News Column


June 26, 2014

The British Institute of Interior Design’s (BIID) annual conference, Life-Changing Design: Transforming the Human Experience (RIBA, London, Thursday 19th June), has proved a tremendous success, providing diverse, thought-provoking content for a packed audience drawn from across the design world.

The BIID conference featured a prestigious line-up of speakers, including Edwin Heathcote, Professor Hilary Dalke, Lee Penson, Shashi Caan, Charles Jencks and Tim Mutton. All speakers were challenged to explore the true nature and assess the impact of good design. More than 250 delegates responded warmly to their contributions which focused on the transformative force of design in the home, workplace, healthcare, hospitality and other spheres.

“This year’s conference has proved itself a worthy highlight in the design calendar,” says Sue Timney, President of the BIID. “We would like to thank all our speakers for their fantastic contributions to the day. Each session offered a fascinating insight into their work and provided inspiration for us all. 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.”

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

Among the other design experts taking part in the conference programme, Professor Hilary Dalke explored the impact colour 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. Architectural theorist and critic Charles 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. Leading authority on design in the hospitality sector, Tim Mutton 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 past President of the IFI, Shashi Caan. Shashi inspired the audience with her life story, her energy and very obvious enthusiasm for design and her passion for raising standards across the sector.

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

Sponsors of the BIID Conference were the leading global bathroom brand, Roca, top provider of control and automation systems for the home and commercial environment, Crestron and premium domestic and commercial appliances manufacturer Miele. Media partners for the event were Interior Design Today, InDesign, and industry exhibition, 100% Design, the largest and most prestigious, single-site design event in the UK. For further information, please contact:

Simon Bennett

Wildwood Public Relations

The Stables, Meadow Court

Faygate Lane, Faygate

West Sussex

RH12 4SJ

Tel :  44 (0)1293 851115

Email: Editor’s note:


About the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID)

Established in 1965, the BIID is the pre-eminent professional organisation for interior designers in the UK. In October 2013, the BIID announced a merger with the Interior Design Association (IDA) to create one leading body for interior design that will set national professional standards, promote learning and debate and champion the value of interior design on the national and international stage.

The BIID’s growing national and international membership represents both the commercial and residential sectors, from heritage to cutting edge. The Institute is the only professional organisation for interior designers which has been granted the prestigious and rare accolade of Institute status by the Minister of State as the pre-eminent body in its field.

In the UK, the BIID is a full member of the Construction Industry Council and, as a result, is now part of Government consultations to advise on new policy and legislation. Internationally, the BIID is represented on the board of the International Federation of Interior Architects and Designers.   Visit for details.

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