| Jul 2, 2014 |
UK conference celebrates ‘life-changing design’
Boh staff
By Staff

The British Institute of Interior Design’s (BIID) annual conference, this year titled “Life-Changing Design: Transforming the Human Experience,” provided a plethora of designers from around the globe with thought-provoking content at RIBA’s headquarters in London last month.

The conference featured a prestigious line-up of speakers including Edwin Heathcote, Professor Hilary Dalke, Lee Penson, Shashi Caan, Charles Jencks and Tim Mutton. All the speakers were challenged to explore the true nature and assess the impact of good design in the home, workplace, healthcare, hospitality and other spheres.

2014 BIID Conference attendees

“Each session offered a fascinating insight into their work and provided inspiration for us all,” said Sue Timney, President of the BIID. “We set out with the aim to show that design can offer enormous power for shaping and changing the human experience and I believe that through the range and depth of topics covered we showed that design really does impact our lives at every turn.”

Sashi Caan conversation

The conference opened with a fascinating insight into the meaning of home given by Heathcote, a design and architecture critic of the Financial Times. The audience was then treated to a provocative session from Penson, a visionary designer who revealed the thinking and concepts driving his work in some of the world’s most imaginative commercial projects for clients such as Google.

Professor Dalke explored the impact color can have on the occupants and users of a space, especially those suffering with autism, dementia, vision impairment and long-term or mental health issues.

Jencks then talked about his work as founder of the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres, highlighting the important work they do in offering a fresh approach to both architectural design and health.


Mutton, a leading authority on design in the hospitality sector from the award-winning Blacksheep Agency, then closed the conference with his informative and humorous look at how people are put at the heart of the experience within restaurant and hotel design, exploring how interior design improves the overall leisure experience for the end user.

Another highlight of the conference was an “in conversation” session hosted by conference chair and design commentator Aidan Walker with Caan. Caan inspired the audience with her life story, her energy and very obvious enthusiasm for design and her passion for raising standards across the sector.

Sashi Caan, Patrick Baty, Sue Timney, Charles Jencks

The conference also featured the presentation of this year’s BIID Honorary Fellowships, which saw architectural paint and color specialist, Patrick Baty; Caan; Jencks; and design guru, Professor Rodney Fitch, recognized for their exceptional contributions to the design community.

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