If you weren’t there, you will, no doubt, have already heard all about it. We’re talking, of course, about last month’s Clerkenwell Design Week. The event once again passed all expectations – and taking expectations as our cue, we’ve decided that, rather than produce insanely long lists of exhibitors, showrooms, good and great things to see and do (and the list is insanely long!), we’d let the images do most of the talking – together with an easy-to-digest alphabetical guide to a few of
our very favourite things.
A. Artworks: Ahrend hosted a Private View featuring unique photographs from Mel Bagshaw and innovative art from Meriliis Rinne, with world renowned DJ Erol Sabadosh and live entertainment. Meanwhile, Koleksiyon collaborated with Art Capsule for CDW; a fantastic selection of leading artists’ work was presented by curator Juan Bolivar. Speaking of Koleksiyon, another A is for anniversary – and a number of companies celebrated major milestones at CDW, including Koleksiyon (40th), Steelcase (100th) and Poltrona Frau (100th).
B. BENCHMARK: The Interstuhl showroom hosted the ingenious BENCHMARK initiative at CDW. This proved an exciting opportunities for designers to come together to join forces and design an imaginative new bench for the Clerkenwell area. The BENCHMARK idea was conceived by Mix profile star, Marta Nowicka, together with Ideastap. The initiative proved incredibly successful – keep reading Mix to see how the first BENCHMARK progresses.
C. Clerkenwell: This is where the images really do speak for themselves. The sun came out, as did the punters, to add even more colour to the area. Public installations, including Ross Lovegrove’s Solar Tree and Draisci Studio’s Spring Forest transformed the streets of Clerkenwell. If Lewis Carroll had organised a major design event…
D. Designers: Once again CDW attracted some of the leading product and interior designers from not only London and the UK, but from across the globe – from Erwan Bouroullec and Barber Osgerby through to Jaguar’s Head of Advanced Design, Julian Thomson.
E. Exhibitors: We feel it’s important to heap praise upon all those who opened up their spaces for the week. We’re sure that all of you able to visit Clerkenwell will have been as impressed as we were by the astonishing creativity, content and generosity shown throughout the showrooms. Good on ya!
F. Farmiloe: The real hub of CDW, The Farmiloe Building was busier, buzzier and better than ever before. In fact, it was so full of good stuff that an entire extra floor was opened just to accommodate everything. As well as the many special exhibitors, the Farmiloe also hosted a
number of workshops, talks, seminars and pop-up shops. And the odd Jaguar or two – but more about that later.
G. Gastronomy: Leading on from ‘E’, there was little chance of getting hungry throughout the
week, with food and plenty of good stuff to wash it down with available from just about everywhere you ventured. Our absolute favourite treats? Tough one, but afternoon tea at
Humanscale, Hands’ lovely barbecue and Interface’s hot dogs and candy floss were hard to beat.
H. House of Detention: The oneof-a-kind subterranean Victorian prison played host to 24 innovative furniture brands and international design collectives this year. A real design favourite, the venue attracted more visitors and received, quite rightly, greater plaudits than ever before.
I. iPad: Our favourite story of the week came from a friend of ours whose iPad was stolen early in the week, only for him – with the help of Apple’s amazing App that allows you to track your iPad – to be able to follow it and it’s ‘orrid tea leaf over to the East End and rightfully reclaim it. Isn’t technology marvellous!
J. Jubilee (& London 2012): As much as we love and admire Clerkenwell’s design multiculturalism, we couldn’t help but get excited as a number of firms celebrated the Jubilee, the Olympics and all things British. We’ve already mentioned Humanscale’s brilliant British theme, whilst Hands’ fascinating series of presentations included ‘Factors in the ergonomic design of an
Olympic control room’, BN Office Solutions showed London 2012 concepts from digital creative agency Crystal CG and Vitra hosted an exhibition of the development of the Olympic Torch – and surely take the prize for the best window graphic in C’well.
K. Kucha: As in Pecha Kucha – and Modus presented another fast-paced Pecha Kucha night at CDW. Originally devised by Klein Dytham Architects and taking its name from the Japanese term for ‘chit-chat’, Pecha Kucha is based on speakers talking through 20 images for 20 seconds each. The quick-fire debates, hosted at the Farmiloe Building, one received a great deal of interest once
again, attracting a stellar line up of design stars who shared their passion in a lively, engaging atmosphere.
L. Launches: Where do we start? CDW has now become a UK, European and indeed global
launchpad for new product. The 2012 edition saw more product launches than ever before, and of a standard and gravitas that means it competes with any other event. Our favourites? Kusch’s new seating, Bulo’s Grid desking, Johnson Tiles’ Vivid and Tones ceramic tile collections,
Orangebox’s Do chair, Marc Krusin’s table and chair collection for Knoll, Moroso’s new sofas, Milliken’s Urban Collective, Interstuhl’s MOVYis3 chair and lighting from Swedish manufacturer rsj. And speaking of launches and all things new, it was also great to see the inclusion of new
showrooms – including Bolon and Domus.
M. Models: Seamlessly, Domus intrigued visitors with The Amazing Miniature World of Creativity and Persuasion – featuring amazing architectural models designed by AMODELS. On a somewhat different scale, main sponsors Jaguar displayed a clay model of the C-X16 concept car that captivated visitors at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
To read the full article from Mix Interiors June 2012 issue click the link below
N. Nike: You could win brilliant Nike+ Fuelbands from the good folk at The Gallery by guessing
the number of steps our Mick made around Clerkenwell each day of CDW. Nike+ Fuelbands are the latest healthy living gadget – not yet launched in the UK but a huge success in the US. They
measure daily activity, however you move, allowing you to set yourself fitness goals every day with the ease of complete iPhone connectivity. Mick is now addicted!
O. Order of St John: Clerkenwell Design Week’s third hub, new for this year, was the amazing
Order of St John. The main church proved a fantastic backdrop for a number of internationally renowned high-end furniture brands. The amazing Norman crypt not only made an ideal refuge from the soaring temperatures outside – it also providing an ideal canvas for the Italian Chair District’s contemporary collection.
P. Parties: As ever, once the sun was over the yard arm, Clerkenwell got its dancing shoes on. To be honest, you had to be in pretty good party fitness to last the entirety as the likes of Haworth, Forbo, Bene, Kusch (complete with queues all the way up St John Street), Staverton, Hands (jazz barbecue – nice!), Poltrona Frau, Boss (very moreish cocktails might well have been the undoing of some!) opened their doors for the masses to trample all over their formerly pristine spaces. A special mention goes to Humanscale, who rocked CDW with its already legendary Hed Kandi party, featuring Radio 1 DJ Danny Howard.
Q. Quote of the Week: ‘This (CDW) is better than Milan.’ Overheard coming from the mouth of, would you believe, a Milanese designer. Grazie mille!
R. Results: We think these probably speak for themselves: over 30,000 people registered; over 150 different brands from over 20 countries; 43 showrooms; nine amazing public installations; three jam-packed central venues. Brilliant!
S. Solar Tree: Designed by Ross Lovegrove and manufactured by Artemide, the Solar Tree
will be a design beacon for London throughout the city's 2012 cultural and Olympic celebrations. Beaming from London's design district during its annual design celebration, it proved a
dynamic element of EC1's St John's Square. Part public art, part sustainable street-lighting solution, the Solar Tree measures an amazing 6m tall, infusing a bit of nature into the urban
landscape. Its striking green trunk has 10 branches which radiate light to the street below. The solar energy is accumulated through photovoltaic cells in the ‘heads’ and consequently
stored in integrated batteries. Four of the 10 ‘heads’ and an additional 10 ‘blades of grass’ light up the street from dusk until dawn, and by day the sculptural concrete base makes a welcome resting and meeting point.
T. Tweeting marvellous: Rumour has it that London’s design community proved to be more active with their social networking throughout CDW than their counterparts in Milan did for their fair. Good tweeting.
U. Umbrellas, ellas ellas: British rainwear specialist and Royal Warrant holder Fulton Umbrellas combined with Draisci Studio to create the vibrant Spring Forest pop-up installation for CDW.
Symbolising urban transformation and the awakening of spring, the surreal red and pink forest featured Fulton’s umbrellas lifted by a red scaffolding plinth – almost like giant poppies – in St James’ Church Garden. And who would have guessed that umbrellas were the last thing we actually needed for the week!
V. Valencia: Tickets to the Valencia Grand Prix was just one of the astonishing, generous competition prizes offered throughout the week. Porcelanosa really went the extra mile to stand out from the crowd, by hiring a Formula 1 Car Simulator. The ‘lucky’ driver who set the fastest lap won those Grand Prix tickets. Not that we’re jealous. Meanwhile, professionals and amateurs alike were challenged to create a unique and stylish 2D design to be framed in the interchangeable graphic side panel of Thinking Ergonomix’s mobile storage solution, CASINO. The winner received an incredible luxury 12-night trip for two to Sydney, Australia, returning to
London via Singapore. The winner and four runners-up also won a unique CASINO pedestal, complete with their very own design.
W. Weather: Need we say more? Out of nowhere, that big yellow ball in the sky showed itself. Although the sunshine certainly helped, we didn’t think it very fair that certain (non-CDW participating) people felt that this was the ‘lucky break’ the event needed. We reckon you’re made
of far sturdier stuff than that.
X. XJ13, XKR-S etc: We know we’ve mentioned the headline sponsor before, but anyone who appreciates design must have appreciated Jaguar’s awesome display at the Farmiloe Building. The unique XJ13 is very possibly the most beautiful racing car never to have raced, whilst
the XKR-S is Jaguar’s fastest current production car. The aforementioned clay model of the C-X16, accompanied by a Jaguar modeller, also completely captivated us. Now that’s craftsmanship.
Y. Yoga: With so much food and drink available, we thought it particularly good of Desso to host yoga classes throughout the week to burn off those calories. Elsewhere, Staverton installed a pedal-powered mobile phone charger for guests to top up their batteries whilst getting a bit of
Z. Zzzzzs: Maybe the one and only thing we were short of through Clerkenwell Design Week 2012: sleep!