Dezeen Magazine

Clerkenwell Design Week is helping London "live up to its design reputation"

Movie: a host of international designers including Ron Arad, Patricia Urquiola, Barber & Osgerby and the Campana Brothers discuss their involvement in Clerkenwell Design Week 2014 in this movie we made for the festival.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2014
Domus showroom

"Clerkenwell Design Week is super important for the area, but it's also important for London as a whole," says Jay Osgerby, whose London studio Barber & Osgerby launched a new range of tiles at the Domus showroom during the festival.

Barber and Osgerby capture textures of urban London for tile range
Barber & Osgerby's new tile collection

"What's happening is that London at long last is becoming the cultural centre for design that it should have been seen as a long time ago. Now we're living up to that reputation," he said.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2014
Design Factory exhibtion at the Farmiloe building in Clerkenwell

Over 60 showrooms took part in Clerkenwell Design Week this year, which also included four exhibitions, three commissioned installations and a variety of food and drink outlets as part of its Fringe programme.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2014
Tailor My Tom Vac exhibition at the Vitra showroom

"It's buzzing outside," says Ron Arad, who was at the Vitra showroom to judge the Tailor My Tom Vac competition that saw 23 designers customise Arad's iconic Tom Vac chair to mark its 15th birthday.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2014
Dezeen Book of Interviews launch party

The Vitra showroom later hosted the launch party for Dezeen's new book – Dezeen Book of Interviews – featuring conversations with a range of top designers, including Arad himself.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2014
Rolf Fehlbaum, Patricia Urquiola and Deyan Sudjic at Clerkenwell Conversations

New to the festival this year was a talks programme called Conversations at Clerkenwell, which attracted a range of leading designers from around the world.

Speakers included Patricia Urquiola, Arik Levy, Rolf Fehlbaum and UNStudio's Ben van Berkel, who discussed his studio's Canaletto tower in London with Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs.

"Clerkenwell Design Week is very international," Van Berkel says. "It has become a very important new event in the City of London."

Wireflow collection by Arik Levy
Wireflow collection by Arik Levy for Vibia

The talks were hosted at Design Factory in the Farmiloe building, the central exhibition at the festival, which showcased new furniture and lighting products, including Arik Levy's new Wireflow lights for Spanish brand Vibia.

"I think [Clerkenwell Design Week] is a really great initiative," says Levy. "It's very colourful, it's very active."

Clerkenwell Design Week 2014
Campana Brothers' chairs at Detail

Other exhibitions included Detail, in which the Campana Brothers presented a range of their classic sofas and chairs in the crypt of St John's church, and Platform, which showcased the work of younger, upcoming designers in the cells of the House of Detention, a nineteenth-century former prison.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2014
Additions exhibition

There was also a new show introduced this year called Additions, focussing on small products and accessories.

"It's a really fantastic show in St James' church, spotlighting small-scale products in applied graphics, accessories and tableware," says show director Will Knight. "It's been a real star and we're looking forward to doing it again next year."

Tile Mile by Russ + Henshaw at Clerkenwell Design Week
Russ + Henshaw's Tile Mile

Installations this year included a seemingly infinite corridor of tiles by Russ + Henshaw and a pavilion by Studio Weave called Smith, which hosted a series of craft workshops during the festival to pay tribute to the area's historic blacksmiths, leather makers and bookbinders.

Studio Weave Smith pavilion Clerkenwell Design Week
Smith Pavilion by Studio Weave

"We're in Clerkenwell where historically there have been a huge amount of people making all sorts of things," says Maria Smith, one half of Studio Weave. "We wanted to make a pavilion that was a testament to all of these people."

Studio Weave Smith pavilion Clerkenwell Design Week
Smith Pavilion by Studio Weave

Clerkenwell Design Week took place from 20 to 22 May 2014.

The movie was produced by Dezeen Studio for Clerkenwell Design Week. The music featured in the movie is a track called Change by Wave Crushers. You can listen to the full track on Dezeen Music Project.

See all our coverage of Clerkenwell Design Week 2014 »

Clerkenwell Design Week 2014
Foscarini installation at Design Factory