CDW celebrates turning 10

This year sees Clerkenwell Design Week celebrate its 10th edition, showcasing a host of the industry’s best in London’s key hub for design and architecture

From new designs by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Established & Sons to Fritz Hansen’s exhibition in collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects and an outdoor cooking space serving food by Kitchen Architecture, CDW’s 10th edition will be a show full of celebration and achievement. Set across three days (21-23 May), CDW is the annual focus for London’s leading design district. The festival programme has been tailored to reflect the unique nature of this culturally rich area – playing host to hundreds of showrooms, fringe events, talks, workshops and installations. For the 10th anniversary of ‘CDW Presents,’ the organisers promise “exciting street spectacles,” including ‘Once Upon A Time’ in partnership with the University of the Arts London, and Landsdown’s London, which takes inspiration from the rich and sometimes dark historical tales of Clerkenwell.

For this initiative, CDW have collaborated with BA Graphic Design Communication students at Chelsea College of Arts to create a series of graphic installations inspired by the stories relating to the significant locations. The seven winning entries have been chosen by a judging panel including Max Fraser, CDW content editor, Priya Khanchandani, ICON editor, and David Barnett, Chelsea College of Art course leader, BA Graphic Design Communication. The winning designs are: Alistair Ramage – St James Church, Carrie Maxwell – Smithfield Market, Alba Skottowe – Farringdon Station, Rory Brown – Passing Alley, Maxim Cook – Passing Alley, Natasha Lopez – House of Detention and Woon Ko – Jerusalem Passage. In conjunction with the project, Lansdown’s London will be hosting historical walking tours during CDW exploring its past as a centre of making, from clock-makers to gin distillers. CDW will also present ‘Decade’, a dramatic trail of 10 three metre high candle-like beacons designed by pioneers within the creative industry as well as confirmed collaborations with brands such as Hakwood and Parkside.

The installations, symbolic of birthday candles, will also form part of CDW’s wayfinding strategy to help guide visitors across the exhibition route whilst playfully celebrating CDW as the UK’s leading independent design festival. With a nod to the area as London’s creative heart, each installation will showcase the designers’ individuality and imagination. CDW’s installation ‘Reflect Us,’ created by artist Beau Kerouac, intends to bridge gaps in society by confronting visitors with illuminated eyes etched onto 10 glass gateways, telling the stories of the homeless from our city streets. Using AR technology, Kerouac invites visitors to question how an act of respect; simply making eye contact, can change someone’s day for the better through shared experience. For Clerkenwell’s 10th anniversary, a plethora of exciting pop up showrooms and workspaces will take place during the festival. Established & Sons will take up residency in Fora to launch four new designs including The Grid Sofa by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, the KD Table and Beam Table by Konstantin Grcic and the Lucio Chair by Sebastian Wrong.

Conceived as a “complete take-over” of Fora’s breakout spaces, the installation will invite visitors to explore the possibilities of Established & Sons’ new designs by trying them out with hot-desking, Wi-Fi and refreshments from Fora’s cafe. The installation will be complemented by a series of talks, workshops and events. Fritz Hansen will be collaborating with Zaha Hadid Architects to showcase aspects of their Heritage Exhibition, while Relay Design Agency will present + Halle, Baux, Orsjo, Mitab and Zeitram within a fashion house on Clerkenwell Road. KI, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of workplace and education furniture, will take over an architectural gem in the centre of the festival site. The pop-up showroom at the landmark Paxton Locher House on Clerkenwell Green will be transformed into ‘KI House’ for the launch of several new UK-designed & manufactured products. CDW’s exhibitions are hosted in distinctive spaces around the area linked by a route running through the centre of EC1. There are seven exhibitions, each with a different curatorial focus, ranging from cutting edge international design, to emerging talent, lighting and luxury interiors, and the best of British design.

Clerkenwell Design Week takes place 21-23 May – register free at