OKAY Studio Apex Tables
Apex Tables by OKAY Studio in their FIVE exhibition

Clerkenwell Design Week 2014 opens today

Dezeen promotion: this year's Clerkenwell Design Week festival kicks off today, marking the fifth year of the London-based festival that runs until 22 May.

The three-day event sees creative spaces in Clerkenwell play host to exhibitions, panel discussions and parties, all celebrating the best in international and domestic design.

Studio Weave Smith Pavilion
Studio Weave's Smith pavilion at St John’s Square. Main image: Apex Tables by OKAY Studio

The exhibitions are taking place in four key areas, named Design Factory, Platform, Detail and Additions.

The Design Factory in the Farmiloe Building features four floors of furniture and lighting, and is hosting the Conversations at Clerkenwell programme with speakers including designers Ron AradPatricia Urquiola and Sir Peter Cook.

Jaguar Foscarini
Installation by Italian lighting brand Foscarini alongside a Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupé

As main sponsor of the festival, Jaguar UK has collaborated with Italian lighting designers Foscarini to create a large installation, which will be on display at the Design Factory throughout the three days.

Platform takes place in the House of Detention – a Victorian prison – where Estonian designer Johanna Tammsalu is exhibiting a series of hand-spun ceramic lights.

Johanna Tammsalu Solid Spin Lamps
Solid Spin Lamps by Johanna Tammsalu

A full suite of designs by Edra and The Campana Brothers will go on show at the Detail, located in the Priory of the Order of St John.

A new show called Additions will make its Clerkenwell Design Week debut at the Crypt on the Green, St James Church, focusing on small design pieces and interior accessories.

Russ + Henshaw Turkish-ceramics
Tile Mile installation by Russ + Henshaw in association with Turkishceramics

As part of its CDW Presents series, the festival also offers a range of newly commissioned projects and one-off workshops all over Clerkenwell from architects including Studio Weave and Russ + Henshaw.

Italian furniture  manufacturer Arper will honour their 25th anniversary by hosting a workshop entitled How do we make London the best city in the world? in their Clerkenwell showroom on 22 May, chaired by Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs.

Sir Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham
Sir Peter Cook will be giving a seminar as part of the Conversations at Clerkenwell series

We're launching the Dezeen Book of Interviews at the Vitra showroom, and the publication is on sale at the Dezeen Watch Store pop-up in the Farmiloe Building.

For more information about the event and to register to attend, visit the Clerkenwell Design Week website.

Here is some more information from the event organisers:

Clerkenwell Design Week’s Show Director William Knight has officially opened the festival today. This three-day event (until 22 May 2014) is firmly established as a leading event in the international design calendar, showcasing the latest innovations by some of the best creative forces from the UK and around the world. Set against the historic backdrop of Clerkenwell, the festival —now in its fifth edition— is centred upon showrooms in the neighbourhood, as well as four focused exhibitions: Design Factory, Platform, Detail and Additions.

Arper Showroom
The Arper showroom will host a panel discussion led by Dezeen's editor-in-chief, Marcus Fairs

Showroom Partners

Furniture manufacturer Arper celebrates its 25th anniversary, with an exclusive Alessi cafe (21 May) and a talk (22 May) on How do we make London the best city in the world? - hosted by Dezeen editor Marcus Fairs, with speakers including Sol Campbell, Edwin Heathcote and Vicky Richardson.

US office furniture specialist Knoll presents highlights of its new collections, including the new Relax edition of the Barcelona chair and the Florence Knoll lounge collection, alongside the re-release of Tobia Scarpa’s Bastiano sofa and the highly anticipated Saarinen outdoor tables.

Design Factory

In collaboration with the festival’s headline sponsor Jaguar UK, Italian lighting specialistFoscarini presents a show-stopping installation at Design Factory, based on the leading theme Fearless Design. Featuring the new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé sports car and Foscarini’s new totemic LED lamp, Tuareg, the illuminated sculpture is on display in the atrium of the Design Factory, alongside a production version of the new Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupé.

Newcomer to the design scene, as well as to the festival, Discipline launches its brand new Last Side tables by Max Lamb to the UK market at the event, while Case Furniture introduces the re-issue of the classic 675 chair originally designed by Robin Day in 1952.

Knoll Barcelona Chair
US furniture makers Knoll will debut the new Relax edition of the Barcelona chair


At Platform, Estonian-born Johanna Tammsalu takes lighting to another level with her hand-spun, ceramic pendant lights, while printmaker Lucy Clive of Clivework launches her first British-made furnishing fabric collection.

Canadian designer Loïc Bard debuts at Clerkenwell Design Week, with his new coffee tables, Tokyo and Small Tokyo, while Judy Clark of CVA Editions takes on a colourful approach, with her new Bean tables in bright block colours.


Offering a portfolio of contemporary Italian furniture brands, .IT_All About Design unveils an exciting collaboration —entitled From Art to Design— between Edra and The Campana Brothers. This includes an exhibition of the designers’ masterpieces, as well as their latest designs for Edra at Detail. The exhibition explores how the design and production process render both a piece of art and a successful, commercial product.

Also top of the list this year is the pop-up showroom of Christopher Jenner for Drummonds inside Craft Central (as part of Detail). This creative collaboration between Jenner and Drummonds results in a bathroom furniture collection launching at Clerkenwell Design Week. Inspired by craft processes and handmade in the UK, the collection marries traditional cast iron and enamelling techniques with English carpentry.

Toghal cushions
New cusions by Toghal form part of the Additions exhibition


New to Clerkenwell Design Week 2014, Additions will see the newly launched Toghal incorporating heritage African designs into contemporary homewares, with a strong focus on textiles. Similarly, Urbanara offers high-quality home textiles and accessories, using the finest natural materials and a pared-back colour palette.

CDW Presents

As part of its CDW Presents series, the festival also offers an array of newly commissioned projects, street spectacles and pop-up workshops stationed across Clerkenwell.

This year’s CDW Presents brings together some of the leading creative pioneers to produce thought-provoking installations that push the boundaries of design, in terms of concepts, processes and material capabilities.

On St John's Square, architecture practice Studio Weave has installed a pavilion, entitled Smith, paying homage to Clerkenwell's heritage as the home to a range of smiths through history. A group of contemporary craftsmen and smiths will also take residence over the three days, hosting a range of open workshops and demonstrations.

Supported by the American Hardwood Export Council, design collective OKAY Studio has produced an exhibition —entitled FIVE— to celebrate the festival’s fifth edition, which is on show at the SCIN Gallery. Inspired by five American hardwood species—tulipwood, ash, hard maple, red oak and cherry—five design teams from OKAY Studio have independently created an eclectic mix of designs, to demonstrate how versatile American hardwood can be.

London-based architects Russ + Henshaw have partnered with Turkishceramics to create an installation, entitled Tile Mile, at St John's Gate. Based on the concept of reflection, the installation celebrates both the built heritage of Clerkenwell and modern Turkish ceramics.

Converstations at Clerkenwell

Integral to Clerkenwell Design Week, this year's Conversations at Clerkenwell talks programme—staged on the third floor of Design—is set to be the best yet, with an international line-up of high-profile speakers taking part in an exhilarating series of seminars. From Ron Arad and Arik Levy, to The Campana Brothers, Sir Peter Cook, Sir Kenneth Grange, Patricia Urquiola, Rolf Fehlbaum of Vitra, Russ Hamilton of Farrells and Ben van Berkel of UNStudio.