Marlon Cera-Marle, design division director of CDW organisers Media 10, reveals the highlights to look forward to at this year's key design festival, taking place in London between 23th - 25th May 2023, and how you can get the most out of all the events taking place.
Q: Tell us about this year's Clerkenwell Design Week – what sets it apart from previous years?
A: This year’s Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) is the biggest yet – with over 600 events taking place across the whole of Clerkenwell; from exhibitions to showrooms, talks to workshops. We also have some of the most exciting artists, designers and architects collaborating with us on a whole host of special projects. More importantly, we have merged the festival with our sister show, Design London, to further bolster the overall experience of CDW, making it the biggest event we’ve had to date – and a true global design destination.
Q: What will kitchen and bathroom retailers and designers in particular gain from visiting the design festival?
A: There will be plenty to see and explore for those from the bathroom and kitchen industries. We have international showrooms such as Ideal Standard, Toto and RAK Ceramics launching new collections – while Villeroy & Boch is celebrating its 275th anniversary. Also, look out for established names, including Kohler, Gessi and VitrA Bathrooms, which will be joined by newcomers to the festival such as Fiora, and the latest architecture and design gallery of Bagnodesign in Clerkenwell.
Q: What highlights should visitors make sure they don't miss while they're there?
A: As part of our CDW Presents series, we have British artist Steve Messam taking over St John’s Gate of the Order of St John with his inflatable public art, Gateway – as well as an interactive installation – made from mycelium – designed by East London-based PLP Architecture. We also have our popular Conversations at Clerkenwell programme returning to Spa Fields, with over 15 talks and panel discussions taking place over those three days. And of course, we have a total of 12 exhibition venues at CDW this year, showcasing more than 300 brands and emerging talent – on top of over 130 local showrooms which will host their own events throughout the festival; from networking receptions to talks and workshops. We have further announcements in the coming weeks so do keep checking our What’s On page online.
Q: What is the best way to get the most out of the design festival?
A: Do your prep work in advance and write down the brands or things you’d like to see – so you have something to follow and stick to while you’re there. Visitors can use our CDW website to browse through the full list of participating kitchen and bathroom brands, filter by product type, and discover all their special events – across the three days of the festival. To help our visitors navigate, we also have a specially designed CDW map on our website and across key locations in Clerkenwell – so look out for them to create your own festival trail.
Q: What elements are you personally looking forward to the most?
A: It’s hard for me to pick as we have so many exciting launches and features happening across the whole neighbourhood this year – especially with CDW being a major platform for brands to launch their new products globally. For me, I’m most looking forward to seeing the whole festival come to life on the streets of Clerkenwell, while we – as a design community – gather to celebrate the best of creativity and innovation our capital has to offer.