On the last day of Clerkenwell Design Week, the AJ visits designers at the House of Detention, formerly a Victorian underground prison and now a key hub of the festival, to find out if the week was a success
Sujata Sengupta, EcoSenz
‘The design week has been very positive for me and has given me lots of exposure. There has been lots of media attention, and in terms of networking, many people have shown an interest in my work. Design festivals provide instant contacts within the industry, and the publicity around the festival also helps. On my own I would not have been able to promote my work this much.’
Malene Hartmann Rasmussen
‘I’m happier at the festival in Clerkenwell than at London Design Week which is bigger and more corporate. I have spoken to more interesting people here at CDW and really feel the area benefits from having its own design week.
‘I have been very happy with the feedback I have received. I invited my own contacts to come and view my work at the festival as this way they get to see it in the context of an exhibition, and this has worked well for me. It’s important to keep up an appearance on the festival circuit so that people don’t forget you.’
‘Clerkenwell has such an amazing design community with so much going on in the showrooms that it would be a shame if it didn’t have its own design festival. I have recently finished a new collection so the timing of the festival was just right, and Clerkenwell Design Week has such a good reputation.
‘Feedback has been really good, and I will stay in touch with many of the designers I have met here. Press coverage or customer orders are massive perks, but meeting other designers is also very important.’
Johnathon Lloyd Little, ctrl+n arkitektur DA
‘I currently work in Norway but if I was to return to open an office in London, I would definitely choose to work in Clerkenwell as the festival has shown it to be a real creative hub. Here you are surrounded by peers and people interested in the designs that come out of the area.
‘We’ve learnt a lot from simply being here. Feedback will help us to shape where we go with our product and we have had many recommendations which have helped to inspire us.’
Dan Robotic, Evil Robot Designs
‘Clerkenwell Design Week is smaller than London Design Week, with less corporate, more creative businesses taking part. Our company hasn’t been going very long but CDW is small enough that we can hold out own here.
‘The last few days have been amazing for us. The venue is very interesting and people have been inspired by our work. We have had interest from three shops and two hotels, and are getting good feedback. There are also lots of bloggers who are using social media to highlight the work of designers here which is also really important.’