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21st April 2017
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Renowned designers head up an impressive line-up of showroom content for upcoming Clerkenwell Design Week
Internationally renowned designers David Adjaye, Michael Young and Patrizia Moroso are among the highlights which make the strong list of over 80 showrooms the key destinations for visitors to this year's Clerkenwell Design Week (19-21 May 2015), sponsored by Renault.
The festival, now in its sixth edition, will see leading UK and international showrooms showcase an array of designs from contemporary contract furniture to material innovation and high-end kitchen and bathrooms.
New participants this year include heritage brand Carl Hansen & Son and modernist storage specialist USM, joining the likes of long-term supporters Domus, Kusch+C0 and Brunner. Office furniture firms Wilkhahn and Connection Seating will both open new showrooms on Great Sutton Street, while Milliken is significantly expanding its Berry Street premises.
Italian furniture brand Moroso will return to Clerkenwell Design Week for 2015 with a special exhibition of new launches at its Rosebery Avenue showroom, including pieces by Ross Lovegrove, David Adjaye and Martino Gamper. On 19th May, founder of Dezeen Marcus Fairs will join Patrizia Moroso in conversation with David Adjaye at the showroom to explore the celebrated architect's new furniture collaboration, Double Zero.
Coalesse, part of the Steelcase family of brands, will present its new 2015 chair, Lessthan5_MY (above) by Hong Kong-based designer Michael Young, who will be speaking at Steelcase WorkLife venue. Made entirely of carbon fibre, one of the strongest and lightest materials in engineering and design, the Lessthan5_MY chair combines materiality with technology to express its structural form and modern craft. Its endless mono-material design is adaptable to both indoor and outdoor settings. There will also be the chance to see a collaboration between Islington-based fabric designers Wallace + Sewell and Designtex, another Steelcase company specialising in the manufacture of applied materials for the built environment. Steelcase will also share its latest workplace-based research into the Workcafe concept.
Humanscale will preview its new Trea chair and to mark the occasion, the American designer Todd Bracher will be coming over from his New York Studio. Todd has previously been senior designer at Tom Dixon and creative director at Danish firm Georg Jensen, with this launch being the latest chapter in his illustrious design career. Bracher's Trea chair is suitable for environments as diverse as cafeterias and collaborative workspaces, through to dining rooms and home offices. Visitors to the Humanscale showroom will also be able to see the Ballo stool, designed by Don Chadwick. This fun seating solution brings with it significant health benefits as it promotes active seating.
New product highlights at Clerkenwell Design Week include a new lounge collection by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby for Knoll. PearsonLloyd has designed a new modular wall system, Nooxs, for Bene, which is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year. Nooxs addresses the need for intelligent partitioning and good acoustics in various office locations, from meeting areas to kitchens and touchdown spaces. The wall elements have different width and height options and are available in different surfaces, including veneer, fabric and melamine. The British design duo is also responsible for the SixE Learn chair concept for Howe.
Arper will be showcasing its Kinesit chair, alongside other new launches from Milan. Kinesit is the company's first office chair that is completely compliant with regulatory requirements and with its light and minimal design, packs an aesthetic punch too. Other furniture launches include Davison Highley's Array Compact Armchair and the Touch chair by Craig Jones Design for ThinkingWorks.
Bolon will unveil its latest flooring collection Flow, which is inspired by the timeless mystery of the ocean while the company's collaboration with fashion brand Missoni continues with the appearance of its interpretation of Missoni's classic Zigzag pattern. Scandinavian Business Seating, meanwhile, will present a collection of upholstery fabrics using Norwegian wool.
The Landscape Collection, designed by Hayley Barrett for Camira, takes it cues from fashion tailoring. This selection of oversized plaid patterns can be used for furniture in the same way as pieces are cut for a bespoke garment. The resulting fabric options are ideal for furniture in the flexible workspace where the need for collaborative work is paramount. Architects and designers visiting tile specialist Mosa's showroom will have the opportunity to get to grips with its Pattern Generator concept. This allows users to explore the possibility of the company's full product range.
Family-run business West One Bathrooms has partnered with Kallista to launch the re-design of its Per Se tap and the Taper collection, a collaboration with Bjarke Ingels Group. On 19th May, the showroom has also invited Mark Bickerstaffe, director of new product development at Kohler to discuss the latest bathroom trends for 2015.
As always, showroom activity runs the gamut between professional development and an alternative look at the world of design. Designworks Tiles is once again offering visitors the opportunity to hand paint a tile within its raft of planned activity across the three days.
Amongst the hustle and bustle of the festival, Sto Werkstatt invites people to take things easy with its 'Hypnos' installation which explores the architecture of sleep. Francesco Draisci of Draisci Studio, in collaboration with architects Hassell, will present an immersive environment exploring the benefits and pleasures of inactivity, and the architectural spaces needed for our physical and mental withdrawal.
Kitchen specialist bulthaup will run a series of events at its newly refurbished Clerkenwell showroom during Clerkenwell Design Week, from a patisserie-making demonstration showcasing Miele's combi-steam oven (19th May), to an evening talk hosted by John Cullen Lighting's design director Sally Storey on how to create atmospheric yet functional lighting for the kitchen (20th May). Also continuing the food theme, Australia-based Zip, which specialises in instant boiling water systems, has invited celebrity chefs Aldo Zilli and Nigel Smith to host a cooking session in the showroom's kitchen on 21st May.
On the same day, Brintons' archivist Yvonne Smith will be in conversation with design journalist Talib Choudhry about the relevance of historic archives in design, and how historical research helps build fresh new collections, layers of meaning and a narrative.
At Milliken, each day of the festival will be themed around one of the company's latest carpet tile collections - Rogue Knit, Naturally Drawn and Clerkenwell Collection. Visit its newly redesigned studio to enjoy a range of creative workshops, art-walks and stimulating talks - all delivered by leading experts.
On 19th May, contract furniture specialist Morgan will preview the short-listed entries for its sponsored FIRA Future@Work student design competition, followed by a talk from Levent Caglar at FIRA on the development of today's workplace.
To coincide with the launch of The Green Room, its new Clean Tech and Sustainable Materials Library, SCIN Gallery will bring together 10 materials and their originators for its 'Being Human' exhibition, looking at the past, present and the future, and how they have impacted the planet with their 'humanness'.
There is a strong 20th Century revivalism trend among much of the showroom content this year at Clerkenwell Design Week. Swiss manufacturer Vitra will present a retrospective on the life & works of architect Jean Prouv� to celebrate the UK launch of its Prouv� RAW Office Edition, a second limited edition revival collection of office furniture and lighting designed by Prouv� in the 1940s developed in partnership with G-Star RAW.
Carl Hansen & Son will be opening a brand new showroom in a three-storey building on Bowling Green Lane. Known for its iconic 20th century design classics, it will present new colours for the Hans Wegner designed CH88 chair and the reintroduction of the Tray Table, also by Wegner, which is ideal for small spaces.
Cassina will commemorate 50 years since Le Corbusier's death, with a reissue of the original LC collection, comprising designs by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand. The LC50 collection will be on view at the Poltrona Frau showroom.
USM has also chosen Clerkenwell as the location for its first London showroom. The company will celebrate 50 years of its Modular Furniture Haller storage, with a multifaceted, global project called project50, whereby the next generation of designers from various countries explore the concept of modularity.
With a mix of product innovations and the chance to see leading lights within the contemporary design scene, plus activity aplenty, showrooms at Clerkenwell Design Week provide a must-visit element of the event for 2015.
Images: Bulthaup kitchen
From left: David Adjaye and Patrizia Moroso (photo courtesy of Gianni Antoniali), Michael Young
17th April 2015