Multi-disciplinary, diverse community of practice set to address major social, environmental and economic challenges

Design Council has today announced its refreshed network of more than 400 built and natural environment experts who collectively embody the organisation’s commitment to make life better by design. The network, which consists of a wide range of active leaders and change makers from various professions, backgrounds and regions, is an essential part of Design Council’s role in delivering design advice and support services in the built and natural environment and beyond.

Over the coming months, this new network of experts will join with Design Council’s recently refreshed group of design associates, to form a dynamic community of practice which will share ideas, insights and develop exciting opportunities to collaborate. By bringing together increasingly diverse experts, social and business innovation, service and systemic design, this community of practice is in a strong position to respond positively and even more effectively to some of society’s most pressing challenges.

Today’s new appointments include 34 ambassadors, 350 associates and specialists as well more than 20 corporate partners, representing a wide variety of skills, expertise and experience in the industry across the UK, including all nine regions in England. The new structure replaces Design Council’s previous roster of built environment experts, many of whom applied for and were welcomed into the new group.

Ambassadors include:

  • Professor Sadie Morgan OBE, founding director of DRMM architects and leading industry design advocate
  • Patricia Brown, Director of Central, advising business and civic leaders on partnerships, developments and projects to create thriving places, economies and businesses
  • Roger Madelin CBE, Joint Head of British Land’s 53 acre development at Canada Water
  • Olutayo Adebowale, an environmental scientist with over 30 years’ experience and Director of sustainability consultancy Cirkadia
  • Dr Hannah Barham-Brown, Disability and Gender Equity Advocate and the first visibly disabled deputy leader of a UK political party, the Women’s Equality Party
  • Alison Brooks of Alison Brooks Architects, Stirling Prize winner
  • Tim Gill from Rethinking Childhood, an independent scholar, advocate and consultant on childhood
  • Usman Haque, an award-winning architect and founder of Umbrellium, a design and build studio dedicated to transforming urban environments
  • Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, CEO of Foundation for Future London and city and an urban place strategist

Corporate partner organisations that share Design Council’s values will partner on projects, research and delivery. These include Beam, Black Professionals in Construction, Commonplace, Croydon Council’s Placemaking Team, Historic England, Living Streets, Migrants Bureau, Ryder and Pfizer. Associates will support on ongoing work with clients and specialists will contribute to research, policy and thought leadership.

The full list of new corporate partners, associates and specialists can be seen here

Integral to the network is its ability to offer Design Council’s clients and contacts a range of expertise, best serving their communities and wider society. Underpinning this is a passion for design innovation and creating truly inclusive environments. Each expert has a distinct role, from architecture, public health and landscape architecture to circular economy and net zero carbon consultancy, which can shape ideas and projects from the earliest stages.

Design Council Chief Executive, Minnie Moll, says: “The social, environmental and economic value of the built and natural environment is informed and enhanced by solutions that are inclusive and holistic. I am delighted to welcome back many of our existing experts as well as introduce new faces and bring them together with our highly acclaimed design associates to build a dynamic community of practice. In creating the new network we deliberately set out to increase the diversity in the group, reflecting under-represented groups and bringing greater breadth of perspective and expertise.”

Design Council Ambassador, Professor Sadie Morgan OBE says: “I’m delighted to join Design Council’s Expert Network and look forward to exchanging knowledge, ideas and providing advice around creating positive, sustainable futures. Channelling the insight of the Council’s fellow experts and those we work with will be a really valuable opportunity.”

Design Council Ambassador, Patricia Brown says: “Making life better for people has long been at the heart of my work and ethos, so I wholeheartedly support the Design Council’s purpose of making life better by design. In a world where the ‘only constant is change’ it is crucial to think and work collaboratively in shaping a positive future for all, and so I am thrilled to be able to bring to my knowledge, networks and passion for design to bear in achieving this.”

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