Clerkenwell Design Week 2013

Clerkenwell Design Week has become a firm favourite of mine in the design show calendar. A combination of fascinating venues and and interesting mix of new and established brands have made it must see show. If you get any chance to get inside the wonderful Farmiloe Building and House of Detention it has to be taken, its a bonus when they fill it with designers!


The event sponsors Jaguar created a opportunity for Royal College of Art students to imagine a vehicle th. at expresses the Jaguar Design language. The winning piece ‘Light Alchemy’ by Claire Miller and Ewan Gallimore was stunning. The subtle reference to the classic E-type along with a futuristic profile that seemed to hover in the air really made you stop and wonder. It was beautiful.


Along with the some big brands from across Europe, such as Foscarini, (whose amazing lights hung above the Jaguar sculpture) Muuto, Magis and Bo Concept,  there were a number of  British brands on show in the Farmiloe.

I loved the way Pinch displayed their range in miniature, harking back to the old traditional of makers pieces. They also showed the full sized versions too, but theres something rather charming about seeing life in miniature.



I loved Dare Studio’s bold mix of colour


I loved the simple use of  neon yellow and very minty blue on Very Good & Proper’s Canteen Utility chairs.


To coincide with their first exhibition at Clerkenwell Design Week; WorkHouse introduced some new pieces to their collection and have launched their new website  .


Their Tile Collection shown here has an astonishing 1200 contemporary and traditional patterns with 72 colours. The beautiful soft chalky finish and depth of colour comes from traditional techniques dating back to the 13th Century.  They are the only pieces in the WorkHouse range that aren’t made in the UK   – they’re baked in Tangiers  – in the sun. We don’t get quite as much sun here so its no wonder they went for a place that has over 700 years experience of making them. The Fold Lights hanging in clusters above the tiles, are designed by British glass designers Rothschild & Bickers exclusively for WorkHouse. Echoing the tiles in colour and in the mix of traditional techniques with contemporary finishes.


Over at the House of Detention my absolute favourite find of Clerkenwell was Foundation Rugs. Mixing contemporary artists and designers and traditional rug makers they’ve shifted rugs away from the usual flowery subject matter.  With the likes of Anthony Burrill, Pete Fowler and Si Scott creating designs they’ve managed to persuade artists to work in another medium but that is wholly suited to their work.

I loved this wild piece by Alexone, and its not a bad price either at £1080 for a huge 2m x 2.7m rug.


Foundation also have a great blog where you can follow the make process, up coming shows and up coming Limited Editions.

For the W Hotels 2012 Designers of The Future, Philippe Malouin created Daylight, a series of lamps or artificial windows inspired by plantation shutters. Behind each shutter, each individual slat is lined with LED’s that replicate the colour temperature. As the light reflects back from the wall it create the illusion that a real window lies behind it. Cleverly, each lamp shares the same proportions, allowing each geometric shape to be arranged in multiples creating a larger more complex piece. It no surprise this was a winning design.



In the oasis of calm that is the Order of St John it was a real pleasure to find Sarah Lidwell-Durnin of Natural History had created another brand Tradescant & Son for interior textiles and wallpaper. With the same level of detail and natural references applied to a different medium I’m sure the range will be as well received as Natural History. My particular favourite was this beautifully drawn Blue Tit captured in flight.



Eve Spencer’s bold repeat patterned wallpapers and fabrics also draw inspiration from nature. Her colour palette of soft grey blues, oranges and greens and tighter repeat patterns create a more avant-garde collection.



If you you’s like to see even more coverage of Clerkenwell Design Week, my friend Katie Treggiden of Confessions of a Design Geek has created an online magazine covering many of the design events that happened in London this May. Its well worth a read here.

8 thoughts on “Clerkenwell Design Week 2013

  1. Katie

    Thanks so much for the shout-out Jenny. Great round-up of Clerkenwell Design Week – it’s really interesting to see it through your eyes!

    1. admin Post author

      Its well deserved! Its a great concept to add to your coverage. And well done you for learning the technical knowhow!

  2. Tom

    That’s a cool roundup- i was at the show for a whole day and didn’t catch everything! Good to see it from another perspective. Thanks for linking Katie’s coverage too – very interesting. I’m off to buy some amazing Eve Spencer wallpaper…. the Jag may have to wait!

    1. admin Post author

      Thats the great thing about looking at someone else’s view of the same show – you get to see the bits you missed! Eve’s wallpaper is brilliant, especially the beetles and bugs.

    1. admin Post author

      So glad you like it! Do keep me posted on any new ranges – I’d be more than happy to feature you again! Jenny


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