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— May 24, 2013

Clerkenwell Design Week 2013: Highlights

  • Port’s design editor Alyn Griffiths picks out the highlights of this year’s ambitious festival

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    Clerkenwell Design Week took over Port’s home borough this week, filling showrooms and public spaces with examples of cutting-edge design. Despite the gloomy weather, there was enough quality work on show to raise the spirits and an extensive series of seminars and parties kept visitors entertained late into the evenings.

    At the Farmiloe Building, London-based design and architecture practice, TILT, presented a range of products developed through collaborations with various clients. These included the new Quiet Chair (see photo: back left) and Call Booth (see photo: front right), which were developed alongside staff and patients at Whittington Hospital to provide quiet and personal spaces for patients to escape to.

    Left: TILT’s collection of co-designed products

    London-based Norwegian designer Magnus Pettersen launched new products at the Farmiloe Building, including some practical and elegant storage solutions.

    Designed with a small footprint to fit the narrow hallways common in London’s Victorian properties, the steel frames are also visually unobtrusive. An anodised aluminium surface provides space for shoes and bags below the coat rail, and a tray at the base of the mirror can be used to hold keys, mail and other accoutrements.

    Right: Magnus Pettersen’s innovative space-saving designs for urban living

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    The Raffaele pendant lamps by Federico Minarelli and Julie Janssen are made from sand-cast brass, which adds patina to the warm metal surfaces. The Italian/Dutch duo collaborate under the moniker Fred&Juul, and their range of interior products emerged as a result of commissioning custom made furniture from artisans local to their studio in Tuscany. Fred&Juul exhibited at the House of Detention which, as in previous years, hosted an eclectic collection of exhibitors including furniture makers Barnby & Day – see our previous story about wooden furniture at Clerkenwell Design Week.

    Ying Chang, a first year student on the Royal College of Art’s Design Products course, showed a collection of moulded paper tableware as part of an exhibition of food-themed designs curated by non-profit organisation, Craft Central. The products include a vase, plate and vessels shaped from laminated paper, with a jesmonite coating creating an impermeable surface that enhances the functionality.

    Above: Fred&Juul’s Raffaele pendant lamp
    Right: Ying Chang’s Ghost Vase

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  • In the impressive surroundings of the Order of St John, work by designers predominantly dealing in decorative furnishings and fabrics was displayed. Eve Spencer’s digitally printed textiles and wallcoverings stood out thanks to their quirky motifs and hand painted detail. Furniture designers Larkbeck also showed a selection of beautifully crafted pieces at the same venue – see their work in our previous story about wooden furniture at Clerkenwell Design Week.

    At the Museum of the Order of St John, designer Florian Dussopt and journalist Géraldine Vessière presented the second edition of a project called Design Exquis based on a game called cadavre exquis, originally devised by the Surrealist artists. The curators give a designer an industrial design object (in this case, a stethoscope) and ask them to use this as inspiration for a new object.

    The outcome is then passed on to another designer to do the same. The last of the four designers involved was Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, who uploaded a photograph of the feather-covered light provided by Georg Œhler into Google search and generated an algorithm to create a 3D model based on one of the search results. “We see design as a language – everybody involved in this project speaks this language but with different accents,” explains Dussopt. “The result is a collection of objects that speak about the diversity of design.”

    Top Right: Eve Spencer’s ‘Cat Hawk’ pattern wallpaper, from the Avant Garde collection
    Bottom Right: Matthew Plummer-Fernandez’s outcome at Design Exquis

    See more highlights from Clerkenwell Design Week 2013 on their website

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