Damein Weighill's illustration
(Image credit: press)

Building on its noteworthy debut last year, Clerkenwell Design Week returned on Tuesday, armed with its ever-widening reach of new designer line-ups and venues in the mix. Spanning from 24 - 26 May, the three-day festival, with its exclusive new launches from Clerkenwell-based showrooms as well as new furniture last seen at the recent Salone Del Mobile in April, acts as a well-placed preview opportunity for visitors who didn't make it to Milan.

Granted, there isn't the same level of surprise that Salone del Mobile's never-before-seen launches garner every year, but the festival's dedicated celebration of craft and abundance of fringe installations, events, debates, open studios and parties - a nod the area's impressive concentration of furniture showrooms and design studios - is indicative of the strength and pull of the local design community which no other area in London comes close to matching.

Marking this year's installation line-up, fashion designer Lulu Guinness played on the idea of the studding motif of her current accessories collection and translated this into a giant 'Pin Art Machine'. The life-size structure allows visitors to press themselves against the pins to create instant impressions of their bodies. Across the road in St John Square North, The Emotion Maker, a futuristic inflatable structure by experimental composer Marco Barotti and Berlin-based architecture group Plastique Fantastique, manipulates sound to evoke the feeling of a classical concert within its shell.

En-route to the new House of Detention venue, we spotted the London Fieldworks 'Spontaneous City' project - an experimental cluster of sculptural habitats designed to give shelter, nesting and feeding spaces for birds in urban green spaces.

Aside from the main design action in St John Street's Farmiloe Building is the festival's introduction of a new venue, never before seen by the public, which used to be a subterranean Victorian prison. Aptly named The House of Detention, the unusual layout of space - complete with existing prison cells - has crucially allowed lesser known design companies to get in on the action too.

The Farmiloe Building

.... which is back for the second year, setting up home again in the Farmiloe Building on St John Street

(Image credit: press)

Victorian warehouse

For three days, designers and design companies such as Moooi, Nigel Coates, Ligne Roset, Material Lab and Pinch have taken up residency in this Victorian warehouse

(Image credit: press)

The courtyard space

The courtyard space, spruced up and ready for its second year as a café space

(Image credit: press)

The main warehouse

Apart from the main warehouse, an adjoining space also showcases work from the likes of Lee Broom, Ella Doran and Pli

(Image credit: press)

Furniture and lighting

Lee Broom's 'Parq Life' - a collection of parquetry-inspired furniture and lighting for young design brand Deadgood

(Image credit: press)

Love Chair

Clockwise from left: Love Chair, Wire Light, Capsule Sofa, all by Ziglam & Brook; Anodised Table by Max Lamb, all for Deadgood

(Image credit: press)

Pennyfields café table

Pennyfields café table and chair by Alex Whitney for Pli Design

(Image credit: press)

Clerkenwell design

HM 63 by Nigel Coates for Hitch Mylius

(Image credit: press)

Battista lamp

Battista lamp for Slamp by Nigel Coates

(Image credit: press)

Flooring collection

Bolon's new 'Artisan' textile flooring collection

(Image credit: press)

A swinging pendulum leg

Joining forces with graphic artist Emily Forgot, Camira's 'Hey Day!' installation is a retro nod to the British seaside made from a layered composition of fabric, and featuring a swinging pendulum leg

(Image credit: press)

Poly Light

Poly Light by Scene

(Image credit: press)

Clerkenwell Design

Moody for Andreu World

(Image credit: Lievore Altherr Molina)

Miami Sofa

Miami Sofa and Seville Table by Katerina Zachariades for Morgan

(Image credit: press)

Home accessories

An overview of bathroom and home accessories from Ex.t

(Image credit: press)

Birdie shelves

Birdie shelves by Hiroshi Kawano for Ex.t

(Image credit: press)

Bathroom cabinets

Bon Bon limited edition for Japan bathroom cabinets by Hiroshi Kawano for Ex.t...

(Image credit: press)

Hidden storage

... which each have hidden storage space within

(Image credit: press)

Table and bench

Osprey table and bench and Waldo/45 table and bench by James Burleigh

(Image credit: James Burleigh)

Assembly Room

Range 23

(Image credit: press)


Left to right: Wingback, Lucan Armchair and Alwyn Compact Sofa by James UK

(Image credit: press)

Gothic Chairs

Gothic Chairs by Studio Job for Moooi

(Image credit: press)

Ploum Sofa

Over at Ligne Roset's stand, we had a little rest on the Ploum Sofa by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec

(Image credit: Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec)

Willo Table

New products from Pinch Design include the Willo Table and Imo Bar Stool, pictured here in the foreground

(Image credit: press)

Tip Ton

Tip Ton by Barber Osgerby for Vitra

(Image credit: Barber Osgerby)


Crane by Benjamin Hubert for Örsjö

(Image credit: Benjamin Hubert)

Clerkenwell Design

Baklava Small by Claesson Koivisto Rune for Örsjö

(Image credit: Claesson Koivisto Rune)

Desk and Chair

Katakana Desk and Occasional Chair by Dare Studio

(Image credit: Dare Studio)

Wire Group 5

Wire Group 5 by Dare Studio

(Image credit: Dare Studio)

Random sample 2010

The piece that stole the show at last year's design week - 'Random sample 2010' by Nina Saunders and Camira

(Image credit: Nina Saunders and Camira)

The Farmiloe building

A few strides away from the Farmiloe building under the arched Clerkenwell Gate walkway, stands the 'Pin Art Machine' by fashion designer Lulu Guinness

(Image credit: Lulu Guinness)

The giant structure

The giant structure essentially allows visitors to press themselves against the pins to create instant impressions of their bodies

(Image credit: press)

The studding motif

The life-size variant of the popular Pin Art toy, the installation ties in with the studding motif of Guiness's current collection

(Image credit: press)

The giant inflatable structure

Across the road in St John Square North, composer Marco Barotti adds the final touches to The Emotion Maker - the result of a collaboration by Barotti and Berlin-based architecture group Plastique Fantastique. The giant inflatable structure manipulates sound to evoke the feeling of a classical concert within its shell

(Image credit: press)

The new House of Detention

En-route to the new House of Detention venue, we spotted the London Fieldworks 'Spontaneous City' project - an experimental cluster of sculptural habitats designed to give shelter, nesting and feeding spaces for birds in urban green spaces

(Image credit: press)

A new venue

A new venue addition to Clerkenwell Design Week, this imposing building contains the recently unveiled House of Detention space

(Image credit: press)

A subterranean Victorian prison

Formerly a subterranean Victorian prison...

(Image credit: press)

Design companies

... the unusual layout of space - complete with prison cells still intact - has allowed up-and-coming design companies like Vitamin, pictured here, to display their wares virtually from 'behind bars'

(Image credit: press)

Needle Table Lamps

Needle Table Lamps by Vitamin

(Image credit: press)

The artwork process

Designer Lizzie Mary Cullen's installation, which invites visitors to be part of the artwork process

(Image credit: press)

Crooked Stools

Crooked Stools by Ana Tevsic

(Image credit: Ana Tevsic)

Nottingham laces

Nottingham laces from the Grand Damask and Indochine collections by Timorous Beasties...

(Image credit: Timorous Beasties)

Graphic Relief

... which have been replicated on concrete to minute detail by Shoreditch-based moulding specialists Graphic Relief

(Image credit: press)

Chest of Drawers

Chest of Drawers by Bark

(Image credit: Bark)

Dining Table

Clockwise from left: Dining Table, Sideboard, Chest of Drawers, Coffee Table, Lounge Chair, all by Bark

(Image credit: Bark)

Mirror and light staircase

Artist Sarah Wiestner's perspective-altering mirror and light staircase installation, a surprise last-minute addition to Clerkenwell Design Week, worked well with the existing structure of the building

(Image credit: press)

Maquillage Dressing Table

Maquillage Dressing Table by National School of Furniture student Christiana Ionescu

(Image credit: press)

Wellington Chair

Wellington Chair by Devon-based Young & Norgate

(Image credit: press)