Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) returns to London from 21st – 23rd May 2024, standing as one of the leading international design festivals. As well as product showcases, showroom presentations and interactive installations, this year’s festival promises a wealth of design insights shared through its dedicated talks programme, Conversations at Clerkenwell. Curated by brand consultant Katie Richardson, the three-day schedule kicks off on Tuesday 21st May 2024, with an in-conversation featuring Mary Portas OBE. These talks, sponsored by RAK Ceramics, will take place in Spa Fields.

Bringing together recognisable and diverse voices from the realms of architecture, design and beyond, the 2024 series delves deep into the nuances of sustainable practices, retail, materiality, colour, workplace trends, craft, neurodiversity, AI and much more. Look out for other headline speakers including Simone Brewster, Henry Holland and 2LG Studio (Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead). Book your tickets now.

Running alongside the main programme, CDW visitors can also enjoy a brand-new addition of talks and workshops in Spa Fields. Design Meets gathers industry bodies and associations as they take centre stage to host sessions covering everything from intellectual property protection in design to material palettes and business management. Meanwhile, over at Light at House of Detention, Darc magazine will host Darc Thoughts, three days of lighting-focused panels and presentations from leading interior designers, lighting experts and manufacturers. Both Design Meets and Darc Thoughts are FREE to attend and offered on a first-come-first-served basis.

Last but not least, throughout CDW, there are also hundreds of events in showrooms and different venues all over EC1. Click here to find out more.


Tuesday 21st May

11.00-12.00 – Mary Portas OBE in Conversation with Becky Sunshine 

Influential and iconic businesswoman, broadcaster, author and activist Mary Portas OBE will talk through her life and work with journalist Becky Sunshine. The session will explore Mary’s passion and achievements across retail, fashion and the wider UK business landscape.

12.00-13.00 – Crafts Presents – Wood is Good 

Presented by Crafts magazine, this session celebrates the very essence of wood as a material, through furniture, craft, making and architecture.

Moderator: Riya Patel, Associate Editor, Crafts

Panel: Sean Sutcliffe, founder of Benchmark; Grant Wilkinson and Teresa Rivera, Wilkinson and Rivera; Giles Tettey Nartey, designer and architect

13.00-14.00 – POoR Collective – Why Co-Design? 

How do you involve local communities in projects? How do you co-design with people that aren’t designers? Shawn Adams from socially minded design studio POoR Collective shares his thoughts on co-design and working collaboratively with educational institutions, young people and different community groups.

14:00-15:00 – Design Council Presents – Re-Industry: Designing a World of Mass Circularity 

With less and less of our waste going back into production and more new materials being mined, we are moving in the wrong direction. How can design help us ‘re-industry’, using tools such as big data and AI to shape consumer behaviour and create circular business models that drive the green transition?

Moderator: Hugo Jamson, programme lead, Design Council

Panel: Sophie Thomas, designer and founder of Thomas.Matthews; Chris Lefteri, materials expert and Director of Chris Lefteri Design; Paula Chin, Senior Policy Advisor, WWF; Barry Waddilove, Electrolux

15:00-16:00 – Work Futures with Design Insider – How is the Hospitality Sector Capitalising on the Demise of the Office? 

This session explores how static offices, once the norm, are now becoming a dated phenomenon. With many of us working ‘on the go’, how has the hospitality industry adapted to capitalise on new working patterns and needs?

Moderator: Alys Bryan, design editor, Design Insider

Panel: Walter Craven, founder of Kabin; Angelle Champkin, Design Leader, GTA Interior; Timothy Griffin, Principal, Wellbrook Hospitality and LEVEN; Mbali Chaise, Director and Cultural Intelligence Officer, Systems4Change

Wednesday 22nd May

11:00-12:00 – Simone Brewster in Conversation with Priya Khanchandani, Head of Curatorial, Design Museum 

Simone Brewster, artist, designer, curator and cultural change maker, speaks to curator and journalist Priya Khanchandani about her work, her roots in craft and how she uses her voice to celebrate and share varied black narratives.

12.00-13.00 – Raw Edges in Conversation with Jessica-Christin Hametner

Colours, pattern-making and movement form a large part of the DNA of Raw Edges’ work, and the studio’s witty and inventive approach has led to collaborations with global brands including Vitra, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney and Airbnb. In this session, founders Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay speak with our editor, Jessica-Christin Hametner, on their work to date, sharing stories on colour, collaboration and global projects.

13:00-14:00 – YesColours Presents – The Feeling of Colour 

Sustainable paint brand YesColours has an extraordinary process of developing colour palettes by tapping into the deeper routed desires of their customer. This panel session explores the application of colour and how emotion and intuition feeds into creative processes, as well as impact upon the end user.

Moderator: Emma Bestley, Co-Founder and Creative Director, YesColours

Panel: Jenny Wingfield, Studio Flock; Lois O’Hara, artist; Simon Astridge, SAAW

14.00-15.00 – Ultrafabrics Presents – Unlocking the Power of Sensory Design for Neuro-Inclusive Environments 

Creating environments tailored for a neurodiverse community has markedly intensified in recent years, a crucial undertaking as we endeavour to foster inclusive and enjoyable spaces. This panel discussion explores how the transformative influence of multisensory design can help us reconsider and enhance our interactions with the world.

Moderator: Barry Silverman, Vice President of Marketing and Brand, Ultrafabrics

Panel: Luke Ward, Experience Strategist, Gensler; Jane Boddy, European Creative Contributor, Pantone; Ben Branson, founder of Seedlip and The Hidden 20%; Tim Gledstone, Partner, Squire and Partners

15.00-17.00 – Green Grads Presents Designers Den 

Green Grads are recent graduates of UK universities with ideas to heal the planet. Explore the concept with founder and curator Barbara Chandler, leading into a live ‘designers den’ where five professionally established Green Grads pitch their projects to a panel of leading industry experts who will select a winner.

Moderators: Barbara Chandler and Michael Czerwinski of Studio Tucktite

Panel: Henry Tadros, James Mair, Lynn Kingdon, Nick Munro, Paul De Zwart and Simon Terry

17:00-18:00  (SPONSORED SESSION) – Stone Tapestry: Stone Rediscovered 

Come and hear from the team behind Stone Tapestry, a natural stone installation that showcases the sustainability, versatility and beauty of natural stone.  This seminar will use Stone Tapestry as a springboard to explore how a structural use of stone – alongside a design approach that embraces the natural range of tones and textures found in a quarry – can play a major part in delivering projects that far outperform the sustainability credentials of other materials.

Moderator: Matt Robb, Marketing and Media Manager, Stone Federation Great Britain

Panel: Marcus Paine, Managing Director, Hutton Stone; Michael Poultney, Managing Director, Albion Stone; Steve Webb, co-founder of Webb Yates Engineers; Tim Gledstone, Partner, Squire and Partners

Thursday 23rd May

11:00-12:00 – 2LG Studio in Conversation with Claudia Baillie 

Interior designers and creative duo, 2LG Studio, in conversation with journalist and friend, Claudia Baillie. Exploring 10 years of joyful minimalism in their design work and early influence on a now widely recognised, joyous aesthetic. Holding space for creativity in an increasingly challenging scene, and celebrating identity in design.

12.00-13.00 – Stylus Presents – Essential Inspiration: Key Colour and Material Trends for 2025/26 

What will our products and environments look and feel like in 2025? Join Stylus, the expert source for global trends and consumer insights, to discover the distinct aesthetics set to inspire design innovation across various industries and disciplines. This session is led by Lauren Chiu, Stylus’ Head of Colour and Materials Trends.

13:00-14:00 – Mix Presents – Harry Handelsman in Conversation with Harry McKinley of Mix Interiors

As the founder and CEO of Manhattan Loft Corporation, Harry Handelsman has overseen the development of some of London’s most influential hospitality destinations – from Chiltern Firehouse to The Stratford Hotel. A believer in doing things differently, here he discusses taking risks, disruptive thinking and using design to create memorable experiences.

14.00-15.00 – Bethan Laura Wood in Conversation with Elspeth Pridham

Multidisciplinary designer Bethan Laura Wood has an intriguing profile, characterised by materials investigation, artisan collaborations and a passion for colour and detail. In this session, Bethan speaks to journalist Elspeth Pridham about her work to date, including the recent ‘Kaleidoscope-o-rama’, the MECCA x NGV Women in Design commission.

15.00-16.00 – BIID Presents – Sustainability in Practice 

How can interior designers make the best sustainable and ethical choices across materials, furniture and finishes for their projects and clients? Join Simone Suss of Studio Suss, Chloe Bullock, founder of Materialise, and Carmelina Dalton, Creative Director of KEMSI for the discussion, moderated by Angela Bardino, BIID’s President Elect.

16.00-17.00 – Henry Holland in Conversation with Roddy Clarke 

Acclaimed designer Henry Holland has been designing for the worlds of fashion and interiors for the past 17 years, with House of Holland and more recently, Henry Holland Studio. In a conversation with journalist Roddy Clarke, Henry looks back over his career to date, reflecting on how fashion has transitioned into homeware, the importance of making and the success of his move into ceramics – including a new collection for Bert and May.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2024 takes place across EC1, London from 21st – 23rd May. For more information, please visit – registration is now open.

Image credit: Ashley Bingham.


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May 2024 issue

2024 A1 Buyers Guide