Dezeen promotion: Clerkenwell Design Week will return from 19 to 21 May with a range of installations designed to transform public spaces around the central London district.
Furniture maker Sebastian Cox and sculptor Laura Ellen Bacon have come together to design a wooden nest-like installation entitled The Invisible Store of Happiness, in collaboration with the American Hardwood Export Council.
The three-metre structure will be made entirely from maple and cherry wood and will be placed inside the medieval St John's Gate.
A steam-bending technique will be used to form the frame, while thinner, more malleable strips will be manipulated to give shape and texture to the sculpture.
Architecture firm Cousins and Cousins has collaborated with interior glass manufacturers GX Glass and Equitone to create a colourful walk-through pavilion to be located at St John's Square.
Intended to emphasise the adaptable nature of the material, the panels of glass will transition between opaque and transparent in a range of bright colours.
Swiss design studio Gruppe is using historic architectural elements to inform its project. Commissioned to revaluate the centre, edges and gateways of Clerkenwell, the Vita Contemplative installation will include structures designed to look like colourful columns, a forum and a basilica. These will be placed by the entrance and across the whole of the area.
Article 25, Scandinavian Business Seating and Russ + Henshaw are working together to create an installation that aims to revive Clerkenwell Green and encourage the public to re-engage with the area.
Planned as an interactive space, Agora on the Green will include a structure to be used to serve food from while colourful chairs will provide seating for visitors.
Housing its new furniture range for Italian furniture manufacturer Cassina, London architecture firm Grimshaw has worked with MDT-tex to develop a pavilion that will be situated outside of St James' Church. The lightweight structure will also host an exhibition of work produced by Grimshaw's industrial design unit.
An outdoor display of typography design by Clerkenwell-based company Monotype will be on show in six locations around the area. Words will be placed on pavements, suspended from trees and painted on brick walls.
"Six vibrant words will be suspended from trees, stacked or splayed on pavement, painted on brick walls, or presented on provocative signage," said the organisers.
Thousands of individually placed tiles will transform the industrial outer walls of the Farmiloe building, turning it into a futuristic three-dimensional display. An in-house team at Johnson Tiles led by creative director Darren Clanford designed the piece, and every tile within the Verve installation will be made at the company's Stoke-on-Trent factory.
A design walk uncovering Clerkenwell's hidden history will be hosted by showroom partner Designworks Tiles. Tours led by a local historian will leave at three times each day, exploring five installations at different locations that illustrate little-known facts about the area.
Clerkenwell Design Week will run from 19 to 21 May. For more information about the event and how to register to attend, visit the website.
Read on for more information from the organisers:
Clerkenwell Design Week announce special design projects and installations
CDW Presents has become integral to Clerkenwell Design Week, renowned for its specially commissioned public installations with the likes of Ross Lovegrove, Studio Weave and Aberrant Architecture contributing to past exhibits. As always, CDW Presents provides a major focal point for public interaction, and this year's features aim to celebrate and explore the transformation of London's public spaces in a city that is rapidly densifying.
This year's festival sees an intriguing collaboration between furniture maker Sebastian Cox and sculptor Laura Ellen Bacon, supported by the American Hardwood Export Council and located under St John's Arch. The Invisible Store of Happiness is a celebration of wood and craftsmanship, bringing together two of the UK’s brightest talents who will fuse their ideas and skills to create an installation for the festival out of American hardwood.
This three-metre high wooden sculpture, made out of American maple and cherry, consists of a mighty steam bent frame that gives way to thinner, weave-able strips manipulated to twist and flow into a whirlpool of texture and shape. The piece combines Bacon's background in intricate, landscape-inspired artwork with Cox’s skill in traditional furniture techniques such as dry joining and steam bending. The resulting structure shows how craftsmanship and creativity can be pushed to their limits to produce an exemplary piece of sustainable design.
On St John's Square, architects Cousins and Cousins have designed a multicoloured jewel-like pavilion in collaboration with Gx Glass, a leading UK manufacturer and supplier of glass to architectural interior designers. Drawing on the heritage of Clerkenwell as a centre of design and manufacture, such as the former Victorian glassworks at the Farmiloe Building, Glaze offers a journey through glass products that vary in size and colour, creating a walk through a visual wonder. The vibrant panels change between opaque and transparent and are inspired by Venetian Murano glass. Fully demountable and reusable, the installation is designed to highlight and celebrate the versatility of glass, its colour and the surface designs that make glass an important medium through which designers and architects can realise their ideas.
Swiss design studio Gruppe has been commissioned to re-define the gateways, edges and centre of Clerkenwell to revisit its position as a little city within London. Entitled Vita Contemplativa and supported by Equitone, Gruppe's design aims to strengthen Clerkenwell as a place with its own identity by using historic, architectural elements. Specially designed features, including a basilica, a forum and different columns stationed across Clerkenwell, will be on display during the festival, offering visitors the opportunity to connect immediately on entering Clerkenwell.
Article 25, Scandinavian Business Seating and architects Russ+Henshaw have also partnered to create a dynamic temporary installation. The installation, named Agora on the Green, will be situated on Clerkenwell Green, transforming the forgotten space at its heart into a modern agora, reminiscent of the public square's rich and colourful past. The installation will integrate Scandinavian Business Seating's colourful RBM Noor chairs. Russ+Henshaw created the Tile Mile installation for the festival in 2014, a gold winner at the London Design Awards.
Grimshaw and MDT-tex have collaborated to develop a pavilion installation at St James' Church. The super lightweight structure is created by a new modular canopy system consisting of complex geometries. During the festival, this exciting space will house the exclusive launch of a new table range, co-designed by Italian furniture manufacturer Cassina and Grimshaw. The pavilion will also host Elements, an exhibition which showcases the work of Grimshaw's Industrial Design Unit through photography, drawings, models and full-scale furniture mock-ups and structural details.
With its London studio based on Clerkenwell Road, international type house Monotype will host WordPlay, a dramatic outdoor showcase of type design. At six locations around Clerkenwell, Monotype will use a selection of its typefaces to spell out six vibrant words that will be suspended from trees, stacked or splayed on pavement, painted on brick walls, or presented on provocative signage. Local suppliers have also provided materials - wood, paint, concrete, fabric, glass and metal - to create the features. This large-scale installation art is designed to bring the details, curves, contrasts and textures of type to life, whilst demonstrating how dynamic type can be.
Following last year's 'Prismatic Landscape' installation, Johnson Tiles will once again be transforming the entrance to Design Factory at the Farmiloe Building. This year's installation promises to be even more spectacular, with thousands of individually placed tiles turning the building’s outer walls into an eye-catching 3D display of colour. The piece, entitled Verve, is designed and crafted by a specialist in-house team at Johnson Tiles, led by its creative director Darren Clanford. With every tile made at the company's factory in Stoke-on-Trent, Verve will be a fitting celebration of British manufacturing and design.
Showroom partner Designworks Tiles will host a specially curated design walk – led by a local historian - to uncover Clerkenwell's hidden history. The walk consists of five interactive installations which delve into little known facts about the area, including man-eating bears and illegal gin or get put in the stocks – all amazingly created with tiles. Tours will leave at 11am, 1pm and 3pm every day during the festival from the Designworks Tiles showroom, 91 St John Street.