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CDW returns for 6th edition

Clerkenwell Design Week 2015 (19-21 May) is set to build on the success of its previous five editions with an impressive mix of cutting-edge installations, exclusive product launches and insights into contemporary design and architecture.

Since its inception in 2010, the festival has grown to become one of the most respected events on the global design calendar, with total visitor numbers topping 32,000 in 2014.

William Knight, Show Director says, “Clerkenwell Design Week is a true celebration of this exceptional and dynamic part of London. Our distinctive model of combining commercial focus of the showrooms and exhibitions with the chance to match materials, creativity and use of urban public space makes the festival accessible and hugely popular. 2015 will see continued growth for one of the UK’s most exciting design events.”

Celebrating its sixth year in 2015, the annual festival will showcase the latest innovations by designers and manufacturers from the UK and around the world. Set against the historic backdrop of Clerkenwell, the three-day festival will be centred upon leading design showrooms in the neighbourhood, as well as four exhibitions - Design Factory, Platform, Detail and Additions.

CDW Presents, the festival’s commission and installation programme, will return showcasing original projects and street installations by established and emerging names from the design and architecture worlds, stationed across all areas of Clerkenwell. As part of the Fringe series, local creative practices, from architects to branding agencies and craft studios, will host workshops and displays open to the public during the festival. This wider programme includes a new venue at The Old Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green, hosting Icon’s House of Culture.

Over 60 showrooms will be part of Clerkenwell Design Week 2015, and together they once again play an integral part in proceedings. New participants including heritage brand Carl Hansen & Søn, Italian furniture company Moroso and modernist storage specialist USM will be joined by long-term global supporters including Vitra, Arper, Poltrona Frau, Knoll, Domus, Humanscale, Brunner and Kusch+Co.

Carl Hansen & Søn , which manufactures some of the greatest Danish furniture designs, will be opening its first London showroom in Clerkenwell, located at 16a Bowling Green Lane. A three-storey building, the new showroom will present its latest collection alongside its most iconic 20th century design classics including Hans J Wegner’s Wishbone chair, Shell chair and Heritage chair.

Also settling in Clerkenwell as the location for its first London showroom is USM which will join this year’s line-up. The company will celebrate 50 years of its Modular Furniture Haller with a multifaceted, global project called project50.

Moroso will return to the 2015 festival. Its Clerkenwell showroom will host a UK preview of its 2015 collections, including an exclusive furniture project by David Adjaye, and an in-conversation session between the architect and Patrizia Moroso.

Swiss manufacturer Vitra will also return to CDW 2015 with a retrospective on the life & works of architect Jean Prouve, showcasing a new extension to its Prouve RAW collection. Expect a series of exciting and engaging events in its Clerkenwell showroom during the festival.

To mark the 50th anniversary of its iconic LC collection while commemorating 50 years since Le Corbusier’s death, Cassina will present LC50, a reissue of the original 1960s collection comprising contemporary designs by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand at the Poltrona Frau showroom.

Italian counterpart Arper will be introducing its new Kinesit chair, the company’s first office chair that is 100% compliant with regulatory requirements. Light and minimal in design, Kinesit’s seat and back are fully adjustable allowing it to adjust to individual body types for optimal comfort.

Coalesse will bring its new 2015 chair, Lessthan5_MY by Hong Kong-based designer Michael Young to the festival. Made entirely of carbon fibre, one of the strongest and lightest materials in engineering and design, Lessthan5_MY combines materiality with technology to express its structural form and modern craft. Its endless mono-material design is adaptable to both indoor and outdoor settings. Meanwhile, US-based design company Knoll will present a UK preview of its new lounge collection by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby.

A number of showrooms have also chosen Clerkenwell Design Week as the key point in the year to launch their new products, including Camira, Humanscale and Bene.

The Landscape Collection, designed by Hayley Barrett for Camira , takes it cues from fashion tailoring. This selection of oversized plaid patterns can be used for furniture in the same way as pieces are cut for a bespoke garment. The resulting fabric options are ideal for furniture in the flexible workspace where the need for collaborative work is paramount.

Humanscale will preview its new Ballo stool and Trea chair in the UK for the first time. Ballo, designed by Don Chadwick, is a fun seating solution that also brings with it significant health benefits, reinventing the exercise ball concept and promoting active seating. The Trea chair, the work of American designer Todd Bracher, is a multipurpose chair suitable for environments as diverse as cafeterias and collaborative workspaces through to dining rooms and home offices.

Austrian furniture manufacturer Bene is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year. Its St John Street showroom will feature its new modular wall system Nooxs, designed by seminal British studio PearsonLloyd. Nooxs addresses the need for intelligent partitioning and good acoustics in various office locations from meeting areas to kitchens and touchdown spaces. The wall elements have different width and height options and are available in different surfaces, including veneer, fabric and melamine.

Clerkenwell Design Week’s well-established exhibitions provide a real breadth of product innovation, from leading international brands to emerging design studios. The largest of these design-led destinations is the Design Factory at the Farmiloe Building, featuring four floors of established contemporary interiors brands, both from the UK and overseas. The venue’s courtyard will also be home to the Leica Camera sponsored cafe?.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Pinch will return to the festival and launch its Avery barstool, a rigorously simple design realised in English oak, while German furniture maker Zeitraum will unveil its M11 timber framed table by Mathias Hahn.

Leading Italian brand Magis has its usual roster of high profile designers, showcasing pieces by the Bouroullec brothers and Marcel Wanders, while Stellar Works will showcase its latest Utility collection by Shanghai-based design duo Neri & Hu. Danish furniture brand +HALLE will also return to Clerkenwell Design Week launching a new range by Busk+Hertzog.

Other returning brands include Benchmark, MARK Product, Vitamin Design, And Then Design, BoConcept and Orsjo.

New to the Design Factory this year include Thonet with the UK debut of its 808 lounge chair by Formstelle; H, which will launch its 2015 collection by Hierve; Baines&Fricker, which will come to the festival with two new furniture ranges, SB01 Ply and BF02 Pew; and start up company TedWood, founded by designer maker Ted Jefferies, launching a new range of furniture and lighting designs.

In The Shed that sits aside the Design Factory, British furniture makers will come together once again to celebrate the best of British design and craftsmanship – from Case Furniture and Dare Studio, to Jennifer Newman, James UK, Deadgood and Johnson Tiles.

The Lighting Factory, a dedicated lighting floor, will also return to the venue. Curiousa and Curiousa will launch a new collection of hand-blown glass pendants available in slate grey, smoked olive and aubergine, while Occhio will present its latest range including the Lei light, the first shade luminaire with adjustable radiance holding two luminaires in one. Other lighting brands that will exhibit at Clerkenwell Design Week include Artemide, Prandina, Catellani & Smith, Secto, Terence Woodgate, SCP Contracts and Mullan Lighting.

Anglepoise will launch its new 2015 design collaboration, while Holloways of Ludlow, celebrating its 30th anniversary, will launch a new lighting range alongside a new in-house designed furniture and bespoke kitchen line in collaboration with Concrete by LCDA.

The popular Retail Zone will once more be part of the Design Factory, on the second floor of the Farmiloe Building. There will be an array of design products available to purchase during the festival from brands including Dyke & Dean, Boskke, Black+Blum, Dezeen, Dorothy, Quill and the TFL Shop.

Platform at the House of Detention has established itself as the place to spot up- and-coming design talent during Clerkenwell Design Week. These include Louise Tucker, a Chelsea College of Art graduate whose fascination with weaving wood veneer led her to launching Pren, a sculptural lighting collection that takes its name from the Welsh for wood.

Out of the Valley is another design start up, the brainchild of designer maker Rupert McKelvie. With experience in designing and building bespoke cabins for off-grid living, Out of the Valley will launch its first furniture collection inspired by this back to nature ethos.

Polish designer Danuta Wlodarska, who started Two Or Three Things in 2014, will host the UK launch of her unique table collection available in painted oak, poplar burl or California walnut. Meanwhile, Dome Studio will build a site-specific installation for the show.

African design company MaliMali specialises in making textiles using the ancient and wholly organic West African dyeing and painting technique, Bogolan, which means ‘painted with mud’ in Bambara. The company will showcase a range of contemporary fabrics in bold and graphic patterns, woven using 100% Malian organic cotton. Also new to Platform is UK-based A White Workshop, which will introduce its first range of foldable wooden furniture by its founder Alexander White.

The majestic Priory Church at the Order of St John is home to Detail, the place to head to for high-end decorative interior products. The church’s garden will be furnished with Cane-line’s latest outdoor furniture, complemented by a Champagne Jaquart bar.

British fabric company Lewis & Wood will return to the festival with a new wallpaper collection, alongside Regina Heinz, Tracy Kendall, C&C Milano and Virginia White. Newcomer London-based design studio Tiipoi will unveil its Mirror 6 collection, an exclusive range of cast metal wall-mounted and hand held mirrors made by a local family in Kerala, inspired by the original Mirror 6. Furniture maker Jonathan Baring will showcase his hand crafted oak and ebony cabinet, as well as his orange cracked gesso and nickel console table.

Also new to the festival include textile designer Tania Johnson, who will present her bespoke hand knotted wool and silk rugs, and Mulberry Home, which will bring its Bohemian Romance fabric collection to the festival, alongside GP & J Baker.

After last year’s debut, Additions - which is given over to small design-led pieces and accessories at the Crypt on the Green at St. James Church – will return for 2015. New exhibitors include France-based HJEM, which will launch a range of design- conscious homewares and papergoods; British surface designer and illustrator Kelly Hatt, who will showcase a collection of aluminium etched illustrations, inspired by scuffs, scratches and graffiti found on public transport; ceramicist Taz Pollard, who will debut her new tableware range with a playful design; and Wael Seaiby, who has recently been named by Design Council as one of its 70 ‘Ones to Watch’.

This year’s Additions will also see the return of Clivework with its new hand printed fabrics for cushions and throws, and RCA graduate Kit Miles, who exhibited in Platform last year, with his opulent surface designs.

CDW Presents has become integral to Clerkenwell Design Week, renowned for its specially commissioned public installations with the likes of Ross Lovegrove, Studio Weave and Aberrant Architecture contributing to past exhibits. As always, CDW Presents provides a major focal point for public interaction, and this year’s features aim to celebrate and explore the transformation of London’s public spaces in a city that is rapidly densifying.

This year sees an intriguing collaboration between furniture maker Sebastian Cox and sculptor Laura Ellen Bacon, supported by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and located under St John’s Arch. ‘The Invisible Store of Happiness’ is a celebration of wood and craftsmanship, bringing together two of the UK’s brightest talents who will fuse their ideas and skills to create an installation for the festival out of American hardwood.

This three-metre high wooden sculpture, made out of American maple and cherry, consists of a mighty steam bent frame that gives way to thinner, weave-able strips manipulated to twist and flow into a whirlpool of texture and shape. The piece combines Bacon’s background in intricate, landscape-inspired artwork with Cox’s skill in traditional furniture techniques such as dry joining and steam bending. The resulting structure shows how craftsmanship and creativity can be pushed to their limits to produce an exemplary piece of sustainable design.

On St John’s Square, architects Cousins & Cousins have designed a multicoloured jewel-like pavilion in collaboration with Gx Glass, a leading UK manufacturer and supplier of glass to architectural interior designers. Drawing on the heritage of Clerkenwell as a centre of design and manufacture, such as the former Victorian glassworks at the Farmiloe Building, ‘Glaze’ offers a journey through glass products that vary in size and colour, creating a walk through a visual wonder. The vibrant panels change between opaque and transparent and are inspired by Venetian Murano glass. Fully demountable and reusable, the installation is designed to highlight and celebrate the versatility of glass, its colour and the surface designs that make glass an important medium through which designers and architects can realise their ideas.

For CDW Presents, Swiss design studio Gruppe has been commissioned to re-define the gateways, edges and centre of Clerkenwell to revisit its position as a little city within London. Entitled ‘Vita Contemplativa’ and supported by EQUITONE, Gruppe’s design aims to strengthen Clerkenwell as a place with its own identity by using historic, architectural elements. Specially designed features, including a basilica, a forum and different columns stationed across Clerkenwell, will be on display during the festival, offering visitors the opportunity to connect immediately on entering Clerkenwell.

Article 25, Scandinavian Business Seating and architects russ+henshaw have partnered to create a dynamic temporary installation for Clerkenwell Design Week 2015. The installation, named ‘Agora on the Green’ , will be situated on Clerkenwell Green, transforming the forgotten space at its heart into a modern agora, reminiscent of the public square’s rich and colourful past. The installation will integrate Scandinavian Business Seating’s colourful RBM Noor chairs. russ+henshaw created the ‘Tile Mile’ installation for the festival in 2014, a gold winner at the London Design Awards.

Grimshaw and MDT-tex have also collaborated to develop a pavilion installation at St James’ Church. The super lightweight structure is created by a new modular canopy system consisting of complex geometries. During the festival, this exciting space will house the exclusive launch of a new table range, co-designed by Italian furniture manufacturer Cassina and Grimshaw. Moreover, the pavilion will host ‘Elements’, an exhibition which showcases the work of Grimshaw’s Industrial Design Unit through photography, drawings, models and full-scale furniture mock-ups and structural details.

At CDW 2015, international type house Monotype – with its London studio based on Clerkenwell Road - will host ‘WordPlay’, a dramatic outdoor showcase of type design. At six locations around Clerkenwell, Monotype will use a selection of its typefaces to spell out six vibrant words that will besuspended from trees, stacked or splayed on pavement, painted on brick walls, or presented on provocative signage. Local suppliers have also provided materials - wood, paint, concrete, fabric, glass and metal - to create the features. This large-scale installation art is designed to bring the details, curves, contrasts and textures of type to life, whilst demonstrating how dynamic type can be.

Following last year’s ‘Prismatic Landscape’ installation, Johnson Tiles will once again be transforming the entrance to Design Factory at the Farmiloe Building during Clerkenwell Design Week 2015. This year’s installation promises to be even more spectacular, with thousands of individually placed tiles turning the building’s outer walls into an eye-catching 3D display of colour. The piece, entitled ‘Verve’ , is designed and crafted by a specialist in-house team at Johnson Tiles, led by its creative director Darren Clanford. With every tile made at the company’s factory in Stoke-on-Trent, ‘Verve’ will be a fitting celebration of British manufacturing and design.

Showroom partner Designworks Tiles will host a specially curated design walk – led by a local historian - to uncover Clerkenwell’s hidden history. The walk consists of five interactive installations which delve into little known facts about the area, including man- eating bears and illegal gin or get put in the stocks – all amazingly created with tiles. Tours will leave at 11am, 1pm and 3pm every day during the festival from the Designworks Tiles showroom (91 St John Street).

Open studio sessions offered by selected creative practices within Clerkenwell remain a popular event amongst visitors to the festival. Taking place at various studios around the area, Fringe showcases the work of a variety of disciplines from architecture and practices to branding and advertising agencies and related creative industries. They all produce event-specific pieces of communication, which enhance the Clerkenwell Design Week programme.

The Goldsmiths’ Centre and Craft Central will be part of the festival once again. Architects HawkinsBrown will run an exciting debate in its practice, while branding agency Visual House will host a rooftop party at its studio. Moreover, over 25 local bars and restaurants in Clerkenwell will participate, offering special menus and exclusive complimentary offers to the visitors.

This year’s Clerkenwell Design Week welcomes the staging of Icon Magazine’s House of Culture at The Old Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green. This new venue, a genuine icon of Clerkenwell, will be home to selected international design names, as well as a curated cultural programme offering installations, events, talks and workshops. Further details to be announced.


Clerkenwell and its creative community have earned a reputation for remaining at the centre of debate, pioneering activities and forward-thinking. Clerkenwell Design Week 2015 boasts a selective range of high-profile talks staged on the third floor of Design Factory at the Farmiloe Building. With five talks scheduled for each of the three festival days, this focused series delivers world-class content right at the heart of Clerkenwell. Full line-up to be announced.

The essential information...

When ...         19–21 May2015
Where ...        All around Clerkenwell, London UK
How Much ...        Free to register
Tube Station ...         Barbican, Farringdon
Website ...
Twitter ...        @CDWfestival #CDW2015
Facebook...        /Clerkenwell.Design.Week

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