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Interview: Will Knight discusses what we should know ahead of Clerkenwell Design Week 2016

Clerkenwell Design Week is always a key part of the year for the design world. Set in the heart of London, Clerkenwell contains more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet, making it a true design hub.

CDW 2016 runs this year 24-26 May with an exciting new route plan and temporary installations that shouldn't be missed! We caught up with CDW Show Director, Will Knight, to find out more.

Will Knight designs

What are the top 3 things we shouldn't miss this year?

The Showroom Gateway – Joining the line-up as an essential CDW destination and acting as gateway to the Clerkenwell’s showrooms, Brewhouse Yard will be temporarily transformed for the festival by local residents Studio Egret West and BDP. Check out onoffice’s outdoor working station, then arm yourself with a showroom map and product guide and get walking!

Design Fields – Design Fields, staged at Spa Fields, next to one of Clerkenwell’s gems – Exmouth Market, is set to become a vibrant new destination for the show as CDW expands its boundaries north. Alongside some of the most exciting home-grown designer-makers, the show - set across two floors - will present a diverse range of the best in international contemporary design.

Museum of Making – The Museum of Making will be the centrepiece installation at this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week. The temporary museum on St John’s Square will create a thought-provoking reflection on the history of making in the area and is designed by Swedish practice White Arkitekter.

Could you give us three words that sum up CDW?

Experience

Creativity

Festival

What's new this year? We've heard that CDW 2016 will have a new route plan; can you tell us more?

This year we have put a lot of thought into the CDW visitor experience. We have worked closely with young architecture practice OMMX, who have devised a new layout for the festival. The new master plan will be brought to life with a marked route, allowing visitors to easily navigate the trail linking eight exhibition spaces and series of commissioned installations.

What is your priority right now?

Right now my main priority is to pin down just one of the temporary elements of the festival – CDW Presents. We have assigned several really exciting up-and-coming design outfits with a site in Clerkenwell, paired them up with some fantastic material suppliers – and then its my job, and that of my operations team, to make their ideas happen!

What would be your top tips for suppliers exhibiting at CDW?

Everyone exhibiting should tap into the CDW marketing and PR machine. There are 300+ exhibitors and over 100 events for visitors to see in very short time. A particular tip for our showroom partners is to line up some really exciting activity – the showroom programme is the backbone of the festival, and is what a lot of our visitors use to plan their week.

Finally, what do most people not know about CDW?

How small a team is behind it! #CDW2016 is set to involve eight exhibition spaces, over 80 showroom partners, 25 Fringe venues and a number of installations. What many don’t realise is that behind all of this is a team of just 10 rather hardworking individuals!



Will Knight is the Show Director at Clerkenwell Design Week, taking overall responsibility for the content development and logistical organisation of CDW. Previously Will worked for London Design Festival, successfully building the show into what it is today.

#CDW2016 will be running this year 24-26 May.

Click here to enquire about exhibiting.

To register to visit the festival click here.

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