Clerkenwell Design Week 2014: contemporary design meets historic architecture
Now in its fifth edition, Clerkenwell Design Week has once again gathered its roster of international brands, local artisans and young designers to the London district. With a programme featuring events, talks, installations and new launches, the three-day festival takes over a clutch of local landmarks as its main hubs, creating a lively contrast between historic architecture and contemporary design.
Acting as a central focus for the area is ’Tile Mile’, a collaborative project presented by Turkish Ceramics with design practice Russ + Henshaw. The designers have interpreted the classic Turkish patterns with a site-specific installation that takes over the 16th century St John’s Gate in the heart of the district.
As with past editions, the fair’s venues are dotted around the neighbourhood, with four centres holding distinct exhibitions. For the fifth year, the Victorian Farmiloe Building forms the striking backdrop to Design Factory, where a cascading lighting installation by Jaguar and Foscarini welcomes visitors to a showcase of international furniture brands, including Stellar Works, Discipline, Zeitraum and Artemide.
Further up the road is Detail at The Order of St John, which presents decorative design solutions and a display of highlights from the collaboration between Edra and the Campana Brothers in the underground crypt. Meanwhile, Platform returns to the cavernous House of Detention, displaying young craft, while the newest introduction to the hubs is Additions, a smaller show dedicated to lifestyle objects and held at the Crypt on the Green, adjacent to St James’s Church.
Alongside the temporary exhibition spaces, the area’s resident brands further animate the week by opening their showrooms to display new projects as well as their existing collections. One of the most striking is Vitra’s exhibition, titled ’Tailor my Tom Vac’, a showcase dedicated to Ron Arad’s iconic chair design. Twenty-two architects and designers have been asked to re-interpret the piece with interventions that range from discreet paintjobs to outlandish transformations.