designjunction’s talks programme celebrates equality and diversity with 50 world-class speakers

This year, designjunction not only presents hundreds of product launches, immersive installations, pop-up shops, plus many food and drink options, the show also welcomes a stellar talks programme. Encompassing 14 sessions, this year’s theme #designevery celebrates design as one of the most powerful components in our everyday lives, with the focus on equality and diversity. designjunction’s compelling programme takes place in the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf alongside other live activities and experiential events.

Designed to explore crucial topics the design industry is facing, 50 world-class speakers will take to the stage in the two-day programme (Thursday 20 – Friday 21 September) with a series of lively discussions and debates with high profile designers and creative brands.

With a keynote from RIBA and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, the talks programme is diverse and considered, breaking the mould by opening up a discussion about what truly matters.

To view the full talks programme and to book tickets click here.

Thursday 20 September

11.00 – 11.50 The Omnipresent Design Thinking Speaker: Benjamin Hubert, founder of LAYER Industrial designer Benjamin Hubert provides an insight into ‘Experiences with Meaning’ – the inner workings of his design agency LAYER and his latest work with Kite and Nolii.

12.00 – 12.50 Experience Design – What does it take to engage in the age of information overflow? Speakers: Sam Bompas; co-founder of Bompas & Parr, Katrina Larkin, co-founder of proworking space Fora, Peter Carlton, film producer at Wrap Films, Job Smeets, founder of Studio Job Design is no longer about simply creating an object or a space. People seek experiences that enrich their life and provide moments of meaning, pleasure, fun, calm and energy. This talk will explore this growing phenomenon across diverse disciplines.

13.00 – 13.50 The Rise of ‘South of The River’ Speakers: Tracy Meller; partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP); Alex Lifschutz, director of Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Toby Neilson, director of architecture at BDG architecture + design, George Nicholson, board member of Coin Street Community Builders The south of the river area of Bankside has been undergoing a revival, with new urban and place-making opportunities unlocked in the area over the years. This talk will explore the area with the architect behind NEO Bankside, the architects behind the Illuminated River project, shedding light on the riverside and its place in the London’s urban landscape and Coin Street, the community initiative fostering the area.

14.00 – 14.50 Beyond architects’ egos – the real future of architecture Chair: Ellie Stathaki, architecture editor at Wallpaper* Magazine Speakers: Jonathan Ashmore; founder of ANARCHITECT, Sarah Featherstone, director of FEATHERSTONE YOUNG Architects, Sarah Castle, director and co-founder of IF DO What is the future of architecture? Join the discussion on the role of architecture in placemaking, community building, connecting cultures and creating accessible cities.

15.00 – 15.50 The End of The Unethical – Welcome to Moral Design 2.0 Chair: Anna Winston, architecture and design writer Speakers: Emily Morley of Studio Can Can; Ben Parker, creative director and founding partner of Made Thought, Emma Fromberg, education manager at Disruptive Innovation Festival. A wave of creatives are drawing a line in the sand in contributing to climate change, animal cruelty and poor ethical production. Anna Winston is joined by Studio Can Can (Vegan design and build), Ben Parker and Emma Fromberg to discuss this topic.

16.00 – 16.50 Is Retail Dead? The New Rules of Engagement Speakers: Adarsh Radia; co-founder of KITE eyewear, Ruth Wassermann, design director at MADE.COM and mind behind Talent Labs, Henrietta Thompson, founder of HARTH The way in which we interact with brands has changed. From concept stores to crowd funding and sourcing, modern consumers invest in products and brands in response to their authenticity and user experience both on and offline.

17.00 – 17.50 The New Drone Realities Speaker: Stephanie Chaltiel, architect and creator of Mud Shell Project, Iain Macbeth, Head of Foresight at Transport for London Drones are quickly changing the way companies across a multitude of industries operate. With increased use in rescue operations, building safety inspections, law enforcement and disaster management, leading voices in drone technologies discuss the latest technological advancements.

Friday 21 September

11.00 – 11.50 Diversity in Design – The Long Road Ahead Speaker: Sonia Watson, CEO of The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust The theme of this year’s talks programme is #designevery, celebrating design as one of the most powerful components in our everyday lives, with the focus on equality and diversity. These values will be covered in this talk between RIBA and designjunction’s chosen charity, the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. The trust believes that every young person, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity and support to flourish in a society that treats them with fairness and respect. *Tickets for this talk are £16, all proceeds go to charity

12.00 – 12.50 Light Wasted Not Speakers: Ben Rigby, creative director of Haberdashery, Paul Nulty of Nulty Between lighting recycling and light pollution in the cities there’s a heated discussion about the right approach to making urban cities thrive after dark. Join Ben Rigby, co-founder at Haberdashery and Paul Nulty, founder at Nulty+ for a discussion on how to manage light in the urban environment.

13.00 – 13.50 Craft 2.0 – Fighting For Material Authenticity Chair: Ben Spriggs, editor of Elle Decoration magazine Speakers: Furniture maker Sebastian Cox; designer Ini Archibong, Magnus Wastberg, founder of Skandium, Caroline Milns, BIID of Zulu Fish Interiors While the technological advancements are progressing, it’s also time for craft 2.0. Craftsmanship remains at the core of creativity – whether that’s championing local design or working internationally across cultures to celebrate age-old arts and crafts.

14.00 – 14.50 Biodesign – can we square the circle of sustainable production? Speakers: Natsai Audrey Chieza; designer and founder of Faber Futures, Dr Marin Sawa, Marcos Cruz, Professor of innovative environments at The Bartlett School of Architecture Biodesign is a rapidly emerging field operating at the intersection of design and biotechnology. It incorporates the co-creation of new materials, products and services with living systems; the development of novel biofabrication processes; and the implementation of innovative design strategies for an emerging bioeconomy. Designing with biology presents unique opportunities to address significant ecological challenges, squaring the circle of sustainable production and finite resources.

15.00 – 15.50 Move Over Modernism – The Power of Feeling Chair: Kasia Maciejowska, arts and design writer Speakers: designer Kusheda Mensah, industrial designer Tej Chauhan, designer Terri Pecora Kasia Maciejowska hosts a panel discussing how emotional designs shape the embodied human experience, exploring why soft aesthetics and curvaceous forms are currently enjoying great resonance with both creators and the public in this particular cultural moment.

16.00 – 16.50 Design From Adversity Chair: Suzanne Trocmé, writer and journalist Speakers: Chrissa Amuah, founder of Africa by Design, Doreen Toutikian, co-founder of director of Beirut Design Week, Spandana Gopal, founder of Tiipoi Do we know what it means to design truly out of necessity? Out of necessity which may be functional or in which design is the only communication tool available? This talk explores design beyond the ‘comfortable western world’.

17.00 – 1750 Head Above Water – Design Activism Speakers: Designer and artist Steuart Padwick, Dr Sally Marlow Phd, Engagement and Impact Fellow, Department of Psychological Medicine, Department of Psychological Medicine, Division of Academic Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, Juan Ferrari, Senior Associate at Hoare Lea There is much more to design than we think, as proven by Head Above Water by Steuart Padwick – a dynamic piece of public art and design engaging with the public on a new level using technology and science.

This year’s talks programme has been curated by Justyna Sowa of ON DESIGN – a new design podcast launching this winter at All of the designjunction talks will be available at ON DESIGN in a podcast format and on the designjunction website in a form of the video interviews.

Location: Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, South Bank, London, SE1.

Please ensure to arrive 15 minutes before the talk time For further information about the designjunction talks programme and to book tickets visit:

Talks Programme ticket prices: £8 per talk

Tickets can be booked at

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