Taking place over three days in May, London’s Clerkenwell Design Week has established itself as a stop on the international design circuit over the last five years. The 2014 installment features lectures from superstars including Arik Levy and the Campana Brothers, massive installations from Studio Weave and others, and a bevy of independent design showcases, including the Design Factory exhibition at the Farmiloe Building. Dwell spoke with some of the designers showcasing at Clerkenwell and put together a guide to getting the most out of this week’s events.
Smith Pavilion by Studio Weave
The London-based architecture practice will infuse their pop-up pavilion with the history of the central London borough’s makers and builders. Constructed from fibre-cement panels, a material made by re-appropriating an old paper mill and spinning-machine, the interior will feature CNC-cut panels that will tell the story of tools and gear used by neighborhood artisans. The structure will sit across from St John’s Gate.
Rendering courtesy of Studio Weave
Wireflow by Arik Levy
As part of Conversations at Clerkenwell, multifaceted artist and designer Arik Levy will talk about the relationship between space and design at the Farmiloe building Tuesday at 7 p.m. Dwell spoke with Levy about home those concepts influenced his new Wireflow lamp for Vibia.
Space seems like a guiding force and inspiration behind the lamp—what inspired the design of this collection?
Wireflow is first of all a light sculpture. I have started the series of these long ago and experimented for a few years with different ideas. When Pedro from Vibia first saw these at the studio, he was mesmerized and could not stop asking me to work with them on this project. I finally agreed, and the project evolved into the diverse geometry and flexible aspects of this concept. I enjoy creating pieces that do not invade the space but work with it. Pieces that appear and disappear as you look at them, elements that you can see through that don’t obscure. When both on or off one can enjoy the presence and absence of the form and volume. Its visible/invisible aspects are fascinating to me. I keep creating new configurations and using these in my private commissions and installations. I believe Wireflow opens a new era for light and its presence in space.
You've said the garbage bin is your best tool, and you work by subtraction. How does someone become a good editor when it comes to design?
Wireflow is a really good example of a very distilled piece. To be a good editor of oneself you need strength, character, distance and better ideas. Nothing is absolute or perfect. All we need to do is raise the starting point to a higher level that’s better connected to our sensorial self.
Bastardo Sofa by the Campana Brothers
Fernando and Humberto—whom Dwell interviewed this week about their talk Tuesday about art and design at Clerkenwell—will also be showing their new Bastardo sofa for Edra, which was inspired by a dog, Chica, that Humberto found on the streets of São Paulo. “Our aim was to create an object with a soul,” he says. “A piece with an animal soul that could ‘move’ by itself.” The brothers speak Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Farmiloe building.
Solid Spin Lamps by Johnana Tammsalu
“This project is all about showing identity in a playful way,” says the Estonian designer. Created two years ago while studying in Madrid, Tammsalu’s Solid Spin lamps are a study in movement, the pattern of spinning, everyday objects such as shoes, or a set of keys frozen in ceramics. “The materials really decide for you,” she said of the process of creating (and avoiding objects with right angles). Her first solo exhibition can be found in the Design Factory show at the Farmiloe Building.
A group of exciting young product designers who graduated from Camberwell College in 2012, the collective will showcase a variety of chairs, leather goods, and products that all evolved from their 3D-design course. Above is part of the Hasbeens collection by Zoe Tynan-Campbell, a set of hand-turned and hand-colored wooden figures. “I think I’m really sentimental,” she says. “I hope I’m creating objects that trigger that in other people.”
Cristian Zuzunaga at Triitme! Showcase
Online store and magazine Triitme! will be promoting work from emerging European designers such as London-based Cristian Zuzunaga, whose patterned rugs are an explosion of 8-bit color.
Placing equal weight on backstory, sourcing, and colorful patterns, textiles from Toghal showcase an array of eye-catching patterns on blankets, pillows, umbrellas, and kitchen linen.
Bent Wall Lamp by Workstead for Another Country
British brand Another Country will debut a new lighting collection by Brooklyn-based Workstead, the edgy architectural, interior, and lighting firm founded by Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith in 2009.
Apex Tables by Hunting & Narud, part of FIVE by OKAY
Norwegian-born, London-based designers Amy Hunting and Oscar Narud created these glass-encased wooden cones, part of an extensive project by OKAY, a collective of studios, to re-interpret and re-imagine uses for American hardwood. FIVE, at the SCIN Gallery on Old Street, features an array of sculptures, furniture and tables.
“Wood is such a versatile material, and we felt the glass would compliment and bring out some rather nice qualities in the species,” says Hunting. “Our challenge was to create this wooden cone knowing that it would move and perhaps even grow. It was interesting for us to combine it with a fragile material like glass. The challenge is working with wood and as it's not a dead material.”
Broken Rug by Loophouse
This sun-baked desert landscape is actually a closeup of the textured and minimal new Broken rug by Loophouse, one of a couple new designs debuting at Clerkenwell.