Architecture & Design
Annalie Riches Founding Director, Mikhail Riches
Founding Director, Mikhail Riches
Annalie Riches is one of the founding directors of the recent Stirling prize winning practice Mikhail Riches. She established Mikhail Riches Architects to improve the quality of housing and neighbourhoods in the UK. Her focus is on the delivery of projects that change the perceptions of the places they touch, making enjoyable new places, as well as great homes. Annalie contributes across all the scales of architectural practice; she is recognised for her masterplanning and strategic abilities, as well as her in-depth knowledge of housing. Annalie is also well known for her ‘hands on’ expertise in architectural design and detailing. Her projects include Velocity, the winning entry to the 2018 Infrastructure Commission Competition for providing 200,000 new homes between Oxford and Cambridge. Annalie studied architecture at Sheffield, after which she joined the circus on the static trapeze. Two years out in Paris saw her working for celebrated engineer Peter Rice. Annalie went ‘on the tools’, building her own house, Whatcotts Yard in 2002 – she did all the electrics and plumbing herself, knowing these trades are the most expensive. The project subsequently won the 2004 RIBA / AJ first Building award.
Christian Benimana Senior Principal & Managing Director, MASS Design Group; Director, African Design Centre
Senior Principal & Managing Director, MASS Design Group; Director, African Design Centre
Christian Benimana joined MASS Design Group as a Global Health Corps Design Fellow in 2010. Today, he works as one of the firm's Senior Principals and Managing Directors, and is Director of the African Design Centre, a field-based apprenticeship that is set to empower leaders who will design a more equitable, just, and sustainable world. At MASS, Christian has been involved with design/build projects, development initiatives, and operational and administration leadership. He has taught at the Architecture School of the former Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and currently serves as the Secretary General of the East Africa Institute of Architects. Prior to joining MASS, Christian worked with LongiLat Architecture and Research in Shanghai assisting with the Porsche Center in Shanghai and the Netherlands Pavilion in the 2010 International Expo. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) of Tongji University in Shanghai, China (2008) and his goal is to develop the next generation of African designers with socially focused design principles.
Amanda Levete Principal, AL_A
Amanda Levete CBE is a Stirling Prize winning architect and founder and principal of AL_A, an international award-winning design and architecture studio. Recently completed projects include the Victoria & Albert Museum Exhibition Road Quarter (2017) in London; MAAT (2016) a Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon, commissioned by EDP; Central Embassy (2017), a 1.5 million sq ft luxury shopping mall and hotel in Bangkok; a media campus and headquarters building for Sky (2016) in London. Ongoing commissions include the transformation of the flagship Galleries Lafayette Haussmann department store in Paris; a new centre for the cancer care charity Maggie’s in Southampton; two new buildings for Wadham College at the University of Oxford; the renovation and expansion of Paisley Museum in Scotland; and the Monte St Angelo subway station in Naples. She is a regular radio and TV broadcaster, writes for a number of publications and lectures throughout the world. In 2017 Levete was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours list and made a CBE for services to architecture. In 2018 she was awarded the Jane Drew Prize and in 2019 she was elected an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Dong-Ping Wong Founding Director, FOOD
Founding Director, FOOD
Dong-Ping Wong is the Founding Director of Food New York, a design firm based in New York City. The studio focuses on designing environments, from ground-up structures to renovations to landscapes, all with the intent of transforming how people relate to the context, culture and resources around them. Ongoing projects include the 19,000sf New York headquarters for a Hong Kong based media company, a garden in the Cayman Islands, and + POOL, the world's first floating, water-filtering pool. Before starting Food in 2018, Dong was a founding partner of Family New York with Oana Stanescu, which led the designs of contemporary art museums in Mantaa, Finland and Maribor, Slovenia, stand-alone stores for Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh in New York, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong, the stage design for Kanye West’s Yeezus Tour, and residential projects for Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West in Paris and Los Angeles. Dong's work has been featured in publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, PIN-UP Magazine, Fast Company, Complex and Wired and has been awarded the Diamond Award for Engineering Excellence, the New York Design Award for Best Young Practice and was nominated for the INDEX Awards in Copenhagen.
Media & Culture
Piera Gelardi Creative Director and Founding Partner, Refinery 29
Creative Director and Founding Partner, Refinery 29
Piera Gelardi is Executive Creative Director and founding partner of the award-winning lifestyle digital media company, Refinery29. She leads a growing team of creatives who bring the brand to life online and IRL through original content, branded campaigns, video, and events. She and her team have won numerous awards and honors including CLIO Image, American Illustration, Webby's, Digiday Publishing, and a spot on the Inc 500 list of most innovative companies. In 2014, Piera co-authored Refinery29's first book, the New York Times best seller, Style Stalking. Piera was also a jury member for the 2015 CLIO Image Awards and holds a seat on the AIGA/NY Board of Directors.
Aric Chen M+ Museum, Design Miami
M+ Museum, Design Miami
Aric Chen is a design and architecture curator and writer based in Shanghai, where he is Professor of Practice at the College of Design & Innovation at Tongji University. In addition, Chen currently serves as Curatorial Director for the Design Miami/ and Design Miami/Basel fairs and as Curator-at-Large for M+, the new museum for visual culture under construction in Hong Kong's West Kowloon Cultural District, where from 2012-2018 he was that institution's first Lead Curator for Design and Architecture.
Kimberly Dowdell Principal, HOK Chicago; President, National Organization of Minority Architects
Principal, HOK Chicago; President, National Organization of Minority Architects
Kimberly collaborates with other members of the leadership team in HOK’s Chicago studio to develop and implement strategic business development and marketing initiatives. In addition to cultivating and maintaining relationships with clients and partners, she is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events and a mentor to HOK’s emerging leaders. Kimberly is the 2019-2020 National President of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). She initiated the concept behind Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED), an organization that she cofounded in 2005. She was a 2018 Crain’s Detroit Business “40 Under 40” honoree. In 2019, Kimberly delivered the 19th Annual Dunlop Lecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She earned her B’Arch from Cornell University and her Mid-Career MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellow.
Amanda Ferber Founder, Architecture Hunter
Founder, Architecture Hunter
Amanda Ferber is the young architect who founded Architecture Hunter, one of the largest architectural Instagram pages in the world, with over 2 million followers. She has already worked with Marcio Kogan, one of the greatest Brazilian architects and also with renowned digital platforms. She is the ambassador of Morpholio, the Sketching app for Architects and designers and also one of the partners of Arquiforma, a Brazilian platform for students.
Technology & Innovation
Natsai Audrey Chieza Founder & Director, Faber Futures
Natsai Audrey Chieza
Founder & Director, Faber Futures
Natsai Audrey Chieza is Founder and Director of Faber Futures, an award-winning multidisciplinary design agency operating at the intersection of nature, technology, and society. The London-based studio empowers industry and institutions with innovative design solutions and R&D for an impactful transition towards sustainable futures. A background in Architectural Design and Material Futures, Chieza pioneered the design- driven application of microbial pigment dyes for textiles and has been awarded the Index Award 2019 for the chemical-free, water-saving biofabrication system she developed. In her 2017 TED Talk, Chieza demonstrates how emerging biotechnologies converge with craft and interact with the contemporary realities of resource scarcity, climate change, and sustainable development. With a highly influential practice in the contemporary design for ecology movement, Chieza has exhibited at prestigious institutions including at the Cooper Hewitt (US), Pompidou Centre (FR), Vitra Design Museum (DE), The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, The Victoria & Albert Museum (UK) and Science Gallery Dublin (IE). An international speaker on emergent futures, Chieza is named on OkayAfrica’s "100 Women 2018" for her work in STEM, ICON Magazine's 2019 "ICON Design 100" list and It's Nice That's "Ones to Watch 2019".
Liam Young Speculative Architect and Director, Tomorrows Thoughts Today
Speculative Architect and Director, Tomorrows Thoughts Today
Liam Young is a speculative architect and director who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. He is cofounder of Tomorrows Thoughts Today, an urban futures think tank, exploring the local and global implications of new technologies and Unknown Fields, a nomadic research studio that travels on expeditions to chronicle these emerging conditions as they occur on the ground. His worldbuilding for the film and television industries has been acclaimed in both mainstream and architectural media, including the BBC, NBC, Wired, Guardian, Time Magazine and New Scientist, he is a BAFTA nominated producer and his work has been collected by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and MAAS in Sydney. He has published several books including the recent Machine Landscapes: Architectures of the Post Anthropocene and has taught internationally at the Architectural Association, Princeton University and now runs the groundbreaking Masters in Fiction and Entertainment at Sci Arc in Los Angeles. Liam's narrative approach sits between documentary and fiction as he focuses on projects that aim to reveal the invisible connections and systems that make the modern world work. Liam now manages his time between exploring distant landscapes and visualising the future worlds he extrapolates from them.
David de Rothschild Explorer and climate activist
David de Rothschild
Explorer and climate activist
David de Rothschild is an environmentalist and explorer, and one of the leaders of a new generation of change-makers focussed on re-igniting collective hope in the future of the planet. Since 2006, David has used exploration, adventure and storytelling to “give Nature a voice.” In 2010, he designed and constructed Plastiki, a fully recyclable catamaran made buoyant by 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles, which he sailed 8,000 miles, from San Francisco to Sydney via the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, to alert the world to the devastating effects of single use plastics. And in November 2011, he and another crew travelled into the heart of Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest to draw attention to the effect that the controversial Belo Monte Dam project was having on local communities. In 2015 he founded his latest initiative, the Lost Explorer, a sustainable lifestyle company that aims to set an industry blueprint for fashion and wellness manufactured in true partnership with Nature, giving 100% of profits back to Nature. David has been recognized as a climate ambassador by UNEP, National Geographic, Clean up the World, the World Economic Forum and the Clinton Global Initiative. He has also published books, produced a Sundance Channel TV series, and a National Geographic documentary. Most recently, David has been named an Ambassador for DEFRA’s 25 year Environmental Plan and Year of Green Action and the World Surf League.
Shogo Kawata teamLab Architects
Representative of teamLab Architects, an architectural group that explores new architecture and space. teamLab crosses architectural boundaries to create cities for a new era through digital technology, art, nature, people, and biology.