The Order of St John in Clerkenwell

 A collaboration between the  Campana brothers and Italian furniture brand Edra  on display in the crypt at The Order of St John during Clerkenwell Design Week 2014

A collaboration between the Campana brothers and Italian furniture brand Edra on display in the crypt at The Order of St John during Clerkenwell Design Week 2014

I was in London on Tuesday for the first day of Clerkenwell Design Week, now in its fifth year, it's a three day event which brings together the many creative businesses in the area (architects, design studios..) and invites companies from around the world to exhibit their latest wares. 

What sets it apart from other Earl's Court style trade shows (yawn..) is you get to wander around the historic streets of EC1 (actually outside and in the sunshine) and the exhibitions are held in the most brilliantly titled venues, such as the Order of St John above, a former monastery and now a museum, and my personal favourite: the House of Detention, a former Victorian prison.

It was just a shame this year they'd decided to add such anodyne exhibition names as "Detail" (at the Order of St John) and "Platform" (at the House of Detention) to the already memorable building names. Even the stunning, industrial, historic Farmiloe Building - the heart of the event where there are product displays, a retail section where you can actually buy stuff, and a series of talks - was shackled with the yawnsome "Design Factory" moniker. 

However, moaning aside, the picture above (of the Vermelha Chair by the Campana brothers for Edra) on show downstairs in the dark and chilly crypt pretty much summed up the event for me: modern design juxtaposed with an ancient backdrop. 

  The Tile Mile installation by architects Russ + Henshaw at St John's Gate

The Tile Mile installation by architects Russ + Henshaw at St John's Gate

I joined the press tour for a walk around the main events and eye-catching highlights such as this one, pictured above and below, of the Turkish Ceramics pattern-tastic installation called Tile Mile by Russ + Henshaw in the arch of the historic St John's Gate. If you stood in the right spot, in the centre, the tile pattern on the floor was reflected for miles in the curved mirrors. It was very effective. 

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 The event is on until Thursday, so if you are in the area why not head on down. It's free to enter and open to anyone - not just "creatives" - all you have to do is  register 

The event is on until Thursday, so if you are in the area why not head on down. It's free to enter and open to anyone - not just "creatives" - all you have to do is register 

I saw loads more interesting things, and took lots of snaps to remember what I'd seen, so I'll be bringing you some more posts over the next few days.

 

 The Cloister Garden at the Order of St John where the press tour started

The Cloister Garden at the Order of St John where the press tour started