The British Institute of Interior Design’s (BIID) annual conference, ‘Design Invention: Art and Science Collide’ (RIBA, London, Thursday 27th June), has proved a tremendous success, attracting an audience of more than 220 delegates from across the design world. The conference featured a high level programme of presentations and debate and included an enthralling face-to-face interview with the iconic designer, and BIID Honorary Fellow, Thomas Heatherwick, CBE.
Focussing on the collision between art and science, ‘Design Invention’ explored the impact of this new dynamic on the world of interior design. As part of the programme, Thomas Heathwick took centre stage in a fascinating interview session with conference host and voice of design, Aidan Walker. Thomas shared his design philosophy with the audience and explained how his studio blended creativity with new materials and technologies to shape genuinely innovative design solutions, such as, the UK Pavilion for the Shanghai Expo 2010 and the New Bus for London.
Among the other design experts taking part in the conference programme, Jason Bruges provided an insight into the ideas behind the innovative and engaging spaces his studio produces which blew the “digital socks off the audience” according to one delegate. Later, globally renowned interior designer, Ab Rogers talked about interior interventions that not only improved function but provoked emotional responses and encouraged changes in behaviour.
In earlier presentations, the design academic Penny Sparke looked at the impact of science on modern design whilst Arup’s Josef Hargrave discussed how buildings, interior spaces and lifestyles would be transformed by technology in the future, complete with plants that tweet us when they need watering. Meantime, an expert panel featuring Daniel Charny, Deyan Sudjic and Sue Timney and Aidan Walker discussed the role of craft today and its relationship to science and technology.
The conference also featured the presentation of this year’s BIID Honorary Fellowships which saw Sir James Dyson, Angela Brady, Deyan Sudjic and Thomas Heatherwick recognised for their exceptional contributions to design.
“The Design Invention conference proved to be an amazing day; engaging, inspiring and, at times, fundamentally challenging many of the audience’s design pre-conceptions,” said Sue Timney, BIID President. “The presentations were universally well-received, and we would like to thank all our speakers for their contributions to the day. We were especially delighted to hear Thomas Heatherwick talk about his creative process and the refreshing approach his studio takes in meeting the client’s brief.”
She adds, “On behalf of the BIID, we would also like to thank our event sponsors, architect Eugene Soler for his interactive installation, Final Bloom, and our event media partners. We’re already looking forward, and have begun the planning for an equally successful conference next year.”
Sponsors of the BIID Conference were the leading global bathroom brand, Roca, designer furniture store, Heal’s and the top provider of control and automation systems for the home and commercial environment, Crestron. The sponsors collaborated with Australian installation artist Eugene Soler on a participative installation, Final Bloom,