In keeping with the aim of global design excellence for the next generation, we have gathered some of the world’s best industry and education experts across five competitive creative sectors to sit on our judging panel this year.

Sebastian Conran

Sebastian Conran profile for Designed for Business student design competition judging panel

International Designer & Founder of Sebastian Conran | Associates

An internationally recognised designer, Sebastian majored in Sciences at school, then studied Industrial Design Engineering at Central St. Martins, when he also worked with the Clash designing clothing, record sleeves and posters. He is an energetic advocate of design. He lectures, judges design awards, and has written several books, articles and papers on the subject. He started his professional career at Wolff Olins designing branding for the likes of Shell and Pilkington Glass, before moving on to lead hard-goods merchandise design at Mothercare. In 1986 he founded Sebastian Conran Associates design studio.

Maria Cristina Alvarez

Maria Cristina Alvarez profile for Designed for Business student design competition judging panel

Senior Product Manager, Marketing at Amazon UK 

Maria is a Senior Product Manager for all things marketing at Amazon in the UK. In this role, she focuses on helping vendors build brands and deliver the best customer experience on Amazon. Prior to this role, she worked on building her own fashion e-commerce platform and undertook various projects in fashion and editorial styling space. Maria also worked at JPMorgan in their Asset Management division for over five years in a variety of roles where she gained valuable experience working in the US and across Latin America. She received her MBA in 2017 from the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School where she focused on International Business.

Lucy-Claire Cann

Lucy-Claire Cann profile for Designed for Business student design competition judging panel

Designer/Decorator Manager at Axminster Carpets

Originally from the Midlands, Lucy-Claire graduated from Staffordshire University in 2011 with a degree in Psychology. Centring her dissertation on the psychology behind colour and its effect on mood, she moved to London to take up her first job at Armani Casa as an Interior Design Assistant. Over the past 7 years she has been fortunate to work for two leading British manufacturers within the Interior Design industry, one being her current home of Axminster Carpets. She has worked alongside award-winning Interior Designers on extensive projects ranging from luxurious hotels to exquisite high-end residential properties in the UK and Internationally.

Margaret Talbot

Margaret Talbot profile for Designed for Business student design competition 2018

Marketing Manager at VitrA

Following an impressive marketing career that has spanned telecommunications and children’s publishing, Margaret is now the Marketing Manager for the UK subsidiary of the globally renowned VitrA bathrooms. VitrA has been internationally recognised for outstanding design by Red Dot, Good Design and the iF awards. Working directly with designers such as Terri Pecora, Matheo Thun and Sebastian Conran as well as VitrA’s superb in-house design team to create inclusive bathrooms that consumers desire for their homes. Margaret is delighted to be working with young people starting their design careers, SBID and their partner, Be Open, on this exciting project.

Hans J. Galutera

Hospitality Designer & Founder of HG Designworks

Hans’s expertise is in the art and science of enhancing the space of a venue to achieve a safer, healthier and more aesthetically pleasing contextual and architectural interior design. He is widely viewed as a leading global hospitality designer. In 2002, Galutera co-founded the multidisciplinary firm BG Studio International Inc. which provided all aspects of design – from commercial and residential interiors to furniture, products, exhibitions, and graphics. As an educator and frequent speaker in conferences and universities in the US and abroad, he was appointed New York Chapter President of the International Interior Design Association in 2012.

Sam Hood

Sam Hood profile for Designed for Business student design competition judging panel

Founder and Creative Director of Amara

Sam gained a BSc in Textiles and Consumer Studios at Southbank Polytechnic before becoming a buyer with Mothercare on their management training scheme. She then made the moved on to Evans before branching into design and manufacturing of ladies fashion selling to the likes of Principles. Sam took a career break to raise a family before enthusiastically re-entering the world of business in 2005 with the launch of Amara. Having managed the re-design of her own home and the homes of friends; Sam soon realised there was a gap in the market for a first class interior design service outside of London which could also offer the world’s most exclusive brands.

Diana Celella

Diana Celella profile for Designed for Business student design competition judging panel

Founding Director of The Drawing Room & President of SBID  

Internationally award-winning designer Diana Celella is the Founding Director of The Drawing Room Interiors, a successful and established independent design consultancy based in the West Midlands. After completing her Interior Design degree in 1987, she worked continually in the industry, as well as lecturing in Interior Design. Diana now works in the commercial sector specialising in Healthcare projects, including Care Homes, dental practices, assisted living and Retirement Villages. She is recognised throughout the industry as an expert in Retirement living design and implementation of Evidence Based Design.

Hywel Davies

Hywel Davies profile for Designed for Business student design competition judging panel

Programme Director at Central Saint Martins

Hywel is Programme Director for Fashion at Central Saint Martins. He is the author of Modern Menswear, 100 New Fashion Designers, British Fashion Designers and Fashion Designers’ Sketchbooks, all published by Laurence King. He is also director of Writers’ Bloc Ltd, a digital agency connecting brands with fashion writers. After studying BA Fashion Communication and Promotion at Central Saint Martins, Davies worked for an international mix of magazines and newspapers. He was fashion editor at Sleazenation and has written for GQ Style, Vogue, ELLE, Wallpaper, Nylon, Dazed & Confused, Grafik, Time Out, Tank, The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, The Financial Times, The Observer, The Independent and SHOWstudio.

Russell Gagg

Russell Gagg profile for Designed for Business student design competition judging panel

Course Leader BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design at Arts University Bournemouth 

Having graduated from Manchester University School of Architecture, Russell has held Chartered status with the Royal Institute of British Architects since 1998. Russell has worked in practice across the UK, Asia and Australasia on a diverse range of projects from leisure, commercial and retail to educational, correctional and residential for practices such as OPUS Architecture and DP Architects of Singapore. Since joining AUB, Russell and his team have developed Interior Architecture and Design to become one of the most progressive courses in the UK, as well as being recognised by the ECIA and SBID. He is currently undertaking a MPhil/PhD at the Royal College of Art, London.

Dr Eujin Pei

Dr Eujin Pei profile for Designed for Business student design competition judging panel

Programme Director for Product Design at Brunel University London 

Eujin is the Programme Director for the BSc Product Design and BSc Product Design Engineering courses at Brunel University London. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Chartered Technological Product Designer (CTPD). He worked a Product Design Engineer during the early days of his career, developing solutions for companies including Motorola, Inc., LM Ericsson, Sennheiser GmbH & Co. KG, and Rentokil Initial.

Kaye Newman

Kaye Newman profile for Designed for Business student design competition judging panel

Head of Interiors at Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design

Kaye has worked in the Interiors Industry since 1986, beginning her career at Arup Associates. Her career has spanned many sectors, giving a considerable base of interior knowledge to impart to her students. Now Head of Interiors at the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, she directs the Interiors team and students to work on innovative projects that are socially engaged and sustainability focused. She has worked diligently to build strong connections to professional practice where her students benefit from mentoring, work placements and lectures delivered by respected practitioners.

Sarah Radif

Sarah Radif profile for Designed for Business student design competition judging panel

Head of Architecture and Design at Solent University, Southampton

Sarah is Head of Architecture and Design Practice Subject Group at Solent University and is an experienced academic. Alongside teaching and academic management, Sarah works closely with professional organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT), Society of British and International Design (SBID) and BRE Academy. Through her career in academia, she gained a wide experience in curriculum design. She considers embedding employability and real world learning to be an integral part of higher education and is committed to delivering excellent student experience. She regularly takes part in course accreditation and approval panels, professional interviews and judging student competitions.

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