Did you get the chance to attend Clerkenwell Design Week, which ran this year from 24 to 26 May? With over 300 exhibiting brands and 30,000 attendees, this year’s festival was abuzz with creativity and flair.
Caledonian Stone General Manager Mark Rabey enjoyed two days there, and found inspiration in both the exhibitions themselves and the buildings that housed them. Read on to discover his highlights at the UK’s leading independent design festival.
One of my highlights was Icon House of Culture at Fabric nightclub
There’s always a real buzz around Clerkenwell Design Week, and I was particularly excited about my visit to Icon’s House of Culture. The anticipation was high this year – the second consecutive year that Icon has participated – due to the location of the exhibition. It was housed in Fabric, the first time that the famous nightclub has been used as an exhibition space.
The standard at the exhibition was exceptional. I particularly enjoyed the vibrant colours of Nic Parnell’s wall-mounted creations, and Jonathan Fields’s unique dining tables.
It was also fascinating to explore the grand, imposing interior of Fabric itself. The natural stone floors of the spacious basement rooms, dating back to Victorian times, were of obvious interest. However, I couldn’t help but think that – while visually impressive – the uneven surfaces wouldn’t stand up to today’s strict commercial building codes and compliance regulations.
The Crypt on the Green housed the wonderful British Collection
Another must see was the British Collection. From the minimalistic colour of Jennifer Newman to deVOL’s modern take on the classic kitchen, there was much to admire and inspire.
And, if you’ve never been, the architectural achievement of the vaulted brick ceiling of the Crypt is worth the trip in itself. I loved the original tiles in the corridors too, though again it led me to contemplate how we’d approach a similar project, with today’s safety and accessibility requirements.
Ultimately, Clerkenwell itself has so much to offer. With more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world, it’s a wonderful place to celebrate the design community. And I for one can’t wait for next year.
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