From May 23 to 25, 2023, Clerkenwell Design Week beamed with the latest in design innovation and beauty. Hundreds of suppliers, showrooms and pop-ups gathered in the sophisticated area of Islington and showcased the best of their design ranges.
Portaire, the product management software for interior designers, decided to take a different route to show their trusted luxury suppliers’ products. Let’s walk though the Making Space together...
Just by Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, you see a discreet stage door, flanked by Clerkenwell Design Week’s signature pink banners and Portaire’s Community Lead, Clara. In a minute or less, you’re hooked; Clara promises a singular experience you won’t be able to get elsewhere. You see the entryway behind the door and doubt your entry for a moment. It is totally painted in black, and nothing but two white plinths guide you to an upstairs area. You don’t know what to expect, but you decide to trust and move forward.
After a flight of stairs and a gasp of air, you turn to your left and see something you don’t expect. Intrigued, you follow the scent of Diptyque’s Ambre candle. Then, you enter a space filled with drums and terracotta, an oasis of calm and design. You inspect the area, and read a sign explaining the beauty of what you’re seeing.
“The Making Space is more than four walls and a call for immersion. It’s an exploration of what it means to create, touch and play. In this installation, we trace the building blocks of design to their primal roots – light and terracotta. Through Bauwerk’s limewash paint and New Volumes furniture by The Specified, we ask the viewer what it means to design sustainably, and what the future may look like if we look back to times of synergy and simplicity.”
Inspired, you keep moving forward and reach a key decision point. There are two completely different spaces in one, both drenched in sunlight, while the white, metal beaming and wooden floors frame their edges. Béton Brut’s furniture adorns every corner, bringing mid-century and contemporary glamour to the space.
You decide to go left first. What could be so singular after all?
Your eyes and body move, and you’re met with the gallery of a designers’ dreams. 10 more plinths stare at you, inviting you to see, touch and experience. One by one, you move towards them.
ABI Interiors’ showcased their Aura Collection and Porcelain basins
Armac Martin’s exhibit examined the beauty of metal and mirrors
Artisans of Devizes’ explored a "glocal" angle, superimposing British and Latin American stone
Barbera by The Specified investigated the tactility of hardware
Croft illustrated the best in British joinery and hardware
Décora Cement made it clear that colour and curves are Microquartz’ favourite terrain
The Main Company embodied the beauty of wood
Northern Lights lit up the space with their beautiful lamps
V.Brokkr by The Specified proved that hardware is art
YesColours wowed every passerby with their Electric Blue paint
The experience is magical, and you think you’re awed enough for the day, but no. At the other end of the room, there is a moodboarding section. With the sight of smiles and the soft brush of hands, you realise the products there are ready to be touched, to be played with. This is not only an exhibit, but a place to create. You stroll to the section and let go, finally absorbing the tactility of the products around you. Time goes on and you make a board you love. You take a picture for posterity – you want to remember this moment.
This experience was brought to you by the team at Portaire. Us, together with our incredible team of luxury suppliers, worked together to create a space that would fuel play and creativity. Thank you to everyone who came and enjoyed the exhibition.