The Design Guild Mark 2016 Judging Panel

The Design Guild Mark rewards excellence in the British design of furniture in volume production. This year the Design Guild Mark received a high number of submissions and is being judged by these eminent judges:


Simon Alderson co-founded twentytwentyone in 1996. The award-winning company is internationally respected for its carefully curated retail business. Twentytwentyone has a dedicated commercial sales team working with architects and designers on progressive interiors projects. The company also produces a small collection of furniture and accessories and acts as exclusive UK agents for several international design collections.


Emma O’Kelly is a freelance journalist and editor at large at Wallpaper. She writes about architecture, design, art, fashion and all things lifestyle. Emma joined Wallpaper as a News Editor on Wallpaper in 1998, and has written across every section of the magazine over the past 15 years. She contributes to ‘Telegraph Luxury’, ‘How to Spend It’ and various other lifestyle and design titles. Emma is currently working on a book on Latin American interiors. 


Joanna Biggs has worked in Hospitality Design for over 20 years and is currently Associate Director at GA Design International in London. During this time Joanna has had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading 5* hotel brands delivering luxurious, unique and timeless designs. Widely applauded for their lateral approach to problem solving, GA believe strongly in supporting and reflecting a Client’s objectives through design.


An internationally recognised designer, Sebastian Conran studied Industrial Design Engineering at Central St. Martins. He started his career at Wolff Olins before leading hard-goods design at Mothercare. In 1986, he founded Sebastian Conran Associates design studio which he continues to lead. Sebastian is currently Designer in Residence at the University of Sheffield; he lectures frequently; judges many international design awards and has written several books, articles and papers on design.


Diana has worked in the design industry for over 25 years and in all sectors of the built environment. She has specialist, in-depth knowledge and experience of the corporate office furniture industry and has worked on several large scale projects, working closely with manufacturers and product designers in creating new, trend-setting and advanced solutions. She is an experienced judge having judged many design awards in recent years. Diana is passionate about excellence in design and the opportunities for all British designers to raise the importance of design and the benefits it can provide.


Jeremy Myerson is Professor of Design at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art, with a remit to encourage “design that improves quality of life”. An academic, author and activist in design for more than 30 years, he began his working life as a journalist and was founder-editor of Design Week in 1986. He co-founded the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design in 1999 and is the author of many influential books on different aspects of design and architecture.


Pernille studied three dimensional design at Berkshire College of Art and has more than 22 years of industry experience. In 2012 Pernille set up Resonate Interiors after heading up interior teams at both TP Bennett and Scott Brownrigg. She has undertaken a wide range of interiors projects from residential to education, hospitality to retail, with key expertise in the commercial office sector. She is a strong motivator and her passion for design ensures that projects have extraordinary attention to detail, creating memorable interior spaces for her clients.


Philippa is the Head of Design, Home for John Lewis. She has worked within the Home Design Industry for over 10 years, previously working for Habitat before she joined John Lewis in 2011. Her experience has brought a wealth of knowledge and creativity to John Lewis and her role is to lead and build the point of view on style and design for the business.


Barbara has written on design, decoration, furnishing and interiors for over 35 years and has written many books and won several awards. Contributing to many UK publications, she is currently design writer for Homes & Property at the London Evening Standard and has a design column in Homes & Gardens, where she chairs the judges for the magazine’s annual Designer Awards.  As a photographer, Barbara has held many exhibitions. Joy of Design displayed 69 photographs of designers, taken over several years, at Design Junction, London Design Festival 2013. 20/20 Vision celebrated 20 years of 100% Design, with 20 photographs of key exhibitors over the years. Barbara’s book LOVE LONDON with 180 photographs of the capital was published in summer 2011 and has since grown into a collection of merchandise.


Paul is the upholstery and lighting buyer for M&S, he has worked for a variety of Furniture retailers in the UK, from start-ups such as MADE.COM, multinationals such as M&S and design icons such as Habitat. Paul studied Industrial Design at Brunel, which led to a work placement and then 8 year career at Habitat, before moving to Shanghai to work for MADE, and then returning to the UK to work for M&S. With a design, technical and buying background, he is fortunate to have a career that allows him to fulfil his passion of taking sketches and ideas to mass production.

The Design Guild Mark recognises and rewards excellence in the British design of furniture in volume production in Britain and abroad. By the award of the Guild Mark for designs which meet the Company’s criteria, the designers receive due recognition and the industry is made more aware of the importance in design.