Clerkenwell Design Week

The usually quiet streets of Clerkenwell were overflowing this week with design junkies seeking a fix in exquisitely designed products. The fifth Clerkenwell Design Week was a resounding success if the sheer volume of hot pink lanyards being toted around the cobbled streets was anything to go by.

I found an hour to have a quick mooch around some of the key locations (thanks to *Wallpaper magazine for helping me with that) so I registered online and picked up my lanyard in the delightfully named House of Detention, which was unsurprisingly an old prison. Deep in the dank, cavernous maze of cells were all manner of artisan designer wares from beautiful soft furnishings, ingenious woodworking, elegant lighting and quite frankly odd bits and bobs.

I moved on to the Chapel of The Knights of St John. Right in the heart of Clerkenwell is the last remnants of a medieval priory built by the Knights of St John, an order founded to provide medical care for the crusades. All that’s left of the prior now after centuries of destruction is an exquisite arch, a peaceful garden and a beautiful crypt. The underground space elegantly housed wittily modern Brazilian furniture by Fernando and Humberto Campano.

There were lots of other events and showrooms that I didn’t get the chance to see but the atmosphere was enthusiastic, the audience engaged and the area a hotbed for design appreciation. All of which is good in my book. My only criticism was that did think it would have been good to see graphic design represented in some way and perhaps that something for the organisers to consider for next year.

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