As a global design destination, Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) is set to return this May (23 – 25) with its biggest programme yet, featuring over 600 industry events over three days. The 12th edition also sees a total of 12 exhibition venues presenting more than 300 design brands and makers – supported by a network of over 130 local showrooms – across the whole of Clerkenwell. Architects and specifiers, interior designers and the general public alike will have the opportunity to experience everything from new furniture and lighting to kitchens and bathrooms, materials and surfaces, decorative accessories, and more.
Among some of the headline names is London-born-and-bred artist and designer Morag Myerscough – who will open the festival’s talks programme, Conversations at Clerkenwell, in Spa Fields on Tuesday 23 May (11:00). She will speak with Bethan Ryder, Editorial Director of WGSN, about her unique approach to transforming places and championing community through joyful installations and artworks.
Meanwhile, on St John’s Square, Myerscough is also responsible for creating the exterior wall of a freestanding installation from leading acoustics specialist, BAUX. Designed by its in-house team along with Form Us With Love, this special exhibition highlights the work of eight students from Scandinavia’s finest architectural institutes. The brief was to explore how buildings of tomorrow can nurture productivity, wellness and creativity, and the students’ design concepts will be presented through scale models and renders at CDW.
ACOUSTICS AND SOUNDS
After the pandemic, sensitivity to sound – coupled with growing demands for multizone offices to enable different modes of working – has seen an increase in the number of acoustic booths coming to market. At CDW, a whole host of showrooms will present some of their latest developments in this particular product category; from Loook Industries’ neuron activation pod to Actiu’s QYOS acoustic pod. Others to look out for include: Era Screens, Frem, Obo, Yo-Yo Office, Taiga Concept and Techo (Showrooms); as well as Askia and Make.Work.Space (Design Fields).
Visit Old Sessions House and experience Clubhouse from KI Europe – a new flexible system of acoustic frames and panels for creating phone booths or more complex structures with different levels of privacy and tech integration. Meanwhile, outside Design Fields, Texaa will present its Vibrasto flexible acoustic cladding that can be stretch-fitted to walls, ceilings or furniture – alongside its Stereo acoustic panels and Stereo Air open mesh panels.
London-based Soundtect reuses waste to create acoustic panels by recycling the fibres from its parent company’s exhibition flooring. During CDW, its showroom on Albemarle Way will focus on its latest innovation, Acoura – a lightweight ceiling system manufactured from 70% recycled PET, and available in 24 colours and a range of widths and depths. AllSfär (Project) – another UK-based acoustic expert specialising in products made with at least 60% recycled PET – will exhibit its new wall surface, Fika.
Amina (Project) specialises in invisible sound with a focus on making our space less cluttered and elevating it with a better experience. The festival sees the introduction of its carbon-invisible loudspeaker crafted using carbon fibre and inspired by high-performance musical instruments.
Situated on the ground floor of Old Sessions House, Brionvega blends art, design and technology in its iconic range of radios and sound systems. The Italian company will demo its Art Products; from Radiofonografo, the combined radio and record player by the Castiglioni brothers, to Radio.Cubo, the portable radio by Richard Sapper and Marco Zanuso.
At Conversations at Clerkenwell, Yuri Suzuki talks to journalist Elspeth Pridham, at 11am on 24 May about his work at the intersection of installation, interaction and product design, and his role as Sound Design Partner at Pentagram.
Deadgood has teamed up with interior design practice, Trifle*, to reconfigure its Old Street showroom which will be unveiled during CDW. The British manufacturer will introduce its latest coffee table range, Chonk which uses a minimum of 85% recycled steel and is fully recyclable.
From Sweden, Lintex produces writable surfaces made from tempered glass, textiles, solid wood and enameled steel. In its brand-new showroom on Northburgh Street, the company will showcase a series of recently launched mobile glass writing boards including Mood Fabric and Frame – designed by Halleröd and Matti Klenell.
As part of an open discussion about the climate crisis, Orangebox has invited Brompton Bicycles, Grown in Britain and UBQ to its Northampton Road showroom to present ideas and insights into three critical topics – including materiality, circularity and locality – throughout the festival.
NaughtOne’s showroom in Bakers Yard will launch its Ever chair and sofas by Ric Frampton – designed with circularity in mind. Ever can be returned to NaughtOne via its take-back programme at the end of its product life, while its responsibly sourced materials can also be separated easily for recycling.
German furniture maker Aeris (Project) debuts its Numo Task chair in the UK at CDW. The patented self-adjusting motion element in the base of the chair ensures the same comfortable deflection to all sides, and the kinematic technology underneath the seat shell enables a wide range of movement.
Also from Germany, Brunner on Rosebery Avenue will display its new Boards by Osko + Deichmann in the UK for the first time. From light whiteboards and rolling stools with clever cut-outs to work and standing tables with mounting options, Boards enhance collaboration in workspaces.
In both Contract and its Clerkenwell Close showroom, Moventi will introduce mobile C2 planter units to its existing C2 range of modular storage systems – in response to the rising popularity of biophilic design in the workplace. Meanwhile, the Netherlands-based Vepa – due to open its new showroom and sustainability education centre on Gee Street during CDW – will debut its Felt seating – made from PET plastic bottles – in a full colour series.
For more workplace designs, check out other highlights including: Sedus, .mdd, Era, Spacestor and Bisley (Showrooms); Viasit, William Hands, Imperial Office Furniture and Logovisual (Project); Askia (Design Fields); and Legrand (Contract).
This year’s festival sees Case launch the iconic Forum sofa and armchair by one of Britain’s most celebrated designers, Robin Day. Originally designed in 1964, both pieces have been brought back into production by the furniture maker – thanks to its close partnership with the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation. Forum will be presented in architect Amin Taha’s Groupwork studio on Clerkenwell Close, alongside contemporary classics by Matthew Hilton and Terence Woodgate.
Also returning to the festival this May is Fredericia. In its Dufferin Street showroom, the Danish, family-owned business will display its Savannah sofa and chair collection, as well as its Børge Mogensen-designed J39 chair in new colourways – inspired by the late designer’s country home and studio in Lynderup, Denmark.
Having supported CDW for many years, Arper will debut its Ralik modular system by Japanese designer, Ichiro Iwasaki, in its Clerkenwell Road showroom. Suitable for both commercial and residential settings, the brand-new design comprises ottomans, benches, and sofas with backrests – which can be used individually or together to create different configurations. Other contract furniture highlights include:
- Thonet (Catapult) – The German manufacturer will showcase its S 220 collection – including a new bar stool named S 220 H – by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin of Industrial Facility;
- Blå Station (Showroom) – The Sweden-based, family-run business will bring its Max easy chair by Johan Ansander to the festival, following its recent launch in Stockholm;
- USM (Showroom) – The Swiss brand will display its Haller modular furniture system with the new World of Plants, a simple design solution to add greenery to the interior;
- James Burleigh (British Collection) – The London-based company – which designs and makes its furniture in the capital – will launch several new pieces including Code, an all-timber veneered table featuring softly rounded edges and profiles; and
- Frövi (Showroom) – As well as showing new products, Frövi will run a special seminar discussing the importance of designing inclusive and neurodiverse spaces – led by Gillian Burgis Smith of Inclusive Environments – in its redesigned showroom on Sycamore Street.
SURFACES, COVERINGS AND TEXTILES
At CDW, Parkside’s Sequel Principle – a recycled composite tile consisting of over 91% recycled content – will be presented in its Sekforde Street showroom. The manufacturer collects unwanted materials from the ceramic and glass industry to create this range, while all of the recycled materials are locally sourced in Spain – with every square metre of the tile diverting 8kg of waste from landfill.
The Netherlands-based BLOQ produces high-performance carpet tiles that consist of 45% recycled materials. New to the festival, the three-year-old company will showcase its latest collections in its Goswell Road showroom, including The Textured and The Create.
UK textile specialist Camira will launch Revolution, a recycled wool fabric made from its own waste yarn. A closed-loop product, Revolution is the first fabric to be created using iinouiio – the textile recycling capability recently acquired by Camira – at its Yorkshire-based manufacturing sites. To mark the launch at CDW, Camira has also commissioned waste textile artist, Sandra Junele, to create four pieces of artwork – using textile surplus – for its showroom in Brewhouse Yard.
Wood specialist Schotten & Hansen (Detail) will preview its new colour veneer collection – developed by its founder, Torben Hansen – exclusively at CDW. This one-of-a-kind range sees the wood being cleaned deep into its pores– which significantly reduces substances within the timber that are known to make wood sensitive to staining and yellowing. Colours have been chosen in collaboration with the NCS Colour System®.
Other highlights from this category include:
- SolidNature – For the festival, the brand’s Charterhouse Square showroom will be reimagined by local architecture studio, OLJ Designs – while housing the art bathroom of Pink Pale Hue Onyx by Sabine Marcelis;
- Solus – An installation – in collaboration with one of Solus’ manufacturers, Iris Ceramica – will be created by Soho-based architecture practice, Szczepaniak Teh. Set to be immersive and multisensory, this special feature in Solus’ showroom on Clerkenwell Road (due to reopen this April) is designed to demonstrate the tile supplier’s commitment to green hydrogen as a sustainable energy source;
- Grestec Tiles (Project) – Expect to see new ranges from the British tile specialist – including its Kakam 2.0 mosaic series inspired by traditional Japanese glazing techniques;
- Svensson (Detail) – The Sweden textile expert will bring its recently launched, Pernilla McGillivray-designed Node, Yoyo and Core collections to London for CDW;
- Ultrafabrics (Design Fields) – The leading producer of high-quality performance fabrics celebrates its Colour of the Year collaboration with PANTONE, which sees the unveiling of custom palettes and refreshes of the brand’s Uf Select Montage and Brisa collections;
- Milliken – The British supplier of floor coverings will show Down to Earth – a carbon-neutral carpet tile collection designed and made in the UK – in its Berry Street showroom;
- Modulyss – A series of talks and workshops will take place in the Belgian carpet brand’s Clerkenwell Road showroom. Sustainability, inclusivity and the role of AI are among some of the key topics – led by Tarek Merlin, Director of Feix & Merlin Architects; Rachel MorganTrimmer, neurodiversity consultant; and Tim Fu, designer at Zaha Hadid Architects; and
- Havwoods – An all-new concept will be revealed in its Great Sutton Street showroom – where the company has divided its products into a new colour system.
At the festival, check out other latest launches from: Iris Ceramica, Rovic Tiles at The Vault, Junckers, Karndean and Bolon (Showrooms); Laminam (Design Fields); Gruppo Cerdisa Ricchetti (Ceramics of Italy); Arpa (Project); Graphenstone (Contract); and Arte, Kasthall, Kirkby Design and Urban Rug (Detail).
The 12th edition of Clerkenwell Design Week takes place across EC1, London from 23 – 25 May 2023. For more information, please visit clerkenwelldesignweek.com.