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Clerkenwell Design Week 2016

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Nestled in the design hub of London, Clerkenwell Design Week is one of the leading independent design festivals in the UK, and in our opinion, one of the most fun. 

Wander around the showrooms, exhibitions and special installations from the leading UK and international design brands, and bump into friendly faces from the design community along the way.

And importantly, the showcase is punctuated with some of our favourite places in London to stop for food, so you can refuel and take in the atmosphere as much as your tired feet require. 

We had a ball wandering around the festival. Here are some of our best bits:

1. Icon House of Culture

We started our day in Fabric, yes the labyrinth of a nightclub where Icon, were showcasing a curated selection of top international brands. The lighting in Fabric is always pretty mesmerising, but this took it to a whole new level!

You walk through the Haberdashery LEAF canopy on arrival (one of our faves from LDF15) and into the depths of the club. 

Haberdashery Clerkenwell Design Festival 2016

The space is beautifully curated with the darkness of the club giving an eerie intensity to all the exhibits and making the lighting displays pop. The dance floor has never looked better.

Clerkenwell Design Week - Icon House

A stand-out for me was the Foresti lighting from Di Classe bringing the Outside into this dark, industrial space and creating an oasis within.

Di Classe - Clerkenwell Design Week

And yes, the Security Guards confirmed that they also work at the club at the weekend. Mind boggling. 

2. Sensorium - HASSELL and HÅG

We emerged from the darkness and hot-footed it over to Sensorium, a creative collaboration between HASSELL and HÅG, to immerse ourselves in their exploration of the traditional Victorian Pleasure Gardens. The historians out there will note that we went from one characteristic Victorian space to another, which felt very apt and when we realised we exchanged smug nods that we'd navigated the festival well. 

Sensorium plays with your senses to show how they influence your experience of the world around you. One minute we were floating off into an augmented reality of bright colours and bubbles, then next we were contained in a black box of sinister smoke looking out onto a candy-coloured garden through a peep hole, then we were sniffing our way through a floral-infused chamber to the mesmerising light.

Lovers of disorientation and tactility, you're in for a treat.

Sensorium - Clerkenwell Design Festival 

Clerkenwell Design Week - Sensorium

Sensorium - Clerkenwell Design Week

3. Tom Dixon. THE CHURCH.

Steady yourself for a religious experience and seek out Tom Dixon's collaboration with St. James' Church - a classic 17th century church on Clerkenwell Green. 

Tom Dixon has installed a large central chandelier that hangs in front of the stained glass window, a co-working environment and a kitchen, all donated as permanent fixtures to empower Vicar Andrew Baughen with his project to turn the Church into a creative community space. 

The contemporary designs and textured metallics look like they've found the perfect final resting place in the historic corners of this building. 

Tom Dixon - Clerkenwell Design Festival

With so much to see and do (ahem, and eat) at Clerkenwell Design Week 2016, be sure to leave yourself a good day to explore. Enjoy!

Like our top picks?  Follow us on Instagram and you'll never miss a design swoon. 


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