May 21, 2017

The Preview | Clerkenwell Design Week

Clerkenwell Design Week is once again upon us and this year it looks set to be one of the biggest and most immersive yet. Now in its 8th year, the number installations have grown, showrooms are pulling out all the stops and Conversations at Clerkenwell agenda is jam-packed. Did you know that this small part of London is home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet? As always, I’ve picked out some of my favourite things going on. Make sure you make some time to visit!


Design Undefined at Clerkenwell LDN

Clerkenwell LDN always puts on a good show, whether that be for CDW or any other time of the year. Championing emerging talent and exploring alternative design disciplines, the design concept store will present the third edition of Design Undefined, bringing together an array of creatives, encompassing design, technology, graphic arts, material exploration and printing.

Watch out for typographic details in Anthony Burrill and Michael Marriott’s ‘room within a room’ collaboration, as well as Jordan Söderberg Mills’ perception-altering installation in the Keep, which uses light, colour and mirrored surfaces to disrupt the distinction between the subject and their surroundings. Also on hand for some wood-block printing is the fantastic Alex Booker, who has explored the history and characters of Clerkenwell in portraits, landscapes and text-based pieces – including a limited-edition work available exclusively from Clerkenwell London that will be put together during the course of the exhibition in the main retail space.

Also on hand for some wood-block printing is the fantastic Alex Booker, who has explored the history and characters of Clerkenwell in portraits, landscapes and text-based pieces – including a limited-edition work available exclusively from Clerkenwell London that will be put together during the course of the exhibition in the main retail space.

155 Farringdon Road London EC1 3AD


Double Vision

Hakwood will again return to the Clerkenwell installation scene with a 4-metre high structural installation of repeat patterns title Double Vision. Inspired by the pattern possibilities of Hakwood’s wall tile range, Double Vision is a double panelled structure which aims to create an uplifting moment whilst walking the exhibition route.

Nestled within the historic Clerkenwell Close, which last year saw Giles Miller’s metallic tile creations, the piece celebrates pattern and form and of course, highlights that the geometric trend is firmly back in business.

Clerkenwell Close, EC1R OEA


The Beacon

Inspired by the Tower of Babel and towering 7.5 metres over Design Fields, The Beacon marks the entrance to Design Fields with its glowing irridescence and angular shape. Clad in a colourful grid of 82 Perspex® acrylic squares, the installation celebrates the internationalism of the area and of the design industry as a whole.

Each of the Perspex®squares has been translated into a different language, representing the diverse range of languages spoken in the borough and in general throughout the design industry. Something that couldn’t be more relevant at this moment in time.

Spa Fields, Northampton Road, EC1R 0DF


RBM x FEATHR: official collaboration launch and installation

EJP favourite FEATHR are due to launch an exclusive new seating range in collaboration with fellow Scandinavian brand RBM, celebrating a wide variety of artists, stepping away from wallpaper and delving further into the interiors industry.

The collection combines the simplicity and classic design of the RBM Noor chair range with beautifully vibrant designs from more than 14 different artists, including renowned America abstract artist Kiki Slaughter, Finnish fine artist Reeta Ek and Basque street artist Marcos Navarro.

The collection will be on show at the Scandinavian Business Seating showroom, whom will also be following-up on their immersive 2016 Sensorium.

63 Central Street, EC1V 3AF


Order by Aldworth James & Bond

Aldworth James & Bond – a multidisciplinary group of designers, project managers, tradespeople and makers based in Deptford –  have collaborated with Corian® to create Order, an installation at Clerkenwell landmark, St John’s Gate. Using the octagonal form inspired by the Cross of St John, the structure will celebrate the arch as a gateway to the design festival, measuring almost three metres in height and over five metres in length.

While again the focus will be on geometric forms, Aldworth James & Bond have taken influences directly for Clerkenwell’s history, while continuing to push the boundaries of component based digital fabrication. This one looks set to be an instagram favourite!

St John’s Gate, EC1M 4DA


The Playbox

Did someone say tea? Wait, did someone say Newby Teas? In a very encouraging turn of festival events, The Playbox, designed by Shape London with Fraher Architects, will be home to an intricate tea caddy serving my favourite Newby flavours.

The Brewhouse Yard Playbox, sponsored by HARMONY, showcases the tile brand’s latest AUTHOR collections, designed in collaboration with Jin Kuramoto, Yonoh, MUT and Dsignio, and allows visitors to enjoy garden games. Tea drinking, talks and socialising – what’s not to love?!

Spa Fields, Northampton Rd, EC1R 0DF


Vitra Secret Garden

Vitra always sees a colourful affair and 2017’s Clerkenwell offering will be no different. Providing respite from the hustle and bustle of the festival, the Vitra Secret Garden will showcase the brand’s new limited edition Panton Chair in ‘Sunlight’, the All Plastic Chair and the Contract Table by Charles & Ray Eames, accessorised with new pieces by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec and Charles and Ray Eames.

Surrounded by greenery and with special afternoon teas serves on a daily basis, this one is sure to please! All bookings are on a first come first serve basis and can be booked here.

30 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1M 5PG



With Atlanta Design Festival also looming for me, BuzziSpace has popped up on my researching in the past few weeks and I’m excited to see them first on home turf.

Inspired by nature, BuzziJungle offers a solution to the conventional meeting space. Designed by emerging Belgian designer, Jonas Van Put, BuzziJungle is BuzziSpace’s reflection of their vision for the social office and further pushing the traditional boundaries of the workplace. Various elements within the structure provide an opportunity for different interactions within the “jungle”. You can climb, lounge and meet in the elevated work-lounge space made from lacquered steel – don’t forget your laptop!

Spa Fields, Northampton Road, EC1R 0DF


Anglepoise x Paul Smith

I’m in awe of the previous Anglepoise® + Paul Smith collaborations, so the promise of more is simply too much for my colourful mind to handle. The British brand will be launching the new Mini and Giant versions of the iconic Anglepoise® and Paul Smith Type 75™ desk lamp as well as the latest Spring/Summer 2017 collections.

Considering it’s located at one of my favourite Clerkenwell restaurants, Albion, I’ll also be grabbing brekkie before checking out the goods!

63 Turnmill St, London EC1M 5RR


Kaleidoscope by Karndean Designflooring

In collaboration with British artist, Sally Hogarth, Karndean Designflooring will unveil a series of installations along the official trail of Clerkenwell Design Week that will lead visitors around the events and showrooms.

The large-scale installations will present Karndean’s most creative collection to date, Kaleidoscope, which contains six geometric designs – Apex, Cubix, Pyramid, Tripoint, Pennon and Hexa. That’s a whole lotta #ihavethisthingwithfloors imagery if you ask me – ON IT!

Multiple locations

So, what do you think? What will you be checking out this year? For full programming and event details visit:


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Emma Jane Palin is a freelance art consultant, interior stylist and multi-award-winning blogger residing in Margate, UK. She has worked with various home and lifestyle brands not limited to West Elm, Apple, John Lewis, Habitat, MADE, Caran D'Ache + No.3 Gin. Emma is also a regular contributor to Hunker where she writes about design trends and interior advice.

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