out and about :: design factory 2015

Katie | June 1, 2015


There was so much good stuff at Clerkenwell Design Week this year, that I’ve decided to split it into two posts. First up, the Design factory at the Farmiloe Building, and some of the installations that the festival is becoming known for. Above is Glaze by Cousins & Cousins in collaboration with Gx Glass. And below, some of the other things that caught my eye…


From top to bottom, left to right:

  • Following on front last year’s collaboration with Paul Smith, this year Anglepoise launched three new editions of the Original 1227 desk lamp by London-based surface pattern designers Eley Kishimoto. The series takes its design cues from Centre Point, currently being redeveloped under the watchful eye of creative directors Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto.
  • Local designers and makers used wood, vinyl, mirror, metal, concrete and light to create words set in seven Monotype typefaces at various locations throughout Clerkenwell. This one was just around the corner from Platform at the House of Detention.
  • I loved this pink-framed glass coffee table, new from Deadgood Ever since I started that Pinterest board, I must confess, pink is growing on me!
  • It was great to see old pals &Then Design, who have recently relocated to London. I particularly liked the limited edition Flora in copper – designed in collaboration with Scarlett San Martin
  • More pink from the inimitable Sean Dare of Dare Studio. I love the gold legs – this a very grown-up take on a feminine 1970s-inspired corner sofa.
  • Johnson Tiles once again transformed the entrance to the Farmiloe Building, this time with Verve – an installation of coloured and mirrored tiles, arranged so that you saw all the colours of the rainbow looking one way, and your own reflection looking the other.
  • Part of CDW’s aim is to regenerate its host district and Agora on the Green set out to “revitalise and reanimate Clerkenwell Green” – a public square that was once at the heart of its neighbourhood, but has somehow declined into little more than a roundabout. A collbaortation between Scandinavian Business Seating, Article 25 and Russ & Henshaw, the installation invited passers by to interact with it, even raising money for the Nepal Earthquake Appeal in the process.
  • I started my week with a breakfast hosted by Fixperts‘ Daniel Charny (pictured) and Benchmark‘s Sean Sutcliffe. Benchmark are taking on a Fixpert in Residence in September and they had gathered together a group of people from the design industry to bounce ideas off and gain feedback on their plans. It was a really insightful session and I can’t wait to find out more.
  • It was, as always, lovely to see furniture designer James Harrison complete with new branding and Norton sofa.
  • I loved this joint detail from a table Benchmark were showing – in fact the one I had breakfast at! It’s a butterfly joint holding together a resin-filled crack in the table, perfectly in tune with a trend I have spotted lately for embracing imperfections, especially in natural materials.
  • It was very exciting to finally meet Ted Jefferis after his favourite tool was featuring in our sister publication, Fiera Magazine. He even had the tool on his stand and let me have a go at planing!
  • Having interviewed them in the run up to the festival, it was great to bump into husband and wife team Baines & Fricker and see their SB01 and BF02 (pictured) collections in the flesh. The latter is their colourful take on a pew – I think it would raise a few eyebrows in church!
  • The nerd in me is coveting the Pie Chart System by H Furniture – also spotted at designjunction in Milan.
  • Cornish furniture manufacturer Mark were one of the first design brands I ever got to know – I love this tailoring detail on their Fold Sofa
  • And finally, the last installation for this week – Media Gang used Clarendon, a simple Monotype font that has 19th century origins local to Clerkenwell to create the word ‘explore’ – only visible from the other end of the alley! “The word ‘explore’ just begged for a site that would break up the way the alley invites you down to see what’s at the other end,” said the designers. “So we created an anamorphic image, which is made from a distorted perspective that can only be reconstituted from its focal point.” The design was sketched out in chalk, and completed using spray-paint.

More from Platform at the House of Detention, Additions at the Crypt on the Green and final reveal of the Invisible Store of Happiness next week – watch this space!

Further reading for the especially geeky:


Further Reading for the Especially Geeky ::

Founding Editor – Katie Treggiden

Having established confessions of a design geek in 2010, Katie Treggiden has gone on to a career in design journalism, writing for titles such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Stylist, Design Milk and Ideal Home. In 2014, she launched Fiera, an independent magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs. Her second book, Makers of East London, was published in 2015.

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