Clerkenwell design week 2011 – a fiesta for those who like snacks

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.


Gintarė Žitkevičiūtė
About author:
Gintarė Žitkevičiūtė
Gintare Zitkeviciute is Art Pit’s thinker and doer. In her work practise, she values lean approach, creativity and quick decisions. She doesn't like working with random people and thinks that a team is a heart of successful project. For that reason, she carefully picks people she works with on everyday basis. She is mostly interested in innovatio... Read further >
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