We recently travelled to London to visit the Clerkenwell Design Week. I have been to a few trade shows but this was my first time at this particular one. It was rather unique in its organisation because the area is home to several companies’ show rooms clustered in a localised area. Exhibitions were dispersed through the city with venues ranging from permanent show rooms to large venues hosting several brands under one roof. Moving between showrooms, it was as if Emma, Shawn and I spent the afternoon window shopping, with the benefit of brochures and the odd free sample here and there. To spice things up the streets, alleys and court yards hosted a variety art installations and curiosities.
Many products and brands were of interest, particularly LIGHT, an exhibition of lighting brands hosted in Fabric night club. The dark brick interior and its vaulted ceilings contrasted well with the range of lights dotted throughout the exhibition from small gem like lamps to massive double height installations.
Shortly afterwards, I came across an exhibit of outdoor furniture by Caneline, nestled in the St John priory courtyard. The furniture was subtlety arranged around assortment of bushes and blooming flowers providing a splash of colour and attracting bird song. This combined with the low hubbub of show attendees and religious symbolism of the church’s architecture was surely enough to draw some people into contemplation, it certainly did for me.
Our last stop was an evening social at the Domus show room which came with entry to ‘Live Colour’ a llight installation by visual artist, Liz West. There was an appropriately festival like atmosphere as a number of companies were hosting events resulting in crowds congregating around their respective venues. The light installation was a more understated affair than I had expected, consisting of powerful ceiling mounted lights which would change the colour of the entire room and crowds of visitors within. It was amusing to see the changing expressions on people’s faces including those of my teammates, now seemingly exaggerated by the room’s changing ambience, range from delight to confusion.
All in all, it was a fascinating experience and a day well spent.