Clerkenwell Design Week kicks off with panache and some wonderfully creative installations

If you venture down to Clerkenwell today – 23rd May until 25th May – there will be plenty to see, do and marvel at.  This is the eighth year that Clerkenwell Design Week celebrates this ancient part of London (complete with Medieval street layout, burial ground, prisons, Session House,  churches and crypts) has come to life with a festival of design and invention.

Pink flags flutter on every street and doors of fascinating tucked away, and hidden buildings, as well as showrooms and architectural studios are flung open to welcome curious travellers into a world of design entrepreneurs and experiment. Even the nightclub, Fabric, is open by day and in full illumination, to show designers’ offerings.  The brave can venture into the House of Detention, a former underground prison, complete with small cells and metal doors (thankfully unlocked) where emerging designers show their wares.

At ground level there is much to see too with the Fair’s array of installations. Even the shortest wander around the winding streets – fabulously quiet and traffic free, despite being so close to the City – will ensure you come upon many of them.  I loved the Next Generation Design Pavilion, a glorious curvy wooden staircase/bridge which was designed by Scale Rule in collaboration with GCSE students from London schools.

 Order, by Aldworth James & Bond have found a new way of using Corian by slotting together panels which have the Order of St John motif digitally carved into it.

Double Vision celebrates pattern and form and is made from Hakwood flooring and wall tiles.

 

Up in Spa Fields is the entertaining  BuzziJungle which is pretty much a grown up climbing frame you can lounge in.

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The Bolt celebrates handcrafted products which are made by Detroit-based manufacturer Shinola.

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And if you start feeling a little foot sore you can hop into an electric Twizy which will whizz you to your next generation.

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