Clerkenwell Design Week

Clerkenwell Design Week rolls around so fast! This year we found ourselves shuttling between Clerkenwell and Kensington,  launching urinals and marshalling bloodthirsty teenagers and drink fuelled designers.

Tuesday saw the London launch of 'Fountain '17', an exhibition of artworks based on Marcel Duchamp's 'Fountain', which has its centenary this year. As probably the most influential artwork of the 20th Century, this is a very difficult subject to tackle. It has been discussed and dissected ad nauseam by critics, and is still capable of stoking the question '...but is it Art?'

One way around the problem is to make a joke of it - but to do so the joke has to be a damn good one. We particularly liked the monument to the detritus often found blocking urinal outlets: a gigantic piece of chewing gum by Desmond Brett. Also worthy of note was Assemble's experiment with slip-marbling a WC pan.

For our part, we un-asked the question by looking at the object in an abstracted, geometric way. Read and see more here: 

Fountain '17 launch event at Ideal Standard showroom, Clerkenwell.

Fountain '17 launch event at Ideal Standard showroom, Clerkenwell.


Wednesday saw us back in Clerkenwell, where we joined forces with the exuberant Trevor Flynn of Drawing at Work and brilliant designer Anahi Copponex. Anahi runs fascinating courses on 'Pattern Cutting for Architects', and during the evening she ran a session on body adornment using long loops of synthetic whalebone - the stuff used to make modern corsets and hoop skirts. Whilst life drawing continued upstairs, we tutored a group in experimental folding techniques. As always when designers cut loose, things got wild, culminating in a fashion parade.

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Drawing at Work  at Desso for Clerkenwell Design Week

Drawing at Work at Desso for Clerkenwell Design Week

We rounded off the week with a return visit to the Design Museum, where we'd been invited to work with an extremely sparky bunch of young people at the Museum's monthly Sunday Workshop. After a quick collaborative warm up exercise, we guided attendees (ages 12-16) through our approach to drawing systems, stories, and processes. They responded with an array of insightful, well considered, beautiful - and in one case, surprisingly gory - pictures.

See more on our work with the Design Museum here.

Design Ventura

We had a fantastic studio outing to the Design Museum last week, running a design masterclass for some extremely sparky students from across the UK. Sneak peek below, and full story here!

Photo ©Miles Willis/Design Museum

Photo ©Miles Willis/Design Museum

'Sketch' at Arup Associates

As part of the exhibition SKETCH, Peter Ayres of Beep Studio joined Mick Brundle (former Director of Arup Associates) and David Horgan for a happy (read: wine powered) judging session at Arup Associates.

To keep the competition lively, prizes were awarded in the following categories:

  • Imagination and Creativity
  • Detail and Technical
  • Expression and Story Telling  

The wide range of styles on display made the judging process extremely difficult.
After we had all selected a handful of favourites (and a handful of peanuts) we pooled our resources, downed our wine, and hammered out our thoughts.

And the winners are...


Architectural control and freewheeling fantasy combine in this fantastic cityscape
Metropolis by Vinicius De Siqueira 
First Prize - Imagination and Creativity

Midland Goods Shed - gable (2013).jpg

Complexity rendered with clarity in Thomas Pearson's drawing ‘Midland Goods Shed - Gable Façade 2013’, worthy winner of the 'Detail and Technical' category.


Exuberant risk taking restraint... in this stimulating drawing from Ruth Huntington, winner in the Expression and Storytelling category.

For an in-depth write up on the event, with a wider discussion of drawing, see David Horgan's excellent post on LinkedIn. Thanks to Arup Associates for the invitation!