Now in its fourth year, this year’s event will see more than 45 local showrooms taking part. Known for its wealth of product design, architecture and graphics talent, the area will be bolstered for 2013 with new pop-up venues and exhibition ‘pods’ placed on the pavements to display particular products.
According to organisers, CDW is keen to uphold the area’s ‘intellectual tradition’ through its talks programme. Those looking for cognitive as well as visual stimulation could do worse than to attend the Bouroullec Brothers ‘in conversation’ session at Vitra, held with Icon magazine.
As in previous years, the Farmiloe Building will act as the festival hub, with returning brands including Deadgood, Swedese, and Zanotta rubbing shoulders with new additions &Then Design, EMU, and Spanish design studios Viccarbe and La Palma.
Elsewhere, Cornish brand MARK will be helping curate a very endearing feature with OnOffice, which will see established designers unearth their childhood design creations, aiming to highlight the importance of design education to Britain in light of the recent Baccalaureate announcements . From what we’ve seen, the work’s sickeningly good for such youthful attempts.
Another don’t-miss space will be the beautiful Priory of the Order of St John, which CDW says will focus on a ‘sense of luxury and fine quality.’ The 700-year-old church will have a new focus on interior decoration this year, showing brands and designers including Ochre, Larkbeck, Ginger and Jagger and Virginia White.
This luxury perhaps wasn’t quite so evident in the original House of Detention space, reconfigured into a festival site for CDW. The former subterranean Victorian Prison will now play host to a number of emerging designers, including James Tattersall, Regina Heinz and Foreign Bear Studio. Italian-based duo Fred and Juul presenting their apiculture inspired pieces, Latvian studio Sampling’s hemp seating, and UK spatial design company Foreign Bear.
Our favourite of the announced commissions is without doubt the Design Exquis project, conceived by French designer Florian Dussopt and Belgian curator and journalist Géraldine Vessière. Based on the 1920s Surrealist game Exquisite Corpse, a chain of designs is formed, each passing an object onto the next to interpret as they wish. None of the designers are aware of the starting object – or the identities of the other designers – and the results of the experiment will be shown in the Order of St John.
Clerkenwell Design Week runs from 21-23 May at various venues across Clerkenwell. For more information visit www.clerkenwelldesignweek.com