Creative Quarter to host best in design with ninth edition of Clerkenwell Design Week 22-24 May 2018

Set across three days, 22-24 May 2017, Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) returns for its ninth edition, hosting the best in design from the UK and beyond, and featuring a wide range of talent from the area from young entrepreneurial start-ups to well established design practices.   As the annual focus for London’s leading design district, the festival programme has been tailored to reflect the unique nature of this vibrant London hub, home to a plethora of creative businesses, design consultancies, showrooms and architectural practices.

2018 will again play host to hundreds of fringe events, showroom presentations, workshops, talks and public-facing installations all with design at their heart. Events will run over three days and follow a distinct trail north to south from Spa Fields down to Farringdon linking together several exhibition spaces and a series of specially commissioned installations.

CDW Presents

Each year, Clerkenwell Design Week displays new projects and commissioned installations located within high profile spaces across Clerkenwell. Working with leading names in design, engineering and architecture, these projects aim to bring spectacle and energy to the district whilst pushing the boundaries of design concepts, process and material capabilities. This year, sustainability is a key theme with several participants and projects addressing this trend.

A major project will be Your Tote Counts. Chelsea College of Art, in partnership with CDW, is addressing the issue of a surplus of cotton tote bags replacing plastic bags. In 2008 the UK Environment Agency (UKEA) published a study of resource expenditures for various bags: paper, plastic, canvas, and recycled-polypropylene tote bags, and found that cotton tote bags exhibited the highest and most severe global-warming potential by far since they require more resources to produce and distribute. A Screen Press installation will be situated outside Farringdon Station, where visitors can bring unwanted totes to be customised with designs created by Chelsea College of Art students giving them new life. Proceeds will go to the CDW 2018 charity partner, Maggie’s, which opened at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 2017 with donation points located throughout Clerkenwell. An exhibition at Design Fields will display a collection of favourite tote bags, chosen by a selection of designers and design writes.
For the third consecutive year, Scale Rule will be giving St. James’ Churchyard a new focal point by realising a pavilion design conceived by GCSE students from around London. This year’s winning concept responded to the theme of sustainability by proposing a sensitive metaphor: layers representing past, present and future will create a kaleidoscopic oculus, inviting visitors to take a moment to direct their eyes up and become more aware of key natural elements around them.

Every year Scale Rule’s Next Generation Design Pavilion aims to inspire a younger generation to work in construction-related professions. The pavilion is a result of a series of educational workshops led by volunteer industry professionals, bringing GCSE students together from across London.

Reform a number of architectural practices including TDO Architecture, have been commissioned to create wayfinding sculptures in polystyrene that will be situated around Clerkenwell during the week. The sculptures will be produced by Bakers Patterns studio which specialises in polystyrene model making and manufacturing.   Polystyrene is one of the most sustainable of materials as it can be endlessly recycled. Creative Director of CDW Max Fraser says “Polystyrene is considered one of the ‘bad’ materials of our time as it can’t be recycled through regular municipal recycling schemes. However, if the material is sent back to the manufacturer, it is 100% recyclable (98% of it is air). So we are commissioning these beacons at CDW with their end-of-life destination fully diverted from landfill”.

Pipe Line – talented young designer Lou Corio Randall graduated from Kingston University in 2017 with a BA in product and furniture design. His Pipe Line pieces will be exhibited throughout Clerkenwell demonstrating a new and colourful approach to street furniture, from bike racks to benches, all formed using a single continuous curved line of steel.

CDW are proud to present a collaboration with Kinetech Design in collaboration with Amari Interiors. St John’s Gate saw the first performances of some of Shakespeare’s most famous works, including Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Macbeth. The Master of Revels at the time, Master Edmund Tylney, was responsible for theatrical censorship throughout Elizabeth 1st’s reign. Kinetech Design have drawn on the history of the arch and showcase their strong kiri-origami style, in a structure that mirrors an Elizabethan ruff.

The project has been supported by Amari Interiors and Timber Fusions. Architectural visualisation by

Design Studio Timorous Beasties, renowned for its surreal and provocative textiles and wallpapers, will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of its collaboration with Brinton Carpets. A specially built pavilion in St John’s Square, designed by Mark Shaw of Shaw Architects, will showcase a brand new collection of carpets inspired by nature, unveiled for the first time during CDW.


 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, luxury interiors and the best of British design.

Light – New for 2018

New for 2018 is an exciting new exhibition dedicated to light. Fabric, former cold-store turned nightclub, will host within its brick vaults an exhibition of top international lighting brands showing the latest collections, cutting edge and innovative new products and presenting spectacular stand-alone lighting installations. Exhibitors include Bert Frank which draws influence from the design codes of the ‘mid-century’ era but with a modern twist. Bert Frank’s striking range of luxury lighting is designed and made exclusively in the UK and has already won a string of industry awards. Rich Brilliant Willing is a Brooklyn-based studio that designs and manufactures LED fixtures for hospitality, workplace, and residential projects while Czech lighting company Brokis, producers of exquisite hand blown Bohemian glass lighting for over 200 years, will show a selection of its pendant, table, floor and wall lighting.

Venue address: Fabric Nightclub, 77A Charterhouse Street, EC1M 6HJ
Opening hours: 10:00 – 21:00 every day during CDW

Elements – New for 20

New for 2018, Elements will bring together a leading selection of ironmongery, hardware, switch plates and architectural accessories within a street-market style pavilion on St John’s Square, becoming a go-to destination for designers looking for the perfect final finish. Brands confirmed for Elements include Forbes & Lomax, TIRAR, House of Eroju and Carrson International among others.

Venue address: St John’s Square, EC1M 4DS
Opening hours: 10:00 – 21:00 every day during CDW