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Clerkenwell Design Week, 24th and 25th May 2017

Summer has finally arrived in the UK, and I found myself in London, exploring Clerkenwell Design Week during the two of the hottest days this year so far. Needless to say that it was a challenge, but well worth it. This was my first time at the event, and I didn’t know what to expect as I am used to mainly visual art fairs. My main aim was to find out about latest trends in the office space design and how can I incorporate art within that.

This year celebrates the eighth edition of the event. The slogan for CDW2017 is: Prisons, Churches, Nightclubs – and these indeed were the places where exhibitions were next to the independent showrooms, pop-up venues and outdoor installations.

On Wednesday, 25th May, I met one of my artists, Meriliis Rinne for a catch-up and then we started exploring the area together. We popped into several shops and studios, saw a lot of office design solutions, different carpet and tile makers amongst others. We also found a great outdoor installation, Order by Aldworth James & Bond. It reminded us of traditional patterns from our home country, Estonia.


My highlights of the CDW2017:


Stationery Porn Shop by Marby and Elm

As a printmaker, my ultimate favourite was Stationery Porn Shop by Marby and Elm. Well, the name says it all. It had a fantastic collection of various figurines for letterpress with quirky words and expressions.


Curious Duke Gallery

Great online gallery to purchase affordable and original artwork. They exhibited artworks by Tannaz Oroumchi at the event. Needless to say that they will be definitely one gallery I will keep my eye on. There are some fantastic artworks within their portfolio.



Limited edition screen prints by Crash-site were very impressive. Aesthetically formated glitch art – that says all to me.



Binocular furniture and lighting design and especially its desk lamp: trisaurus won my heart.


Catellani & Smith

Lights design by Catellani & Smith mesmerised me with a variety of materials used. Their site-specific display drew me instantly.



Magnetic wall covering solution by Magscapes gave me ideas how to install artwork using magnetic strips.


A couple of abstracts from various press releases:

Clerkenwell is one of the most important design hubs in the world, home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet.

Set across seven main exhibition spaces, venues include the House of Detention, Fabric, Spa Fields and St James Church. Each venue offers a distinct display, showing a breadth of creativity that makes CDW such an important part of the London design calendar. Exhibitions are: Design Fields (international contemporary design), Platform (up-and-coming designers), Project (contract design), Additions (interior products), British Collection (UK designers) and Detail (luxury interiors). Running North to South, CDW2017 exhibitions are: Design Fields (international contemporary design), Platform (up-and-coming designers), Project (contract design), Additions (interior products), British Collection (UK designers) and Detail (luxury interiors).

Clerkenwell Design Week will also feature a number of first time pop-up participants, taking over distinctive spaces across the area. Building on its success, Clerkenwell Design Week will look to refine the visitor experience to showrooms. With more than 300 events across 80-plus contemporary furniture showrooms, there is plenty to indulge in.


These are just some of many which inspired me. In general, it is fascinating to see the evolution of various office space solutions, with a lot of open plan solutions. Quite minimalist design, but bright colours seem to be an overarching theme. Everything appears to go back in time, back to the 60s.

I must say that I was well impressed with the whole event during the two days I spent there and am looking forward to the next year’s edition.