Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Clerkenwell Design Week - Streets ahead

Trendy designer types looking lost in London’s EC1, a pop-up bar in a disused garage forecourt and a boardroom table bicycle? It’s got to be Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW), which takes place in London’s architectural community, from May 24-26. This three-day festival takes place in the creative hub of the capital and celebrates the best of design.
On the opening day, visitors thronged the area around Farringdon station asking directions to Tinsel town (American diner and milkshake bar not LA). While the streets played host to installations and pop-up venues, such as the Step In Bar in an old petrol forecourt, which all formed part of the CDW trail.

Newcomer to the area West One Bathrooms, with its Bold Look of Kohler showroom, had put itself firmly on the CDW map. Flinging open its doors, it previewed a collection of four freestanding Kohler baths and its Numi combined WC/bidet with built-in music, heated seat and underfloor foot warmer! (featured in next issue of Kitchens & Bathrooms News)
It was certainly popular later in the day, when queues formed outside the showroom and it appeared to operate a policy that ‘if your name’s not down, you’re not coming in’. That’s even before the surprisingly nippy boardroom table bicycle appeared, delivering yet more party guests – a mixture of city suits and student-types! CDW just has that appeal.

But there’s more to come with seminars, presentations, parties and even a charity auction of art, to raise awareness for the victims of the Japanese earthquake, at TOTO’s gallery space on Thursday, May 26.   

The kitchen and bathroom industry could learn some lessons from this uber-cool festival, which effortlessly promotes best in class. While design takes to the streets in Clerkenwell, visitors interested in all things kitchens and bathrooms have to put up with staid exhibition halls. It's odd the industry is kept behind doors considering we all talk about 'open-plan, living spaces'. Perhaps we should start a Kitchen and Bathroom Carnival in London’s
Wigmore Street
in the West End. Any takers?

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