Clerkenwell Design Week 2013

Posted on June 6, 2013 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

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 Top left: Map of Clerkenwell; top right: The Farmiloe building; Main: Ewan Gallimore for Jaguar; Bottom right: Nicholas Alexander & Alexander Mulligan's The Herd installation at J+A cafe


The last trade/ design event of the season was Clerkenwell design week. I have been attending this for the last few years and it seems to be getting bigger each year. I was quite busy during the week, so I only had one afternoon spare but I ended up spending about six hours in the area!

The main exhibition area took place at Farmiloe building, The Order of St John ( a former church) and House of Detention ( a former Victorian prison), but there were many other showrooms and shops participating, hence the area was bustling for three days.


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Top left: How do we communicate design talk by Design Museum; Top right: The order of St John; Main: Mobile Studio's Mirare Maze Folly; Bottom left: The hanging gardens of Clerkenwell by Elisa Pardini


There were several interesting outdoor installations including:

Mirare Maze Folly ( see above) designed by the London-based Mobile Studio.The studio revisited the classical garden maze and reinterpreted it through plays on light and refraction. The walls were made of clear acrylic, retaining the idea of permeability yet allowing the setting to permeate through the walls of the maze.

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Top left: Textile hut by Architecture for Humanity; Top right: Green hut; Middle left: The Heart of Architecture by Giles Miller; Middle middle: Water hut; Middle right: Remakery hut; Bottom left & right: Tetra shed by Innovative Imperative


Architecture for Humanity is a global network of building professionals and aims to build a more sustainable future through architecture and design. And this year, they launched The Huts with four themes in different locations:Green Hut (clad with edible plants), Water Hut, Textile Hut and Remakery Hut (using objects from the Brixton Remakery centre), all reflecting the organisation's spirit and ethos.

Outside of St James Church, there were some interesting looking sheds called the Tetra shed® designed by British architecture practice Innovation Imperative, Weproductise and Amorim Isolamentos. The shed is a new modular building system which, as a single module, has been designed to be a modern garden office and it is made of cork!


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The Cloud Leopard by Nahoko Kojima at Craft Council


One of the most mesmorising work I saw on the day was The Cloud Leopard by Nahoko Kojima. This paper-cut sculpture was cut by hand and it took the artist 5 months to complete. It is a stunning and delicate piece of work!


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Top left: Fluoro Vases by Shake the dust; Top middle: Swing table by Duffy London; Bottom left: Jaime Hayon for Se London; Hush day bed by Freyja Sewell


One design that drew a lot of attention at the event and from the press was the Hush day bed ( see above ) by Freyja Sewell. The hand-sewn biodegradable felt pod can be used as a chair or be opened up and turned into a pod for users to crawl into for work or rest. Interesting.


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Top left: The Revitalizer by Merve Kahraman; Top right: KaiGami lamps; Middle middle: Glade lamp by James smith designs; Middle right: Rosa at Luminosity Import; Bottom right: Daylights by Philippe Malouin


This year, I noticed a lot more new lighting designs, of which many were quite exciting. I especially liked the simplicity of James Smith Design's handcrafted Glade lamp made up of hundreds of willow strands held together through the steel brackets ( which apparently took a few hours to thread through).

I was also captivated by London-based Canadian designer, Philippe Malouin's ( one of this year's W hotels designers of the future)Daylights are clever and refreshing. The set of tangram-shaped wall lamps that resemble plantation shutters are apparently inspired by London's gloomy weather! They are lined with LEDs replicating daylight and give the impression that a real window lies behind the slats. Cool!


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Top left: architectural drawings in the basement; Top right: Aria and Avia lamps; Middle left: Kuki Chair; Middle middle: Louis Vuitton Icone bag; Bottom left: Kapsarc Relief; Bottom right: Cirrus


Last but not least, I visited the new Zaha Hadid Design Gallery, which showcases the furniture, jewellery, lighting, sculptures and architectural drawings by the internationally-renowned architect. I remember when I was still a design student, I was a fan of the architect simply for her conceptual designs and futuristic architectural drawings ( since none of her projects were realised at the time). Yet now I feel that she has become a global brand like Louis Vuitton or Apple, her presence is everywhere and somehow the magic has disappeared ( for me anyway). With so many architectural and design projects happening worldwide, I wonder if she even has the time to oversee every project? I am glad that her talent and achievement has finally been recognised but I am also sadden by what is 'lost' in the process...

Her new gallery should make her fans happy, but I feel that the furniture is placed quite randomly and without much information ( apart from a flimsy leaflet)... I was quite disappointed but then again maybe I have been disappointed for quite a while now.



This post was posted in London, Architecture, British design, Design festivals & shows, Design and was tagged with London, architecture, British design, Clerkenwell design week