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BIID Annual Conference 2015

This month our Director of Studies Anthony Rayworth attended the (BIID) British Interior Institute of Design’s Annual Conference, AGM and Summer Party 2015. We see what he got up to at the event…

The BIID Annual Conference 2015: Who Do You Think You Are?

Its been another busy month this June which saw myself and the National Design Academy’s Business Director Helen Keighley attend this year’s hugely successful, and biggest ever BIID Annual Conference, AGM and Summer Party 2015 on Thursday 18th June. Held at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London, this year’s theme was ‘Who Do We Think We Are?’ that saw both the speakers and audience explore this topic and sparked some lively discussion, especially topics such as The Popular Culture Effect and The rise of the developer designer which caused some controversy.

On the panel were Tom Dyckhoff, critic and presenter of TV’s The Great Interior Design Challenge, Anne Booth-Clibborn the producer who launched BBC2’s Changing Rooms,  Michelle Ogundehin the Editor of Elle Decoration who took to the stage with Conference Chair and design commentator Aidan Walker to explore the impact of popular culture. Looking at the effect of design-led TV shows on the interior design profession over the years, it caused a lively Pop Culture Debate that saw each panellist reflect back on their own experience and influences to each answer the question: Did Changing Rooms Change Our Profession?

The BIID Annual Conference, AGM and Summer Party 2015. Audience watching the Interior designers in popular culture section from panel members: Tom Dyckhoff, Michelle Ogundehin and Ann Booth-Clibborn on stage with BIID chair Aidan Walker at this year's BIID annual conference.

Here is National Design Academt staff members Anthony Rayworth & Helen Keighley and panel member Michelle Ogundehin amongst others enjoying a particularly lively debate at the BIID annual conference

Seen here David Fern Interior Design lecturer at Middlesex university alongside two other faculty members who also enjoyed one of BIID's most thought-provoking, controversial debates.

The conference was the 4th BIID conference to be held, with this year’s marking the British Institute of Interior Design’s landmark 50th anniversary and was the biggest one held yet. Over 240 delegates attended from across the design spectrum to enjoy  the day’s events that provided diverse, thought-provoking talks throughout the day which Helen and I thoroughly enjoyed. “Every session challenged preconceptions and informed our perspective on where interior design has come from, where it is now and how we must adapt and transform to ensure we continue to thrive in the future,” BIID President Dan Hopwood mused.

Tom Dyckhoff critic and presenter of TV’s The Great Interior Design Challenge presenting at this year's BIID conference.

We also got to see the fantastic speakers; Professor Anne Massey, Zeev Aram OBE, Tomoko Azumi, Jenny Naylor, Rose Etherington, Gemma Smith and Anna Burles – and from the BIID Chair, Aidan Walker.

Below, Conference Chair and design commentator Aidan Walker can be seen talking with iconic furniture designer Zeev Aram, a respected designer and the owner of London’s top design and furniture showroom for contemporary modern furniture design ARAM STORE,  who’s talk was extremely inspiring. His engaging  life story, encyclopaedic design knowledge and his fascinating anecdotes from over 50 years in design kept the audience completely captivated throughout. Later, Zeev was also presented with a BIID Honorary Fellowship Award in appreciation for his contributions to the design community.


Whilst Professor Anne Massey of Middlesex University (seen below) provided a history that traced the rise of the interior designer, from the post war era to the modern day which was very interesting.

Professor Anne Massey presents her talk on stage on the topic on The Architect, the decorator and the designer talk at BIID's annual conference that celebrated BIID's 50th anniversary this year.

And Marketing Director at Finchatton, Jenny Naylor (also seen below) discussed the luxury end of the UK property market and the growing role of the interior designer before engaging with the audience in a Q&A session.



In The Multi-Disciplinary Designer talkswe heard talks from International architect, interiors and furniture designer Tomoko Azumi, the owner of T.N.A Design Studio. She highlighted the increased demand for designers to start embracing multiple business areas when applying their skills, and discussed the various routes available to all designers. I found her personal insights particularly interesting, when she discussed working across many different disciplines to ensure relevance in an increasingly specialised, ‘vertical’ world.


And closing the conference there was an interesting talk that explored how interior design have evolved in popularity online over the last twenty years, and how this shift has changed the interior design practice which was presented by Rose Etherington from online retail and blogging site, interior designer Anna Burles and Gemma Smith from internet design specialist, Houzz.


The winners of the Honorary Fellowships  were also announced during this year’s BIID conference, congratulations to; Zeev Aram OBE, Kevin McCloud MBE, Martin Roth, Christine Losecaat and the newly awarded Dids Macdonald OBE who were all recognised for their exceptional contributions to the design community in their professional careers.

Below, Dids Macdonald OBE is seen accepting her award on stage with BIID President, Daniel Hopwood, she has over 25 years’ experience within the design industry and is the CEO of Anti Copying in Design (ACID) that activates for respect of intellectual property and ethical standards in design.

Here is Dids Macdonald OBE onstage accepting her Honorary Fellowship award on stage with BIID president Daniel Hopwood at this year's BIID annual conference.


Immediately following the conference, we had an opportunity to chat to other BIID members at the AGM, and to catch up with the lovely Susie Rumbold, Director of Tessuto Interiors and of course BIID President Dan Hopwood, who have both featured in our Interior Design Professional video blog series recently on the NDA blog

All BIID members had the chance to learn about the institute’s progress over the past twelve months, and join in conversation with the committee about the future plans for the Institute, here we are above, making our way downstairs with Dan Hopwood.


Our Director of Studies, Anthony Rayworth and National Design Academy Business Director Helen Keighley were keen to catch up with BIID President Dan Hopwood during the AGM at this year's BIID conference.



Below Susie Rumbold can be seen chatting to fellow delegates at this year’s AGM, during the day it was announced that Susie Rumbold is the new BIID President Elect which means she will be taking over from Dan as President in June 2016, very exciting news.

New BIID President Elect 2016 Susie Rumbold seen chatting about the institute's future plans with fellow interior design professionals at this year's AGM event.

I also wanted to mention the lovely event sponsors of this year’s BIID Conference; Eporta, the online, wholesale, B2B e-commerce platform for buyers (there beautiful stand seen below,) Heals, the modern and contemporary designer furniture retailer, Roca the leading global bathroom brand and of course FRONT London, the bespoke designer rug brand who also hosted the beautiful, 1960’s inspired BIID Summer Party at their Mayfair showroom later in the evening.

Eporta's stand, a sponsor of this year’s BIID Conference. The BIID Annual conference sponsors were Heals, home of modern and contemporary designer furniture; Eporta, the online, wholesale, B2B e-commerce platform for buyers, interior designers and brands; Roca, the leading global bathroom brand; and FRONT London, the bespoke designer rug brand.



A quiet moment for National Design Academy staff members Anthony Rayworth and Helen Keighley outside at the AGM event, discussing BIID's future plans. at this year's BIID annual conference.

We also got to see the two annual member awards be presented at this year’s BIID Annual Conference, firstly The CPD Award, awarded for the most CPD points accrued in the 2014-2015 membership year which was awarded to Rowena Vaughan, Director of RJV Designs, seen below. Rowena was awarded the BIID CPD (Continuing Professional Development) Award for her achievement in earning the most points out of all BIID members in the calendar year, accumulating 111 CPD points.

With over 20 years’ interior design experience, she is known for her innovative design solutions and creative talent and was awarded to recognise her outstanding commitment to continually refreshing and updating her professional skills.

Dan Hopwood presented The CPD Award to Rowena Vaughan, Director of RJV Designs for her Continuing Professional Development and for earning the most points out of all BIID members in the calendar year, accumulating 111 CPD points.

Whilst The BIID Merit Award was awarded in recognition of excellence in interior design practice, contribution to the development of the Institute and a commitment to the wider field of design education. Dan Hopwood presented this award to Rosemary Hamilton, seen below. Each year members of the BIID nominate a fellow member they believe has particularly exceed in these 3 key criteria, this year it was unanimously agreed that the winner of this year’s award, Rosemary Hamilton has excelled in all three areas.

Before her recent retirement, Rosemary had a wonderful interior design career, working for loyal clients both in the UK and abroad on a range of projects. She started as an Architect’s assistant before branching out on her own and grew into a renowned designer, once included in House and Garden’s Top 100 Decorators.

BIID President Dan Hopwood was proud to present Rosemary with the award,  commenting “We are delighted to honour Rosemary with our Merit Award this year, to recognise her long-standing dedication and leadership of the Institute at a pivotal period in its history.  Not only has she worked incredibly hard in her professional achievements and her work with the Institute, but throughout her career, Rosemary has devoted many hours of her time to mentoring up and coming designers. Rosemary really epitomises one of the most wonderful aspects of the BIID – the camaraderie and support we give each other. I am honoured to present her with this well-deserved award.”

 Dan Hopwood presented the BIID Merit Award to Rosemary Hamilton at this year's BIID conference in recognition of her excellence in interior design practice, her contribution to the development of the Institute and for showing a commitment to the wider field of design education.

Rosemary, commenting on her award said “I am so pleased and grateful to be the recipient of the Institute’s Award of Merit for 2015. I have been associated with the Institute and its predecessors for several decades – indeed, getting on for its full 50 years of life. I am thrilled to see what our little Association of the 1960s has become by 2015. Today we have in the BIID an important and successful Institute which is going from strength to strength and represents all that is good about the British interior design profession.”

“An amazing day in front of our biggest ever conference audience,” concluded Daniel Hopwood, President of the BIID, “on behalf of the BIID. And an amazing day it was, until next time, Anthony.

All Photos from the BIID Annual Conference 2015: Who Do We Think We Are?
Credit: Mark Lewis

Information, agenda & quotes sourced from BIID.
Available from: [Accessed 01.07.15.]

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