Clerkenwell Design Week: Highlights

The sun shone on the second instalment of Clerkenwell Design Week in May, which secured its spot in the design calendar this year with a steady throughflow of specifiers, architects and designers.

Devoid of the tired trademarks of traditional trade shows CDW showcased the parades of showrooms that populate Clerkenwell Road, St Johns Street and the surrounding area in central London, each branded for the event with hot pink signage inviting onlookers in to look, drink and chat.

The festival’s centre point the Farmiloe Building, an impressive warehouse a stones’ throw from Smithfield, showcased furniture and lighting from the likes of Ligne Roset, Nigel Coates, The Design Museum, Jennifer Newman and James UK, with a picnic area and coffee barista providing the perfect outdoor hub. Meanwhile the House of Detention (an old Victorian Prison off Clerkenwell Close) housed a contemporary crowd including Timorous Beasties, Droog and Hendzel and Hunt.

British designers such as Russell Pinch (Pinch Design) Sean Dare (Dare Studio) both stood out for refined and classic design. Jennifer Newman’s aluminium A-Frame Bench in signal yellow stood out, and Hay Bales by Richard Woods & Sebastian Wrong, cushioned seating blocks inspired by Woods’ childhood were fun. Dezeen’s watch store, with watches by big name designers and more boutique brands made a welcome break from desks and chairs.

Come Friday, as people nursed their heads wondering at what point they stopped counting the times their glasses got refuelled over the event, not a lot of desk work got done. Hopefully the mingling, debate and discovery of new nooks of this design district will have made suitable amends.

Guest blogger Rachel Calton 

Clerkenwell Design Week 2011 ran from 24 – 26 May. Read more about CDW 2010.

Design Talks | 5 – 25 Scrutton Street | Old Street | Shoreditch | London | EC2A 4HJ?W | UK | www.d-talks.com | Bookshop www.d-talks.com/bookshop | Published by Banksthomas

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