10 surprising products from London Clerkenwell Design Week 2017
From high-tech to teak wood, a design fair spread across churches, nightclubs, and an old prison
Clerkenwell Design Week is in a quiet London neighborhood right between the East side of the city, aka Mad Hipsterland, and the historical financial district, aka a lot of briefcases.
We managed to dodge the countless office furniture brands and to find 10 outstanding designs from emerging designers and a few established brands.
If you are into innovative materials, unusual shapes, and wow objects, these are worth checking out.
1. Glow in the Dark Lights by MySlouch
Among the most surprising products, I’ve seen I can easily place the fluorescent lamps of Yvonne Slough that glow in the dark for 4 to 6 hours thanks to the use of a natural pigment instead of regular artificial fluorescent paint.
The appeal of these objects changes drastically when switching the light off, creating a different ambiance and mood around them.
2. Sacred Geo Collection by Elise Som
It’s not an easy task to design a good piece of furniture that looks classy and modern, and also feels pleasant to touch.
Elise Som takes it one step further as her stools are made of 95% recycled materials such as glass coming from wine or beer bottles, TV screens or broken mirrors and seashells.
She claims that “true luxury is to design with a responsible heart” and I find it hard to disagree.
3. Baffi by Swedese
Isn’t it thrilling to see a new twist on a boring tool?
This time is hardly ever-innovated home object: the broom.
Swedese took on the challenge and created Baffi which is the Italian for mustache.
Easily hangable, playful, curious, nordic, and sleek.
4. Urban LivePicture by Urban Roof Garden
You’re in love with greenery, but you accidentally kill all of your plants every single time?
Here’s a solution, and the best part is that no one needs to know.
These vertical planters come with an embedded slow-release irrigation system.
The tank in the top-right corner of the frame is hidden from the greenery: just fill it and enjoy your plants growing.
5. Jeremyʼs Table by Jonathan Field
The warmth of wood and its beautiful curves are filled by a stream of water of bright blue color, actually made of resin.
It’s no surprise that the works of Jonathan Field are influenced by his memories of a childhood spent around the landscapes of East Yorkshire.
His words are the ones of a true artisan:
“This to me is very important: to go with the quiet presence and tactile quality of the wood, to select the most appropriate pieces of timber, and to make furniture that is both restful on the eye and pleasurable to look at and to touch.”
6. BeoSound Shape by Bang & Olufsen
Throw in a blender and mix well: high-tech audio, futuristic design, premium positioning and Danish roots – Bang & Olufsen is ready!
BeoSound Shape is their new product presented at Clerkenwell Design Week: wall-mounted, fully customizable from 4 to 44 speakers, and ultra-connected via Chromecast built-in, Apple AirPlay, and Bluetooth.
- Surprise No.1/2: not all of those hexagons are actually speakers: some of them are sound-absorbing panels helping to better the acoustics of the room.
- Surprise No.2/2: software filters and selects which frequencies come out of every single speaker delivering a concert-like perception of singers and instruments.
7. Mirrors by Mimai Lazulite
Mirrors are fascinating creatures, being your worst enemy on some days and your best ally on others.
Mimai Lazulite is a London-based design studio that creates mirrors with character, using a traditional decorative technique where the back side of the glass is glided with gold, silver, or metal leaf.
It feels like looking at an old mirror, a vintage piece that surprisingly reveals geometric patterns and modern graphical themes, creating a pleasant contrast and generating curiosity in the viewers.
8. La Grande Bouffe by Pinscher
Tables are emotional pieces of furniture.
Promoting social gatherings of different kinds and a number of possible uses, they often represent the central furniture piece of a house.
Belgium brand Pinscher is focused on the design and production of premium tables.
The piece they presented besides featuring their signature geometrical shape, is made of rare white ebony wood: the boards were carefully chosen to create a symmetrical, high-contrast drawing.
9. Riddle Pendant Lamp by Bert Frank
Their sophisticated style is perfectly represented by all the pieces featured at the exhibition.
The neat, yet stiff, appeal of the Riddle Pendant Lamp makes it suitable for different interior styles, from industrial to nordic and minimalistic, either for commercial or residential.
10. Resound by Camilla Lee
It’s curious to see that something universally liked such as the gramophone actually disappeared from our everyday lives.
British designer Camilla Lee brings back a modern version created for smartphones and completely made of wood, with the mission of “putting the warmth and interaction back into music listening”.