clerkenwell in a new and imaginative way, often referring to the area’s illustrious past.  At the beginning of the 18th Century, Clerkenwell was the home of clock-making and the area quickly became a hothouse for horologists; for 2020 in recognition of Clerkenwell’s historical importance in the clock-making industry, CDW Presents ‘CLOCKWORK’ – a series of five large-scale horology-themed installations, each interpreting the area’s significance to the craft and the artisans that once lined the cobbled streets.  From a contemporary take on the traditional sundial to an installation inspired by the hourglass, the selected designers who include Pilbrow and Partners and Shape London,  have created ideas that play with and explore the notion of measuring time.

Scale Rule, now in its 5th year at Clerkenwell Design Week, continues to engage students from across London in design as well as young architects and engineers to realise those emerging ambitions. This year’s design concept for the NextGen pavilion exemplifies human impact upon the earth and in turn mankind’s responsibility to protect and shape it for better.

The domed structure illustrates a deconstructed planet, which is formed, fractured and reconfigured from natural materials including timber geometric segments. The pavilion celebrates sustainability through its modular production methods, recycled materials and future re-use. The pavilion encourages people to rest and socialise within its bounds making use of and leaving their positive trace upon the structure.

2) ClerkenWELL playing its part to inspire designers to think about wellness and wellbeing

On trend, Clerkenwell Design Week will be focusing on wellness, tying in with Mental Health Awareness Week which coincides with the festival. With the rise of nomadic working and a society that has 24/7 access to email, the ability to disconnect from our work can become increasingly challenging and in turn employers are recognising the need to improve their wellbeing offering.

From ergonomic furniture that helps physical posture, to acoustic pods that block out exterior noise, to workplace yoga and discounted gym memberships, more and more employers are taking steps to help their employees achieve wellness in the workplace. 

Clerkenwell Design Week will be hosting free activities and events throughout the area demonstrating how we can relax and de-stress during the day, from outdoor yoga sessions to meditation workshops.  Holistic counsellor Julie Strandberg will explain how decluttering your workplace can lead to better mental health.  Having trained under Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo, Julie innovatively blends the KonMari Method with her own innate Scandinavian aestheticism.

Texaa, the Bordeaux-based specialists in acoustic products for architecture, marks its debut at Clerkenwell Design Week with a colourful tepee installation in Design Fields. This will also be the first time new colours for Texaa’s Aeria fabric will be seen in the UK. 

3) Conversations at Clerkenwell to amplify vegan interiors, colour and the environment

Render of a bandstand pavilion

Image caption: CDW Presents The Bandstand Pavilion, where many of the talks will take place.

CDW 2020 has commissioned architectural practice Fieldwork to design the Talks space, sponsored by Equitone, within Spa Fields.  Their concept reimagines the traditional Victorian bandstand as a focal point within the Park, a place for gathering, discussion, entertainment and shelter.   

Rather than a traditional forward facing seating arrangement, the nature of the bandstand form allows the focus point to be partially in the round and engage the audience as a discussion, rather than a presentation. Equitone panels clad the internal dome and the external cube at high and low level. A bold use of colour and CNC pattern formed façade panels aim to draw attention from the surrounding park, as a modern interpretation of a Victorian architectural style. The bandstand becomes a place to stand, lean and sit in participation, focussing attention on the speaker and engaging the audience and the park in its entirety. 

Conversations at Clerkenwell, the programme of panel sessions and debates exploring show content, trends and issues, is again curated by Katie Richardson. Lead speakers include Morag Myerscough, known for her expansive use of colour across both art and design,  designer and craftsman Sebastien Cox and designer Ab Rogers.

Increasingly focused on design-led issues currently underpinning the changing world as we know it, the programme this year will look specifically at topics connected to the workplace including design responses to mental health issues and an increased need for overall wellness. Trends – led curators Franklin Till present recent work on the importance of Play. Dulux Creative Director Marianne Shillingford reveals what shifts in colour trends will take place over the next few years. Other topics for 2020 include vegan interiors, retail marketing and how contract showrooms need to keep reinventing to succeed, restoration with Roddy Clarke and New London Architecture host ‘don’t move, improve’ – a series of presentations from architects looking at how re-used materials and conscious environmental design, create the perfect home for a modern family.  Hosted on a purpose built space on London Spa Fields the programme runs across the three days and a separate series of talks focusing on lighting will be held at Fabric.

4) New showrooms open for business

Each year Clerkenwell welcomes a host of new showrooms to the district and these make up a key part of CDW with installations, launches and exhibitions. This year, the festival welcomes Ideal Standard, VitrA and Fritz Hansen.  Many other showrooms will be hosting a variety of events, with this year seeing a focus on wellness, recycling and sustainability.  Ultrafabrics,  the Japanese-American performance animal-free fabric brand will be collaborating with award winning design duo PATTERNITY who are creating a tactile and immersive installation within Ultrafabrics’  showroom entitled ‘Closed Loop: The Future of Design’.  Plastic waste has rightly become a major issue and Camira Fabrics will showcase its latest fabric innovation using plastic sea waste as a key component.   Oceanic is a fabric born of the SEAQUAL Initiative to achieve a waste free environment. 

Other participating showrooms include Actiu, Ceramiche Piemme, Davison Highly, Havwoods, Interface, KI House, Modus, Moroso, Catellani & Smith, Sky-Frame, Solus, Tarkett, and Orangebox.

Parkside, a leading specifier of architectural tiles, will focus on colour and how we can use it as a way of improving our wellbeing in our work and leisure spaces. The showroom’s series of events will include a panel discussion, ‘Curative colour: the power to heal’, exploring just how deep our emotional wellbeing is related to colour and whether a genuine link to health improvement can truly be found.

5) Fringe activities for all

As well as hosting an abundance of furniture and interiors showrooms, Clerkenwell is also home to a variety of other creative practices including architects, branding agencies and craft studios.  In celebration of Clerkenwell Design Week, a selection of these local practices open their doors to the festival’s visitors and host workshops, displays and installations. At the Zetter hotel, Sophie Thomas, Creative Director of Thomas Matthews, will be showing a collection of beautiful glass vases made using recycled plastic ocean waste.

If you are interested in attending CDW 2020, head over to the website to register.

Main image credit: CDW 2020

SHOW PREVIEW: Clerkenwell Design Week 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SHOW PREVIEW: Clerkenwell Design Week 2020

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.

Talk with host and audience

Image credit: Clerkenwell Design Week

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.

CDW Presents

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.

Showrooms

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.

number of lights to refelct different daylight in the day

Image credit: Light exhibition at Clerkenwell Design Week

Exhibitions

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

EDITOR CHECKS IN: Running on empty in Clerkenwell

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EDITOR CHECKS IN: Running on empty in Clerkenwell

Editor Hamish Kilburn explains some of the benefits that come with being a runner on the editorial desk – especially during Clerkenwell Design Week… 

I believe that nine problems out of 10 within this ever-evolving industry can be solved with a fresh perspective. Whether the issue is a lack of inspiration or perhaps you can’t decide which soft furnishings to purchase for a fussy client, there are times where you – and your project – could benefit from taking some time out so that your ideas and thoughts can authentically mature.

For most, the obvious ‘time out’ would follow booking 10 nights away in bare-foot luxury, and I must conquer that the undisturbed nature of this thought also appeals. However, if it’s simply a case of a blockage of traffic in the brain, then I suggest you hop onto the pavement. For me, it is often only after a gentle jog – at any time of day or night – where most of my editorial ideas for Hotel Designs stem from – or at least final decisions are made.

This month, I went one step further in my fitness therapy and signed myself up to complete what will be my third marathon. But while I have been there, done that and got the T-shirt twice before, one thing has changed – I am the busiest I have ever been. And so, like so many amateur runners who have or are pacing in my footsteps while balancing a career, finding the time to train is often the hardest challenge – a test that carries great unparalleled rewards, including being able to juggle time wisely.

“What’s running got to do with hotel development, design and architecture,” you may ask. Well it turns out, this month in particular, being able to confidently trot around town was an essential skill for those for those of us attending Clerkenwell Design Week as ‘Press’. Entering double digits, this year’s volume of celebrating of design, which witnessed hundreds of showrooms opening their doors to the public, was turned up to the max – and it was, undoubtably so, a fabulous festival to amplify to our readers. For the 10th year, it recognised the UK once more as an incubator for incredible design, architecture and ideas. Despite this, at times it was also like hitting the dreaded wall during a marathon, each showroom becoming more of a fuel station as we got further through the course. Passed the finish line, though, and we were able to reflect on the journey, which was like every long-distance race, full of unforgettable moments including witnessing art outside the frame at almost every turn.

Brick wall with loud and colourful mural of shapes bursting out

Image caption/credit: One of the many art installations at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 | Sophie Mutevelian

In addition to clocking up the miles around the design hub that is Clerkenwell, my mini adventures on foot have allowed me to experience some pretty incredible places from an unmatched perspective; from the sandy beaches of Barbados to the cobbled streets of Amsterdam – and sprinting through New York’s Time Square at 5am. With the right pair of trainers – and the will power to get out whatever the weather, travelling to – and seeing – these places has been extraordinary.

“Each time I head out for a run in Manchester, usually between exhibitions or events, I notice a new building taking shape.”

Closer to home, Manchester is within my top five locations to go for a run in and around. Having spent a year living in the beehive, I fell in love with the ‘on the boards’ skyline and at times juvenile personality locked within its ever-expanding city walls. Given its striking façade, and spirited soul, it is no coincidence, therefore, that hotel development up north is booming. Each time I head out for a run in Manchester, usually between exhibitions or events, I notice a new building taking shape. Top Hotel Project recently reported that between 2020 and 2021, 11 new hotels will open – the majority of which will be for the luxury sector. In response to this, we’re taking our Meet Up North networking evening back to the city that everyone is talking about, this year taking over Hotel Gotham’s much-admired rooftop bar, Club Brass.

Today, my running shoes have taken me back to my hometown of Whitstable in Kent, a beautiful rustic and trendy town – think Shoreditch style but by the sea and with oysters. The gorgeous weather combined with a steady westerly breeze was all the motivation I needed to add a totally unplanned half marathon (13.1 miles) into this week’s training plan. It was all the motivation I needed to write and complete this column.

During June, Hotel Designs will be putting Hotel Groups and Software & Controls under the spotlight. If you would like to contribute to these topics, please do not hesitate to email me.

Editor, Hotel Designs

Man walking in front of light installation

Editor’s round up of Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor’s round up of Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

The streets of London’s Clerkenwell came alive once more for another three days of exhibitions, installations and product launches. Editor Hamish Kilburn rounds up Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 as the festival enters double digits…

There is no other design festival in the world that harnesses the natural swagger to be able to pull off taking over a much-loved iconic nightclub and a desolate crypt at the same time.

Man walking in front of light installation

But Clerkenwell Design Week is an anything but ordinary festival, taking over an entire district to celebrate London as a leading design hub that incubates ideas, creativity and talent. As a proud media partner for the festival as it turns 10 years old, Hotel Designs was in the centre of the action, and here are some of our many highlights.

Following on from last year’s incredible installation with Brinton’s Carpets on St Johns Square, Timorous Beasties’ iconic designs were this year in the Project tent. The design studio’s provocative textiles were woven into the fabrics of Knightsbridge’s stand. Celebrating 80 years of British manufacturing – which is a feat on its own – the furniture company’s design director, Jason Brown, designed a 60s inspired furniture set, combining rich mustard with Timorous Beasties jungle-like patterns. “Yesterday, today, tomorrow,” he said when asked to describe the timeless collection in three words.

From one iconic design brand to another, Zaha Hadid Design Gallery opened its doors to present ‘Shaping Reality Through Time’, an exploration of Fitz Hansen design evolution. As well as looking to the past, the exhibition also showcased a number of new products that were launched at Milan Design Week, including Plenum, which is Hansen’s first dedicated contract furniture piece.

Let there be more light

The feeling of celebration was in the air, which was arguably most felt in the Light exhibition that took over Fabric. The nightclub that famously closed its doors permanently a few years ago was taken over by striking light installations. Many of the new products on display were sustainably designed using materials such as cork and even cardboard in  both the base and shade.

Graypants’ latest flagship Scraplights, made from recycled cardboard and inspired by a collection of pebbles, are cut with a laser and are assembled by hand using non-toxic adhesive. In addition, each and every product is treated with a non-toxic fire retardant, making them ideal for hotel interiors.

Geometric light installation

Image credit: Black Edge Productions

Meanwhile, British lighting brand NOVE displayed its fresh approach on sustainability with pendants in the company’s Cork Collection. Also using the sustainable material was the stylish ARKKI SKIRT & DRUM lamps are lightweight and eco-frindly. The ingenious folding structure allows for a ”pearl necklace” to shine between the pieces, and the white inside of the shade makes it a good light source. There are several wood veneer finishes and a number of laminated paper colors to choose from, all applied on a folding structure of durable corrugated cardboard. The lamps are flat-packed for shipping and mount easily by joining the ends of the fan-like shade and adding a disk that completes the clever structure.

Living room with cardboard lightshades in different colours

Image credit: ARKKI Skirt and Drum

Another highlight from the exhibition – and no stranger to CDW – was Haberdashery. The lighting experts displayed the company’s personalised Dawn To Dusk lamps that evoke the memory of the rising and setting of the sun. As if you were lifting the sun from behind the horizon and placing it in the sky, the light transitions from off through deep red and warm white, to the bright light of midday.

Taking over what used to be the dance floor under the shadow of the main stage was a dynamic installation by LUUM, a company that prides itself on delivering spectacular light installations that stir a sense of wonder, excitement and energy – all of which was captured effortlessly this year with an interesting play on LED technology and geometric, abstract shapes.

Blending architecture with lighting, LEDS C4’s GROK exhibited in the walkway by showcasing its latest products that reacted perfectly with the nightclub’s rustic charm. Visitors were able to immerse themselves around the company’s latest collections such as Ely, the wall light designed by Luca Turrini, new pendants in the Voiles collection by Céline Wright and Circular, which was hung spectacularly over the stand.

Other brands in the Light exhibition included Optelma, atelje Lyktan, Bert Frank, EBB & FLOW, Syska, and XAL among many others.

Mood lighting

Elsewhere around the streets of Clerkenwell, the possibilities of lighting was a topic explored in full. For the duration of festival, artist Liz West took over Domus’ lower ground floor area with her latest work Live Colour. Working against a minimal backdrop of XL format Magnum slabs at Domus, West has imagined a space with blue, pink, green, red and yellow rotating washes of each colour, against white floor and walls, with ‘pure’ white light as part of the cycle to normalise the overall colour intensity.

Audience at seminar in showroom

Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

The installation uses Rosco’s patented SL1 Mix LED technology to create accurate Rosco gel matches and intense, saturated colour. Through West’s multi-sensory art, visitors to Live Colour will experience pure colour in an immersive environment like never before.

“Live Colour’ plays with people’s individual perception of colour, challenging how they feel when immersed totally in one colour, then quickly drowned in another in deep contrast,” explained West. “Colour is a universal language that is understood by all, although we each bring to the work our individual memories and lived experiences of colour.”

Seamless bathroom style

CDW wasn’t the only birthday celebrated at the festival. Bathroom manufacturer Duravit marked one year in Clerkenwell by exhibiting its latest contemporary products, including the VIU range designed by Sieger Design as well as the masculine matt black furniture and basin options.

Meanwhile, hot off the heals from ISH 2019 and Hotel Designs’ exclusive with VP of Design Michael Seum, GROHE teamed up with tile experts at Mosa to display its latest collections.

Flexible and fresh working spaces

Following on from Hotel Designs’ panel discussion at the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam entitled ‘Designing For Bleisure’, CDW opened the doors to practical workplaces and furniture that many hotels and hotel designers can draw inspiration from. The modern BOB by Bisley, for example, allows the user to detach and personalise the unit to each consumer’s preference. Also exploring this concept in the Platform exhibition was HEX from Intarc Design. The interactive furniture solutions transforms with every use and has the functional ability to store tables, shelves, drawers and even include power supplies. Another stand-out piece that further blurred the lines between workplace and hotel design was the NAAVA living walls, which were displayed in the Design Fields exhibition. The wall is the only smart and active green wall that revolutionises the air consumers breathe.

man in front of installations made of plastic bottles

Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

Key elements

Nestled on St Johns Square, which won the award for best suntrap of the week, Elements at CDW brought together a leading selection of ironmongery, hardware, switch plates and architectural accessories. Stand-out pieces included contemporary and colourful radiators by BISQUE and personalised light switches, electrical wiring accessories, circuit protection, smart lighting controls and multi-room audio that was on display on the Hamilton Litestat stand.

Inspiration for all 

Among the many engaging talks and seminars that took place over the two days was Morgan Furniture, which opened its showroom to a flood of a designers, architects and students to hear Tom Raffield talk about his latest lighting collection – and the art of steam bending. “Biophilic design is so important,” Raffield said. “I am really inspired by the fact that there are no striaght lines in nature.” Other sessions that went beneith the surface of sustainable design included Jo Ruxton’s Plastic in the Ocean talk at Humanscale and Material Matters by Grant Gibson and Gareth Neal.

One of the many traditional highlights of the festival for many is the Platform exhibition, which takes shape in the House of Detention. The exhibition recognises some of the world’s most exciting up-and-coming design talent. Exploiting the venue’s atmospheric architecture, Platform creates a stunning backdrop for a curated collection of international and cutting-edge design. Among the stand-out stands this year was fabric brand Monkey Puzzle Tree, which launched a new colour of its Passion Flower wallpaper. “We worked with artist Alexis Snell, a printmaker who works with beautifully unique linocuts to create Passion Flower wallpaper,” explained the brand’s Charlotte Raffo. “Known for her strange, dark, angular illustrations that look as if they’ve just emerged from a fairytale, Alexis’s work can been seen illustrating many books and her designs have also been commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum.”

Other brands who exhibited underground and projected emerging talent included Spitfire Furniture that combines aviation engineering with design, Trouping Colour, STORE and Russel Bamber.

Something fun to take away

Robot pole dancing

Image credit: Giles Walker/FUTURE Designs

The designer and manufacturer of luminaires and bespoke lighting solutions FUTURE Designs displayed ‘Peep Show’, an installation by kinetic artist Giles Walker. The installation, which featured robotic sculptures that dance, was created as a comment on the perverseness of some advancing technologies and their surveillance capabilities. Peep Show went viral on social media shortly after being shown in its opening exhibition.“There are parallels with the themes that run through my work and the physical creative process,” said Walker about the display. “Over the past 27 years that I have been making moving sculptures there has been a direct correlation between the technological progression of my work and the technological progression in the recycled material available. A lot of the mechanics found in my sculptures still come from under the bonnet of scrapped cars. So not only do my sculptures allude to displaced, rejected and redundant themes surrounding society, but they are also made of this very thing”.

The robotic sculptures included parts from the FUTURE Designs factory that were recycled to help create these thought provoking moving figures.

The 10th edition of CDW has been a celebration of a decade spent in EC1. The three day festival continues to highlight and celebrate the extraordinary creativity housed across London’s historic Clerkenwell. Representing the area’s dynamic energy and creative diversity, CDW has become a show like no other – championing the local community, established and up-and-coming design brands. Hosting more than 200 exhibitors, including more than 100 showrooms, seven installations, seven exhibition venues and a series of workshops, talks and walking tours, CDW 2019 certainly delivered.

Main image credit: Sam Frost

Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 launches and new designs to bookmark

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 launches and new designs to bookmark

Ahead of Clerkenwell Design Week, which takes place from May 21 – 23, Hotel Designs takes a closer look at some of the major product launches and new designs to look forward to… 

Now that the sun has set on Italy’s capital following yet another successful Milan Design Week, Hotel Designs is looking ahead to identify many of the major product launches and new designs that are expected to be unveiled during Clerkenwell Design Week.

Set across seven exhibition spaces, CDW venues include Fabric, The House of Detention, St James Church and Spa Fields. Each venue reflects the unique nature of the culturally rich area, with leading UK and international companies exhibiting and launching new products between May 21 – 23. From luxury interiors to innovative lighting, emerging talent and the best of British brands, the exhibition spaces at CDW encompass every facet of design.

British Collection

British Collection is located in the Crypt of St James’s Church and showcases designers from all over the UK. For the fourth year, quality materials, design excellence and craft techniques will be championed in the striking setting. Iconic British furniture brand, ercol will exhibit its new VON collection by Icelandic designer based in New York, Hlynur V. Atlason which caters for three areas – work, home and play. Following an evident rise in apart hotels, Kitchen designers Pluck will launch Spoke, a new modular shelving unit inspired by Victorian bamboo furniture available in 11 laminate colours including a new palette of fresh yellow laminate with intense fumed oak.

Benchmark, the powerhouse of British craft will be presenting new upholstered versions of the OVO collection designed by Foster + Partners in an ebony finish. Hand & Eye Studio, meanwhilewill present the O-Beam, a highly versatile light that suits a myriad of spaces with a unique texture inspired by ceramics. Other renowned names in the British furniture industry exhibiting include Brixton-based cabinet makers West & Reid, Forest & Maker and Nathan Furniture.

Image credit: Adam Dale

Design Fields

Situated at the northern end of Clerkenwell, Design Fields in partnership with Kitchen Architecture showcases leading furniture, lighting and product design from around the world. Kitchen Architecture’s new outdoor kitchen range by Roshult’s is a unique interpretation of cooking and socialising outdoors. Italian furniture brand Tacchini has chosen to showcase PASTILLES in collaboration with Studiopepe at CDW for the UK launch. The collection comprises of small armchairs, ottomans and coffee tables, with soft, enveloping shapes that bring back childhood memories of sweets. This year sees Bauhaus taking centre stage for its 100 year anniversary and Thonet will celebrate all things Bauhaus at CDW. The company will present new interpretations of the side table series MR 515 by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and a new colour concept for the iconic Coffee House Chair 214, both by Studio Besau Marguerre. Other exhibiting companies include Danish company True North Designs, La Cividina and Ondarreta from Spain and SilentLab, all displaying innovation and clever use of technology in their designs.

Light

The former cold-store turned nightclub, Fabric aptly hosts Light, an exhibition dedicated to top international lighting brands within its cavernous brick vaults showcasing spectacular stand-alone installations. Exhibitors include NOVE lighting, which specialises in contemporary products using only natural, sustainable materials including cork from Portugal. Award-winning British brand Bert Frank will also present new lighting designs.

Swedish company ateljé Lyktan will present new lighting for both outdoor and indoor use, whilst Austrian based company XAL will present its revolutionary MOVE IT SYSTEM. Other exhibitors include Graypants, John Hollington Design, Lomas Furniture, Syska and ARKKI by Lovi.

Two women looking at lighting stand at exhibition

Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

Elements

Design is in the detail – and details are showcased at Elements which brings together a leading selection of ironmongery, hardware, switch plates and architectural accessories within a street-market style pavilion on St John’s Square, becoming a go-to destination for designers looking for the perfect finish.

This year, Australian brand TIRAR will showcase beautifully tactile solid timber door furniture designed and made in Sydney, whilst Harbrine will launch Geo hardware, inspired by geometric forms in classical architecture. Designer Doorware will present the multi award-winning Monte Timber Collection. English ironmongers The Beardmore Collection will showcase contemporary products, whilst their master pattern maker will demonstrate the lost-wax casting process for visitors to witness one of the oldest forms of metal working. Aston Matthews will be exhibiting for the first time, showcasing a diverse range of taps and shower fittings including the Acme collection in scuffed brass and Alto in bronze. Other exhibitors confirmed for Elements include Dowsing & Reynolds, Hamilton Litestat (Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier)and Carrson International among others.

Detail

For fine craftsmanship and high glamour, Detail at The Order of St. John celebrates the most prestigious names in luxury interiors. The venues crypt, cloister garden and church are the perfect setting for the finest designs. This year at Detail, Sinclair Till will present Swedish company Kasthall’s latest rugs and carpets. Bespoke wallcovering company, Muraspec will present new products including the Eternity textile and Everglades grasscloth collection. Arte have created the Vanguard collection, inspired by abstract art from the 1950s. The company has also collaborated with Moooi to create a luxurious wallcovering collection, Extinct Animals, which first launched at Maison & Objet earlier this year. Each pattern is inspired by characteristics of one extinct animal from Moooi’s Museum of Extinct Animals. Anna Hayman Designs will present maximalist, luxury homeware inspired by the Bloomsbury movement and the Biba era of the swinging sixties. Other exhibitors include Danish furniture brand Cane-Line, Samuel Heath, Artwood and Altfield.

Platform

Platform showcases new design talent in the infamous surroundings of The House of Detention, a former remand prison which opens for the public during CDW. Junction Fifteen  will make its first appearance at CDW to showcase their new Morf Collection, a contemporary furniture collection made using sustainable materials and local craftsmanship. Trouping Colour’s latest exhibtion will showcase uncovered design talent chosen by a guest curator. Gwendoline Porte Design will present a modular concept RAILS, inspired by the form of railway tracks and the concept of ‘journey’. These limited edition functional sculptures are playful, graphic and ergonomic. They can be stacked on top of one another to form a column, multiplied to form a hexagonal, or separated to become a stool, chair, coffee table or side table. INTARC Design will showcase a modular furniture solution which allows for individual or collaborative working environments within a flexible working space, whilst Takumi Woodwork takes inspiration from Japan to create  handcrafted wooden furniture. Monkey Puzzle Tree will also be presenting a selection of unique designs in collaboration with fine artists. The business has a strong social conscience, paying the artists a generous royalty and supporting British manufacturing. Other exhibitors include Arte&Stili, Olenka, Pete Hill Designs, Decimal Design and Glas Design.

Image of colourful door on a church with the numbers 66 written

Image credit: Alistair Ramage

Project

Set within the beautiful grounds of St James Church, Project brings together a leading selection of contract furniture and surface brands from around the globe.  Project’s first outing was so successful it was extended to cover two linked pavilions and will be even bigger for 2019. AllSfär, a brand dedicated to improving workplace wellbeing will showcase a new range of acoustic products including Muffle and DIFFUSE, an innovative range of modular acoustic furniture. Sixteen3 will present a carefully curated collection of upholstered seating, both new and established. Flooring company Modulyss will present a range of carpet tiles for the contract market, whilst Hawk Furniture will exhibit at CDW for the first time, launching two new products perfectly suited to modern workspace interiors. Other exhibitors include Guialmi, Burgess Furniture, aeris, Amtico and Rigg.

In addition to the pop-up appearances, there are also, as ever, an abundance of new showrooms that are expected to arrive in Clerkenwell including Optelma, Vescom, Fredericia, Workstories, Duravit, Abstracta, Piemme Industrie Ceramiche S.P.A, Haiken Ltd, Savile Row Projects, Parkside and JPMA Global. New Clerkenwell resident, Fredericia will officially launch new pieces by the Danish American designer Jens Risom, in the UK for the first time during CDW. Luxury lighting brand Bert Frank will also open its first showroom in EC1 during CDW.

Hotel Designs is a proud media partner for Clerkenwell Design Week 2019. The team will be on the ground during the event – and if you would like to arrange a meeting, please tweet us @HotelDesigns.

Main image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

Martin Carroll

Seven minutes with the Managing Director of Duravit

1024 623 Hamish Kilburn

As Duravit opens its new Clerkenwell showroom, the editor of Hotel Designs, Hamish Kilburn, went behind the scenes to ask the Managing Director of Duravit, Martin Carroll, ‘why here’, ‘why now’ and ‘what’s next’…

Duravit has long been a leader in bathroom interior design, and the news of a swanky showroom unveiling in London’s Clerkenwell district – which is home to more creative business and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world – the question is not ‘why’, but more ‘why now’?

Ahead of the official launch at the showroom, I went behind the brand’s polished exterior to speak with Managing Director of Duravit, Martin Carroll, to find out more about the showroom that everyone is talking about.

Hamish Kilburn: Why is Clerkenwell such an important location for you?

Martin Carroll: Duravit is a major player in innovative bathroom designs and the UK is one of the most important and best performing export markets.  Basing our London showroom in Clerkenwell will enable us to build closer relationships with the A&D community.

HK: How has the showroom been designed with the modern designer in mind?

MC: Duravit’s London showroom has been specifically designed to act as a hub for ideas, inspiration and technical advice.  It will act as a platform to showcase Duravit’s extensive product portfolio, including products by renowned designers such as: Philippe Starck, EOOS, Phoenix Design, Kurt Merki Jr. and Cecile Manz with the aim to make designer bathrooms come alive.

sink bason

HK: Other than the showroom, what’s new for Duravit?

MC: Duravit is launching a number of new product collections including Brioso and XSquare, which will be on display at the new Duravit London showroom.   Duravit continues to collaborate on new international projects and recent partnerships include the Zaha Hadid – Opus Tower in Dubai and the Jean Nouvel – Louvre @ Abu Dhabi.

HK: What key bathroom trends are you seeing at the moment?

MC: The introduction of a wider range of colours and textures in bathroom furniture over recent year’s means more frequently people are now injecting their own personality into bathroom designs and being adventurous with colour schemes.   Duravit’s L-Cube furniture series for example offers 30 different surface finishes so the scope for design freedom is practically unlimited.   The new Brioso furniture range, has a total of 15 finishes which are available in various decors, real wood veneers or lacquers (matt and gloss), including new, on-trend tones such as matt light blue and matt concrete grey as well as a linen-look decor finish.

Nordic colours continue to remain popular with the trend for Scandi style living appearing in bathroom designs. Minimal design, clear shapes cool and subtle colours, overall a reduced look with a few visual highlights can make a room feel individual.  The Luv bathroom collection, designed by Cecilie Manz embraces Nordic design and offers elegant console tables in soft Nordic shades including White, Taupe, Stone Grey, Light Blue and Night Blue.

Modern bathroom featuring Duravit

HK: What are the less common pitfalls designers sometimes fall into when designing a hotel bathroom?

MC: Space is often at a premium and the smaller the space, the more ingenious your bathroom planner has to be. Look at how you can make the very best use of the space available. Duravit offers numerous products which have been developed to cater for restricted spaces, compact washbasins, WC’s and furniture solutions are imperative.  Vanity units will hide unsightly pipe work and work well in small bathrooms as they provide valuable storage for guests.  Wall-hung products will keep the floor area clear, creating the illusion of more space and light reflective surfaces help make a small area feel bigger

HK: How would you say technology is changing in the bathroom?

MC: New technology is playing an increasingly important role in bathroom design, helping to make the bathroom a more comfortable place.   Ground breaking new materials characterised by consistent sustainability in terms of materials, processing and design are increasingly available for the bathroom.

Duravit has recently developed a new innovative method, called “c-bonded technology”. In the new “c-bonded” version, the furniture washbasin is connected almost seamlessly to the L-Cube vanity unit in a complex process. Thanks to the accurate and precise-fitting connecting technology, ceramic and furniture merge to form a single unit. However, the “c-bonded” solution does not just look and feel impressive: DuraCeram®, the patented special ceramic that actually makes this precision and moulding possible, is particularly wear-resistant.

Duravit, which has just unveiled its new showroom on 36 – 42 Clerkenwell Road, London, are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

 

Crowd outside Brintons exhibition stand on St John's Square

Editor’s round-up of Clerkenwell Design Week 2018

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

Wearing his comfy shoes, Hamish Kilburn heads into London’s creative district to discover what Clerkenwell Design Week 2018 has to offer…

I arrived at Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) on the hunt for emerging trends and new products that launch with the aim to really shake our industry up. Faced with the mass of open showrooms – and pink CDW-branded feather flags – London’s design hub did not disappoint to deliver an immersive showcase of this year’s inspiring interiors.

Crunching the numbers:

  • Last year, 34, 128 vistors roamed the streets of Clerkenwell Design Week
  • In total, 67 per cent of visitors were architects and designers
  • 57,563 business leads were made
  • More than 90 showrooms (a lot of walking, hence the comfy shoes)
  • Exhibitors from 25 countries from around the globe

Exhibitions

Spanning across Clerkenwell, seven exhibition venues housed hundreds of new products, ranging from home accessories, high-end textiles, furniture and ceramics to bespoke surface finishes and lighting. Running North to South, CDW 2018 exhibitions were: Design Fields (international contemporary design), Platform (up-and-coming designers), Project (contract design), British Collection (UK designers), Elements (architectural accessories), Detail (luxury interiors) and Light (international lighting). After popular demand, both Elements and Light were new to 2018.

Impressive sculpture in archway

Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

In reference to HBA’s Constantina Tsoutsikou, warm metals seem to be somewhat of a focus at the moment. Many manufacturers in all markets – especially in the Elements tent – we displaying copper and Saturn hues in various architectural accessories.

Fabric, the former cold-store turned nightclub, hosted an exhibition of top international lighting brands showing the latest collections from exhibitors such as Bert Frank, Rich Brilliant Willing and Brokis. At Fabric, Design Best brought the very best of British design brands including Tom Dixon, Anglepoise and Folk, together in one venue.

Stand-out showrooms

More than 90 companies participated in CDW 2018, including high-end furniture, lighting, kitchen and bathroom brands alongside specialist manufacturers.

Stellar Works previewed its first UK showroom against the backdrop of Shanghai:Shift, an immersive photographic installation in the raw and unfinished space which will open in Autumn. The imagery was contrasted with a selection of new Stellar Works furniture to create a dynamic and surreal homage to the cityscape of Shanghai.

Conscious and ethical Danish brand Mater unveiled the new Mater Earth Gallery, a new concept store and showroom in Clerkenwell. Elsewhere, Umbrella + Friends showcased Established & Sons’ Filigrana Light by Sebastian Wrong, Cassette Sofa by the Bouroullec’s, Zero-In by Barber & Osgerby and Stack by Raw Edges as well as many more.

This year, dominating St John’s Square, Brintons’ installation, designed by Studioshaw, was every bit as impressive as it was tactile and immersive. Interested to see how the carpet manufacturers pulled off the collaboration with Timorous Beasties, designers and architects were impressed to see that aerial point of views were a strong inspiration – a trend I first saw on the scene a few years ago in furniture, believe it or not. It’s clear to see that technology has caught up – or is at least it is catching up – with the creative minds of designers. No longer is a dull surface designed for comfort over style, the carpets on display around CDW 2018 were more reflective of striking pieces of modern art than pieces of fabric we tread over to get from A to B.

Brintons exhibition stand on St John's Square, London

Brintons exhibition stand on St John’s Square, London

Down the road, Hansgrohe was amplifying customisation, which is a trend that was shared by floor tile specialist Domus. The specialist fittings manufacturer’s My Edition range teased audiences with its clear, linear design complete with a range of customisable plates available in a variety of exclusive materials. The highly anticipated products will be available to designers from October 2018.

Domus, on the other hand, spoke about customisation in regards colours and textures. In an exclusive talk with interior designer Jess Piddock, consumers learned about what are said to be the hottest surface trends at the moment. These included, but were not limited to, colour blocking, chromatic colour, artwork slabs, curves, natural materials and mix not match – of which have been dominant themes in recent projects. The perfect example of chromatic colour was displayed in Piano, the direct result of a seamless collaboration between Ronan and Erwin Bouroullec and Mutina. “The tiles can be fitted together at will, to create endless layout possibilities, said the Bouroullec brothers in a recent press release when describing the collection. “Their random disposition is mysterious and creates the impression of a total continuation of space. This systemic rhythm always creates the space for originality.”

Piano by Mutina

Piano by Mutina

From tiles to furniture, Morgan launched a family. Following the success of the Pimlico range that was launched a few years ago, the furniture brand decided that now is an apt time to complete the collection with a twin sofa, comfortably suitable for lobbies and public areas. Starting as a small bedroom chair, Pimlico was created featuring smooth curved lines and a unique inset oval seat pad, which is wrapped by the frame. Still timeless and elegant, the products are now available in a range of sizes. Other products that are new from Morgan include Valencia and Goodwood chairs and tables.

Max Livingood was a must-see for me. His unique wall sculptures in solid wood oozed quality, sophistication and timelessness – a designer who is certainly one to watch for the future. The self-taught designer-maker based in London displayed Folium and Pluviam products. In his work, Livingood combines traditional hand craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology. Working exclusively with wood, he respects and preserves nature by using only certified wood from responsibly managed forests.

Beautifully crafted wooden art sculpture

Image Credit: Max Livingood

As the sun set behind the skyline of London, Grohe teamed up with Mosa to host an impressive closing party, where designers, architects and manufacturers gathered over cocktails to discuss the stand-out pieces of the week, swap cards and depart from another successful Clerkenwell Design Week.