Event runs from May 17-19

MDS conference speakers

Interiors show the May Design Series will be tackling the big issues affecting the whole interiors supply chain from client to end user for 2015.

Building Design is a lead partner of the conference and its readers were questioned about the issues affecting them, which helped make up the content.

The conference will tackle the issues impacting on the business of interiors including macro economic factors, changing demographics and how clever design and new ways of sharing space could help tackle the housing shortage.

It will feature guest speaker architects Cany Ash of Ash Sakula and Andy von Bradsky of PRP, interior designers Oliver Heath and Dan Hopwood, product designer Sebastian Conran and retail interior expert Abigail Ahern.

The conference runs from 17-19 May at London ExCel.


Visitors will receive complimentary access to all sessions. For more information and to register for free, visit: www.maydesignseries.com

Conference Programme

Sunday 17 May

11.30-12.30 - New directions in materials, colour and texture

This session will explore the latest trends in materials, colour and texture.  Discover emerging trends, applications, the latest innovations and inspirations from our panel of design, materials and colour experts.

Host: tbc
Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director, Dulux
Daniel Hopwood, President of the British Institute of Interior Design and of London design practice, Studio Hopwood
Other speakers tbc

13.00-14.00 - Promoting wellbeing through design

How can spaces bring out the best in people and what design principles can be applied to support happiness, health and wellbeing and what value can this deliver?  This session will provide two perspectives on wellbeing and design for domestic, living and leisure interior spaces and the application of these principles.

Host: tbc
Lily Bernheimer, Founding Director, Space Works Consulting
Elina Grigoriou, Design Director, Grigoriou Interiors

14.30-15.30 - Painting space with colour and light

Exploring the relationship between natural and artificial lighting and colour, this session will present two views on how to get colour and light right in different settings and spaces.  Learn how colour and light can be successfully combined to work together to create the desired atmospheres.

Host: tbc
Karen Haller, Karen Haller Colour and Design Consultancy
Further speaker tbc

16.00-17.00 - Creating stylish homes with Abigail Ahern 

Abigail Ahern will share her unique take on interiors, learn more about her tricks of the trade, insider knowledge, and colour and styling advice for every room. Abigail will demonstrate how to push the boundaries, and create a seductively stylish home overflowing with personality.

Host: tbc
Abigail Ahern

Monday 18 May

11.00-12.00 - Worker wellbeing – design principles and delivery

Wellbeing is not only influenced by our personal behaviour patterns but by the design of buildings and spaces in which we live, work and play.  Worker wellbeing can enhance performance, engagement and innovation.  This session will explore advances in technology improving our knowledge of wellbeing in the workplace, the latest emerging principles and the business case for wellbeing.

Host: tbc
Richard Francis, Principal, The Monomy Company
Dr Bridget Juniper, Founder and Director, Work & Well-being
Ed Garrod, Principal, Head of Sustainability and Integrated Design, Elementa Consulting
Further speaker tbc

12.30-13.30 - Session tbc

14.00-15.00 - Sophisticated, stylish and sustainable - getting the balance right

This session will explore whether sustainable design can be both sophisticated and stylish.  The impact of interior design and architecture is inherently wasteful, how can designers adapt the way they work to embrace sustainable practices and understand the value of such an approach?  Can sustainable designs improve interior spaces and if so how? And how can style and sustainability go hand in hand?

Host: tbc
Sian Moxon, Senior Lecturer, London Metropolitan University and author
Karan Grover, Karan Grover and Associates
Other speaker tbc

15.30-16.30 - Can compact living solve the housing crisis?

Will compact housing and smaller living spaces continue to be a growing trend? To what extent could compact housing be the solution to long term housing affordability? What are the drivers of demand and what do people want from smaller living spaces? Can cleverly designed spaces make compact living more desirable and attractive? And is compact living a positive trend?

Host: tbc
Russ Edwards, Design Director, Pocket Living
Other speakers tbc

17.00-18.00 - Diversifying the high street

This session will explore the latest trends and ever changing nature of UK’s high street, looking at the demand for social, leisure and hospitality experiences and the emergence of the digital high street.  What is the impact of policy, property and technology? How can successful high streets be delivered which meet the changing social, economic and technological trends? What techniques can be employed to create high streets of the future which increase footfall, create a “destination”, improve dwell times and shopper experiences?

Host: tbc
Russ Edwards, Design Director, Pocket Living
Speakers tbc

Tuesday 19 May

11.00-12.00 - Creating places for people – unlocking the housing log jam

The government wants to see a bigger and better private rented sector, will the emerging build to let investor backed property development tap into demand from young professionals for better rented accommodation?  By creating better quality housing for young people can we end the obsession with owner occupied housing, and what do these tenants want?  At the other end of the scale the number of over 60s will increase by 7 million in the next 20 years and the number of over 75s will rise by 40% in urban areas and 90% in rural areas by 2019. The ageing population requires suitable homes and housing which accommodate changing physical, cognitive, visual and aural needs.  Is communal/co-housing the solution? How do we design and create places that people want to live in and which address the changing demographics of the UK.

Host: Declan Curry, Television Broadcaster
Nick Whitten, Associate Director - UK Research, JLL
Andy von Bradsky, Chairman, PRP Architects
Cany Ash, Founding Partner, Ash Sakula

12.30-13.30 - Session tbc

14.00-15.00 - The science and style of biophilic design; using nature to create healthier spaces

By strengthening human connections with nature, enormous benefits can be realised in many of the building typologies that we live and work in. Research demonstrates that spaces with biophilic elements creates offices that are more productive with reduced stress and absenteeism; hospitals where patients feel less pain and recover faster after operations, and schools where children can learn faster with improved exam results. Designer Oliver Heath will discuss the ideas and research behind biophilic design that demonstrate its benefits and explain how biophilic principles can be incorporated into design.

Host: Declan Curry, Television Broadcaster
Oliver Heath, Heath Design

15.30-16.30 - Session tbc

Host: Declan Curry, Television Broadcaster
Speakers tbc

Seminar Programme

Theatre 1

Sunday 17 May

11.30-12.30 - A circular approach to furniture

This seminar will explore the challenges and opportunities when implementing a company wide sustainability strategy and how to understand and start to apply a “Cradle to Cradle” philosophy.  The session will examine the drivers for a circular economy drawing on case studies of those leading the way.

Chair: James Bell, Environmental Consultant, Furniture Industry Research Association 

How the concept of the circular economy is being applied in the furniture industry

James Bell, Environmental Consultant, Furniture Industry Research Association 

The implications of a cradle to cradle philosophy –a manufactures approach

Oliver Baxter, Herman Miller 


13.00-14.00 - Creating successful small spaces

When designing for small spaces it’s about what you do with the space you have rather than how much space there is. Designing tiny spaces and especially those with specific functions such as kitchens and bathrooms can be a challenge. This session will explore concepts and design, how to keep things small and functional, clever space-saving design solutions, and how to maintain style without frivolity.

Chair: Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director, Dulux

Designing small spaces

Naomi Day, architectural and interior designer specialising in small spaces 

Colour and space

Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director, Dulux


14.30-15.30 - Creating inspirational retail spaces 

Since opening her first store 12 years ago, Abigail Ahern has grown her business into a global, multi-faceted retail empire, and one of the most instantly recognisable brands in interiors. This session will provide candid, inspiring and realistic advice on everything from setting up shop, to finding your niche in the market and determining your brand personality, Abigail will explore how to think beyond being a retailer and becoming a brand.

Abigail Ahern


16.00-17.00 - Three approaches to successful hotel interiors

This session will explore three contrasting approaches to hotel interiors, exploring how to create personality, functionality and style.

Speakers tbc


Monday 18 May

11.00-12.00 - Living plants for dynamic interiors

The challenge is to make psychologically rewarding interiors for people and, in the case of working environments this can translate into measurable increases in employee satisfaction and productivity. Plants have been shown to have a major role to play here. This seminar explores ideas of why and how to use plants to best advantage.

Kenneth Freeman, Head of Innovation, Ambius

Designing with plants to improve working environments

Kenneth Freeman, Head of Innovation, Ambius 

Why interior green walls? Theory and practice

Mark Laurence, Director, Vertology  

The sky is the limit

Patrick Morris, Creative Director, Boskke


12.30-13.30 - Creating successful workspaces

How can designers create successful workspaces that increase productivity and creativity of employers? What do workers actually want from design? What can be learnt from those leading the way in office design and how can this be reproduced on smaller scales and budgets? How can co-working office space promote creative thinking and entrepreneurialism?

Chair: Sam Sahni, Senior Associate, Morgan Lovell 

The importance of in-between spaces when designing workplaces

Sam Sahni, Senior Associate, Morgan Lovell 

Delivering an agile working environment  

Ian Cowell, Head of Design, Tetris

Creating successful spaces and working communities with co-working office space

Dean Connell, Senior Interior Design Consultant, International Markets, We Work


14.00-15.00 - Lighting design – promoting health and wellbeing

How we light our buildings both naturally and artificially can have significant effect on occupier wellbeing and quality of life.  What is the effect of the quantity and colour of internal light and how can these influence people in terms of performance and wellbeing.

Chair: Dr Paul Littlefair, Principal Lighting Consultant, BRE

Lighting and health – what the research tells us

Dr Paul Littlefair, Principal Lighting Consultant, BRE

Embracing biological needs in lighting design

Speaker from ARUP – name tbc


15.30-16.30 - Technology trends in retail

This seminar will explore the latest in store technology for retail.  How can technology improve customer experience and sales in store? What are the latest cutting edge technologies and how can these be incorporated into retail interiors.

Chair: Andrew Bolitho, Policy Adviser, British Retail Consortium

What is driving technological advancement in retail spaces

Andrew Bolitho, Policy Adviser, British Retail Consortium 

Innovation and in store design for luxury goods

Johnathan Chippindale, Chief Executive, Holition
Other speaker tbc


17.00-18.00 - Successfully designing with reused and recycled materials

This session will demonstrate how materials can be re-conditioned and intelligently re-used in interiors.

Speakers tbc


Tuesday 19 May

11.00-12.00 Corporate identity in interiors – how to

Branding allows a company to establish a significant and differentiate presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.  How can we create a link between what a company does and its interiors, creating spaces which match commercial and cultural ambitions.  This session will explore the importance of branding, how a brand is communicated and how this vision is interpreted and translated to interiors to create a branded property and will explore what your building says about your business.

Chair: TBC

Translating commercial and cultural ambitions into interiors

Lee Penson, Founder, Penson
Further speakers tbc


12.30-13.30 - SKA sustainable fit out guide – combining sustainability and design

SKA Rating is an environmental assessment tool for sustainable fit-outs.  This session will help project teams understand the SKA fit out tool and gain an understanding of what good practice looks like and how to implement it, demonstrating that sustainability and good design can go hand in hand.

Elina Grigoriou, Design Director, Grigoriou Interiors


14.00-15.00 - Delivering on design intent - defining, designing and delivering

The interior of a commercial building provides the main experience for the users and this is where any deficiencies in design and delivery can be exposed. Too often there appears to be a lack of joined up thinking with delivery teams working in isolation from each other. This session identifies the problems and pitfalls between defining the client’s vision and final delivery and use. How can these issues be overcome and does BIM have a role to play here?

David Matthews, Partner, Hoare Lea
Further speakers tbc


15.30-16.30 - Design and delivery strategies for pop up retail spaces

Pop-up shops and pop-up retail are temporary retail spaces that sell products of any kind.  Pop-ups are exciting, short-term retail spaces that are creative and engaging. They come in all shapes and sizes and deliver contact with customers, the ability to build brand awareness and allow new markets to be tested without long term financial commitment. This session will explore best practice in pop up strategy and design.

Chair: TBC

Delivering successful pop up spaces - design strategies told through case studies

Melissa Woolford, Founder, Nous Collaborative
Further speakers tbc


Theatre 2

Sunday 17 May

11.30-12.30 - Residential lighting - designing without downlighting and the “Rules of Three’

John Bullock, John Bullock Lighting Design


13.00-14.00 - Design strategies to successfully connect house and garden

Achieving a sympathetic transition can enhance the meaning and experience of both places. This session explores ways of making meaningful inside-outside connections.

Chair: TBC

Place sensitive garden design

Helen Elks-Smith, Director, Elks-Smith Landscape and Garden Design
Further speakers tbc


14.30-15.30 - Next generation furniture and fittings

This session will explore the latest in furniture, technology and fittings.


16.00-17.00 - Creating functional family friendly interiors with style

Creating a comfortable, attractive and stylish home which supports and withstands changing family life can be a challenge.  This session dedicated to creating family friendly interiors will explore the latest trends in colour, pattern and texture; how to create zones for all the family which serve multiple functions and how to make the most of shared spaces.  In this session discover innovative design ideas and solutions.

Chair: Speaker from Houzz

Family interiors - latest trends and design solutions

Speaker from Houzz
Further speakers tbc


Monday 18 May

11.00-12.00 - Delivering a retail lighting concept which drives sales

Today’s lighting designer not only needs to be a consumer psychologist, directing the moods and emotions of customers to drive behaviour but a marketing magician, employing the latest technology to drive sales. Join Paul Nulty in this session exploring the latest in retail lighting design.

Paul Nulty, Paul Nulty Lighting Design


12.30-13.30 - Designing residential spaces for an aging population

Decent housing makes a fundamental difference to mental and physical health and well-being and has a critical contribution to make to the value and effectiveness of the health and care systems. Older households will represent 50% of all households by 2026. Older people spend between 70-90% of their time in their homes, much more than any other age group. How do we respond to the challenge through adapting existing and building new homes where the elderly can thrive?


14.00-15.00 - Session tbc


15.30-16.30 - Welcoming workplace – designing office space for four generations

Office space has typically been modelled on 20-45 year olds.  As populations age and as work evolves a different type of workforce is set to emerge – comprising more older people.  How should the office environment flex and change to address extended working lives? What are the physical requirements of the workplace and how can the office support different styles of working.   This session will explore vision, hearing, physical ergonomics, cognition and health and wellbeing and the need for different spaces for collaboration, concentration and contemplation and how four generations at work can be accommodated and what constitutes “a great place to work” for each generation.

Chair: TBC

Four generations at work – how to create fully inclusive office spaces

Oliver Baxter, Programme Manager Insight Group, Herman Miller
Further speakers TBC


17.00-18.00 - Workplace wellbeing design 

This session will explore how to optimize health and wellbeing in the workplace.  How can design influence our productivity and health?  What is the economic logic behind wellbeing and what are the design principles which support wellbeing in the workplace?

Chair: Dr Craig Knight, University of Exeter

Optimising wellbeing in the workplace - what are the design principles?

Dr Craig Knight, University of Exeter
Further speakers TBC


Tuesday 19 May

11.00-12.00 - What omni-channel means for retail spaces

This session will explore how the rise of “omni-channel” is changing the way we shop and how this  influences the design of retail space.  Omni-channel retailing delivers a seamless approach to selling through all channels including physical stores, the internet, mobile phones and other forms of media.  Retailers must successfully integrate processes, information systems and infrastructure to meet customer demand. The changing face of shopping is developing retail and logistics properties, what does this mean for the design of physical retail spaces and how can online and in-store experiences be aligned? 

Speakers TBC


12.30-13.30 - BIM for fit out

Chair: David Frise, BIM4FitOut

BIM’s place in fit out

David Frise, BIM4FitOut

Cloud point surveys - a guide to creating quick models for interiors

Speaker tbc

The contractors view

Speaker tbc


14.00-15.00 - Adding luxury to hotels with lighting

Sally Storey, Design Director of Lighting Design International, will show how lighting can add the luxury to hotel interiors.  Using lighting designs from recent projects from Ham Yard Hotel to Fera at Claridges, The Savoy to the Corinthia,  Sally will show how lighting can make the simplest of interiors look glamorous.

Sally Storey, Design Director, Lighting Design International


15.30-16.30 - Stylish residential lighting – two case studies

Case study: residential lighting design at Battersea Park Power Station residential apartments phase 2

Farhad Rahim, Associate Lighting Designer, Chapman BDSP
Further speaker tbc


Visitors will receive complimentary access to all sessions. For more information and to register for free, visit: www.maydesignseries.com