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Clerkenwell Design Week Review

Nikoleta Belcheva finds her inner-child at Clerkenwell Design Week

Written by . Published on June 2nd 2011.

Clerkenwell Design Week Review

EVERY June London’s Clerkenwell becomes the home of Design Week, an annual must-see event for interior designers and architects. For a few days, the East London neighbourhood hosts exciting events, projects and installations celebrating the creative and innovative spirit of interior design. This year more than 18,000 guests attended the two main exhibition spaces and 60 showrooms at various locations in Clerkenwell.

Even if you are not a keen appreciator of the art of interior decoration, it is worth paying CDW a visit to soak in the atmosphere of the artistic spaces. This year, Design Week returned to Farmiloe Building, an antique Victorian space, which contrasted with the modern vibe of the designers’ creations. Some of the notable designers included Ligne Roset, Nigel Coates, The Design Museum, Lee Broom is Deadgood and The Barbican.

Among the variety of materials, products and furniture, a brand that made a successful debut this year was Pli Design. The company specialises in bamboo pieces and is among the increasing number of brands that creates eco-furniture.

Another highlight of the annual three-day event was Material Lab’s 3D installation, which looked like a giant piece of crumpled paper. Those who attended the workshop had the opportunity to create their own art piece using some of the materials and technologies provided by the brand. 

Another recently added venue is the equally old and historically significant House of Detention. The  ancient prison drew the other half of this year’s exciting contemporary talent. A large variety of patterns and illustrations, as well as the more cutting-edge furniture designs,were exhibited at the converted prison house. Designer, Lizzie Mary Cullen’s interactive drawing space encouraged visitors to contribute and leave their individual artistic touch. 

For those like me, who are not really up to date with the latest interior decoration trends, Clerkenwell presented plenty of workshops, talks and performances celebrating the more general aspects of art. The Hands Party, for instance, hosted an exciting programme of talks, debates and workshops discussing the issues of design and creativity in today’s industrial and technologically advanced world.

Some of the most creative installations this year included The Emotional Maker Plastique Fantastique, an inflatable structure, which manipulates sound to create the emotions of associated with a classical concert. My favourite was ‘Pin Art Machine’ by Lulu Guinness. The award-winning fashion designer, who recently launched a home collection, had created a human-sized pin structure especially for the event. The construction invited passers-by to imprint their own image onto the pins and thus retain a unique shape. This provided a great entertainment not only for grown ups, but also for a bunch of kids, who took over the installation and turned it into a childish game. Whether a piece of art or not, it successfully brought out the inner-child of the visitors who ventured to have fun with Guinness’ creation. 

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