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Creative Quarter to Host Best in Design with Ninth Edition of Clerkenwell Design Week

Set across three days, 22-24 May 2018, Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) returns for its ninth edition, hosting the best in design from the UK and beyond, and featuring a wide range of talent from the area from young entrepreneurial start-ups to well established design practices. As the annual focus for London’s leading design district, the festival programme has been tailored to reflect the unique nature of this vibrant London hub, home to a plethora of creative businesses, design consultancies, showrooms and architectural practices.

2018 will again play host to hundreds of fringe events, showroom presentations, workshops, talks and public-facing installations all with design at their heart. Events will run over three days and follow a distinct trail north to south from Spa Fields down to Farringdon linking together several exhibition spaces and a series of specially commissioned installations.

CDW Presents 

Each year, Clerkenwell Design Week displays new projects and commissioned installations located within high profile spaces across Clerkenwell. Working with leading names in design, engineering and architecture, these projects aim to bring spectacle and energy to the district whilst pushing the boundaries of design concepts, process and material capabilities. This year, sustainability is a key theme with several participants and projects addressing this trend.

A major project will be Your Tote Counts. Chelsea College of Art, in partnership with CDW, is addressing the issue of a surplus of cotton tote bags replacing plastic bags. In 2008, the UK Environment Agency (UKEA) published a study of resource expenditures for various bags: paper, plastic, canvas, and recycled-polypropylene tote bags and found that cotton tote bags exhibited the highest and most severe global-warming potential by far since they require more resources to produce and distribute. A Screen Press installation will be situated outside Farringdon Station, where visitors can bring unwanted totes to be customised with designs created by Chelsea College of Art students giving them new life. Proceeds will go to the CDW 2018 charity partner, Maggie’s, which opened at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 2017. An exhibition at Design Fields will display a collection of favourite tote bags, chosen by a selection of designers and design writers and donation points will be located throughout Clerkenwell.

Your Tote Counts.

For the third consecutive year, Scale Rule will be giving St. James’ Churchyard a new focal point by realising a pavilion design conceived by GCSE students from around London. This year’s winning concept responded to the theme of sustainability by proposing a sensitive metaphor: layers representing past, present and future will create a kaleidoscopic oculus, inviting visitors to take a moment to direct their eyes up and become more aware of key natural elements around them.

Every year Scale Rule’s Next Generation Design Pavilion aims to inspire a younger generation to work in construction-related professions. The pavilion is a result of a series of educational workshops led by volunteer industry professionals, bringing GCSE students together from across London.

Scale Rule

Reform – a number of architectural practices including TDO Architecture, have been commissioned to create wayfinding sculptures in polystyrene that will be situated around Clerkenwell during the week. The sculptures will be produced by Bakers Patterns studio who specialise in polystyrene model making and manufacturing. Polystyrene is one of the most sustainable of materials as it can be endlessly recycled. Creative Director of CDW Max Fraser says “Polystyrene is considered one of the ‘bad’ materials of our time as it can’t be recycled through regular municipal recycling schemes. However, if the material is sent back to the manufacturer, it is 100% recyclable (98% of it is air). So we are commissioning these beacons at CDW with their end-of-life destination fully diverted from landfill”.

Pipe Line – talented young designer Lou Corio Randall graduated from Kingston University in 2017 with a BA in product and furniture design. His Pipe Line pieces will be exhibited throughout Clerkenwell demonstrating a new and colourful approach to street furniture, from bike racks to benches, all formed using a single continuous curved line of steel.

Pipe Line by Lou Corio Randall

CDW are proud to present a collaboration with Kinetech Design in collaboration with Amari Interiors. St John’s Gate saw the first performances of some of Shakespeare’s most famous works, including Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Macbeth. The Master of Revels at the time, Master Edmund Tylney, was responsible for theatrical censorship throughout Elizabeth 1st’s reign. Kinetech Design have drawn on the history of the arch and showcase their strong kiriorigami
style, flatterised in a structure that mirrors an Elizabethan ruff.

Design Studio Timorous Beasties, renowned for its surreal and provocative textiles and wallpapers, will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of its collaboration with Brinton Carpets. A specially built pavilion in St John’s Square, designed by Mark Shaw of Shaw Architects, will showcase a brand new collection of carpets inspired by nature, unveiled for the first time during CDW.


CDW’s exhibitions are hosted in distinctive spaces around the area linked by a route running through the centre of EC1. There are seven exhibitions, each with a different curatorial focus, ranging from cutting edge international design, to emerging talent, lighting, luxury interiors and the best of British design.

Light – new for 2018 

Night Birds by Brokis

New for 2018 is an exciting new exhibition dedicated to light. Fabric, a former cold-store turned nightclub, will host within its brick vaults an exhibition of top international lighting brands showing the latest collections, cutting edge and innovative new products and presenting spectacular standalone lighting installations. Exhibitors include Bert Frank which draws influence from the design codes of the ‘mid-century’ era but with a modern twist. Bert Frank’s striking range of luxury lighting is designed and made exclusively in the UK and has already won a string of industry awards. Rich Brilliant Willing is a Brooklyn-based studio that designs and manufactures LED fixtures for hospitality, workplace, and residential projects while Czech lighting company Brokis, producers of exquisite hand blown Bohemian glass lighting for over 200 years, will show a selection of its glass pendant, table, floor and wall lighting.

Venue address: Fabric Nightclub, 77A Charterhouse Street, EC1M 6HJ
Opening hours: 10:00 – 21:00 every day during CDW

Elements – new for 2018


New for 2018, Elements will bring together a leading selection of ironmongery, hardware, switch plates and architectural accessories within a street-market style pavilion on St John’s Square, becoming a go-to destination for designers looking for the perfect final finish. Brands confirmed for Elements include Forbes & Lomax, TIRAR, House of Eroju and Carrson International among others.

Venue address: St John’s Square, EC1M 4DS
Opening hours: 10:00 – 21:00 every day during CDW

Design Fields 


Situated at the northern end of Clerkenwell, Design Fields will host a busy hub, showcasing leading furniture, textiles lighting and product design from all around the world, from kitchens to bathrooms to the workplace. As a pioneer in the field of acoustics, Abstracta has embraced the growing interest in sound absorption, developing soundscape products. Other exhibiting companies include Ondaretta, from Spain; Edsbyn, from Sweden; Calligaris, from Italy and Gerberit from Switzerland, all displaying innovation and clever use of technology in their design.

Venue address: Spa Fields, Northampton Road, EC1R 0DF
Opening hours: 10:00 – 21:00 every day during CDW


Detail can be found within the Garden & Crypt of the Order of St John. Detail reflects principles of fine craftsmanship and high glamour, showcasing the best and most prestigious names in the world of luxury interiors who will be exhibiting throughout the venues majestic Church, Crypt and Cloister garden.

This year at Detail, Arte wallcoverings will show several new collections. Metal X Signum, represents wallcovering made of real metal foil with an oxidised effect and elegant prints. Focus is a collection of wallpaper with a deep and natural-looking relief that creates a 3D effect, while Curiosa is all about big designs with worldly influences. Last but not least, Takara wallcoverings are made of abundant materials like soft suede, paper weave and embroidered chinoiserie.

Curiosa by Arte

Dedar’s collections are carefully handcrafted in the traditional textile mills of Italy’s Lake Como and combine craftsmanship with the heritage of the region – its approach transforms weaving into an art form in its own right. At CDW Dedar will introduce a new range of fire retardant fabrics dedicated to the hospitality sector, with the inclusion of animal prints. British manufacturer, Samuel Heath, is a forward thinking and creative company that combines time-honoured craftsmanship with the latest
technology and design to offer a collection of beautifully crafted bathroom fittings and architectural hardware. Its newest range Landmark consists of two distinctive collections: Pure with its wellbalanced, concise and direct lines and Industrial with its contemporary, bold and urban styling.

Venue address: The Order of St John, St John’s Square, EC1V 4JJ
Opening hours: 10:00 – 21:00 every day during CDW


Hosted within the subterranean depths of The House of Detention, Platform showcases exciting up-and-coming design talent in the historic surroundings of this former remand prison. This is a rare opportunity for the public to explore part of London’s infamous history. Exhibitors here include Arte&Stili who specialise in bespoke handmade ceramic tiles, artefacts and crockery sets from Italy’s Amalfi Coast; Claire Potter Design, specialising in sustainable solutions for interior architecture and product based projects; John Eadon, an up and coming designer who utilises traditional techniques of the past to create contemporary yet timeless designs will show his latest MIMA collection, which draws on the influences and techniques of Windsor chair making, re-interpreting them to create new classic pieces.

Venue address: House of Detention, 12 Sans Walk, EC1R 0AS
Opening hours: 10:00 – 21:00 every day during CDW

MIMA Collection by John Eadon


Launched in 2016, Project’s first outing was so successful it was extended to cover two linked pavilions for Clerkenwell Design Week 2017 and will return for 2018. Set in the Garden of St James within the beautiful grounds of Clerkenwell’s parish church, Project brings together a leading selection of contract furniture, lighting and surface brands from around the globe from flooring specialists Amtico to Moventi, who design and manufacture furniture for the workplace. Also targeted at the modern open plan office where distractions can make work life difficult, The Meeting Pod Co produces and installs a range of acoustic Meeting Pods to suit every need for
private or collaborative working space.

Venue address: Garden of St James, St James Walk, EC1R 0EA
Opening hours: 10:00 – 21:00 every day during Clerkenwell


Integral to the festival are the local resident design showrooms, many of whom partner with CDW, providing an array of stimulating events from talks and workshops to major installations. Over 90 companies will be participating in CDW 2018, including high-end furniture, lighting, kitchen and bathroom brands alongside specialist manufacturers. 2018 sees several new showrooms making their debut at CDW including Mater, Lintex, Casala, Senator, Bisley, Ultra Fabrics and Kvadrat Soft Cells while established showrooms such as Modus, Haworth, Moroso, Orangebox and Cappellini will once again play a major part over the week with a rich programme of daily events. Cappellini and Haworth will be participating in their first Clerkenwell Design Week since the opening of their new Patricia Urquiola & Giulio Cappellini designed showroom.

Once again, Arper will host a bloggers lounge, a dedicated space with free Wi-Fi and refreshments for digital press to meet, work and connect.

Pop up showrooms will also play a part at CDW 2018. Fast establishing a reputation as the place to go for inspirational and dynamic tiles, Parkside will be participating in CDW for the first time this year. Presenting two distinctive bathroom concepts designed by Wish London, these Parkside bathrooms will be located within an eye-catching industrial shipping container in St John’s Square. Also making its debut at CDW18 is Sky-Frame, the leading international supplier of frameless sliding door systems. A Piece of Sky is Sky-Frame’s pop-up design concept created by one of Switzerland’s most sought-after designers, Stephan Hürlemann, who will be engaging visitors on an emotional level about Sky-Frame and its attitudes, values and designs. This imaginative installation will be located in Great Sutton Street opposite the Slaughtered Lamb pub.

Fringe Activities

As well as hosting an abundance of furniture and interiors showrooms, Clerkenwell is also home to a variety of other creative practices including architects, branding agencies and craft studios. In celebration of Clerkenwell Design Week, a selection of 25 of these local practices, including Patrick Lewis Architects and McCaul Goldsmiths will throw open their doors to the festival’s visitors and host workshops, displays and installations.

Conversations at Clerkenwell

In partnership with Mapei, Conversations at Clerkenwell remains an important area to introduce and discuss new products, raise industry issues and network. Those taking part in the 2018 programme include Moroso’s Art Director, Patrizia Moroso, who will give a talk focused around the textile workshop that will be hosted in the Moroso showroom for the duration of the event. Design heavyweights Seymour Powell will explore hospitality design, including their work in bringing Chef Heston Blumenthal’s ideas to life in a session called ‘The Magic of Hospitality’ while Creative specialists, Territory Studio, will take part in a panel discussion entitled ’Future Cities’ – the session will include a behind the scenes look at the studio’s work on visualising the future – be it for films, games, entrepreneurs and with a glimpse into how Clerkenwell may look in 2049.

Talks will be held in a purpose built pavilion designed by Harper Downey and the full programme will be announced closer to the show. Talks are ticketed at £5.