Wedged between the better-known areas of Angel and Farringdon, Clerkenwell is a creative hotspot in central London, and home once a year to Clerkenwell Design Week (“CDW”).
In an age when many of us pair the word “design” with “web” or “graphic”, CDW showcases their oft forgotten and more palpable contemporaries: furniture, lighting, and interior products. A series of workshops, talks, showroom events, exhibitions and installations took place across the area this week, filling the local streets, parks, and offices with leading UK and international design.
Usually a popular location with TV and film production companies, this week St James church, along with its crypt and cloister garden, served as an exhibition backdrop, as did the spooky, subterranean House of Detention. No, not a night or fetish club as you might expect from the name, but the remains of an underground prison dated back as far as the 1600s. Its damp cells, tunnels, and passageways had new life breathed into them with a curated collection of cutting-edge design from exciting up-and-coming talent.
Clerkenwell is also the home of Hub, so CDW gave us an excuse to venture out of the office during the hottest week of the year, (both literally and figuratively), and meet our neighbours over some nibbles and a glass of wine. We saw limited edition Banksy prints on display in a manufacturing company’s office; wandered over a large wooden installation, the Next Generation Design Pavilion, designed by GCSE students; lay in a TiiPii Bed and got comfy in a variety of chairs made from unique materials including refined concrete and resin baked linen; ran our hands over the colourful tiles and innovative surface materials in the VICALVI showroom whilst “wall tattooers” painted a mural of a gold peacock; and submerged ourselves in the coolness of the prison cells to view the delights on offer, such as colourful Lego art from David Hughes, living garden walls from Urban LivePicture, and iPhone speakers made of wood and ceramic by Camilla Lee.
Having recently moved from working in the world of finance, which is generally not known for its creative interiors, CDW gave me the opportunity to gain an overview of my new workplace surroundings and to feel inspired by my new creative neighbours and colleagues. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your interiors – whether for your workplace, home, or your soul – then Clerkenwell is the place to be.