Museum of Making, London
Industry insights

5 reasons why trade professionals should visit Clerkenwell Design Week

In just over two weeks Clerkenwell Design Week is back (24-26 May) for its 7th year, with eporta as its digital partners.

Part trade fair, part festival, Clerkenwell has been described as a mini-Milan for the Design Industry in the UK. As trade professionals, here are 5 reasons you should make sure you visit.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2016

1. Stay ahead of the rapidly evolving design industry 

The talks programme is a unique opportunity to reconnect with the bigger picture of the design industry, absorb insights into the major topics and trends of the moment and how these could shape its future. Plus, they've got a great new venue; The Goldsmiths’ Centre.

Highlights include:

  • Ineke Hans breakfast salons (daily at 9am)
  • Process: Making (Thursday at 12.30)
  • Reimagining a design icon: The transformation of the Commonwealth Institute into the new Design Museum (Thursday at 15.30)

The full programme can be found here.


2. Get to know your suppliers

It almost goes without saying that with such a great variety of exhibitors you're bound to fall in love with some new suppliers. An equally important and sometimes over-looked benefit of CDW is that it's an amazing opportunity to really get to know suppliers who might already be on your radar. Taking 15 minutes to meet with your suppliers, understand more about their manufacture, materials they use, how their designs evolve and generally deepen your understanding of their product makes a huge difference to being able to identify it as perfect for a particular project, and the all important client sell-in.

To help you get that 'full brand experience', CDW features several more interactive exhibitions:

Tom Dixon is taking over the church of St James'

Helen Yardley will be doing live rug hand-tufting demonstrations in Craft Central

Catellani & Smith, who are exhibiting in Fabric, have replaced the light they sold to the venue 16 years ago:

Clerkenwell Design Week 2016

To help you plan your trip, you can log on to eporta to see which eporta suppliers are exhibiting at Clerkenwell.


3. Discuss installations in picturesque Clerkenwell Streets 

Like Milan, you can't visit CDW without bumping into someone you know. What better conversational prompts than these fantastic installations:

Museum of Making with daily live demonstrations - Built of EQUITONE materials, the museum is a deconstructed barn and will function as a live social space dedicated to the art of making. Archival exhibits from the Museum of London will be displayed alongside the work of contemporary makers practising in Clerkenwell today.

Museum of Making, London

Giles Miller's 'Billboards' - Working with the concept of ‘wayfinding’, Giles Miller Studio has produced a series of large scale abstract signage sculptures. Square glass tiles have been composed to create a centralised ‘swoosh’, featured in each sculpture, designed to subtly evoke the movement of visitors to the next festival destination.

Giles Millers 'Billboards'

Hakfolly - In collaboration with Dutch wood flooring manufacturer HakwoodFleaFolly Architects have designed and created ‘HakFolly’, a 4.5m high temple of timber located within the historic St John’s Gate. HakFolly is a stacked timber structure that aims to create a fleeting moment of calm, in reference to Clerkenwell’s monastic past.


View the full CDW installation details here.


4. This year it's easier

We know from our trade buyer community that trade shows can be overwhelming. That's why this year we've partnered with CDW to help you capture the full value of a trade show.

Using our mobile website at the event, you’ll be able to:

  • save all your favourite suppliers to your eporta account
  • access full product details digitally (no need to carry around catalogues)
  • instantly establish your trade account
  • maintain direct communications with the supplier


5. Because it's important to enjoy the industry you're in

With it's festival-like atmosphere, CDW is a reminder of the brilliance of the Design Industry that, however busy you are, can only leave you energised and inspired.

"Clerkenwell is one of the world’s most exciting places to organise a design festival; the history, commercial strength and occupying a special area in the world’s creative capital, it’s truly dynamic. Reflecting the ever-changing nature of EC1, Clerkenwell Design Week is also dynamic and a truly unique event."

William Knight, Show Director – Clerkenwell Design Week

Come and visit our Trade Buyer Areas in Icons House of Culture, Design Fields or Detail for help planning your trip and some refreshments to keep you going!


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