Posted in Events, News on 27 April, 2023

Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW), now in its 12th edition, will return to EC1 London between 23 – 25 May 2023.

Taking place across the whole of Clerkenwell, a neighbourhood renowned for its high concentration of architects and designers, the festival is set to offer its biggest programme yet. With a total of 12 exhibition venues, including two new additions, the programme will showcase over 300 design brands and emerging talent, feature more than 600 events and, for the first time, will be merging with its sister show, Design London. With so much to see, here are just a few highlights.

Headlining this year’s CDW Presents programme is a specially commissioned installation by British artist, Steve Messam – who exhibits internationally and is well known for his large-scale, inflatable artwork reimagining our everyday surroundings. At the festival, the County Durham-based artist will bring his distinctive public art – sponsored by 3D design software company, SketchUp – to St John’s Gate of the Order of St John. This site-specific piece, titled Gateway and measuring 6m (height) by 15.5m (length), will feature 27 giant spikes hand-sewn in a striking blue textile. It forms part of Messam’s ongoing art series taking over historic architectural sites – and inviting the public to examine their environment in a new light through its deliberately ambiguous shape and size.

Creating a more sustainable way of living – from biodiversity to reduce-reuse-recycle – remains a key subject matter for many design manufacturers and makers. Using modern technology and the latest research, many explore and propose new ways to challenge the status quo while tackling these industry-wide issues with a global outlook.

As part of the CDW Presents series, SYMBIOCENE LIVING: Mycelium Building Block is an interpretive, artistic mycelium installation that encourages the public to envision and engage with fungi architecture designed by East London-based PLP Architecture. While the modular feature is made of mycelium blocks with a 3D printed timber shell, the blocks – each similar in size to a watermelon – will be arranged to create a different formation incorporating abstract seating and towers on each day of the festival.

Over at Old Sessions House, Heiter X will launch its first collection of sculptural tableware in collaboration with Krohwin. Crafted using traditional building techniques and innovative 3D clay printing technology, the Mound Collection is made from raw clay and natural carnauba wax – as well as repurposed food industry waste including buckwheat and hemp shells. The new tableware will be shown alongside Terra Firma, an edible tablescape aimed to spark conversation and inspire change in the way we think about and interact with food.

Our enduring love for the craft as seen in recent years shows no signs of slowing down. Visitors to this year’s CDW will not be disappointed by the eclectic mix of independent makers and businesses the UK has to offer.

Greek-born, London-based furniture designer and sculptor Kostas Synodis (Platform) will join the festival for the first time. Blending art and design with his signature pared-down aesthetic, the newcomer will exhibit a new foldable low deckchair. Made from three pieces of veneer plywood cut out of the same panels to minimise material use, Notch is inspired by an African palaver chair but reimagined in a more contemporary approach.

Another one to watch at Platform is Timber Robot Studio – set up by Philip Gay in 2022. A former propmaker from the film industry, Gay retrained in fine woodwork in 2021 before starting his furniture and homeware business. At CDW, he will showcase his latest handmade designs – including an Art Deco-inspired chest made from solid ash and rippled ash veneer.

Lighter, warmer days are just around the corner – and this year’s CDW returns with another exciting line-up of outdoor furniture launches.

A long-term supporter of the festival, Clerkenwell-based Jennifer Newman Studio will have an installation in St John’s Square focusing on outdoor terrace products – all made in London – and is set to reintroduce its classic Alfresco bench and Huddle table at the festival.

While British company Case Furniture at Groupwork in Clerkenwell Green will display its Eos outdoor collection by Matthew Hilton, its Danish counterpart, Norr11 (Showroom) will launch the new outdoor editions of its popular Studio sofa and Hippo lounge chair at CDW.

The 12th edition of Clerkenwell Design Week takes place across EC1, London from 23 – 25 May 2023. For more information, please visit

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