Press Release:
Clerkenwell Design Week announced record numbers of visitors to its 2015 edition

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Gubi at Icon’s House of Culture (© Sophie Mutevelian)

Gubi at Icon’s House of Culture (© Sophie Mutevelian)

Clerkenwell Design Week is delighted to announce that over 35,400 visitors attended the 2015 event (19-21 May), a 10% increase on last year’s attendance. Sponsored by Renault and led by Show Director William Knight, the annual festival marked its sixth edition with over 300 UK and international design companies and over 80 local showrooms taking part. In total, 65% of the visitors were architects and designers.

CDW 2015 explored the transformation of London’s public spaces in a city that is rapidly densifying. As part of CDW Presents, a series of street installations were situated across Clerkenwell to explore this theme; from GRUPPE’s temporary structures inspired by an ancient Roman city and children’s building blocks (in partnership with EQUITONE), to a jewel-like, multi-coloured glass pavilion by London-based architects Cousins & Cousins (with Gx Glass) and Monotype’s vinyl graffiti depicting a panoramic 19th Century view of London on an old prison’s wall.

The Invisible Store of Happiness by Sebastian Cox and Laura Ellen Bacon with AHEC (© Sophie Mutevelian)

The Invisible Store of Happiness by Sebastian Cox and Laura Ellen Bacon with AHEC (© Sophie Mutevelian)

This year saw the introduction of Icon’s House of Culture at The Old Sessions House, showcasing leading international brands including Fritz Hansen, Gubi, Artemide, Moroso and Vitra, alongside a series of exclusive talks and film screenings.

William Knight comments, ‘Clerkenwell Design Week took a significant step forward in 2015; characterised by full-scale local embrace of the festival and the opportunity of showcasing this very special part of London across multiple locations and through a series of mediums. There were more showrooms taking part than ever before, new and hugely popular exhibitions alongside ambitious and memorable installations in a huge variety of locations.

‘In a new development we introduced a new exhibition, Icon’s House of Culture at The Old Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green. Alongside the dramatic installation by the festival’s headline sponsors Renault, installations such as the Gx Glass sponsored “Glaze” on St John’s Square were the highlights of the show.’

Clerkenwell Design Week 2015 also celebrated design and creativity by showcasing the latest innovations by designers and manufacturers from the UK and around the world. These were centred upon Clerkenwell’s leading showroom partners, from Moroso and Knoll, to Carl Hansen & Søn, Cassina, Arper, Vitra, Humanscale, Coalesse, USM, Brintons, Milliken and Scandinavian Business Seating.

Design Factory (© Sophie Mutevelian)

Design Factory (© Sophie Mutevelian)

Four focused exhibitions – Design Factory, Platform, Detail and Additions – returned with an array of established and emerging brands; from Anglepoise, +HALLE, Benchmark, Mulberry Home and Terence Woodgate, to Louise Tucker, A White Workshop, Taz Pollard, Matt Pugh, Kit Miles and Baines&Fricker.

The ever-popular talks series, Conversations at Clerkenwell, also boasted a star-studded line-up of speakers from the architecture and design world, from Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and Farrells, to Patrizia Moroso, Raw Edges, Nipa Doshi, Michael Young and Todd Bracher. CDW 2015 would not be complete without its Fringe programme where local creative practices hosted a variety of open workshops and displays over the three days of the festival.

Alessi’s talk at Zaha Hadid Design (© Theo Cohen)

Alessi’s talk at Zaha Hadid Design (© Theo Cohen)

Knight adds, ‘The popularity of Clerkenwell Design Week as the London design event not to be missed was clear, with a substantial increase in visitors. The spirit and response to the festival content reflected a buoyant and confident sector clustered in EC1. Feedback from exhibitors, participants, sponsors and local businesses has been positive with many having secured immediate or future business through the festival.

‘Moving forward the ambition and scale of CDW will continue to develop as new venues are introduced and the festival continues to evolve and innovate, reinforcing its place as one of Europe’s most distinctive annual design events.’

Testimonials from selected exhibiting brands:

Colette Casey
, Brand Communications Manager, Renault UK, says, ‘This was our first year as headline sponsor of Clerkenwell Design Week. The event was truly inspiring and its unique setting allowed us to share the Renault design story and showcase our design concepts in an engaging way.’

James Fooks-Bale, Creative Director, Monotype, says, ‘Clerkenwell Design Week gets stronger year-on-year, and this year exceeded expectations once again. Clerkenwell is responsible for design dating back centuries – type foundries and well-known typefaces were born and have been woven into the tapestry here. Monotype and CDW brought Typography closer to the fore this year by installing typefaces in and around the area, sitting side by side with the greats of architecture, product design and many more disciplines.’

David Venables, European Director, American Hardwood Export Council, says, ‘Clerkenwell Design Week was a great success for the American Hardwood Export Council’s project, The Invisible Store of Happiness. This three-day event provided a highly targeted audience of architects and designers who engaged with our installation both in person and, very effectively, on social media. We would be happy to show there again.’

Nathan Beckwith, Country Manager UK & Ireland, Gubi, says, ‘Clerkenwell Design Week 2015 was Gubi’s first time at the show. The appeal for our brand was the grandeur of The Old Sessions House as it fitted perfectly with our collection’s styling. As a Danish brand with an international approach the exhibition in this London location proved very attractive and did not disappoint. It was a great opportunity to show a broad range of our collection and offer a view into the Gubi universe. The overall reaction from visitors, press and social media has been hugely positive.’

Daniel Gava, Director, Arper UK, says, ‘Every edition of Clerkenwell Design Week passes all expectations. Once again the show was incredibly busy and the quality of both designers involved in the many talks and product launches and of the ever-increasing global audience was impressive. I am delighted that Arper is an established part of this international phenomenon.’

Simone Rossi, UK Managing Director, Alessi, says, ‘This year was our inaugural Clerkenwell Design Week and we were delighted to find the perfect partner, Zaha Hadid Design Gallery. Together we curated an installation of Alessi products and hosted a panel discussion on design with Piero Lissoni, Nigel Coates and Max Fraser. The event was hugely successful with more than 500 people visiting the Gallery over the three days. The festival goes from strength to strength every year, offering ever more interesting exhibitions and events and attracting a mix of visitors from within and outside the design industry. We are already looking forward to the opportunity of building on this year’s success by hosting another event at the next Clerkenwell Design Week.’

Knud Erik Hansen, CEO, Carl Hansen & Søn, says, “Clerkenwell Design Week was the perfect occasion to open our new three-storey showroom in London’s Clerkenwell. We are overwhelmed by the very positive response our new space in London received from architects, dealers, press and other partners from the design community and we look forward to be part of this design-led city.’

Simon Terry, Innovation and Brand Director, Anglepoise, says, ‘Another great year at CDW15. Following the success of our Paul Smith collaboration launch at Clerkenwell last year, it was great to be able to follow in the footsteps with our Anglepoise + Centre Point collaboration, celebrating the iconic sixties “London landmark” and using specially designed patterns by print guru Eley Kishimoto. The show continues to provide a great platform to launch something with impact after the designer mayhem of Milan, allowing us to engage with the design community, media and customers on home soil. Clerkenwell seems to come more alive each year as the area grows as a centre for design excellence, and the show is a central catalyst in this metamorphosis.’

Sean Sutcliffe, Co-founder, Benchmark, says, ‘Clerkenwell Design Week has grown up to be considered a major feature on the London calendar. It attracts a serious level of business and quality of visitors is extremely high. We saw the people we had hoped to see. On the whole everyone was having fun, whilst also doing business. If visitors go away feeling happy then we’ve done a good job.’

Designer Terence Woodgate says, ‘Clerkenwell Design Week was a terrific opportunity for us to show our LED lighting collections to the design world for the first time, and we were delighted with the very positive reaction from architects, interior designers and lighting design practices. The show had a relaxed buzz about it and attendance exceeded our expectations.’

Ali Johnson, Co-founder, Dorothy, says, ‘It was our first time at Clerkenwell so we were a little unsure what to expect and possibly a little underprepared for how busy we were actually going to be. But it was non-stop for us from the moment the doors opened on the first day, right until the last day of the festival. As a predominantly online retailer it was a great opportunity for us to get out of the studio to meet and chat to new and existing customers, buyers and other retailers.’

Rupert Mckelvie, Founder, Out of the Valley, says ‘Clerkenwell Design Week provided a fantastic platform for the launch of our company. It’s an intimate design show in one of the most creative areas in London, and this was reflected with some of the great contacts I made. We look forward to returning.’

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For press information and images, please contact the Clerkenwell Design Week team at Caro Communications:

Lucy Price, Account Manager

Jeffrey Cheung, Account Director

T: +44 (0)20 7713 9388


W: @carocomms