We coordinate the Clerkenwell Design Quarter for the London Design Festival. Our experience and contacts add an extra layer of publicity and marketing to design businesses in EC1 hosting exhibitions, launches talks and more during this busy September period.
Last week, we hosted a press breakfast at Viaduct, and then took a small group of design bloggers on a short tour of some of our CDQ highlights. We were joined by Claire Lewis of Adventure Walks, who gave us a glimpse into Clerkenwell’s surprisingly radical history.
First stop was Viaduct, where founder and director James Mair introduced Show 13: Bare Minimum – a curated selection of contemporary furniture pieces which represent the minimal ideal through rigorous design, thoughtful materials and interesting textures.
Next, Nina Tolstrup of Studiomama introduced the 13 Square Metre House project – an exercise in micro living which Studiomama and Commissioned by You are creating for real on a plot in north London. Viaduct’s mezzanine level contains a scale ‘prototype’ of the tiny dwelling, illustrating clever storage solution and multi-functional spaces, and asks ‘What Can’t You Live Without?’.
We left Viaduct with goody bags (filled with heavenly beauty products from L:A Bruket, furniture brand e15’s signature wooden house, an Adventure Walks map of London, a Lamy pen from TOTO) and headed to MARK Product on Clerkenwell Rd, learning about the areas Italian community en route.
We squeezed into the MARK showroom (the smallest in Clerkenwell), where co-founder John Miller was busy installing the Festival exhibition. After 8 years working side by side, Anna Hart and John Miller have launched their own brand, Hart Miller Design studio, and are showcasing their designs both in the showroom and at 100% Design. During the Festival, visitors to the showroom will be treated to a Moomaid ice cream, and our bloggers didn’t hesitate to sample the Cornish treats offered on this hot day!
We left MARK Product, and headed along Clerkenwell Road, pausing to peer into the Garden of the Priory of the Order of St John (full of medicinal plants). Have you ever noticed the semi-circle of bricks laid in front of the building? It follows the line of the original Priory which was circular.
Our next stop was the brand new Cosentino City London – a flagship showroom which we were privileged to have a sneak peek at prior to its official opening during the London Design Festival. Showroom manager Diego Florio showed us their impressive Dekton Gallery, and their high-tech Library. More food followed as we were treated to churros and chocolate; just the thing to sustain us to our last stop on the tour, the Barbican Centre, via historical Whitecross Street.
At the Barbican Centre, we were met by Bocci designer Omer Arbel, whose latest installation, Omer Arbel: 44, had been launched just the previous night. He talked us through his significant installation in the public foyer of the arts centre, whihc comprises hundreds of free-form poured aluminium shapes connected by low voltage wires. The lights themselves are only connected to the aluminium elements (reminiscent of coral); the current passes through the aluminium and illuminates the bulbs.
For more information on the Clerkenwell Design Quarter and events in EC1 during the London Design Festival, have a look at the website www.clerkenwelldesignquarter.com.
We would like to thank Viaduct, MARK Product, Cosentino, Omer Arbel and the Barbican Centre for giving us a preview of their Festival events, our bloggers, and also L:A Bruket (courtesy of A&B Supply), e15, TOTO and Adventure Walks for contributing to the goody bags.