Design Date – The Programme: Past & Present

Design Date at DCCH

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is committed to hosting conversations in the company of design’s greatest minds. For years, it has informed, inspired and entertained audiences with talks on the main stage. Now, it is taking its Conversations in Designs online. Design Date is a virtual platform for genuine conversations about things that matter for those who love design. These webinars are not skills training, but interactive dialogues that encourage insight and creative thinking, keeping the design community in touch and inspired.

series three


Guest speakers: Interior designer Laura Hammett and Ross Lloyd, sales director of Bella Figura

Chair: Charlotte Abrahams

Lighting can transform a space, but what is the best way to add drama, and how can you bring a sense of narrative to an interior scheme? Get the inside track on how a renowned decorative lighting company and an interior designer considered light from every angle. Find out why timeless shapes, glamorous materials and meticulous craftsmanship are at the heart of their unique creative collaboration.


Guest speakers: Jennifer Manners, founder of Jennifer Manners Design and Mary Graham and Nicole Salvesen, co-founders of Salvesen Graham

Chair: Charlotte Abrahams

A great rug can set the tone for an entire space; informal or playful, pretty or sophisticated it can ground and enhance a decorating scheme. Get the inside track on why a rug designer and an interior design studio came together to create a flatwoven rug collection with a twist. Find out how the initial concept was reinvented with the introduction of new colour combinations, bespoke options and eco-conscious solutions for interior projects.


Guest speakers: Emily Mould, design director of Romo and Black Edition, and Olivia Gregory, creative director & interior stylist

Chair: Charlotte Abrahams

In our image-focused age, outstanding photography has never been more important, but what is the best way to engage and inspire an eager and visually-sophisticated audience, and just how do you leverage the power of images to tell a story? Get the inside track on styling secrets from a creative collaboration that brings Black Edition’s designs to life and find out how they use strong narrative and the layering of colour, pattern and texture to emphasise the artistry at the heart of the new collections.

dreaming in colour

Guest speakers: Zandra Rhodes and Alistair Hughes, managing director, Savoir Beds

Chair: Charlotte Abrahams

After a long winter, uplifting colour has never been more welcome. Get the inside track about a creative collaboration between two iconic British names synonymous with style, innovation and bespoke craft. Renowned for her vibrant palettes, find out why fashion and textile designer Zandra Rhodes’s eclectic aesthetic is the perfect partner for Savoir Beds.


Guest speakers: Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen, Nicholas Haslam Ltd

Chair: Charlotte Abrahams

International influences lie at the heart of Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen’s award-winning partnership. Discover how their many sources of inspiration – from people and places to art, film, fashion and books – translate into global projects and their own line of furniture, lighting and fabrics. With actual travel off-limits, find out how truly creative design can help you explore the world without leaving home.



Guest speakers: Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio, Sean Sutcliffe, co-founder and MD of Benchmark Furniture and David Venables, European director for the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC)

Chair: Grant Gibson

Thomas Heatherwick, Benchmark’s Sean Sutcliffe and AHEC’s David Venables discuss their recent work on the Connected project as well as unpicking the increased emphasis on biophilia and sustainability in their respective practices.


Guest speaker: Ashley Stark Kenner

Chair: Charlotte Abrahams

Joining Stark, the legendary US carpet company founded by her grandparents in 1938, was a natural fit for Ashley Stark Kenner. In this special session, she discusses the importance of family, interior styles and how a modern take on the traditional, as well as a fashion aesthetic, has earned her over one million followers on Instagram eager to see what she will post next.


Speakers: Andrew Winch, founder, Winch Design and Hilary Gustafsson, President, Summit Furniture.

Chair: Charlotte Abrahams

Innovation flourishes when great minds come together. Seeing the world through a unique lens, discover how new interpretations yield fascinating and engaging results. With a dedication to storytelling underpinning attention to detail and a commitment to design perfection, find out how every creation is instilled with its own spirit, identity and narrative.


Guest speakers: Staffan and Monique Tollgård.

Chair: Charlotte Abrahams

In an era of social distancing, the concept of collaboration takes on new meaning. Shining a spotlight on partnerships, discover the secrets of success from a renowned husband-and-wife team working together in their multidisciplinary design studio. Find out how collaborating, both with each other and their clients, pushes them to ever more creative results.


Guest speakers: Shalini Misra, founder and creative director of Shalini Misra, Bernie de Le Cuona, founder of de Le Cuona and Alejandro Bataller, Vice President of SHA Wellness Clinic.

Chair: Henrietta Thompson

For those who are looking to pursue a successful lifestyle, a healthy body and sound mind are at the core of human vitality. Eating well, exercising, getting adequate sleep, thwarting stress, all add up to longevity and enhanced well-being. Find out about the impact of thoughtful, preventative measures and the role interior design can play in this equation.



Guest speakers: Interior Designer, Martin Brudnizki and Creative Director of Porta Romana, Andrew Hills

Chair: Sarah Spiteri

Renowned interior designer Martin Brudnizki and Andrew Hills, creative director of Porta Romana, talked to Sarah Spiteri, editorial director of Homes & Gardens, about the crossover between where we live, and where we stay. Exploring their collaborative partnership, they discussed why craftsmanship and choice of materials have never been more important in creating designs of enduring beauty for both hotels and homes.


Ann Grafton, Managing Director & Creative Director of GP & J Baker
Suzy Hoodless, Founder & Interior Designer

Guest speakers: Ann Grafton, MD and creative director of GP & J Baker and interior designer Suzy Hoodless

Chair: Hatta Byng

Creativity abounds in interior design when thoughtful interpretations yield fascinating, engaging results. Ann Grafton, MD and creative director of GP & J Baker and interior designer Suzy Hoodless came together to explore the remarkable alchemy that collaborations can generate with Hatta Byng, editor of House & Garden.


Guest speakers: principal and creative director, Lori Weitzner and Michael Cohen, president of Samuel & Sons

Chair: Sophia Salaman

Renowned designer Lori Weitzner, principal and creative director of Lori Weitzner Design and Michael Cohen, President of Samuel & Sons, came together to explore the secrets of time-honoured artisan skills, experimentation and new techniques in creative partnerships and how their relevance today is more so than ever. Moderated by Sophia Salaman, executive editor of The World of Interiors.


Guest speakers: Kit Kemp, founder and creative director of Firmdale Hotels and Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin

Chair: Giles Kime

Creativity flourishes when great minds come together and nowhere was this more brilliantly showcased than the finely calibrated creative partnerships in interior design. In Session 1, Kit Kemp, founder and creative director of Firmdale Hotels and Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin, explored the power of the collaborative spirit with Giles Kime, executive editor of Country Life.

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