Yesterday a friend and I went to Clerkenwell Design Week. I’d never been to Clerkenwell before- its an undiscovered corner of London with beautiful Georgian architecture, peaceful squares, and a good selection of lovely restaurants and cafes.
The show itself was spread across three main venues and was a mixed bag. There were some really exciting, innovative products shown by new designers but the established brands were offering much of the same Skandi style, 50s look furniture that you see everywhere (and can get similar in Ikea for a fraction of the price). It may well be lovely but its not exactly cutting edge!
We started at “The House of Detention”, where new design talent were exhibiting in supposedly haunted catacombs that used to house a prison dating back to the 17th century. It was very atmospheric, with water dripping through the ceiling and products shown in the original tiny cells.
This was the best part of the show-interesting concepts, great venue, friendly exhibitors and no crowds.
There were some clear trends emerging (You may be seeing replicas of these on a high street near you soon!)
Sculptural, textured furniture
New concepts in furniture design
Design inspired by nature was a recurrent theme.
Contemporary Victoriana was another trend I noticed.
More designs from the other Clerkenwell venues to follow soon!