BIID Annual Conference 2013


Lucy and Ben have enjoyed a fabulous day in London at the annual gathering of the British Institute of Interior Design, exploring the subject of ‘Design Invention: Art and Science Collide’ with some of the finest minds and inspirational figures in our industry.

The day was hosted at the beautiful headquarters of RIBA in Portland Place, London and was hosted by enigmatic design publisher Aidan Walker.

First up this morning prof Penny Sparke gave a fascinating talk about how science and technology have impacted design from the rationality of the Bauhaus kitchen, exploration of new materials in furniture design (tubular steel, bent wood and moulded plastics), through to 1930’s science fiction ideas to the modern day considerations of environmental science.

The next topic was ‘Interior Interventions’ led by the pioneering designer and innovator Jason Bruges who wowed the audience with his amazing installations of public art, including the Puerta America hotel in Madrid, ‘Pixel Cloud’ at Allen and Overy and the beautiful and stunning, thoughtful ‘Nature Trail’ walls at Great Ormond Street (below).


After a quick coffee we returned for another fascinating talk by Josef Hargrave, examining megatrends and technology and how they will effect the future of buildings and interior design. As digital technology becomes more important we may find ourselves with considerations such as designing for robots, and using plants which can tweet us when they need watering!

Next it was time for some very exciting presentations by Sue Timney the president of the BIID who awarded honorary fellowships to Angela Brady, Sir James Dyson, Thomas Heatherwick and Deyan Sudjic. We took the opportunity to say hello to Thomas Heatherwick as he studied at Manchester School of Art just before we were there, he was absolutely lovely and we had a nice chat which made our day to meet one of our design heros!



Phew, after a very busy morning it was time for a break and to enjoy a delicious lunch and a bit of networking in the surrounds of the fabulous RIBA building. We met some great people today and were really glad we’d been able to go and be part of it all.

After lunch Aidan Walker led a panel discussion with Daniel Charny, Deyan Sudjic and Sue Timney titled ‘Has technology become the new craft?’ which proved difficult to settle on a definate answer but raised some interesting debate.


To conclude the day Ab Rogers gave a talk about the emotional aspects of designing interiors and talked us through various projects including the superb Rainbow House (we concluded that all houses should have slide between floors!) .. We also loved the Ernesto Bones project and Emperor Moth shop.


So that was the end of a wonderful day full of design inspiration and coming home with our minds full of lots to think about! Thank you BIID.

Ben Clarke is a full member of the BIID, the British Institute of Interior Design, which works to set the highest standard of professional practice and development for the industry.

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