Previous Conference Speakers 2014

Our conference theme was ‘Can design save the world’.


Graphic Design

This section is hosted and curated by Ian Anderson of The Designers Republic. Speakers include Tony Brook from Spin, Graham Wood of Tomato/Underworld. How important is effective visual communication in today’s society? In an age of multi format mass communication, what role does visual communication play?

Section Host

Ian Anderson
The Designers Republic

Born before England won the World Cup in Croydon, London’s erstwhile orbital city of the future, Ian studied Philosophy at The University of Sheffield (1979 – 1982). As a designer he is self-taught. He declared The Designers Republic on Bastille Day 1986 in Sheffield (which he dubbed SoYo™ North of Nowhere™).

TDR’s work is credited with defining the visual language of dance music, electronica and the Playstation gaming generation, post-flagship title WipEout. Ian has worked with architects such as Sadar + Vuga, built environment developers Urban Splash and RREEF, fashion designers such as Issey Miyake and currently Rick Owens, and has developed global branding campaigns, identities and Special Projects for the likes of Coca-Cola, Sony (including Aibo), Nokia, Telia, MTV and Nike. In 1994 Rudy Vanderlans dedicated an entire issue of Emigre Magazine to TDR.

In 1996 TDR had their first NYC show at Artists Space. In 2001, their book 3D>2D was the biggest selling UK architecture book. In 2006 Ian was co-curator of Echo City, The British Pavilion at the 10th Venice Biennale for Architecture.

In 25 years Ian has lectured to over 70,000 people around the world, had over 25 ‘solo’ TDR exhibitions, launched The People’s Bureau For Consumer Information and The Pho-ku Corporation, had a good time but still not managed to finish the TDR book.

Anderson currently continues to run The Designers Republic, and is also Creative Director (comms) for EXD (The Lisbon Biennale) and Sheffield Design Week, a patron of Site Gallery, a member of AGI, a writer of columns, an educator (running Design Thinking courses at Universities in Manchester and Sheffield), an exhibited artist and, when the moon is full, he DJs as Pho-Ku Polluted Rockers.


Speakers include:

Tony Brook

Spin Design

Tony Brook grew up in Halifax in the north of England where most of his male relatives were miners (on his father’s side) and steelworkers and firemen (on his mother’s). He showed early promise in art, and left home in 1980 to study illustration at Somerset College of Arts and Technology in Taunton, switching to graphic design in his third year.

After a year of unemployment he joined the design agency Shoot That Tiger! in 1984, followed by stints at Icon (later Sonicon) in 1989 and Crimson in 1991, before setting up Spin with his wife Patricia Finegan in 1992.

Since that time Spin has expanded and contracted in size, influence and prosperity throughout a turbulent time for graphic design. Initially dependent upon the declining music industry, Spin moved on to big-client branding in the mid-00s, acquiring a reputation for an austere, neo-Modernist approach to identity design for a variety of blue-chip clients. These have included auctioneers Christie’s, galleries (Whitechapel, Haunch of Venison, The Photographers’ Gallery, Proa in Argentina) and TV stations such as Channel 4, Five and More4.

Spin has always produced self-initiated projects as promotional items, from expensive interactive and motion-based initiatives to its newsprint reading lists, and Brook has also been a prolific collector of books and posters with a wide range of enthusiasms. He was the guiding spirit behind the Design Museum’s 2011 exhibition ‘Wim Crouwel: A graphic odyssey’ (curated by Brook and Margaret Cubbage), which went on to the Stedelijk museum, Amsterdam later the same year.

In 2009, Brook teamed up with art director-writer Adrian Shaughnessy to found Unit Editions. This autumn sees the publication of Unit’s thirteenth book, FHK Henrion: the Complete Designer.

Brook has also become increasingly active in AGI, the Alliance Graphique Internationale, which he was invited to join in 2006. He is a tireless organiser and proselytiser of AGI Open, the ‘world cup of graphic design’ at London’s Barbican in September 2013. He was president of the UK chapter, 2008-13.

In contrast to Brook’s multitasking responsibilities and eclectic tastes, the work for which his studio is best known is a spare, reductive approach to identity design. Spin’s systems frame content – art, TV programmes, artefacts – in a way that combines practicality with a refined typographic sensibility. The conversation below took place in Spin’s studio and the Eye offices in the summer of 2013.


Graham Wood

ex Tomato / Underworld

In 1991, after finishing a BA and MA at Central St Martins in London, Graham co-founded Tomato with Steve Baker, Dirk van Dooren, Karl Hyde and Richard Smith (Underworld), Simon Taylor and John Warwicker.

In 2006, he joined JWT New York as Executive Creative Director Visual Communication. In 2009, he joined JWT London as Head of Art.In 2012, he began working freelance. In 2013, he co-founded Studio Heiss with Flo Heiss and Mark Cramphorn.

Clients, brands and people Graham has made things for have included Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Scott Walker, Levis, Unilever, JBO, Shell, Malcolm McLaren, Sony, Microsoft, 4AD, Samsung, Nine Inch Nails, Orange, Ford, Porsche, Lexus, Subaru, The Cocteau Twins, Electrolux, Philips, RCA, Rough Trade, Selfridges, Sketch Bar & Restaurant, MTV, VH1, Kiss FM, Procter and Gamble, Bacardi, Smirnoff, MAC Cosmetics, Dead Can Dance, the Guardian Newspaper, Macy’s, the BBC, Channel 4, the Science Museum, Helly Hansen, Pepsi, Sunglass Hut, Radisson Hotels, Simple Shoes, DeBeers, Tesco, Underworld, Converse etc.

Graham has worked with agencies worldwide including Wieden and Kennedy, Leagas Delaney, Goodby Silverstein, Crispin Porter, Lowes, TBWA, Chiat Day, Abbot Mead Vickers, Saatchi, Dare, Cheil, SapientNitro, CHI and Dentsu.

The areas he has worked in range across strategy, creative direction, direction (live action and motion graphics), web, mobile and gaming technologies, installations, events, live motion graphic/visual performance, interior and product design, branding and identity, print art direction and design, books-design as well as publishing/authoring (tomato; process, 1996, tomato; bareback 1999, tycho’s nova, 2001, gasbook, real and imaginary flowers), exhibitions (London, New York, Tokyo, Stockholm, Munich, Milan, Paris etc) music, drawing, painting, photography, film-making, sculpture and typography, workshops, talks, performance and consultancies at colleges and institutions worldwide inc, Glastonbury, Cambridge, The RCA, Hyper Island, RISD, SVA, Cooper Union, Konstfack Stockholm, Art/Government programmes in Tokyo/Sapporo, and at events in Ireland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, South America, The US and Canada.

Awards include AICP/MOMA, D&AD Pencils, Webby (Peoples Choice & Honoree), FWA, Cannes Lions, BIMA, One Show, Tokyo Type Directors, BBC Design Awards, Charleston Film and Video Festival, Epica D’or, XYZ digital typography, Studio of the Year (numerous times).

Exhibitions include V&A and MOMA Permanent Collection, MOCA (San Francisco), BFI collection, onedotzero, The Barbican, Whitechapel Gallery, LaForet Tokyo, Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Jacobson Howard Gallery New York, LEA Gallery London, Scarlett Gallery (Stockholm), AIGA Design Archives.

“Graham Wood has been one of design’s leading figures for more than a decade.”
Patrick Burgoyne, Creative Review

“What Wood has created is a kind of ambient typography comparable to the ambient music and ambient video of artist-musicians such as Brian Eno, David Sylvian and David Cunningham.”
Rick Poynor, Eye Magazine



Anthony Burrill
Designer / Printmaker

Graphic artist, print-maker and designer Anthony Burrill is known for his persuasive, up-beat style of communication. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York and has been exhibited in galleries around the world including The Barbican, The Walker Art Centre and The Graphic Design Museum, Breda. In 2012, he made his first foray into curating with the exhibition Made in L.A. Work by Colby Poster Printing, at KK Outlet in London.

Words and language are an important part of Burrill’s output and he has developed a distinctive voice that is sought after not only by collectors of his posters and prints but also by clients including Wallpaper* magazine, The Economist, The British Council, London Underground and The Design Museum. Burrill is perhaps best known for his typographic, text-based compositions, including the now-famous “Work Hard and Be Nice to People”, which has become a mantra for the design community and beyond.

Burrill has a long-standing relationship with the printers Adams of Rye where he uses traditional techniques to compose and print his work. The integrity lent to the process of image-making by hand-made methods is essential to his practice across all media — from print, to screen-based, to three-dimensional applications. In 2010 he worked with Happiness Brussels to design a screen-printed poster made with oil and sand collected from the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico disaster. Proceeds from the sale of the limited edition poster “Oil & Water Do Not Mix” went to CRCL (Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana) and copies were acquired by the V&A and Cooper-Hewitt for their collections.

While Burrill’s work is grounded in a serious devotion to his art, he has a lightness of touch and humour that, although often copied, is unique in the field of graphic communication. He frequently embarks on innovative collaborations with friends and fellow creatives. Recent and regular colluders include product designer Michael Marriott, writer and philosopher Alain de Botton, designer Ben Kelly and creative director Erik Kessels.

Installations, events and work in three dimensions punctuate Burrill’s practice. At the renowned annual graphic art fair Pick Me Up at Somerset House in London in 2011, Burrill re-located his studio to the gallery and held workshops and daily collaborations with fellow designers, illustrators, photographers and musicians over the course of ten days. For Graphic Design Worlds at the Triennale di Milano in 2011 Burrill and Michael Marriott built and installed a red-timbered chalet structure, clad with recreations of Burrill’s work cut from multi-veneer board.

As well as his self-authored work and commissioned design, Burrill makes regular appearances at events and talks worldwide. He also runs creative workshops attended by children, students and creative professionals alike. He documents and communicates his work and points of inspiration prolifically via social media, with thousands of followers on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

Burrill was born in Littleborough, Lancashire. After studying Graphic Design at Leeds Polytechnic he completed an MA in Graphic Design at the Royal College of Art, London. He now lives and works on the Isle of Oxney, Kent.



Future Making – Crafts Council

Annie Warburton is the Crafts Council’s Creative Programmes Director. Annie will be hosting a session that explores how new innovation and technologies offer opportunities for designers and makers to redefine themselves and their practices. How can we maintain ‘traditional’ skills and knowledge but harness technology to create new opportunities and markets?

Section Host

Annie Warburton
Programmes Director, Crafts Council

Annie Warburton is the Crafts Councils Creative Programmes Director. Annie is responsible for ensuring that the Crafts Council delivers new, exciting, robust and relevant programmes of activity which strengthen and develop the crafts sector.

Working in the arts and creative industries for 20 years, Annie Warburton spent ten years in Dublin, where she started her career at the Crafts Council of Ireland and went on to work for a US publisher and launch a digital start up.

Prior to taking up her new role at the Crafts Council, Annie was CEO at ArtsMatrix and most recently Head of Partnerships at Creative Skillset, the creative industries’ skills council.

Annie was educated at the University of Cambridge, where she read economics and philosophy. She is a Fellow of the RSA, a trustee at CapitB Trust, on the Theatre Bristol board, and an Associate of Newnham College, Cambridge. and has spoken at numerous international design conferences.



Speakers include:

Daniel Charny
Independent Curator

Daniel Charny is an independent curator and co-founder of London based creative projects consultancy From Now On. Working across cultural, education and commercial environments, Charny is recognised for his distinctive combination of strategic and creative thinking.

Between 2002 – 2010 as founding curator of The Aram Gallery for experimental and new design, Charny established a unique independent gallery that continues to be an internationally recognised feature of London’s design scene. In 2003 Charny started to work with museums by leading the masterplanning for the Design Museum Holon. In recent years he has worked closely with the Design Museum London, curating two major shows and consulting on the strategic development of the collections. In 2011 From Now On were appointed Content and Interpretation Consultants to lead and produce plans for a new interpretation strategy, collections policy and the curatorial concept for the Design Museum’s future permanent exhibition. His latest exhibition for the Victoria and Albert Museum “Power of Making” was a critical and popular success, becoming the most visited free exhibition ever staged at the V&A.

Charny has been involved in design education for 20 years and during that time he has worked with students and staff in China, England, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Spain and Sweden. He is currently a Senior Tutor at the Royal College of Art where he has been teaching since 1998. His expertise in contemporary and progressive design serves him as nominator for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year, the V&A’s Jameel Prize, Design Miami’s Jury for Designer of the Year and Core77 Jury for Consumer Product awards.

Power of Making


Dominic Wilcox

Artist / Designer

Dominic Wilcox is a British artist and designer who creates innovative objects, drawings and installations. Born in Sunderland, he graduated from Ron Arad’s renowned Design Products course at the Royal College of Art in 2002 and has gone on to develop an international reputation for his diverse range of original and creative work.

Through his drawings and objects he aims to place a spotlight on the banal; adding a new, surprising perspective on the everyday. Recent projects include the design of a pair of shoes with inbuilt GPS to guide the wearer home, a race against a 3D Printer at the V&A and a 10″ vinyl record called Sounds of Making in East London.

Designer Thomas Heatherwick had this to say on Wilcox’s invention drawings, “Dominic Wilcox’s drawings aren’t just witty and beautifully drawn, they are serious challenges to the real world to keep looking at itself with innocent eyes, wondering what else is possible.”

In 2009 he started a Webby award nominated blog called Variations on Normal where he shows his sketchbook inventions and observations. He has received commissions from a diverse range of individuals and organisations such as super model Helena Christensen, Nike, Jaffa Cakes, Paul Smith, Selfridges, The V&A museum and the Design Museum.

“I’ve convinced myself that within everything that surrounds us, there are hundreds of ideas and connections waiting to be found. We just need to look hard enough. Some of my ideas develop from observations on human behaviour and I express them through the objects I create. I also experiment with materials to try to find surprises that can’t be found simply by thinking with a pen or computer.” Dominic Wilcox



Bruce Montgomery
Consultant / Designer / Academic

An internationally acclaimed Menswear Design Consultant and alumni of our School, Bruce started his working life in 1984 for Nigel Cabourn and Katherine Hamnett. In 1987 he moved to Italy, where he spent seven years working as a menswear designer for notable Italian fashion houses including Luciano Sopraniand Moschino. Returning to London in 1993 Bruce worked for Jeff Banks before becoming Menswear Design Director for the DAKS brand worldwide; a position he held for 12 years.

Bruce was awarded the Design Advocate award in June 09 by the University of Northumbria. Bruce Montgomery re-joined Northumbria School of Design in September 2009 to take up the role of Professor in Design Craftsmanship.

In an age of infinitely replicated beauty in which digitalisation provides immediate access to the world’s best visual design, I believe that those objects formed by another human hand will become increasingly compelling, distinctive and in-demand. So, as people learn once more to process information through the intimacy of touch, the questions that are currently occupying my mind are; – Have we allowed designers to become over-dependent on technology?
– In future, should design education seek to balance digital design skills with more tactile design skills?
– Are designers missing out on developing knowledge and products through sensory skills both in industry and education?
– Will the next generation of designers move further away from Sennett’s vision of the novice to practitioner and then expert?
– Can touch aid the design process and how can it help us develop design skills and craft processes to unearth information that will create design solutions?



The Value of Design – Design Council

The Design Council champions great design which improves lives. That sounds straightforward, but what is the value of design? This session, chaired by the Design Council’s CEO John Mathers, will present diverse examples of how design has made a real difference: from helping a business to grow and thrive during the recession, to making the experience of being in an A&E department less hostile for patients and staff . Explore the impact that design can have, and discuss different ways this impact might be quantified.

Section Host

John Mathers

Chief Executive, Design Council

John’s role as CEO of the Design Council is to lead it into the next chapter of a rich history that dates back to 1944. Recently the Design Council re-constituted as a charity and merged with CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment). The Design Council’s work places design at the heart of creating value by stimulating innovation in business and public services. It also uses design to improve our built environment and tackle complex social issues such as ageing and obesity. The Design Council inspires new design thinking, encourages public debate and informs government policy to improve everyday life helping to meet tomorrow’s
challenges today.

John has been working for over thirty years in the brand and design industry, leading a number of marketing, brand and design consultancies in the UK and Internationally, as well as a number of roles within FMCG and retail, including Head of Brand at Safeway. He joined the Design Council from an International CEO role at the Holmes & Marchant group and previously had ten years at the helm of the Brand Union (was Enterprise IG), WPP’s flagship brand design agency.Over the last ten years, John has been actively committed to the development of the design industry, serving as President of the DBA (Design Business Association) for three years as well as being involved in various ways with the Design Council and the broader design community.


Speakers include:

Pearson Lloyd

PearsonLloyd was founded by TomLloyd and Luke Pearson in 1997. Their studio offers design knowledge and strategic thinking in industries with demanding spatial, ergonomic and social needs, such as healthcare, airlines, the workplace and the public realm. They explore the relationship between people, and the complex built environments they inhabit, to implement strategic change, delivering physical design solutions that combine innovation, pragmatism and elegance. Their work has received numerous awards and accolades, and their ideas continue to influence the design industry. In 2012 Tom and Luke were named in the top 50 designers ‘Shaping the Future’ by Fast-Co Magazine in New York.


Arfah Farooq
Co-founder, Discoverables

Arfah specialises in engaging audiences online and in person. She loves exploring new technologies and collaborating with people in order to build mutually beneficial partnerships. She was on Spark+Mettle’s coaching programme in 2011, and her ideas for widening access to support many more young people led to her co-founding Discoverables in 2012. She has secured investment from Big Issue Invest and she is currently based in tech accelerator Wayra UnLtd where she started her #startupkid journey. She is passionate about empowering young people to discover themselves and build their skills and is currently working on a new product called Up: a skills development and feedback tool for businesses and youth organisations.



David Cartwright

MD, Naylors

David, a graduate of Sheffield University and a former international water polo player, joined Naylor 9 years ago. His first 6 months at Naylor were on drainage sales; he then moved across to Naylor’s Gardenware division, being appointed Divisional Managing Director 2 years ago.

David has presided over a period of rapid growth in Naylor’s Gardenware business. Sales of Naylor’s Yorkshire Flowerpots- a range of British made frost-proof pots- have increased dramatically. In summer 2013, David oversaw the acquisition of Clough Mill, an importer of complementary top quality glazed Malaysian pots and in the last 2 weeks has also completedthe acquisition of Limetree Ceramics a range of Mediterranean wallpots, which are being sold alongside Naylor’s Yorkshire range.

Naylor Case Study –


Building Change – Architecture – RIBA

What will our towns and cities look like in 50 years time? In this section the RIBA will look at innovation and the desire to create sustainable solutions to the myriad questions facing our planet, from environmental crisis to economic problems. Speakers include Yaniv Peer from Exploration Architecture and Melissa Kinnear co-founder of Architecture Sans Frontières.

Speakers include:

Yaniv Peer

Exploration Architecture

Yaniv Peer is an Associate at Exploration Architecture, a cutting edge practice leading the field of Biomimicry and its application in the architecture and design realms. He trained at the Manchester School of Architecture after which he joined the world famous practice Future Systems, where he worked on several projects with Jan Kaplicky – including the Budvar Concert and Congress Center.

He began collaborating with Exploration Architecture on design commissions in 2009 prior to joining the company in 2011. Since then Yaniv has led in several design projects including the Mobius Project – a cyclical metabolism restaurant – and the revolutionary Biomimetic Office Building.

Yaniv has lectured widely on the subject of sustainable design in the UK and abroad so as to disseminate knowledge about Biomimicry as an approach to design which he believes can help deal with some of the major resource challenges we face today. Biomimicry represents a culmination of three lifelong passions for Yaniv; biology, design and the environment.


Melissa Kinnear


Melissa studied architecture in Johannesburg, South Africa and completed her final degree in 1999. She has worked in a variety of architectural offices in both South Africa and the United Kingdom, mostly focusing on housing projects with a strong commitment to sustainable design.

In 2004, she co-founded Architecture Sans Frontières – UK (ASF-UK) where she currently holds the position of General Manager which she performs on a voluntary basis. She has been tutoring at Oxford Brookes University in the Development and Emergency Practice design studio within the degree since 2006. She was awarded a Masters in Development and Emergency Practice from Oxford Brookes University in 2010. She is deeply committed to social and economic sustainability especially when applied to the built environment.



Satwinder Samra 
Sheffield University

Satwinder is an Architect and Educator. He is Director of Future Practice and a Senior University Teacher at the University of Sheffield, School of Architecture.

He is currently researching new routes through architectural education to reflect the demands of future practice and has been responsible for delivering a number of innovate teaching methods in recent years, the latest of which is a new collaboration between leading UK architecture practices and students to create better links between academia and industry.

At Sheffield, his current Masters studio ‘Intergenerational Architecture’, run with Leo Care, looks at the unique problems faced by elderly people and investigates new approaches and design solutions for care facilities, age proof flexible housing and the creation of new social networks for this ever expanding demographic. In a unique approach, students are encouraged to live with a physical disability or impairments for a short period to develop empathy and understanding for this age group.

His career began at Urban Splash where he worked on several award winning projects in Manchester and Liverpool before moving to Proctor Matthews to focus on social housing. He moved back to Sheffield and founded Sauce Architecture with Daniel Jary in 1998, projects include the Chesterfield City Centre masterplan with URBED and Arup and new office Headquarters for Balfour Beatty, London.

Satwinder has lectured, reviewed and examined at Schools of Architecture across the UK and abroad including Glasgow School of Art, Bergen SOA Norway and The Harbin Institute of Technology in China. He is a member of the RIBA Education committee, RIBA National council and was recently a judge for the prestigious RIBA Presidents Medals 2013.


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