29 May 2019

Clerkenwell Design Week: TRADA’s highlights

TRADA image

Last week TRADA’s Rupert Scott attended Clerkenwell Design Week, the annual festival which showcases leading UK and international brands and companies in showrooms, installations and exhibitions across major design hub Clerkenwell.


Below we present a round-up of our top five favourite timber and timber-related products on show this year, the broadness of which highlights just how diverse Clerkenwell Design Week really is! 


Find out more about Clerkenwell Design Week



TIRAR's door handles

Rupert caught up with Felice Carlino, founder, director and designer behind the Australian company. TIRAR initially began with Felice’s desire to use timber handles that displayed no metal fixings or other visible components; when he couldn’t find any that fit his specifications on the market, Felice was spurred to create his own. Thus began TIRAR, for which Felice designs the handles and has them made locally in Australia.


TIRAR handles look great on frameless glass and can be used in a range of design scenarios – in the same species as the door for a unified look, or in a contrasting one for added character.


In addition, some of the range are DDA compliant – with an added return on the handle to prevent slipping of the hands; these are suitable for those with physical disabilities.


Ambrilam's lighting columns

Photo shows 13 metre and 5 metre timber lighting columns supplied on Cubitt Square, part of the King's Cross redevelopment.


French company Ambrilam created lighting columns made from Scots pine glulam. These they create bespoke up to 24 metres high, for which they work with different luminaire manufacturers.


We are especially fond of these columns because TDA (TRADA’s predecessor) ran a campaign in the 1950s encouraging the use of iroko street lighting columns. It’s wonderful to see examples of this concept physically realised!


We were also taken with their IDO bench, which was co-designed with Anna Azonyi. The bench is made with Radiata pine that is also treated using the Accoya process, and its fantastic design means it can face either way and still be functional.


Ambrilam’s IDO bench, pictured at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Hotel in Dubai.


Joined + Jointed's Shoe Tree 

Originally commissioned for the Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition at Milan, furniture designer and Joined + Jointed founder Samuel Chan worked with shoe designer Beatrix Ong to create the wonderful ‘Shoe Tree’ – a piece of modular design which incorporates multiple wood show boxes within an open central structure.


Entirely handmade from American black walnut, each box is carefully constructed with exposed finger joints and features book-matched marquetry.


Benchmark’s planter seats 


Another of our favourites was the tree planter seats designed by Foster + Partners and made by Benchmark as part of the larger OVO collection for Case Western Reserve University.


The European Oak tree planters were designed with the aspiration of creating spaces for creativity and collaboration.


Bauwowhaus beds

Rupert met young designer and founder of Bauwowhaus Kate Byrne, who designs and hand-crafts thoughtful dog beds made from oak, maple and walnut. Her goal – to rethink, reform and refine how we approach dog bed design by incorporating architectural principles.


A recent graduate of architecture school at Newcastle University, she has received ample support to establish her new company and has – straight out of university – designed a product with a strong sense of purpose. Bauwowhaus strives to encapsulate the ideal ‘art as life’ and focuses on innovation and pleasure in their design approach to pet care.