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Sheds and barns pop up at Clerkenwell Design Week

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White Arkitekter’s ‘Swedish-barn’ pavilion and Sam Jacob Studio’s digitally fabricated shed explore architectural ideas in miniature

Nanotecture is the closest Clerkenwell Design Week gets to architecture, but it is always interesting to see the innovative intersection between architecture and design provided by small projects.

One Thing After Another is a project commissioned by Sto Werkstatt from Sam Jacob Studio for Clerkenwell Design Week. It explores the inputs and outputs of information between digital and physical worlds. The installation starts with an ‘original’ piece of architecture - a garden shed. This was 3D scanned to create a digital copy which was then processed and scaled to fabricate a new CNCed version from Verolith.

The matryoshka presentation sees a doll-house size copy inside the original shed, both inside the large digital version. The architecturally primitive form of the shed, reproduced through the 3D scanning and digital fabrication technology, posits the scope of sampling, scaling and multiplying possibilities. Sam Jacob Studio has explored similar ideas with its Dar Abu Said piece; a CNCed stone-milled replica of a refugee shelter in the Calais Jungle – given a permanence it was never guaranteed at the camp. Dar Abu Said is on display as part of the V&A exhibition A World of Fragile Parts at the Applied Arts Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Other creative structures have popped up around Clerkenwell. White Arkitekter has designed The Museum of Making in St John’s Square, one of the site-specific pavilions for Clerkenwell Design Week. The ‘Swedish-barn’ pavilion is built from colourful Equitone cladding panels, arranged in section to create an open yet sheltered space with transparent roofing.

Inside the pavilion vitrines showcase objects and artefacts loaned from the Museum of London collections, including tools and machinery rescued by the museum when many of the traditional family-run workshops and factories, some dating back to the 1800s, closed down in the 1970s and 1980s, leaving Clerkenwell ripe for architects and designers to move in.

Complementing the archival displays, the tools and design processes of contemporary makers working in and around Clerkenwell today have also been displayed in the central space, where workshops and demonstrations have taken place. This has allowed visitors to actively engage with what they’ve seen and make something of their own or simply observe the art of making.

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