Clerkenwell Design Week, London's first modern design festival of the year, kicks off tomorrow. The Fizz takes a look at what's in store...
BY DEE IVA
If you’re planning to get your boardroom kitted out or are in search of the perfect office chair, Clerkenwell Design Week is the first fair that springs to mind. It once had a reputation for being a show aimed more at businesses than consumers but that’s really changed in the last couple of years. For those seeking the sleekest shelving system, the most ergonomic desk or stylish task lighting, this festival is still where you’ll find it, but there’s a lot more to discover now than ever before.
ABOVE: Future perfect... the digitally printed 'Go' wheelchair by Layer
ABOVE RIGHT: 'Design Undefined' celebrates multi-disciplined design at lifestyle store Clerkenwell London
BELOW: Another Brand's new 'Orlo' mirrors will be shown at Clerkenwell Design Week
ABOVE: Fractured trays and tea light holders by Yenchenyawhen
Divided into distinct ‘design zones’, CDW2016 hosts a plethora of events, talks, workshops and showroom launches aimed at the design-savvy consumer looking for inspiration. 'Design Fields', at Spa Fields on Northampton Road, is home to a curated selection of contemporary brands such as Swedish lighting company Örsjö, Italian design house Magis and former Habitat Creative Director Theo Williams’ Another Brand. 'Platform', at the House of Detention at 12 Sans Walk, is CDW’s showcase for up-and-coming designers looking to make their mark. We’re hoping to see RCA graduates Yenchenyawhen’s distinctive collection of oxidised trays and tea light holders that mix silver with patinated Jesmonite.
In St James’ Church Garden, 'Additions' focuses on small pieces and accessories like the poptastic diamond-shaped ‘Sapphire’ side table by Future Days, while Project sees leading international brands strut their stuff. In the church's Crypt on Clerkenwell Green, the new 'British Collection' showcases designs from homegrown companies like deVOL Kitchens, whose curvy ’Air’ kitchen has caused quite a stir at DesignFizz HQ. Tom Dixon's latest lighting and furniture launches take over St James Church itself. Over at 'Detail', at The Order of St John at St John's Square, luxe is in the air and the Fizz has its eye on Whistler Leather’s hexagonal leather wall tiles and vibrant lampshades by the queen of modern ikat Ptolemy Mann and Brit lighting designers Copper & Silk. Finally, House of Culture sees Fabric nightclub taken over by a clutch of hot interiors' names including global-chic Stellar Works and Danish label &Tradition. It's clubbing but not as we know it!
BELOW: The geometric 'Sapphire' side table by Future Days; Birds of a feather by Diana Beltran Herrera; The digitised 'Dreams' credenza by Cristian Zuzunaga for BD Barcelona Design
The Domus showroom at 50 Great Sutton Street is where A-list French design duo Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec will be launching ‘Rombini’, their second graphic tile design for Italian tile company Mutina, while around the corner at 12-14 Berry Street, Spanish brand BD Barcelona Design opens its first UK showroom with a new furniture collection created from original designs by Salvador Dali and signature pieces by Cristian Zuzunaga and Konstantin Grcic.
Clerkenwell’s leading lifestyle store Clerkenwell London will also be joining in the fun by hosting Design Undefined, an installation which celebrates multi-disciplined artists, designers and thinkers. Brit talent Benjamin Hubert's Layer design group will preview ‘Go’, a futuristic 3D-printed, customisable wheelchair here, encouraging us to think that design will come to the rescue when we really need it. RCA goldsmith Kia Utzon-Frank's 'KUFcakes' designed to look like marble sculptures should also whet your appetite.
BELOW: 'Rombini', a new graphic tile collection by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Mutina; Hexagonal leather wall tiles by Whistler Leather
ABOVE: Vivid ikat patterns in Ptolemy Mann's 'Modern Ikat' lampshades for Copper & Silk
Finally, the crafty designs that we really can’t wait to see are Colombian artist Diana Beltran Herrera’s beautiful paper birds. Handmade in dazzling colours, Herrera’s little feathered friends will be on show at the designated Sottini space at The Bath Room at 99 Charterhouse Street. We reckon a couple might be joining us at Fizz HQ…
Clerkenwell Design Week runs from 24 to 26 May 2016. For more information visit clerkenwelldesignweek.com