Now in its third highly successful year, Clerkenwell Design Week’s three-day annual festival has quickly become an eagerly anticipated event in the design industry calendar.
Founded in 2010, the event gathers Clerkenwell’s long-established design community together, celebrating the creative richness, social impact and its power for change within this unique part of London.
After reaching record size in 2012, Clerkenwell Design Week returns from 21-23 May showcasing over 239 brands from the UK and across the globe.
The resounding success of CDW 2012 was evident at the UK Event Awards, organised by The Drum, where CDW was recognised as being one of the best in Britain’s events industry – winning both Best Cultural Event and Best Festival for 2012.
The name Clerkenwell comes from the Clerks’ Well in Farringdon Lane, where London parish clerks performed the famous Medieval Mystery Plays throughout the Middle Ages. Since the Industrial Revolution, the area has housed craft workshops, printers, clockmakers and jewellers.
Traditional crafts, such as printing and bookbinding still flourish, as do graphic designers. In the last two decades, Clerkenwell’s unique variety buildings have been transformed into central studio and workshop spaces, attracting an unprecedented concentration of architectural, design and creative practices.
The global businesses that have made Clerkenwell their home have shaped the borough into the UK’s most important generator of creativity and innovation.
Serving an infinite variety of other industries easily accessible from across London, Clerkenwell has become home to a plethora of new media agencies, graphic and interactive design studios and more than 200 architectural practices – more per square mile than anywhere else on the planet. In addition, Clerkenwell houses over 60 design showrooms including world leaders Vitra, Poltrona Frau, Flos and Moroso.
Next week, the festival will return to its familiar venues, with exhibitors at the Farmiloe Building including Pinch Design, Bark Furniture, Young and Norgate, Jennifer Newman Ltd, DeadGood Trading Ltd, Amtico and Material Lab.
The House of Detention and the Order of St John have also been confirmed with additional sites at key points across Clerkenwell.
Last year over 35 showrooms successfully participated and are involved again this year, these include Domus, Knoll, Moroso, The Poltrona Frau Group, Vitra and Porcelanosa, along with a number of showrooms new to the event including Kinnarps, Camira, .it and Connections.
There will also be a number of designers specialising in sustainable, recycled and salvaged furniture and design – who I will of course endeavour to single out in the coming week.