Product Design visit to Clerkenwell Design Week…

A couple of weeks ago, Will Seth, who is currently on placement with Brighton based designer and Product Design Associate Tutor, Claire Potter visited the Clerkenwell Design Week, where the studio was showing their latest research products created from marine litter. We caught up with Will and asked him what his other highlights were…
‘Clerkenwell Design Week is the UK’s leading design festival held in a small area of London just north of Farringdon. Now in its seventh year, Clerkenwell attracts around 35,000 visitors and hosts over 300 exhibiting brands for the three-day show. It was a great experience being able to visit the Clerkenwell Design Week last week and I was able to learn some incredibly useful things by talking to designers and get a lot of inspiration looking at all the work that was on display.
From the design show, I felt that I was able to gain the most from visiting the Exhibition rooms, in particular, Platform. Here there were lots of designers displaying their work, with a commonality – a curated collection of international and cutting-edge design, throughout. From talking to a number of designers in Platform, I was able to gain an invaluable insight into the process designers go through when producing for the industry.
Of the designers I spoke to, my favourite work was by Frances Bradley who specialises in making bespoke wood furniture combined with coloured resins which work with the natural defects within the pieces. This was particularly interesting to me, having attempted to work with wood and resin for my Design and Technology A Level project. It was great being able to speak to people who had perfected a technique I have struggled with in the past and to get some tips and tricks on how I can try to  improve my own casting.
Another highlight of my time at Clerkenwell was listening to David Stover, one of the founding members of Bureo – a company that produce sunglasses frames and skateboard decks from recovered and recycled fishing net. It was great to hear about the different approaches people have had to solving the same problem of the vast amount of fishing nets that are dumped into our oceans. It was obvious that he loved his work, being able to combine two of his passions – conservation and outdoor sports. It showed me that if you love what you are doing, it isn’t going to feel like you are working.
The best thing that I was able to take away from Clerkenwell was a piece of advice from Quixotic designer, John Yeung. He told me that “design is a process and it can sometimes take a long time to get where you want your workto be, but keep working hard at what you’re passionate about and you’ll get to the level that you want to be at.” This is a very strong piece of advice that I plan to keep it in my mind for when I start projects in the future whether at university or beyond.
I’m looking forward to being able to return to Clerkenwell next year to see some new designers and hopefully some returning ones.’
Cheers Will – we look forward to seeing how your research at CDW develops…
(images by Claire Potter / Frances Bradley)

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