I have been Managing Director of Aram for over twenty years. Although not formally trained in design, starting from an early age I experienced design instruction by osmosis from my father, Zeev. School projects on Bauhaus, early visits to numerous galleries, buildings, projects and exhibitions, all added to a growing understanding of the good, bad and indifferent in design.
I wandered away from the path after university, following a marketing career with Unilever, Booz Allen and Kingfisher. Fortunately, I was saved from a lifetime of corporate drudgery when in 1999 Zeev asked me and my sister Ruth to join him at Aram to ‘see if we can grow it a bit’. And that is what happened, firstly all together, and then sadly by myself after the deaths of first Ruth and then Zeev.
Joanna Biggs has worked in Hospitality Design for over 20 years and is currently Independent Hospitality Design Consultant in London and Partner at Sherliker Biggs. Joanna has had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading 5* hotel brands delivering luxurious, unique and timeless designs. Widely applauded for their lateral approach to problem-solving, GA believes strongly in supporting and reflecting a Client’s objectives through design.
Elliott Koehler is a globally accomplished designer currently positioned as the Creative Director at the International design agency, JPA Design. The London studio is split between transportation and interior design and has worked with brands such as Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, the Taj Group, Belmond Venice Simplon Orient Express and Boom supersonic. In over 30-years since JPA Design was formed, the agency has placed a focus on future experiences driven by human centred research to craft the next generation of products that will further shape our lives. Elliott graduated from the top design school, College for Creative Studies, in Detroit MI, USA in 2010 and began his career as a diverse Product Designer at General Electric where he led the design of the Connected Home Division of CE Products as well as all appliances in the home. In 2015 Elliott moved to the UK and joined the London based studio LAYER before starting his current role at JPA in 2019. Elliott’s focus as Creative Director is creating a studio that will define the way we work, live and communicate in the future, exploring the possibilities of transportation, materials and the next generation of human interactions.
Lucy Kurrein is a furniture designer specialising in upholstery. Born in 1985, she grew up in Yorkshire in the north of England. She took her art foundation course at Leeds College of Art before moving to Buckinghamshire to study furniture design. After graduating, Lucy worked for furniture designer Matthew Hilton then design consultancy PearsonLloyd, before founding her own studio in 2013. She was quickly recognised as Newcomer of the Year 2014 at the Mixology Awards and Young Designer of the Year 2015 by Homes and Gardens. Her work has been published in Architectural Digest, Wallpaper*, OnOffice, Elle Decoration, The Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal and Le Monde, and exhibited in London, Milan, Paris, New York and Hong Kong. She teaches design at Kingston University and has spoken at Nottingham Trent University, Central Saint Martins, Rycotewood Furniture Centre, Bucks University and the Building Crafts College. Clients include SCP, Capdell, Joined + Jointed, Molinari, Offecct, and Heal’s. She divides her time between Paris and London, where she has a studio in a community of creative businesses housed in shipping containers overlooking the River Thames.
Heather Naylor is Head of Business Development Contract EMEA for B&B Italia based from their iconic flagship store in South Kensington designed by John Pawson , in collaboration with Antonio Citterio. Heather has worked for B&B Italia for over 20 years representing , developing and promoting the B&B Italia brand through architects and designers, hotel groups , and real estate
companies . Heather started her career in the furniture industry with Knoll International before joining Vitra in the mid 1990s and then B&B Italia in 2001 when they opened the London showroom.
Heather has worked on a wide variety of projects in her career with B&B Italia, from commercial office, hotels and more recently luxury residential apartments . Recent projects include The Whiteley designed by Foster and Partners in collaboration with Finchatton and One Crown Place with Kohn Pederson Fox and Bowler James Brindley.
Heather’s current role connects her with architects and designers working on strategic projects globally.
I am honoured to be a member of the judging panel and look forward to the first meeting and next steps in the process.
Director at WORKTECH Academy and Professor Emeritus, Royal College of Art
Jeremy Myerson is a design writer and academic. He is the Director at the WORKTECH Academy
and Professor Emeritus, Royal College of Art a Visiting Fellow in the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing at the University of Oxford. A former editor of DesignWeek, Creative Review and Would Architecture, he co-founded the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the RCA in 1999 and was its director for 16 years, helping to pioneer the practice of inclusive design. He is the author of many books, including biographies of furniture designers Gordon Russell and John Makepeace.
FARRAH & PEARCE
Tom spent time working at some of London’s top design studios before co-founding Sebastian Conran Associates in 2009. He has since designed and developed hundreds of commercially successful products from concept through to consumer. His work is interdisciplinary with projects ranging from product and branding design to furniture, transport, lighting and sculpture. His products have been exhibited at both the Design Museum in London and the Design Museum in Ghent, and his work has received numerous international awards including multiple RedDot Design Awards, a Good Design Award, German Design Award and several Design Guild Marks. He has a unique sense of thoughtful design and creativity combined with extensive and varied experience, invaluable industry insight and complex technical knowledge.
Co-Founder and Director of Pearson Lloyd; award-winning product, furniture and innovation design studio, featuring clients such as Lufthansa, ThyssenKrupp, BENE, TAKT, City Of Bath, & Teknion.
Regularly serving on international panels at design events throughout the world, and juries for design competitions, Luke is currently a member of the independent Design Advisory panel for High Speed 2 (HS2) rail network, and advisor for Asia Design Platform (ADP).
Alongside Tom Lloyd – of Pearson Lloyd – Luke was awarded the distinction of Royal Designer for Industry by The Royal Society of Arts, and subsequently went on to be named in the top 50 designers ‘Shaping the Future’ by Fast-Co Magazine in New York. In 2022 Luke was bestowed as Honorary Doctor of Design by Nottingham Trent University.
THE CONRAN SHOP
Campbell is Head of Furniture & Lighting for the Conran Shop. He graduated with a BSc in Product Design and since then has gained over 15 years’ experience in Home retailing working for various brands including Skandium, Harrods and Heals. Campbell joined the Conran Shop in 2016 and oversees the buying edit across furniture and lighting, working with brands on exclusive collaborations and developing Conran Shop own brand furniture and lighting with prominent UK and international designers.
Interior Design Elements Judges
Having graduated from Middlesex University Linzi joined cutting edge retail design company Crighton. A chance of a lifetime lead her away to join the lone Sir Terence Conran who was embarking on a gastronomic journey with restaurants in Butlers Wharf and the now infamous Quaglinos. Another opportunity ‘too good to refuse’ came in the guise of co-founding United Designers for seven years producing some highly regarded design projects within the hospitality industry. In 2008, Linzi joined Forme UK to assist in establishing the leisure and lifestyle sector.
Daniel Hopwood is a past president of the British Institute of Interior Design, a Liveryman of the Furniture Makers Company and a judge on the BBC’s amateur design programme The Great Interior Design Challenge. Daniel graduated with a degree in Architecture and is alumni of the Prince of Wales Institute of Architecture. He has run his own company ‘Studio Hopwood’ for the past 26 years based in Marylebone, with both residential and commercial projects in London and the Far East.
Professor Clare Johnston
ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART
Clare Johnston is a Textile Designer and Colour consultant for Fashion and Interiors. She is Professor Emeritus of Textiles, and Senior Research Felllow at the RCA. Prior to her appointment at RCA from 2000-2015, Clare was Head of Design at Liberty of London and Senior Designer at Marks and Spencer. Clare works with International Institutions such as Swedish School of Textiles and Hong Kong Design Institute as a Visiting academic and advisor. She is a contributing member of the British Textile Colour Group and a member of the TexSelect Committee. She launched an exclusive Kimono Collection in 2018.
NATASHA MARSHALL INTERIORS
Natasha Marshall Interior Designer & Textile Artist.
Her use of pattern and colour is renowned worldwide. Including over 22 years creating beautiful fabric and wallpaper collections for interiors.
Natasha’s interiors work covers both bespoke residential and commercial projects. She loves to collaborate to ensure the right skills, materials and design imagination are brought to each project, underpinned by excellent financial and project management.
Natasha excels in translating a client’s brief reflecting their personality to their unique interior. Her interior style has a beautiful simplicity and elegance, along with practicalities so that you know you will enjoy being in it everyday for years to come.
Corinne has been in the industry for 35 years, qualifying as an interior designer. She joined the interiors division of tp bennett, as a Director in 2014. Having joined MCM architecture in 1997, appointed Managing Director in 2003. Here she worked on a variety of award-winning projects including Norton Rose and Ernst & Young.
She has a keen interest and expertise in analysing changing corporate culture and using the design process to drive through appropriate change. She also has extensive experience working alongside clients through the building selection and due diligence process, ensuring a thorough interrogation of the base building offer in order to maximise the client’s aspirations and expectations.
More recently, Corinne has worked on the Schroders HQ at 1LWP, Royal Academy of Arts and various healthcare projects.
Corinne is a member of the British Council for Offices and has sat on the judging panel for The British Council of Offices Corporate Awards for four years. Additionally Corinne is on the committee of Real Estate Balance.
Emma Sewell is a textile designer and in 1992, established Wallace Sewell, a UK-based design studio, with Harriet Wallace-Jones, after graduating from the Royal College of Art.
Combining innovation with practical solutions, Wallace Sewell are known for their use of colour and woven structure in surprising geometric formats, creating individual contemporary fabrics, which are sold as products, to over 400 stockists in 25 countries.
Wallace Sewell strive to unite craft and manufacturing, embracing traditional techniques and are proud to have always made in the UK, embracing the British Textile Industry for its wealth of expertise and production excellence.
Over the years they have built up a diverse portfolio of client projects, designing and producing for international brands, boutique hotels, museums and stadiums, along with creating the many of the recent upholstery designs for Transport For London. Working from London and Dorset, the progressive studio pioneers excellence and originality within their woven products.
RAPTURE & WRIGHT
After training as an illustrator, Peter worked for interior designers around the world before founding the fabric and wallpaper design studio Rapture & Wright with Rebecca Aird in 2004. Rapture & Wright adapt age old techniques in clever ways to make fabrics and wallpapers for contemporary and classical tastes alike.
Based in Rural Gloucestershire, Rapture & Wright have developed an award winning, innovative ecological print works as part of a blue print for manufacturing businesses to work within the highest ecological parameters.
Simon Alderson co-founded twentytwentyone in 1996. The award-winning company is internationally respected for its carefully curated retail business. twentytwentyone has a dedicated commercial sales team working with architects and designers on progressive interiors projects. The company also produces a small collection of furniture and accessories and acts as exclusive UK agents for several international design collections.
Gitta Gschwendtner is a designer running an independent design studio specialising in design for installations, exhibitions, furniture and lighting. Born in Germany, Gitta moved to London in the early nineties to study design at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art, Kingston University and the Royal College of Art. Following graduation from the RCA furniture MA in 1998 she set up her studio focusing on conceptually rigorous, visually intriguing, functional design across the disciplines of public realm, art and design.
The studio has realised innovative projects for clients such as The Science Museum, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Wellcome Trust, The British Council, The British Museum, the Natural History Museum, Guy’s Hospital and The National Trust. Her furniture and lighting designs are held in the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Vitra Design Museum, the Design Museum and the National Museum of Scotland.
Risa Sano is a designer and an art director originally from Shizuoka, Japan. She studied Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins and worked at a London-based branding agency for 6 years, before setting up Mentsen, a multi disciplinary design practice with a product and furniture designer Yasuyuki Sakurai in 2011. Working internationally, Mentsen offer design and art direction service for brands and cultural organisations, with clients such as Zilio A&C, Hand & Eye, British Council, Crafts Council and Japan House.
Mentsen also design and manufacture bespoke furniture at their own workshop in South East London, working with architects, interior designers and private commissioners. The recent bespoke project with Stiff+Trevillion Architects for The Crown Estate has won Wood Awards 2022.
Alongside Yasuyuki Sakurai, Risa was awarded Denmark’s Finn Juhl Prizen for their work in 2022. With increasing concerns for the climate emergency, Risa volunteers at Sitopia Farm, an organic farm in Greenwich, which addresses the changes needed to the way we grow food and live in our society.
In 2001 Simon Terry left a successful career as a film compositor in Visual Effects, working on a range of blockbuster movies, including James Bond, Zorro and Les Miserables, to join the family business, Anglepoise®. As Managing Director, he has been responsible for transforming the company into a dynamic, design-driven business, collaborating with Sir Kenneth Grange, Britain’s most successful Industrial Designer, who remains Design Director of Anglepoise® to this day. He has also set up long-term collaborations with the fashion world including designers such as Margaret Howell and Paul Smith. Over the past 18 years, Simon has seen the business grow significantly, both in retail and contract sectors with significant exports around the globe.
John is a designer currently dividing his time between Jasper Morrison’s office and his own. Since leaving his role as a Senior Designer with Sony he has worked with Jasper for over 17 years, designing products for some of the worlds leading brands.
Through his own practice, John consults for tech-based startups and develops his own products for manufacturers such as Very Good & Proper, Deadgood, and Deacode.
John has been a guest tutor at both the The Royal College of Art and Ecal where he has been an external assessor for the Masters course.
ESTABLISHED & SONS
Sebastian Wrong is a designer, creative director and specialist in modern manufacturing. His career has seen him work with some of the most pre-eminent designers and companies of the era. His portfolio of work spans furniture, lighting, accessories and gallery projects. He is currently the design director of the London based furniture brand Established & Sons.
Wrong received much critical acclaim for the Spun lamp, which he designed for Flos in 2003, winning the prestigious Red Dot Design Award. In 2005, he was a founding member of the British manufacturer Established & Sons, and remained the design director of the company until 2012. Under his guidance, the company produced some of the most iconic designs of the decade. In 2011, Wrong launched The Wrong Shop, an online platform that sells edition prints by notable designers and artists from around the world. Wrong taught product design at the Royal Collage to Art / London (2011/12)and ECAL / Switzerland (2018 / 2019).
What the judges say
A thoroughly enjoyable morning shared with a team of challenging and enthusiastic judges. We were presented with a diverse and interesting range of 2D submissions, demonstrating that imagination and commercial suitability can cohabit and create really useful, elegant and pleasing products.
— Professor Clare Johnson
Royal College of Art
It was wonderful to be part of the first year’s 2D judging panel and so exciting to see a variety of world-class British products presented. The winners of the prestigious mark are all highly deserving and set a benchmark for the years ahead.
— Fiona Knight
With so many products coming to market, design can often be regarded as a time consuming inconvenience. The entries that really stood out were those where design and designers were integral to the process and the judges could follow the route from original concept through to final solution and production.
— Peter Thwaites
Rapture & Wright
The inaugural 2D judging took place this year. I wasn’t sure what to expect!
However, it soon became apparent that when design integrity is at the heart of any product development, quality and completeness of thought is expressed ensuring a well considered product suitable for market.
— Corinne Pringle
The enduring quality of good design demands careful consideration of materials, process and form. While the panel doesn’t agree on all submissions, the debate and final consensus ensures the pedigree for the Design Guild Mark is one of respected quality.
— Simon Alderson
It’s always a pleasure to be asked to join the judging panel for Design Guild Mark Award.
The 2018 entries were all of an exceptionally high standard, showing quality craftsmanship as expected, but also originality and some elegant problem solving design solutions.
— Joanna Biggs
As a first time judge of the Guild Mark I was impressed by the quantity and quality of the submissions. I was also impressed by the diversity of the judging panel.
— Rodney Kinsman RDI
The standard in design, thinking and making of this year’s Design Guild Mark was not only hugely inspiring, but left me feeling proud of our British furniture industry. The critique of the submissions by the panel was tough, so the awards are well deserved and highlight that the level of ‘design excellence’ is getting higher each year.
— Tom Pearce
Farrah & Pearce
A wide spectrum of furniture items submitted this year which ranged from commercial to crafty but all of an exceptionally high standard and meeting our expectations. Innovation in commercial workplace was evident this year which was a pleasure to see.
— Pernille Stafford
The judging process allows applicants to present and talk about submissions with the objects right in front of them, this allows all the production processes and details to be fully explained and demonstrated which makes judging a lot easier.
— Campbell Thompson
The Conran Shop
The designs were a pleasure to judge with the work presented being diverse in form and function. There were some exceptional designs, well considered and executed. Design for me is a mix of art & technology and we certainly experienced designs at both ends of the spectrum.
— Terence Woodgate