London has always paid close attention to design. Among the many destinations for professionals and design buffs, the Clerkenwell area, from 21 to 23 May, presents Clerkenwell Design Week, a design festival to celebrate the creativity of this lively neighborhood, shifting the focus back to the other side of the Atlantic, after the American fairs HD Expo and ICFF.
Some of the most important pioneers of the creative sector take part with projects that widen the boundaries of design in terms of concepts, processes and materials. The local showrooms take part, collaborating each year with CDW to pack the festival program with stimulating theme events, including conferences, workshops and product presentations.
Special initiatives include Temple Cycles (a free bike tour of the district), an underground exhibition, visits to screen printing workshops and talks with internationally acclaimed designers like Neisha Crosland and Benjamin Hubert. There is also the installation Reflect Us, by the artist Beau Kerouac, which sheds light on social problems by representing the eyes of the homeless on 10 glass doors, using AR technology. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the works goes to Julian House, a charity initiative that offers support to people at the margins of society.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary, street performances have been organized, including Once Upon A Time, in collaboration with UAL Chelsea College of Arts, inspired by mysterious historical accounts of Clerkenwell. We should also mention Decade: ten totems with a height of three meters scattered in the streets to mark the birthday and guide visitors through the itinerary.
In addition, seen works by students of the BA program in Graphic Design Communication at UAL Chelsea College of Arts have been selected to create a series of graphic installations.
Seven exhibitions not to be missed: British Collection with the best of English creativity in the Crypt of St James’s Church; Design Fields, in the northern part of Clerkenwell at Northampton Road, hosting the finest furniture brands like Thonet, Tacchini and La Cividina; Light with new lighting developments in the unusual location of Fabric, the most famous nightclub in the City; Elements, with the more technical components of architecture in a street market on St John’s Square; Detail with the excellence of luxury interiors in the Order of St. John; Platform, a showcase for new talents in the basements of the former House of Detention; Project, in the Garden of St James, with proposals for major works like office buildings and shopping malls.
Finally, there are the Talks with designers at the Moth Pavilion, a structure whose large canopy in recycled fabric seems to soar like a butterfly over Spa Fields Park.
There are also moments of recreation: to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic Aeron chair by Herman Miller, the company has organized the Aeron Hockey tournament, the office hockey game that has become a true competition.