Solar Tree designed by Ross Lovegrove and manufactured by Artemide at St John’s Square
I got back from Asia just in time for the annual Clerkenwell design week, and unexpectedly the weather was glorious!
The main event took place at Farmiloe building, House of Detention and the Order of St John, while others took place at showrooms and shops in the area. Many people outside of the industry probably don't realise that this is not only a free public event, it is also an event where you can get free booze! ( Maybe I shouldn't be leaking this out...) A lot of the showrooms organise free talks and design-related events that include free drinks and sometimes canapes, so if you can look the part and get yourself in ( these places are usually packed), then you can drink your way around the area!
Furniture and lighting designs at The order of St John
Drinking aside, this annual event is an opportunity for designers and showrooms ( mostly furniture and interior design) in the area to showcase and promote their new products.
At the Farmiloe building, one of sponsors, Jaguar demonstrated live clay modelling ( see below), which was totally fascinating and attracted many spectators.
Tekio, a new modular lighting system designed by Antnony Dickens
I was particularly excited when I saw the new In-Ei lighting collection ( see below) by Issey Miyake for Artemide, that were recently revealed at Milan design week. The 9-lampshade collection is foldable and uses special fabric derived from recycled PET bottles, processed using an innovative technology that reduces both energy consumption and CO2 emissions up to 80% when compared to the production of new materials.
While I was walking around in the heat, I came across an odd looking red structure attached to the back of a van. Being noisy, I walked over to investigate and learned that it is travelling theatre developed by British multi-disciplinary design studio, Aberrant architecture, a 21st century re-conceptualization of traveling coal salesman, Thomas Britton's 1678 mini-entertainment building for London. Sadly, I didn't get to look inside, but their website has some interesting photos of the interior.
My last stop was "Made in Clerkenwell" at Craft Central, an open studio/ shopping event where visitors could visit 90 artists and designers' studios and shop at the same time! Many of the studios are occupied by jewellery designers, although I didn't buy anything, it was fun to see how and where they work.
Mischer‘traxler's Relumine ( right)