In May 2014 at Clerkenwell Design Week we presented Tile Mile, a tiled passageway by Turkishceramics and design studio russ + henshaw. The playful passage caught the attention of visitors due to the parallel inward-facing mirrors that allowed them to experience images of their infinite reflections.
Many people must have agreed that Tile Mile was a striking and original piece of design because it is the gold winner of the prestigious 2014 London Design Award in the Installation, Display, Exhibit & Set Design Category!
Among hundreds of participants from world renowned design studios and brands, design100 awarded 57 winners across 30 categories. The Installation, Display, Exhibit & Set Design Category celebrates innovative and creative design for a temporary building or interior, with respect to their materials, fixtures, finishes, signage and traffic flow. The awards were open to any designer, design company, commissioner of design or student, and nominations were submitted online and reviewed to ensure they meet the criteria. Subsequently the nominations were made open for public viewing and rating. The opinions of the advisory panel, members of the design industry and people from the design marketplace were taken into consideration in deciding the overall category winners.
What does it mean to be an award winner? First of all, it offers a distinct competitive advantage and provides recognition of excellence to those offering products and services. The design100 awards also offer a unique network for business opportunities.
The installation at St John’s Gate during Clerkenwell Design Week 2014 was formed of over 50 sqm of parallel mirrors on the inner walls of the arched landmark, and over 7,200 tiles on the floor, to create the optical illusion of an infinite reflection. The versatility of the installation challenged perceptions of space and pushed the boundaries of traditional tradeshow design. Maybe the biggest success of the installation was that it attracted not just festival participants but also the general public, reminding them of the beauty and fun within the city that they might not notice on a daily basis.
Moreover Tile Mile managed to integrate the products of Turkishceramics and heritage of Clerkenwell, by placing a focus on a spectacular example of medieval design and engineering: St. John’s Gate, and by innovatively displaying Turkish ceramic tiles. The 33sqm tiled floor was inspired by the traditional Iznik design. russ + henshaw’s modern interpretation was a vibrant and intricate tiled floorscape composed of 16 triangular segments set out to reflect the ribbed vault overhead. 6 m high parallel mirrors on the inner walls of the arch reflected both the tiles
and the double vaulted arch of the St. John’s Gate, reminiscent of the illusions at the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul.
Of course it wasn’t easy installing Tile Mile. The biggest challenge was the fact that the installation was constructed around a 500 year old structure, the existing building needing to be left intact. By collaborating with engineers and specialist fabricators, russ + henshaw were able to overcome these challenges throughout the design and construction process.
To minimise carbon footprint, Tile Mile was completely fabricated in London within 12 miles of the site. The fabricators and their suppliers were London based, promoting local enterprise and traditional craftsmanship. With the exception of the tiles, all materials were locally sourced and the benefit of prefabrication meaning that all of the elements could be easily disassembled and returned to the factory for reuse and recycling.
To strengthen the design economy and increase awareness about the importance and unquestionable benefits of good design, design100’s design award program in 2015 has grown to 7 cities: New York, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney. We are looking forward to further achievements by Turkishceramics thanks to our commitment to design, functionality and innovation.