Our judging panel consists of highly respected, expert industry figures from some of the world’s most innovative and exciting companies.
Principal Interior Designer
Founder & Creative Director
Founder / Design Director
David Chang Design Associates International
Wanda Hotels and Resorts
Head of Design
Brunel University London
Principal | Regional Leader of Science + Technology
HOK London Studio
Showroom and Design Manager
Jestico + Whiles
Director of Interior Design
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
Dexter Moren Associates
Johnny Grey Studios
Head of Interior Architecture
Zaha Hadid Architects
Karim Rashid Inc.
CEO and Founder
Katharine Pooley Ltd
The City of Edinburgh Council
Head of Interior Design
Harrods Interior Design
Regional Managing Director; London; New York and Paris
CEO & Director
Simone de Gale Architects
Co-Founder & Group Director
Accouter Group of Companies
Conran and Partners
Group CEO and Executive VP
Can worked for 15 years in Istanbul before moving to Dubai as Principal Interior Designer for Arcadis. He has been involved in a wide range of multidisciplinary projects ranging from healthcare and offices to residential and educational. He is primarily focused on the technical aspects of the projects; however, his personal preference is space planning and design.
Carolina has more than a decade of experience on the design and implementation of high-end interior design and architecture projects in London and around the globe.
Trained as an architect, she established her own architectural business in her native country Brazil before moving to London 15 years ago.
Her passion for design excellence and extensive knowledge in the luxury global market, makes it possible for her to transform any client’s aspirations into a truly bespoke luxurious space. Her architectural background gives her a combination of creative design skills with a wide range of technical knowledge.
She is the Creative Director at the award-winning luxury design studio Casa Forma’s and is responsible for delivering leading-edge residential schemes for international high net worth individuals and property developers.
Honky is a multi-disciplinary, award winning architectural and interior design practice based in London. Founded by Christopher Dezille in 2001, Honky’s creative team is committed to providing a full design service, tailored to the project and the individual client’s needs.
Chris’s career in Interior Design extends over 25 years. Whilst most of his work is focused in Central London, he has undertaken private and commercial projects throughout the UK and internationally, including projects in Monte Negro, Marbella, Cannes and The Channel Islands.
Whether furnishing a private residence, development specification or show home, Honky’s use of bespoke wall features, soft finishes and lighting ensures that the desired result can be achieved without compromise; the best possible design solution is individually created for every project.
David Chang, founder of David Chang Design Associates International (DCDA), a registered Professional member of NCIDQ, ASID, SBID and IIDA, has over 25 years of experience in hospitality and high end residential interior design and management experiences in North America and Asia.
In 1998, David Chang founded David Chang Design Associates International (DCDA) in Vancouver, Canada, and expanded to China market in 2006, established firms in Guangzhou, Beijing and Taipei, to provide exclusive upscale design services on landmark projects for local top developers. Deeply influenced by Chinese and Western culture, David Chang emphasizes on attention to culture and history as source of inspiration thereby creating vitality and rich artistic essence for each project. Moreover, David Chang emphasize on interior space comfort, functionality and creation of souls in each design. Based on these philosophies, David Chang innovative works have won numerous design awards in the UK, Italy, Canada and China.
Dr. Ning is the President of Wanda Hotels & Resorts. During his tenure at Wanda, he has led the design, construction and operation management of over 100 upscale and luxury hotels. Under his leadership, these hotels have won many prestigious international design awards, including the SBID Awards, Gold Key Awards, IIDA-Best of Asia Pacific Design Awards, Hospitality Design Awards and many more.
Dr Vanja Garaj is Head of Brunel Design, where he also teaches on the Professional Design Studio module, a part of the MSc Integrated Product Design programme. He has co-ordinated a number of live project briefs, across design fields, with organisations including Cancer Research UK, NHS, Pan Macmillan, Help for Heroes, Friends of the Elderly, Corney & Barrow, Shell, Ibis and BT. Dr Garaj’s research is aimed at design, development and evaluation of innovative systems, products and services, with the focus on digital and digital-physical domains and the application of the latest technologies. His research activities have involved the areas of digital health, assistive technology, m-learning, e-government, social networking and the IoT and the immersive tech. The current research projects include Impacting Business by Design, funded by Research England, Story Futures, funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Inclusive Immersion, funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Gary is an architect with a passion for sustainable architecture and has over 30 years continually sought to bridge academic research, teaching and practice to create a sustainable future.
In his role as Principal Lead for Science and Technology at HOK, his aim is to deliver a sustainable future not only in the science and technology but across all sectors of the construction industry.
Gary has collaborated and led sustainability with a number of leading practices including Wilkinson Eyre, Bennett’s Associates and Hopkins Architects. These collaborations have delivered award winning sustainable buildings across a range of sectors from Higher Education, Academic Research, Residential mixed use, Office and Cultural Buildings.
His academic experience includes teaching and research positions at The University of Cambridge, The University of Edinburgh, Robert Gordon University Aberdeen, Heriot Watt University Edinburgh, and Oxford Brookes University. Gary’s honorary positions include:
– Appointed Chair of the RIBA Sustainable Futures Group in October 2018.
– Appointed Visiting Professor of Sustainable Architecture at Robert Gordons University Aberdeen in 2016.
– Past Chairman of the Usable Buildings Trust and BSRIA Soft Landings User Group from 2009 until 2016
His work has been recognized by many awards, including awards from the Civic Trust and the RIBA.
Graham is the Design Manager at Halcyon Interiors flagship, on London’s Wigmore Street, a road that has become the epicentre of kitchen design.
Over the last 20 Years he has developed a passion of contemporary design and honed his eye for meticulous detail, allowing him to create practical kitchens that look stunning for many years to come.
Heinz is the Principal of Jestico + Whiles. He has been instrumental in building up the size and international reputation of the practice for high quality client focussed design.
He has a respected expertise within the design world in the fields of sustainable design, residential and complex and demanding projects. Most recently he has overseen the multi award winning restoration of Sir John Soane’s Pitzhanger Manor.
He is ultimately responsible along with fellow Board Directors for leading the practice in all aspects of client service, design excellence and business resilience. Heinz has lectured widely, both here and abroad and is a Civic Trust awards assessor. He is also a client advisor on a number of projects. In his time as a Director he has overseen numerous award-winning projects and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Henry is Director of Design at InterContinental Hotels Group. He is responsible for creating the interior design and guest experience for IHG’s Kimpton and Hotel Indigo brands across Europe.
Since joining IHG in January 2015, Henry has worked across some of IHG’s most celebrated and award-winning design projects, including the launch of the first Kimpton hotel outside of the Americas – Kimpton De Witt in Amsterdam. He has led the teams responsible for the design of all new Hotel Indigo properties over the last 5 years. As well as designing new hotels in IHG’s pipeline, Henry has worked on more than 20 refurbishment projects across IHG’s existing hotels.
Before joining IHG, Henry was Associate Director at forpeople, and Creative Director at numerous agencies cross London. Henry studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol, followed by an MA in Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins. Over the course of his career, he has been a lecturer and agency creative working in a wide variety of sectors from automotive, events, retail, and consumer goods before dedicating his time to hotel interior design.
Herbert has extensive experience of working on complex mixed-use developments on challenging sites. Along with a strong awareness of stakeholder aspirations, he has a proven ability to convert constraints into opportunities.
Herbert is a graduate of Westminster University and the Architectural Association in London, and the National University of Singapore. He joined DMA in 1999 as a Project Architect and was appointed a Partner in 2008.
In 2018 he secured planning consent for the 252-room Bicester Heritage hotel, on a former RAF base in the heart of “motorsport valley”, close to a number of Formula One teams and the Silverstone Circuit. More recently in November 2019, he achieved consent for the third and final major phase in the refurbishment and expansion of the Mandeville Hotel in Marylebone, London.
Herbert has also brought his hospitality experience into the multi¬family residential/PRS sector in Canary Wharf, and has been the design leader for several hospitality schemes in North Africa and Nairobi.
Johnny has designed and built over 400 highly innovative kitchens in 10 different countries. He has authored four books on kitchens and the home that have been translated into 14 languages. His interest in how the space we call the kitchen shapes people’s lives, enabling us all to live happier and healthier, is lifelong. He has a growing interest in redefining accessible design into a multi-generational approach to embrace all ages and abilities.
As Visiting Professor of Design and Kitchen Culture at Bucks New University Johnny acts as a bridge between the kitchen industry and university research. He is academic lead and co-founder there of the country’s first-degree course for kitchen design. He also works closely with the Royal Society of Arts to fast track innovation via their Student Design Challenge programme. He is the design ambassador for the National Innovation Centre for Ageing and collaborating with Newcastle University to build a prototype four generational kitchen, to be launched in April 2020. Johnny sees new technologies, instinct-based design and a deeper understanding of the relationship between cooking and health as key to the development of future kitchens.
Kar first worked with Zaha Hadid Architects in 1985 following his studies with Zaha Hadid at the Architectural Association. After completing his studies in the UK and USA, Kar worked on projects around the world for Kohn Pederson Fox and Louis Vuitton Malletier, with a focus on interior architecture, commercial developments and retail design before re-joining ZHA as Head of Interior Architecture in 2014. His residential interiors, in particular, have won numerous awards and have been widely published.
At ZHA, Kar has worked on the teams for the Vitra Fire Station and the Monsoon Restaurant and now leads the practice’s interior architecture team, drawing on his expertise in retail, commercial, and residential interior design to allow the practice to offer a complete design service from master planning through to architecture, interior architecture, and product and furniture design.
Karim Rashid is one of the most prolific designers of his generation. Over 4000 designs in production, over 400 awards, and operating in over 35 countries attest to Karim’s legend of design. His award-winning designs include democratic objects like the ubiquitous Garbo waste can and Oh! Chair for Umbra and interiors like the Morimoto restaurant, Philadelphia and Nhow hotel, Berlin. Karim has created noteworthy designs for clients Method and Pepsi, furniture for Artemide and Vondom, brand identity for Citibank and Hyundai, high-tech products for LaCie and Samsung, and luxury goods for Veuve Clicquot and Christofle, to name a few.
Katharine Pooley is one of the most sought-after interior designers working internationally today. Recently named ‘British Interior Designer of the Decade’, ‘International Designer in Asia of the Year’, and ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, her design ethos is both highly respected and uniquely far reaching.
Her eponymous Knightsbridge Design Studio was established over 15 years ago and continues to create unmatched luxury interior designs for landmark commercial and residential projects in London and Worldwide for the most discerning clients. Overseeing her team of 47 interior designers and architects Katharine’s highly personal approach – she immerses herself in every detail of her client’s complex project – ensures a loyal international fan base for her impressive designs. Katharine’s aesthetic is very much client driven and she prides herself on being a complete design chameleon.
Lesley is an award-winning interior and architectural designer. With a 20-year career spanning residential and commercial design. Wellbeing is paramount in Lesley’s designs with a passion for holistic, sustainable, inclusive and therapeutic design, particularly applicable to the diverse range of public buildings she has designed interiors for in her role at City of Edinburgh Council. Lesley is passionate about community participation in co designing spaces with the end users, recent projects shortlisted in the SBID International Design Awards have included a Library, a home for children & young people in care, a crematorium and nursery schools.
As SBID Education Council Chair & Scotland Regional Director she is keen to promote best practice and expert knowledge within these sectors of interior architecture.
With over 17 years’ experience in the luxury interiors industry Letitia Fitzgibbon heads-up Harrods Interior Design, a multi-disciplinary bespoke design service by Harrods.
In her previous role as a key player within the Harrods Home buying team, Letitia worked closely with the Director of Home in redeveloping the home and furniture offering from Harrods, creating new concepts and sourcing brands from across the world to provide a carefully curated range of products that hero provenance, craftsmanship and heritage in helping to shape Harrods Home into the exciting design hub it is today.
As well as having the support and resource of the 600 brands stocked within the store, Letitia and her team of design experts travel the world in search of beautiful designs, the latest trends and the highest quality fabrics and products.
Letitia’s design ethos centres around two key factors: relevance to the client and their lifestyle, and harmony of the design with its surrounding environment.
Monika is a hotelier at heart. With an MBA in Hospitality Management from ESSEC Business School and over 20 years of experience in hotel operations, she’s an authority in luxury hospitality. A German native who grew up across in South America, Monika developed a passion for art, music, literature and language. She is now fluent in five languages. As Regional Managing Director of Wilson’s atelier in Paris and design offices in London and New York, Monika is a brand ambassador who supports the firm’s strategic initiatives.
Nicholas Cowell is the Co-founder of The Estate Office and most recently the Cowell Group. He is responsible for residential and commercial acquisitions and specialises in advising on the sale and acquisitions of large portfolios. Nicholas is also a Director on the Board of a number of successful property companies, working closely with joint venture partners and high net worth local and overseas investors. Nicholas has been involved in hundreds of property transactions amounting to hundreds of millions of pounds. His knowledge of the property market is unparalleled through 30 years’ experience and working deals to maximise returns.
Simone de Gale Architects (SGA), is based in exclusive Belgravia, London, UK, whose style is grounded in luxury developments.
Winner ‘Architect of Year’ 2017, ‘International Entrepreneur of the Year’ 2018, ‘Westminster Lion’ 2018, SGA is now developing its international portfolio, the first project, a £200m masterplan in Tbilisi, Georgia. As well as securing a large scale masterplan project, the company has secured other international projects; in Croatia, Abu Dhabi, the Caribbean, and USA, as well as developing current opportunities in Ukraine. Other projects include the London Hammersmith Flyunder feasibility, and a patented materials defence technology with the UK Ministry of Defence.
Simone de Gale Architects recently headlined alongside Foster + Partners and Zaha Hadid Architects at the inaugural Architecture of the Future Conference in Kyiv, when over 1,000 delegates were in attendance for a keynote on innovative architectural practices in Construction
Stella Gittins is the Co-Founder of AGC, London’s fastest-growing portfolio of international award-winning Interior Design companies. Creating the benchmark in luxury living, the Accouter Group of Companies which is home to Accouter Design, A. LONDON and BoxNine7, delivers world-class interior architectural and furnishing services to the global property market and private clients.
With 15 years of experience mentoring and directing diverse teams within the field, Stella has spent 7 years building AGC which has been voted one of the best places to work in property on multiple occasions.
Taking a lead creative role for the Group, Stella is responsible for all aspects of brand and design and has published four bespoke publications that discuss every corner of luxury life. Featuring the inspiration behind Accouter Design’s schemes and collaborating with iconic brands such as Rolls Royce and William & Son, the fifth publication is due for launch in 2020.
As an Architect and designer, Tim is passionate about creating authentic experiences centred around cultural spirit and personality. He brings his knowledge of the hospitality and residential sectors to design buildings and spaces that reflect contemporary lifestyle needs and desires with a sense of place and aspiration.
As Senior Partner, Tim leads the design direction of the practice as a whole, as well as being responsible for the finance and operations of the business. He directly leads on a number of strategic projects; large and small, at home and abroad. Most recently, Tim has completed the conversion of the brutalist icon Centre Point, from an unused office tower into a charismatic residential destination in the heart of London’s cultural district; and Kita Aoyama, a high-end residential development in the heart of Japan.
Tim is also Senior Partner of the Hong Kong business, responsible for the overall leadership and coordination between the UK and HK subsidiary. He is passionate about growing the practice’s international reach and has recently been working to build its reputation with new work in Japan.
Vasiliki joined Unilever in November 2012 after completing a 19-year career with Procter & Gamble. In P&G, Vasiliki led various global, regional and local roles mainly in the Beauty Category primarily working in skin, hair and colour cosmetics. Vasiliki’s first role in Unilever was creating the Pitch Co-Creation (Innovation) Centres in London and New York. Vasiliki also led the development of strategic macro space work that has been pivotal in defining the strategy, innovation pipeline and expertise of the Beauty and Personal Care Category.
In 2014, Vasiliki started the creation of the Prestige division from the beginning. Since then, Vasiliki led the acquisition of 8 companies Dermalogica, Murad, Kate Somerville, Ren, Garancia, Tatcha (to close August 2019), Living Proof, and Hourglass. Vasiliki leads a team of 8 CEOs and a central multi-functional team that decide strategic priorities, resource allocation and growth strategy for the portfolio. Vasiliki also is in charge of continuous M&A with the objective to growing current portfolio approximately €540m in turnover to €1 billion. Vasiliki is known to have created a first in organization design of the Prestige business model of the “string of pearls” that is Brand and Founder Centric and innovates in new models of marketing and omni-channel.
Vasiliki is a champion of female entrepreneurs. Passionate about mentoring young people, supporting female leaders, creative talent, and doing social good.
Vasiliki is the Chairwoman of the Cosmetic Executive Women, leading industry association in Beauty in the UK.
Trevor Cotterell became the Managing Director of Areen Design in 1989. Since then he has led the UK based group through many successes, including the acquisition of Richmond International in 1991 and Pascall+Watson in 2015. The group now employs over 350 people across 6 offices, worldwide.
As a director of each Areen Group company, Trevor drives the strategic growth of the Group by fostering the skills and specialisms of each company, encouraging cross-pollination and opportunities to put the Group’s complementary skills into action.
At Areen Design, Trevor leads over 120 interior designers, architects and procurement specialists in delivering fast-paced, large scale projects in some of the world’s most challenging regions. From luxury private residential complexes, to international airports and city hotels, Areen Design ensure that every project is carefully considered from initial concept through to turn-key delivery, and all the stages between.
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