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An Interior Designers Survival Guide to Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW)

Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) transforms the streets of EC1 into a bustling hub for interior designers, architects, and design enthusiasts. From 21st to 23rd May 2024, this annual event is a vibrant celebration of creativity, innovation, and design excellence. As an interior designer attending CDW, if its your first time you’re in for a treat – a sensory feast of showrooms, talks, installations, and networking opportunities await.

Here’s some tips on how you can make the most of your time at CDW:

Plan Ahead: Curate Your Journey

  • Know Your Priorities: CDW spans hundreds of venues, from historic buildings to contemporary showrooms. Research the participating locations and prioritise what matters most to you. Are you drawn to sustainable materials, innovative lighting, or spatial design concepts?
  • Talks and Workshops: CDW hosts a series of talks and workshops by industry experts. These sessions delve into trends, sustainability, and cutting-edge design. Keep an eye on the official CDW schedule for specific topics and speakers that float your boat and plan your schedule accordingly.
  • Create Your Route: Armed with knowledge, plan your route. Consider proximity – group nearby showrooms and installations to maximise your time. While I won’t mention specific showrooms, I encourage you to explore the diverse offerings across Clerkenwell.


Talks: Insights and Inspiration for Interior Designers

  • Design Fields: This venue hosts captivating talks by influential designers, architects, and thought leaders. Expect discussions on material innovation, spatial psychology, and the future of design. Keep an ear out for details on the CDW website or Eventbrite.
  • Platform: Another hotspot for inspiration! Platform’s talks cover a wide spectrum – from sustainable practices to disruptive technologies. These sessions are like design vitamins – essential for your creative growth.
  • Showroom Speakers: Don’t overlook showrooms! Some host mini-talks or presentations. Listen in as brand representatives share insights about their products, design philosophies, and industry trends.


Clerkenwell Design Week CDW Interior Designers Survival Guide

Last years Maximalism talk at Design Fields


Networking: Connect and Celebrate

  • Chat with Fellow Designers: Strike up conversations during breaks. You might meet collaborators, suppliers, or fellow interior designers. Share your experiences and learn from theirs.
  • Evening Fringe Events: After a day of exploration, unwind at evening events hosted by suppliers. These gatherings are a delightful mix of fun and networking. Grab a drink, exchange details, and enjoy!
  • Bring Your Business Cards: As an interior designer, your business card is your calling card. Bring plenty of them! You’ll meet fellow creatives, potential clients, and industry influencers. Trust me, you’ll get through them!

Refuelling: Sustenance and Hydration

  • Free Drinks & Snacks: Many showrooms offer complimentary refreshments. Grab a coffee, beer, fizz or nibble, and engage in conversations. Who doesn’t love a freebie!
  • Hydrate: Carry a reusable water bottle. Staying hydrated keeps your creative energy flowing.

Comfort is Key: An Interior Designers Perfect Wardrobe

  • Weather-Ready Attire: London weather can be as unpredictable as a design challenge. Dress in layers – a light sweater or jacket that you can easily shed or add as needed.
  • Comfortable Shoes: The cobbled streets of Clerkenwell demand comfortable. Your feet will thank you after a day of exploration.
  • Bring a suitcase: Showrooms and installations provide brochures, business cards, and handouts. Bring a small suitcase to save you carrying them. Anything you can do to conserve energy is key!


Balance Exhibitions and Pop-Ups: Discover Hidden Gems

  • Showrooms: CDW boasts over 160 local design showrooms. Explore the rich tapestry of offerings – from furniture to finishes. Let your curiosity guide you.  The showrooms are a great place to look at what suppliers have to offer that you can use in future interior design schemes.
  • Pop-Ups & Installations: Wander through unexpected spaces. Look for temporary installations in gardens, courtyards, and hidden corners. These gems often spark fresh ideas.  They are great for spotting future trends.  Make sure you take plenty of pictures as you walk round so you can spot common trends emerging when you look back after your visit.


Clerkenwell Design Week Interior Designers Survival Guide

Naomi, Martha and Hannah at CDW 2023

Clerkenwell Design Week is an interior designers dream. Capture every detail – photograph textures, admire craftsmanship, and absorb the energy. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a fresh talent, CDW promises inspiration, connections, and a dash of magic. So, pack your curiosity, wear your comfiest shoes, and let the design adventure unfold!

You can also check out our insights (News & Insights | Truline ( for more tips and insights on office fit out trends, best practices and case studies.

Truline Construction & Interior Services – Creating Inspiring Spaces