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Meet the judges: Simon Alderson

Design Guild Mark - May 6, 2021 - 0 comments

When selecting the members of our Design Guild Mark judging panels, great care is taken to seek out the very best, well-versed and influential figures in the UK design community to provide the first rate critiquing our applicants expect.

Lighting Design category judge Simon Alderson has sat on the Design Guild Mark jury for a number of years, having been seconded from the Furniture category in 2021 for the first lighting judging day.

His bio speaks for itself. Simon co-founded well-established London-based twentytwentyone in 1996. The award-winning company is internationally respected for its carefully curated retail business. Furthermore, 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.

We caught up with Simon to ask him some questions we ask all our judges.

What first turned you on to a career in the design world?

Not completely sure, the things around me and things I started to bring home.


Can you sum up in a few words what design excellence means to you?

The fusion of utility, responsibility, longevity, cost and beauty.


What do you enjoy most about the Design Guild Mark judging process?

The presentation by designers allows deeper insight into the processes involved in bringing creation and production to market.

What is the hardest part of the process?

Avoiding subjectivity and trying to separate all the variable strengths and weaknesses in an objective way.


What is your favourite Design Guild Mark piece of all time and why?

There isn’t a single favourite, but several classics such as Robin Day Polyprop are Rodney Kinsman Omstak (pictured) reflect the enduring quality and stature of the Design Guild Mark. The wealth and diversity of many of the contemporary designs will ensure these too should achieve similar lasting status.


What tip would you give a designer coming in to present at the judging day?

Relax, enjoy the presentation. Provide succinct and practical information on the design, the materials and the manufacture.


What is the future of design?

Its and integral component in managing our environment and the climate crisis. Sustainable and intelligent design will shape our future and impact the quality of our daily lives. Setting a high benchmark through the Design Guild Mark provides a reference for others to emulate, and similar philosophies will filter through to wider domestic, workplace and public domains.


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