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Designed in Britain: Clerkenwell Design Week uncovered

posted: June 2017

Ask a non-Brit to describe what symbolises British-ness and you might get an answer of Bowler hats, the Queen and perfectly cut cucumber sandwiches.  But, design that’s British has always taken many and varied forms: from Anglepoise lamps to ipods.  What, or who, makes product design and craft now in Britain?

Materials: brass, banana plants and bricks - Riddle pendants

Materials: brass, banana plants and bricks - Riddle pendants


Beatrice Larkin’s Monochrome collection is about softened geometrics.  Cushions and throws, woven in Lancashire. These cleverly combine structure, pattern and scale in a monochromatic palette.  We’ve got serious lust for their design quality: the raw selvedge edges and linear details are a pattern designer’s dream. 

Monochrome throws and cushions 

Art for interiors

Sara Dare’s work completed the scene at Clerkenwell this year. 

Large, diffused acrylic-based paintings feel composed to finish an interior look.  As colour obsessives, it’s engaging to see how art and design meet in interiors. Certainly the abstract colour and inky shapes of Dare’s work injects a neutral backdrop with vivacity.



Bert Frank’s lights are manufactured in Birmingham, but the jungle set-up inside Fabric nightclub highlighted their usability.  Specified in hotels and clubs, we took a shine to the gloriously perforated Riddle pendants.


Big in Japan, made in Devon. Isobel Higley’s earthenware pieces are designed to evoke positivity. 


Isobel Higley’s ceramic Spirits

"I use locally sourced and toxic-free materials within my ceramic work as maintaining an environmentally sustainable practice is important to me. I imagine people holding and interacting with the sculptures, like an item you can connect with". 

Isobel is a fan of anime and we can see the connection. This Falmouth Contemporary Crafts graduate explores the idea of ‘cute’ in the form of her ceramic figures. We, as curious fans of surface decoration think she’s a designer to watch flourish, whether or not you’re into ‘cuteness’..


Pluck Kitchens caught our attention because a) they use colour boldly and b) the cabinetry features veneers of locally sourced woods on top of plywood.

Fabricated in Brixton, south London, the designers of this modern kitchen furniture want to create cabinetry that is simple, doesn’t use unnecessary resources and is clutter free.  What’s key for us is the way that materials and colour combine, and the difference this makes to functional furniture.

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