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Clerkenwell Design Week announces 2020 programme

March 2020

The 2020 edition of Clerkenwell Design Week (19th to 21st May) will again demonstrate the vibrant creativity and originality of this three day celebration of design. This year sees Porsche Cars as headline sponsor.

Now in its 11th year, CDW is the annual focus for London’s leading design district, offering a unique experience to visitors with its showcase of established brands and emerging design talent. The festival programme has been tailored to reflect the distinctive nature of this culturally rich area playing host to hundreds of showrooms, fringe events, talks, workshops and installations.

Each year, CDW presents new design projects and street spectacles, commissioned specially for the festival and featured prominently around Clerkenwell.  For 2020, in recognition of Clerkenwell’s historical importance in the clock-making industry, CDW Presents Clockwork: a series of five large-scale horology-themed installations, each interpreting the area’s significance to the craft and the artisans that once lined the cobbled streets.

Scale Rule, now in its 5th year at CDW, continues to engage students from across London in design as well as young architects and engineers to realise those emerging ambitions. This year’s design concept for the NextGen pavilion exemplifies human impact upon the earth and in turn mankind’s responsibility to protect and shape it for better. The domed structure illustrates a deconstructed planet, which is formed, fractured and reconfigured from natural materials including timber geometric segments. The pavilion celebrates sustainability through its modular production methods, recycled materials and future re-use.

This year, CDW will be focusing on wellness, tying in with Mental Health Awareness Week which coincides with the festival.  CDW will be hosting free activities and events throughout the area demonstrating how we can relax and de-stress during the day, from outdoor yoga sessions to meditation workshops.

Texaa, the Bordeaux-based specialists in acoustic products for architecture, marks its debut at CDW with a colourful tepee installation in Design Fields.  In keeping with the event’s ClerkenWELL initiative, Texaa’s pop-up village of tepees offers people a place to socialise but also somewhere to be calm and mindful.

Each year Clerkenwell welcomes a host of new showrooms to the district and these make up a key part of CDW with installations, launches and exhibitions.  This year CDW welcomes Ideal Standard, VitrA, and Fritz Hansen. Many other showrooms will be hosting a variety of events, with this year seeing a focus on wellness, recycling and sustainability.  Parkside, a leading supplier of architectural tiles, will focus on colour and how we can use it as a way of improving our wellbeing in our work and leisure spaces. The showroom’s series of events will include a panel discussion, ‘Curative colour: the power to heal’, exploring just how deep our emotional wellbeing is related to colour and whether a genuine link to health improvement can truly be found.

Other participating showrooms include Actiu, Ceramiche Piemme, Davison Highly, Havwoods, Interface, KI House, Modus, Moroso, Catellani & Smith, Sky-Frame, Solus, Tarkett, and Orangebox.

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.

The British Collection will again be located in the barrel roofed Crypt on Clerkenwell Green, of St James’s Church. This year sees interior designer Susie Atkinson launch a new collection of refined, British-made furniture at Clerkenwell Design Week.

One of Britain’s best loved and most iconic furniture companies, ercol, will be celebrating its centenary at CDW.  ercol will show, for the first time in Europe, its Grade Upholstery Collection by Jonas Wagell, the Canvas Storage collection by Norm Architects, the Reprise Chair by Norm architects and the IO Table collection by Lars Beller.

Situated at the northern end of Clerkenwell, Design Fields will host a busy hub, showcasing leading furniture, textiles and product design from all around the world.

Here 3M, the science-based technology company, will be showcasing a variety of architectural finishes that help transform the interior and exterior look of space and furnishings that are in need of refurbishment or brand refresh.

Also within Spa Fields, Italian brand Unifor will present its vision of the modern workplace within a separate structure. This will be an inviting, innovative, and informative display that represents evolving working practices: the office as a space where advanced technologies can foster a flexible and dynamic environment, as well as increase user socialization and well-being.

Fabric, the former cold-store turned nightclub, hosts Light: an exhibition dedicated to top international lighting brands within its brick vaults accompanied by spectacular stand-alone lighting installations.

Detail at The Order of St. John reflects principles of fine craftsmanship and glamour, showcasing the best and most prestigious names in the luxury interiors world. Selected brands including Arte Wallcoverings, Cane-Line furniture, Jacaranda carpets, Kirkby Design, Samuel Heath, Sinclair Till and Wow Glass will feature within the venue’s Church, Crypt and Cloister garden.

Elements brings 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 finish. Confirmed exhibitors include British brand Dowsing & Reynolds, showing the ‘Miami Pop’ collection of fixtures and fittings – gorgeous pastel coloured taps and mixers inspired by the Miami art deco movement with its artistic legacy of curved shapes and pastel shades.

Hosted within 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 Monkey Puzzle Tree, who collaborate with fine artists to produce unique designs.  New to CDW is Pour - its inaugural lighting range is inspired by cut glass decanters of the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras. The Imperial Collection is handmade to order from their back garden studio in London using fine bone china slip that’s poured into plaster moulds, then dried, trimmed and kiln-fired before being assembled and wired with Italian woven fabric cable. Also new to CDW is Tatie Lou - its latest collection explores the ancient Japanese art of Shibori and features beautiful, one-off patterns using naturally vibrant indigo dye and traditional binding and folding methods as well as other Shibori techniques.

Set in the beautiful grounds of St James Church, Project will bring together a leading selection of flooring, textile and furniture companies including Aeris, Agilita, Chieftain fabrics, Eaton Square flooring, The Meeting Pod co and Knightsbridge Furniture.

CDW 2020 has commissioned architectural practice Fieldwork to design the Talks space, sponsored by Equitone, within Spa Fields. Their concept reimagines the traditional Victorian bandstand as a focal point within the Park, a place for gathering, discussion, entertainment and shelter.  Rather than a traditional forward facing seating arrangement, the nature of the bandstand form allows the focus point to be partially in the round and engage the audience as a discussion, rather than a presentation. Equitone panels clad the internal dome and the external cube at high and low level. A bold use of colour and CNC pattern formed façade panels aim to draw attention from the surrounding park, as a modern interpretation of a Victorian architectural style.

Conversations at Clerkenwell, the programme of panel sessions and debates exploring show content, trends and issues, is again curated by Katie Richardson. Lead speakers include Morag Myerscough, known for her expansive use of colour across both art and design, designer and craftsman Sebastien Cox and designer Ab Rogers.

Increasingly focused on design-led issues currently underpinning the changing world as we know it, the programme this year will look specifically at topics connected to the workplace including design responses to mental health issues and an increased need for overall wellness. Trends - led curators Franklin Till present recent work on the importance of Play. Dulux Creative Director Marianne Shillingford reveals what shifts in colour trends will take place over the next few years. Other topics for 2020 include vegan interiors, retail marketing and how contract showrooms need to keep reinventing to succeed, restoration with Roddy Clarke and New London Architecture host ‘don’t move, improve’ - a series of presentations from architects looking at how re-used materials and conscious environmental design, create the perfect home for a modern family. Hosted on a purpose built space on London Spa Fields the programme runs across the 3-days and a separate series of talks focusing on lighting will be held at Fabric.

As well as hosting an abundance of furniture and interiors showrooms, CDW is also home to a variety of other creative practices including architects, branding agencies and craft studios.  For instance, architectural practice Jestico & Whiles will again be creating a large immersive installation by the junction of Old Street and Clerkenwell Road.

CDW is free to register via





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