Recently festivals take unexpectedly various forms. Some are held in city centers, others deep in forests, specialized events or city feasts of a popular nature call itself festivals as well. I am sure, that you would find different examples of festivals too. This time I am in a hurry to share info about a specialized design festival that is going on in London. Maybe some of you are visiting this city, and you will swing by, well, and for others, simply the moments from exhibitions, where you can see and check trends of the most recent design.
Space and location of the festival. Clerkenwell design week is held in the center of London, near Barbican. Exactly here you will find various design shops, presenting everything from trendy chairs to super expensive urinal or bath. Not only the local shops but also various cafes, clubs, galleries and especially for this event created spaces are taking part in this fiesta. Every space is marked with an official badge and is also indicated on the map. I, personally, usually avoid coming to this type of shops – you can call them salons. Often they are very formal and luxurious, so to just come in, without buying something, seems quite challenging. Most young people look at such spaces through windows, avoiding a direct contact, well we do not have cash for ₤3000 couch anyway. In that case, festival creates more relaxed atmosphere and gives an exceptional opportunity to just enjoy and explore one space after another, look at people who work here and take part in some events.
Exhibits and exhibitions. I visited quite a few exhibitions and spaces here and would say that product design, especially furniture design, dominates the show. However, exhibitions did not limit themselves only with examples of furniture design. I found interesting exhibition, presenting final BA students works of architecture – it’s great to see that, whilst studying for their bachelors, some students are already creating interesting and technically high level works. The dominant architecture models suggest various solutions for communities, social networks and spaces, created for communication, sharing and bringing city residents closer. It was exiting to observe a mobile, interactive and innovative examples of spaces and to believe that one day they will be realized. Also, quite interesting products were presented by the London Design Museum shop.
Events. Clerkenwell design week offers a wide spectrum of events – from workshops, lectures and discussions to tea ceremonies and parties. I, as always, was drawn the most by discussions and lectures, so I chose those that fit according to the time and with interesting themes. Victoria Renshaw discussed quite interesting topics, looking at the main trends in the world for upcoming years. Agencies, which for years observe tendencies in architecture, art, technology, medicine, cinema, fashion, economics, our daily life and finally sum them all up to present the main angles, tendencies and expressions that will be the most relevant in the upcoming years, seemed very interesting to me. Some predictions I wrote down to my notebook: popularity of biotechnical tools, increase of fairy tales’ motives, growing mobility in human lifestyle and the influence of social networks to most industries, even design (examining such details as fabrics and textures). She also talked about recording dreams and sharing them on “Facebook” wall or an architectural plan of a house, similar to a hamster wheel.
So, ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, we will be living like hamsters in the future. – Victoria Renshaw.
Sponsors and snacks. One of the most delightful nuances of this festival would be that it is free. The main sponsor is “Jaguar”, which probably was the most concerned that the festival would be open to as many people as possible. You can also evaluate the most recent automobile models of “Jaguar” itself in the main exhibition hall. Clerkenwell design week should also be liked by those, who like to socialize and enjoy drinks with snacks. It seems that every space tries to attract their customers not only by the presented program but also by various cocktails and sweets, I heard that there will even be a sandwich workshop.
So, to those, who like to evaluate creativity in a bigger context and look not only to paintings and white gallery walls, I would recommend wandering around Barbican’s streets and visiting happening events. You will find more information here.