In an area of London know for its design companies Clerkenwell Design Week popped up last week. Its a bit of a stretch calling it a week (its only 3 days) but its a great opportunity for designers to gain some exposure away from the big design shows. This year there were two main sites; both fascinating buildings in their own right – the Farmiloe and the wonderfully named House of Detention as well as showrooms opening up and other fun fringe activities.
Here are a few of my favourite designs from the event.
DavidDavid x Glass Hill Originally a commission for collaboration for Phillips De Pury & Co for their retail space in Saatchi Gallery this collaboration from David David and Glass Hill is now available as a limited edition piece. The pencil crayon drawing by David David uses the bold geometric patterns the fashion label is known for. Creative Director David Saunders came to fashion via fine art having worked with prominent British artists Tracey Emin and Mat Colishaw.
Vitamin lit up their cell (House of Detention is like an abandoned prison – a wonderfully atmospheric space!) with their Needle light and Knot light. Needle uses the cable like a ball of wool, wrapped around and stored on the aluminium arms. Knot is the hanging pendant with a hand blown glass shade.
Sarah Wiestner created a site specific piece for the House of Detention. Using light and mirrors positioned on a staircase the works questions the views perception of space.
At the Farmiloe Building House of Hackney had a lavish display of their work. Seen above is Dalston Rose a dark and distressed version of a traditional English floral.
Ella Doran Added to her wallpaper range with a distinctly industrial pattern
Parq Life by Lee Broom for Deadgood uses parquet as its material and inspiration. Using Walnut veneer and brass accents its has a luxurious look accentuated by its curvaceous lines.
Away from the main sites my two favourite shows were by independent designers
Supafrankpresented Creature Collective; a playful and inventive show featuring some cute illustrations a very clever little stool made of simple wooden components; parts of which can be converted into a light!
Wren Bicycles by Pete Richardson Another fringe launch by a good friend of mine (and so a shameless plug) at bike shop / art space Look Mum No Hands
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Even at a time of global recession/depression we can’t get enough of lovely shiny things. Particularly Gold. I guess there’s safety in investing in something tangible and weighty and rather pretty. The value of the real thing has rocketed up since we lost faith in banks.
But I think you’d probably have to be a little loopy to buy Aurumania’s gold bike. Mind you, if you have the 80,000 Euros to invest in this little treasure you’ve probably got the kind of cash to afford its own security detail to guard it while you nip into Tesco for milk. Its rather beautiful though and soooo easy to copy – not in real gold obviously. http://www.aurumania.com
Minimalux is a new brand launched by former Established & Son director Mark Holmes. Combining primary forms with premium materials this first collection comprises desk accessories that are either cuboid or cylinders, engineered in basic brass then coated in either 24c gold or silver. They’re perfectly polished and reassuringly heavy and being aimed at the luxury end of the market their prospective customers could also be described as such. Launching such a luxury range at such a tricky time is certainly brave move. The pieces are meant to have a longevity and aesthetically as they are so simple and beautifully made, why not? As future heirlooms yes they work, but how many people can afford to invest right now? They’re set to retail at £150-£500 and with their design pedigree they’re probably a safe bet. www.minamalux.com
ENO Gold Bar by Arik Levy. Well if you can’t have the real thing you can always have something that looks just like feels just like it (I’m guessing on this one – never touched a real one) and weighs the same. This one is only about 40 quid though. You could use it as a doorstop, paperweight or murder weapon – it is heavy.
Etagere Fioole by Marcel Wanders . A limited edition table centre that’ll set you back oh… 6000 Euros. Yes you could adorn it with elaborate cupcakes but would you want to risk scrubbing off the sticky mess afterwards?