2015 Insider Guide

Alex Chinneck, Artist and Designer

Alex Chinneck graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2007. At only thirty years of age he is one of the youngest members of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and has already realised a succession of major public artworks that have captured international admiration and attention.

Chinneck’s playful interventions in public spaces can be read and enjoyed on multiple levels. Technically and materially, his work breaks rules: brick melts, stone hovers and tarmac curls. The artist hides the complex processes behind these feats in simple and beautifully executed narrative sculptures that have graced some of the most high profile sites in London, making a significant contribution to the cultural vibrancy of the capital.

Read Alex's Insider Guide 




Rhonda Drakeford and Lulu Roper-Caldbeck, Darkroom

Darkroom was founded in 2009 by partners Rhonda Drakeford and Lulu Roper-Caldbeck. It is an independent online shop and design label, with 2 shops based in London. Rhonda and Lulu's goal is to provide a stimulating antidote to the generic and bland, whilst also recognising the basic human desire for beauty and comfort. They believe that good design should be accessible to all and can come from the most unlikely corners of the world.

Rhonda and Lulu are drawn to graphic contrasts, the geometry found in tribal patterns and the structural simplicity of modern and postmodern design. Their ranges are an eclectic mix of handmade accessories for men, women and the home, including bold jewellery, objets d’art, graphic prints, textiles, stationery, homeware, soft furnishings, leather goods, bags and more. Whilst some of their pieces naturally lend themselves to either men or women, many items are apropos for both.

Darkroom champions emerging and undiscovered designers and artisans in order to bring together a large range of exclusive items, special commissions and its own Darkroom Collections. Through unique collaborations and their own output, Rhonda and Lulu aim to present a unified aesthetic across a continuum that celebrates craftsmanship, colour and texture, with a genuine respect for creators and an engagement with design traditions.

Read Rhonda and Lulu's Insider Guide 




Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor of London for Education and Culture

Munira Mirza is the Deputy Mayor of London for Education and Culture.

She advises the Mayor on his priorities for culture and education and leads the delivery of key programmes, including the £40m Education and Youth investment in London.

Read Munira's Insider Guide 




Sam Jacob, Architect

Sam Jacob is principal of Sam Jacob Studio for architecture and design and was one of the co-founding directors of FAT Architecture. He has been responsible for a range of acclaimed projects ranging from masterplanning to the co-curation of the British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale.

He is currently working on projects that include a masterplan for 250 homes, the reinvention of 1980’s business park, a mixed use development in London's Shoreditch and a public art commission for Milton Keynes.

Jacob is also contributing editor for Icon magazine and columnist for both Art Review and Dezeen.

Jacob is Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago, visiting Professor at Yale School of Architecture and Director of Night School at the Architectural Association.

Read Sam's Insider Guide 




Henrietta Thompson, Design Writer, Editor and Curator

Henrietta Thompson is a design writer, editor and curator based in London. She is co-founder and director of Furthermore Media and co-founder of Naked On The Piano, a central London-based agency working with international luxury brands to find (and implement) their voice and creative direction. This can range from wide reaching communications and design strategy, to bespoke publishing projects such as books or magazines, to essential copywriting and editorial. Clients include Mulberry, Nyetimber, the Maybourne Hotel Group, Aman Resorts and Scabal, among others.

Henrietta is editor-at-large at Wallpaper magazine. She also writes a weekly design column for the Telegraph as well as the lead monthly column in British Airways’ Business Life magazine. She regularly contributes to a variety of other publications including the Guardian, Mr Porter and The Quarterly.

As a curator Henrietta has worked with the British government on the upcoming GREAT Festivals of Creativity in China and Hong Kong. Previous exhibitions include Everything Forever Now, an internationally touring exhibition of sustainable design for the British Council and an annual exhibition of Scandinavian design for the Royal Norwegian Embassy. Henrietta is the author of five books, most recently the Remake It series, published by Thames & Hudson (Remake It Home and Remake It Clothes). 

Read Henrietta's Insider Guide 



Dominic Wilcox, Designer

Dominic Wilcox works between the worlds of art, design, craft and technology to create innovative and thought-provoking objects.

Recent projects include the world's first pair of shoes with inbuilt GPS to guide the wearer home, a Binaudios device to listen to the sounds of a city, a race against a 3D Printer at the V&A and a stained glass driverless car of the future.

His popular 'absurd yet logical' invention drawings are published in his book and blog, 'Variations on Normal'.

Read Dominic's Insider Guide 




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