2018 marks the ninth year that Clerkenwell Design Week has been running. Arguably one of London’s most influential design events, Clerkenwell has become a hub of creativity and innovation. Interesting fact, Clerkenwell may only cover roughly 2.5 miles, but holds within it more creative businesses per square mile than anywhere else in Europe. There are now over 90 showrooms and studios that are open to the public during the design week and they draw in a tremendous number of visitors over the three days that it runs.
Here at the coop, we are all about immersing our team in events that will improve their design understanding. That’s why this year our Sam and Emma headed into the hive of activity across two days to explore Clerkenwell Design Week and look out for exciting new installations and studios.
Emma tackled day one and she was on the lookout for eye-catching lighting and furniture studios. The first company that Emma came into contact with was the incredible Danish furniture brand, Mater. Founded in Copenhagen in 2006, Mater’s conscious and ethical design approach mixed with great craftsmanship makes it a hugely exciting brand to find out more about. The occasion actually marked the launch of the new showroom which is positioned near to the Angel end of the design district. We really like the reasoning behind the name, being that Mater means “mother” in Latin. The name is a daily reminder of the company’s small contribution in preventing the challenges “mother earth” faces – wise words from the CEO & founder of Mater, Henrik Marstrand.
Next on Emma’s hitlist was the brand new Allurmuir showroom, which is a truly breathtaking design in itself, product aside. The vast open and minimalist space in the centre of Clerkenwell stood out as being anything but normal. Over the past 10 years the brand has grown, expanding into six continents and over 70 countries. Although the company is now international, its background in bringing personality and diversity to design has not been forgotten. Allurmuir stood out, as one of its key brand messages is “death to mediocrity”. Here at the coop we totally back such an ethos, as we aim to provide anything but mediocracy through our unique “Rooster approach” to PR.
Emma’s last stop of the day was family-run design and furniture brand, Ecrol. Its philosophy is to create contemporary furniture that will suit all spaces whilst sticking to using simple but effective designs. Ecrol works across living, dining, bedroom, and home office furniture. Having started in 1920, it has years of expertise to command attention in such a modern and diverse market. Emma’s trip provided us with the exciting information that it plans to open a showroom in New York in the near future which will be a huge stepping stone into the US market.
Sam’s mission for day two was simple, scout out the best flooring and fabric offerings that Clerkenwell Design Week had to offer. His first stop was the incredible Modus showroom which had been transformed into a pop-up workshop with live product making, focusing on the company’s new “Belt” stool product. The Belt is designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune and is aptly named after it’s distinguishing belt-like handle strap which runs up the side and across the top of the seat. The idea behind the design is ease and portability for a generation who are moving more than ever before. The product was launched at Clerkenwell Design Week and throughout the three-day event was constructed in 30 different shades for a wall display in the showroom. A percentage of the sale from these Belt stools are being donated to Clerkenwell Design Week’s official charity partner, Maggie’s Cancer Charity.
“in modern-day business, having a sustainable outlook is no longer a choice but a necessity. Customers increasingly look at a company’s environmental credibility and choose between products accordingly.” Wise words from one of our favourite finds at this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week, Bolon. Bolon Flooring began in 1949 and it has developed a unique woven vinyl flooring which it is renowned for. Here at the coop, we are all about sustainability, and with the media attention around global warming and plastic wastage, it seems smart for any company to be thinking with their eco-friendly hat on. Bolon has worked with a local recycling plant to develop a recycled flooring. This is made through a unique process that grinds and modifies old bits of flooring into granules that can then be bound and reshaped into a new material, starting the cycle over. Sustainable yet stylish, we can safely say that Bolon really is right up our street.
We couldn’t head to Clerkenwell Design Week without heading over to our client Bang & Olufsen’s dear friend, Kvadrat. Kvadrat is Europe’s leading manufacturer of design textiles, creating high quality textile product for several Bang & Olufsen products including the Beoplay M3, Beoplay M5, and Beoplay A9 speakers. Anything cool enough for Bang & Olufsen is 100% cool enough for the coop, and the stunning showroom didn’t disappoint. It was an exceptionally minimal space allowing the fabrics to be the centre of attention.
Clerkenwell Design Week never disappoints, however this year stood out as being quite spectacular. The incredible diversity of products, and the creative approaches to showroom aesthetics was truly astounding. From the stripped back workshop of Modus, to the modern minimalism of Kvadrat, the range of presentations from the studios seriously impressed Emma and Sam and we can’t wait to go back next year and see even more exciting new brands for 2019!