Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) – London’s premier celebration of design – returns with aplomb following its hugely successful 2010 inauguration, sponsored this year by Jaguar. The three-day festival takes place from 24 to 26 May 2011 and brings together a varied and vibrant programme of events spanning debates, discussions, presentations, exhibitions, installations, street parties and workshops all in the name of celebrating and embracing design.
Showcasing the latest product and furniture design innovations from over 50 British and international manufacturers – CDW crucially offers the unrivalled opportunity to see many world launches of new furniture and interior accessories. For many companies it’s also the first opportunity to see products that were launched at the Milan furniture fair in April.
Clerkenwell-based showrooms participating at CDW 2011 include: Ahrend, Wilkhahn, Steelcase, Orangebox, Haworth, Kusch and co, Strata Tiles, Boss, Hands, Modus, Silverline, Bene, Triumph, B-loose, Knoll, Girsberger, Brunner, Forbo, Desso, Koleksiyon, Poltrona Frau, Interstuhl, Hettich, Vitra, Moroso, Milliken, Lammhults and Bulo. Many will be staging exclusive new product launches, talks with high profile speakers and VIP parties – all this and even Clerkenwell’s own fashion style spotters will be roaming the streets reporting on the latest trends!
New to this year's event is The House of Detention venue – a subterranean Victorian prison hidden in the heart of Clerkenwell. Not usually open to the public, this unique space will house site-specific installations and innovative product displays for the duration of CDW. Exhibitors include; Timorous Beasties who will be showing a series of brand new lace material patterns designed for modern architectural spaces; Multi-award winning illustrator Lizzie Mary Cullen whose unique style has been spotted by Harvey Nicholls and Italian restaurant chain Zizzi. She will be treating visitors to live drawing and interactive workshops; Bark Furniture will be launching two new additions to its Acorn Collection, The Sideboard and The Chest of Drawers; Design duo Steffen Ringelmann and Vibeke Arnt-Jensen who established The RAD Gallery, which is devoted to showcasing emerging art and design talent will be launching their latest UK enterprise with an exhibition celebrating the work of lighting designer Dari Bae and her handmade chandeliers. Once again, CDW will take up ‘residency’ at the Farmiloe Building on St John Street, housing a pop-up design exhibition, featuring cutting edge displays and installations from an array of international designers and organisations from across London and further afield.
Exhibitors include; Anglepoise will be launching a new product with design director Kenneth Grange; Bolon will be launching its new Artisan collection, manufactured using a new proprietary-developed fibre; Hitch Mylius will be celebrating their 40th anniversary and showcasing new products from its furniture collection; Ligne Roset continues their collaboration with the Bouroullec Brothers and will be showing the new 2011 collection which includes the Ploum sofa, a ripe, voluptuous ultra-flexible sofa that offers the ultimate in comfort; Nigel Coates will be showing his brand new lighting collection manufactured by Italian firm Slamp, alongside pieces from his Animalia furniture collection designed in collaboration with Fratelli Boffi. Independent British design talent James UK, Dare Studio, Jennifer Newman and James Burleigh will be showing their latest innovations alongside cultural institutions such as the Barbican who will be popping up with temporary design stores.
One-off commissions also play a large part in the festival and aim to engage visitors in topical issues currently preoccupying the design world. This year’s special features, confirmed to date include – a life-size pin art installation by internationally acclaimed handbag designer Lulu Guinness; a specially designed giant inflatable structure entitled The Emotion Maker by Berlin based experimental architecture group Plastique Fantastique, and a curated exhibition by product designer Oscar Diaz and his studio Federal Office called Political Objects which will show products and images that represent the shifting ideologies of a new generation of designers.