5 things to see at Clerkenwell Design Week 2017

From a panel discussion hosted by Design Week about the effect of Brexit on the design industry, to a display of screen-printed furniture created by Anthony Burrill and Michael Marriott, we round up the best bits to check out at Clerkenwell Design Week this year.

As one of London’s main design hubs, Clerkenwell is home to more creative business and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world, according to the organisers of Clerkenwell Design Week.

The three-day design festival returns to the capital this week, with a programme that encompasses everything from exhibitions and talks to workshops and installations.

Here are five things to check out during this year’s edition of Clerkenwell Design Week.


Talk: Brexit – What does it Mean for British Design?

What: With the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) firmly set in stone following prime minister Theresa May triggering Article 50 in March, designers are wondering what this means for EU workers, copyright laws and international projects. Design Week editor Tom Banks will chair a panel discussion during the festival, which attempts to tackle the question: what does Brexit mean for British design?

Visitors will hear from the likes of Paul Smyth, the founder of co-working space Makerversity and design consultancy Something & Sons, with the panel sharing their thoughts on issues including the likely political and economic impact on our existing relationships with other European designers.

Read some of Design Week’s coverage on Brexit’s effect on the design industry here.

When: 4pm-5pm, Tuesday 23 May.

Where: Spa Fields Park, Skinner Street EC1 1AA.

More info: Sign up for the talk on Eventbrite.


Exhibition: Room within a Room

What: Now in its third year, Design Undefined will take over the two-storey Clerkenwell London building and play host to a number of design-focused workshops and demonstrations throughout the festival.

One highlight will be graphic designer Anthony Burrill and furniture designer Michael Marriott’s collaborative project, Room within a Room.

Visitors will be able to explore and buy individual pieces from Burrill and Marriott’s collection, which sees the two designers merging their disciplines to create a colourful range of furniture made from screen-printed plywood.

A selection of Burrill’s prints will also be on display within the space, and he will be hosting a screen-printing workshop where visitors can learn about the processes behind his work.

When: 23-25 May.

Where: Clerkenwell London, 155 Farringdon Road EC1 3AD.

More info: Head to the Clerkenwell Design Week site.


Installation: BuzziJungle

What: Furniture company BuzziSpace has teamed up with Belgian designer Jonas Van Put to create the vibrant BuzziJungle installation, with the aim of exploring what a happy, healthy workplace means today.

The open-air, work-cum-lounge space is inspired by the multiple layers of a tropical rainforest, and is made from woven, galvanised aluminium finished with yellow lacquer.

Visitors are invited to climb, lounge and meet within the installation’s various spaces, while the design allows for natural light to filter through in the same way that it “streams through the foliage of the forest”, says Van Put.

When: 23-25 May.

Where: Spa Fields, Northampton Road EC1.

More info: See BuzziSpace’s blog post about the installation here.


Fringe event: Museum of London walks

David Parry/PA Wire

What: Every year, local brand consultancies, studios and architects throw open their doors to the general public during the festival, hosting everything from workshops to installations.

More than 20 creative businesses are taking part in the Fringe event this year, including editorial design studio and shop MagCulture and multidisciplinary consultancy Studio of Design and Architecture (SODA).

As part of its year-long City Now City Future season, the Museum of London will also be running a series of free walks around Clerkenwell which will explore the past, present and future of the area.

On the Tuesday, oral historian Verusca Calabria will highlight the history of maker communities that have based themselves in Clerkenwell, including Italian artisans and Jewish goldsmiths.

Wednesday will see Jon Beck from 3D printing platform MyMiniFactory take people around craft and technology-focused businesses in the area, while on Friday the Museum of London’s curator of making Danielle Thom will explore what the future holds for makers in Clerkenwell.

When: 23-25 May.

Where: Various locations in Clerkenwell.

More info: Book tickets for the Museum of London free walks here. Find out more about Fringe on the Clerkenwell Design Week site.


Panel discussion: Design in Education

Plymouth College of Art

What: Following the Plymouth College of Art speaking to Design Week about the importance of foundation courses, the college’s principal and CEO Professor Andrew Brewerton will be speaking at a panel event on the various challenges facing design educators and students in the UK today.

Chaired by design journalist Katie Treggiden, the panel will also include designer Jay Osgerby of Barber & Osgerby, Crafts Council creative director Annie Warburton and Jade Ilke of consultancy Designing Futures.

When: 6pm-7.30pm, Wednesday 23 May

Where: Milleken, 5 Berry Street EC1V 0AA.

More info: Visit the Clerkenwell Design Week site.


Clerkwenwell Design Week runs from 23-25 May at venues across Clerkenwell, London. For more information, head to the festival’s site.

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