Clerkenwell Design Week once again proves its international status

Clerkenwell Design Week 2014 (20-22 May) has attracted another stellar line-up of leading design names from around the world, to showcase their latest designs and innovations in the heart of Clerkenwell. Global design brands from countries including Italy, Sweden, Germany and the US, will gather in this historic neighbourhood, taking advantage of its high concentration of architects, designers and creative communities. Over the three-day festival, participating brands will exhibit across four key shows – Design Factory, Platform, Detail and Additions – and more than 60 local showrooms.

Italy is renowned for its design heritage, and there are no shortage of leading Italian brands exhibiting at Clerkenwell Design Week this year.

Furniture manufacturer Arper will celebrate its 25th anniversary at the festival. They will mark this with an Alessi café (21 May), and a talk (22 May) – entitled ‘How do we make London the best city in the world?’ – hosted by Dezeen editor Marcus Fairs. Speakers will include Sol Campbell, Edwin Heathcote and Vicky Richardson. Meanwhile, the .IT All About Design showroom – home to some of the best Italian brands including La Falegnami, Fiam, Della Rovere and Casamania – will launch an exclusive collaboration with Edra and The Campana Brothers, entitled From Art to Design.

Design veteran Poltrona Frau Group will bring its recent Milan showcase to the UK for the first time. Expect to see an array of inspiring designs from brands including Alias, Cappellini, Cassina and Poltrona Frau.

Having recently launched its Last Side Table in Milan, furniture newcomer Discipline will bring this exciting new design by Max Lamb to Clerkenwell Design Week for its UK preview.

At Design Factory, lighting specialist Foscarini has joined forces with the festival’s headline sponsor Jaguar, to create a show-stopping installation which will be unveiled in the atrium of The Farmiloe Building. Also renowned for its lighting designs, Artemide will showcase its latest Empatia light on the dedicated lighting floor, combining the traditional craft of hand-blown glass with advanced LED technology.

Tile expert La Fabricca will present its luxury tile collections at the festival – from Pietra Lavica, an innovative stoneware for floors and walls, to the Seaside collection that recreates the natural feel of weathered woods.

Other key Italian brands exhibiting at the festival include Tacchini, Magis, La Palma, Bedont, spHaus, Cantellani & Smith and Studio Italia Design.

Scandinavia remains a melting pot for young design talent, and it’s no surprise to once again see a strong presence of Scandinavian design brands at this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week.

Flooring specialist Bolon will launch its new Silence collection featuring unique 3-D effects, inspired by the forests, lakes and wide skies of the brand’s Swedish homeland. To mark the launch, Bolon has invited world-renowned choreographer Alexander Ekman for the company’s artistic collaboration. Famous for his modern interpretations of classic dance, he has created a short film for Bolon entitled ‘The Contradiction Of Silence’. A playful piece of art, filled with energy, joy and beauty, it sits at the conceptual centre of the new collection’s launch.

Stockholm-based Buster & Punch will return to the festival with its Hero light, while Örsjö – with its 65 years’ experience of producing timeless fittings – will launch the Skyline and Crop collections at the event, both inspired by the architecture in Stockholm and an archive design.

Known for experimenting with materials, shapes and techniques, Iran-born, Swedish architect and designer Hanieh Heidarabadi will present its 3-D printed Make Lamp at the festival. This high-tech theme continues with Finland-based design studio Get Bli Designs which will debut its new line of lighting and jewellery.

Key Scandinavian brands to watch at Clerkenwell Design Week also include Swedese, Kinnarps, Mitab and +Halle.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, established furniture manufacturer Kusch+Co will showcase its latest collections, alongside some of its design classics from the last 75 years. As a cultural hub, new showroom partner Sto Werkstatt will preview its new exhibition entitled Re.presence during the festival, in addition to hosting a charrette entitled Design on the Green on 22 May.

Hardwood specialists Zeitraum will come to Clerkenwell Design Week with its recent Milan launches, including the Morph Dining Chair and Morph Stool by Formstelle, and the E8 Longue Dining Table by Matthias Hahn.

Luxury kitchen manufacturer bulthaup will take part for the first time this year, hosting a series of showroom events from a Miele calorie-neutral pop-up steam restaurant, to a kitchen lighting master-class run by Sally Storey, Design Director at John Cullen Lighting.

Spain and Portugal
In collaboration with designer Arik Levy, Barcelona-based Vibia will launch Wireflow at Clerkenwell Design Week – a lighting range with a strong architectural feel highlighted by its linear shapes and three-dimensional geometries.

Specialising in luxury, decorative design, Portuguese furniture company Ginger & Jagger will host a UK preview of its new collection, while Munna – also based in Portugal – will unveil its Babe chair in a shade of coral at the festival.

The Netherlands
Having installed its unique hybrid grasssystem – Desso GrassMaster® in the FIFA World Cup’s Sao Paulo stadium, Desso will offer a range of World Cup inspired activities during Clerkenwell Design Week; from making South American crafts, to competing in Desso’s LEGO challenge and an exclusive talk from Brazilian designer, artist and up-cycler Paulo Goldstein.

US and Canada
Established in 1938, US office furniture specialist Knoll will present highlights of its new collections, including the new Relax edition of the Barcelona chair and the Florence Knoll lounge collection. The company will also showcase the re-release of Tobia Scarpa’s Bastiano sofa and the highly anticipated Saarinen outdoor tables.

Textiles innovator Milliken will launch a new Nordic Stories floor covering collection, taking inspiration from the textural landscapes and extreme environments of the Nordic countries. Milliken will host a series of events over the three days, including a debate chaired by Mick Jordan, editor of Mix Interiors; a Nordic design conversation with Craft Magazine editor, Grant Gibson; a talk from extreme photographer Lucinda Grange; and a furniture renovating workshop from Out of The Dark.

International bathroom manufacturer Kohler will preview its new range including the Moxie wireless shower and speaker, Pleo toilet and Artifacts taps, in addition to the beautiful Kallista. Exhibiting in the UK for the first time, Canadian designer Loïc Bard will showcase his Tokyo collection, inspired by hischildhood in Japan and the simplicity of traditional Japanese design.

British furniture manufacturer AnotherCountry will host a UK preview of a new industrial lighting collection by New York-based company Workstead, while SCP Contracts will launch the latest contemporary designs by another New York-based lighting specialists, Roll & Hill.