A three-day annual festival celebrating design’s social impact and power for change, the 2nd-annual Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) is set to take place this May 24-26 featuring a varied program of events including debates, discussions, presentations, exhibitions, street parties workshops and installations all in the name of celebrating and embracing design.
A stone’s throw from London, Clerkenwell has long been regarded as the creative hub of the UK. It is home to a plethora of new media agencies, graphic and interactive design studios, more than 200 architectural practices (more per square mile than anywhere else on the planet) and is home to over 60 design showrooms including world leaders Vitra, Poltrona Frau, TOTO and Moroso.
The name Clerkenwell comes from the Clerks’ Well in Farringdon Lane, where London parish clerks performed mystery plays in the Middle Ages. Since the Industrial Revolution it has housed craft workshops, notably printers, clockmakers and jewellers; printing and bookbinding (conveniently near the Smithfield tanneries) still flourish, as of course do graphic designers. A revival of Clerkenwell's faded fortunes came in the 1990s, when architecture, design and other creative practices flocked to its comparatively cheap but central studio and workshop premises.
New to this years event will be The House of Detention, an underground Victorian prison hidden away in the heart of Clerkenwell. Not usually open to the public, this venue will become home to site specific installations and innovative product displays for the duration of the event.
“Building on a hugely successful launch, one that exceeded all our wildestexpectation, 2011 is already shaping up to be bigger and better." said Daren Newton, CDW founder. "We’re continuing to attract not just huge amounts of interest from the design community, but also from the general public who seem to have an unquenchable thirst for design.”
In 2010, Clerkenwell Design Week took place at the Farmiloe Building on St John Street featuring cutting edge displays and installations from an array of international designers. The festival attracted over 18,000 registered visitors who attended the 150 events.