May Design Series, (17-19 May at ExCel London) the interior design show which spans the retail, residential, commercial and hospitality sectors, has just announced a packed conference and seminars line-up across all three days. As might be expected of an event that has been ‘curated for business’, the free-to-attend sessions between them cover a wide range of topics relevant to all members of the project team, from the macro-economic factors that are impacting the design industry today and are set to shape it in the future through to new and practical insights from pioneers and thought leaders across the design spectrum.
Jo Malone MBE, Founder & Creative Director of Jo Loves will take centre stage on Tuesday 19th May as a keynote speaker. The inspirational business woman will share her story of making it from life in council housing to establishing a multi-million pound company and reveal the successes, failures, challenges (both personal and commercial), and motivation behind her achievements. Register for a ticket, giving you complimentary access to her talk.
Several other themes will run through both the conference and seminar streams. Design as part of the solution to the UK’s housing crisis will be explored on day two of the Conference when Sebastian Conran and Pocket Living’s Russ Edwards will join a panel to debate if compact living can help and, indeed, if it is desirable. The following day, TV broadcaster, Delcan Curry, will moderate a panel including Andy von Bradksy, Chairman of PRP Architects and Cany Ash of Ash Saklua, in discussing how to create homes that meet government objectives and are also places that people want to live in. In the Seminar programme, Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux, will lead a discussion that reveals some of the secrets of designing successful small spaces.
Another key subject will be promoting occupier wellbeing in the home and at work through the use of lighting, texture, furniture and colour. Interior designer, Oliver Heath will speak about the benefits of biophilic design and how to successfully integrate this within schemes, while a panel including Dr Bridget Juniper Founder of Work & Well-Being and Ed Garrod, Elementa’s Head of Sustainability & Integrated Design will explore emerging principles and the business case for workplace wellbeing.
In the retail space, Abigail Ahern, who has built an international business as a designer, author, speaker and taste maker, will take the platform in the Seminar programme to share her experience on becoming an instantly recognisable global brand, while another session, led by Andrew Bolitho of the British Retail Consortium, will explore the latest in store technology for improving the customer experience and boosting sales. A conference debate amongst contributors including Marion Roberts, Professor of Urban Design at University of Westminster, will tackle the top level issue of creating high streets of the future with increased footfall, improved dwell times and better shopper experiences.
Other subjects under the May Design Series magnifying glass will include: how to add luxury to hotel interiors through clever lighting schemes presented by Sally Storey of LDI, innovative design ideas and the latest trends in creating family friendly, yet stylish, interiors and the relevance of the “circular economy” to the furniture industry with speakers from FIRA and Herman Miller. Focus will also be given to design and delivery – what can go wrong in the relationship and how this can be prevented – and Elina Grigoriou of Grigoriou Interiors will set out to prove that sustainability and good design can go hand-in-hand with the SKA Rating tool.
The challenges for women in design and construction will also be under the spotlight and there will be several sessions casting a forward glance at new directions for designers. These will range from the latest innovations and trends in materials, colour and texture to designing workplace and residential interiors to take account of our aging population, the impact of BIM on the interiors and fit-out sectors, and next generation furniture and fittings.
Other highly respected moderators and speakers across the three days of Conference and Seminars will include: TV and radio arts broadcaster, Will Gompertz; Paul Nulty of Paul Nulty Lighting Design; Daniel Hopwood, President of BIID and founder of Studio Hopwood, author and Senior Lecturer at London Metropolitan University; Sian Moxon, Projects & Materials Manager of Materials Lab; Jim Biddulph and Karen Haller of Karen Haller Colour and Design Consultancy; and Tim Mutton, founder of hotel, restaurant and bar design practice, Blacksheep.
In addition, CEDIA (the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) which is partnering with May Design Series for the first time, will be running a series of seminars in its A/V and home automation area, some of which are RIBA and BIID accredited. These will include a look at designing integrated future-ready homes, understanding and specifying invisible sound solutions and how to work successfully with LED lighting systems.
The May Design Series Conference and Seminars are aimed at architects, interior designers, clients, retailers, fit-out contractors and occupiers across the residential, office, retail and hospitality sectors as well as designers working on smaller domestic projects and retail buyers. They run alongside one of the UK’s largest interiors exhibitions which, this year, will bring together manufacturers and artisans from over 25 countries to showcase Furniture, Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms, Lighting, Decor and DX, the pavilion revealing products which are using new materials and technology.