Clerkenwell Design Week 2013

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Clerkenwell design week grows from strength to strength year on year. Due to my Far East adventures last year I missed CDW12 but I was glad to see some familiar faces plus some new designers/brands for 2013.

With only a few spare hours stolen out of my working day I managed to visit the main venues.

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First stop the House of Detention an unusual venue an old Victorian prison, below ground level and still pretty foreboding.

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Roey Hunt’s Block edition, the wood is sourced from offcuts from tree surgeons.

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I thought the stacking and assembly method of these ‘Secco’ stools from Julio Thomas had nice detailing; using cardboard and plywood.

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Freyja Sewell ‘Hush’ Pod, a cozy retreat in the damp cells.

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Petrona pendant lights from Fred & Juul. I really liked the subtle colour tones created from the layering of the coloured glass; I recommend looking at the photos on their website for the full effect.

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A luxurious ‘Rock star’ bar for your single malt, by Buster + Punch.

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A close up of the Maurits table also by Fred & Juul, the table top uses reclaimed oak from old wine barrels.

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Brilliant vases by Pia Wüstenberg, the glass is so vibrant, and needs to be seen an daylight for its true beauty.

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Geometric wrapping paper and textiles by Katy Goutefangea. I would love to receive a pressie wrapped in this!

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The ‘Plan Desk’ by James Tattersall the large drawer is A1 so large enough to store A1 architectural prints. I’m a fan of this duck egg blue version.

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Then more subterranean design exhibits in The Order of St John.  I was wowed by the crypt architecture; which is one of the few remaining Norman buildings in London.

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Then the final stop for the day was the main venue for CDW; the Farmiloe Building. Which is worth a visit in itself; its an old Victorian Glasshouse, which is now used for events, photoshoots and filming TV/Movies (like Batman begins).

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Since the launch of ‘Series one’ by Another Country continue to produce strong design led products with an attention to detail and materials.

I’m loving the addition of colour to their ranges.

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James UK are increasing their upholstery offer; launching several new ranges. The Norton armchair with Flouro piping is bang on trend.

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I know I wasn’t the only admirer of the Hive Lights by Dare Studio.

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Kelly Chair by Claesson Koivisto Rune for Tacchini. I like the oversized backrest an spindly legs.

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Hand woven vases by Gone Rural.

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Large hanging pendants by Foscarini.

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Small handblown pendant lights by Workhouse.

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Oversized Buttons used by Mitab please me.

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Then to forget about those aching feet from all that powerwalking around, Campari time at the Icon Magazine Party.

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Clerkenwell Design Week - 2011


Through the grey clouds and lashing rain CDW shone through! CDW2011_Email_Invitation1a

The three day show returned to EC1, bigger and better than last year. Sprawling around and in the streets of Clerkenwell. (The name Clerkenwell comes from the Clerks’ Well in Farringdon Lane, where London parish clerks performed mystery plays in the Middle Ages.)


With my snazzy pink wristband on I was ready to see what I could squeeze in, in an afternoon.


This is inside the amazing Farmiloe Building on St John Street. Untouched by city developers and trendy wine bars, this building was a great choice for the varied designs and brands within it.


This is a short video of the 1st floor on the opening night. If you know the Band name, please let me know and I’ll credit them on you tube.


The event was sponsored by Jaguar, so there were a couple of concept cars on display.

Also in the Icon area was the Flux Chair by Flux Furniture BV, which just won the Grand Designs Best Product category that just one best product for the Grand Designs Awards.


In a darkened archway was this installation was sponsored by DORN BRACT, Transforming Water Installation, Tryptic film by Daniel Askill.

Dorn Bracht Installation


On the ground floor was ASAP an exciting new design collective,  consisting of four British-based furniture brands which have featured on my blog before: Another Country, Scene, Assemblyroom and Pli.


Ella Doran’s prints and wallpapers was brightening up the walls, in the background you can see the award winning Geo wallpaper.



Deadgood had a large stand with a mixture of pre-existing products and new designs. Below is the Strip Light by Viable London.  ‘ The strips lock together with a nifty little design feature allowing this floating shade to fit any bulb’.



The new Collection by Lee Broom for Deadgood was on show, I love the mix of polished brass and the rich parquet wood veneer, but it really comes into it’s own in situe, as you can see in the newly fitted personal shopper area for Topman.


James UK returned from ICFF New York in time to show their whole collection.


Pinch showed their new collection recently launched at Milan in April. A highlight is the Willo coffee table, which has a more feminine feel to it with its steam-bent ash legs.


The Buildings interior was so varied an eclectic mix of industrial concrete and wooden partitioned rooms. Within the rooms were, a pop-up shop from the Design Museum and one from the Dezeen Watch Store.


Up the staircase, there is a warren of small office spaces, untouched since the building was vacated, you can just see the built in wooden units with brass handles at the back – ace! DesignMarketo took up residence in one room. Which is a platform to help young designers reach a wider audience.


Their quick and simple shelving units are a clever way to occupy the space without having to fix anything to the vintage wallpaper.


Hitch Mylius is an award-winning British manufacture, below is the pebble like hm63a, b and c, designed by Designed by Nigel Coates.


Dare Studio had plenty of room for their ever increasing design collection. With there new evil genius Wingback Chair Hardy, and side table Drone.

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I’ve always been a fan of Swedish design brand Swedese, but their new Fisherman lights are fab, the oversized scale mixes tradition with the modern…if only I had space for one.



Designersblock were Bodging Milano.


This photo gives and Illusion of sunshine, but on Thursday the 26th of May the heavens opened across the UK, so it was a very swift and soggy walk to the House of Detention.

As we ran for cover, we found the entrance; walking down some stairs into a dreek looking Victorian brick building.


In the Dark and Damp Victorian prison several people had found refuge! As I walked along the main corridor there were cells flanking on each side. Thankfully the doors of the cells were open and within them a mixture of design, art and installations.

Although sometimes it was a bit of a squeeze with you, the designer & the product!


Bark furniture is based in Cornwall, and a collaboration between husband and wife team, Jonathan Walter and Lakshmi Bhaskaran.


Instrospection 2011, by Sarah Weistner ...’creates and interesting play between mirrors and light questioning the viewers perception of space...’


This was a new bubble lamp by Tobyhouse who I exhibited with in Milan back in 2009.


Cyril Sideboard by Liquid Design.


Theo, had this product installation and a pop-up shop with in the Farmiloe Building.



Giles Miller installed this bar in a disused petrol garage, unfortunately the freshly ground coffee wasn’t enough to entice passers by in the wind and rain.

There are some great photos on Dezeen.


With very squelchy feet I Came to Craft Central, where rather than the rooftop market they had to squeeze inside .  This Supa Frank illustration as well as the others inside really brightened my day!


A retro feel with Lulu Guinness' life-size pin art machine, allot of fun had by all.


I wish I only had more time to see what the rest of the design week had to offer.