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How can the design of a desk or lampshade change the way we work? Can we design a language that can be understood by every human on the planet? Should our democracies be redesigned to return back to their true purpose?

Our first Salon of the year, themed By Design, focuses on how the structural reconfiguration of big ideas can create an impact on our lives on every scale. It aims to provide a platform for a special calibre of global movers and shakers, those who are deconstructing big issues and the intricacies of the world’s grand blueprint - until their proactivity creates remarkable change. By Design is an exploration of inspiration, purpose, and ingenuity.

The speakers
Ellie Runcie 

Ellie is Director of Design Council’s Growth and Innovation Programmes, which includes works with large businesses to systemise innovation.

Prior to this, Ellie was responsible for developing and delivering the Design Council’s design support services - leading a UK wide strategy to influence the use of design by leaders and management teams in the private and public sector.

For more than a decade, this work has delivered impact to over 5000 businesses and hundreds of teams at local and central government levels.

Director, Growth & Innovation at the Design Council
Nick Tyler
Professor of Civil Engineering at UCL

Nick is the Chadwick Professor of Civil Engineering at UCL.

He invented, and runs, the UCL Pedestrian Accessibility and Movement Environment Laboratory, which is a life-scale environmental space, to conduct his research into the environment’s interactions with people.

He is working extensively with bodies such as Transport for London, national and local governments, and civil society in the UK, EU, Latin America, Japan and China to help create an adaptive and sustainable urban realm which is responsive to people and their needs. He aims to create cities in which all people can feel comfortable and lead healthy lives.


Simon is the author of 19 non-fiction books, including the bestsellers Mauve, Just My Type and On The Map. His study of AIDS in Britain, The End of Innocence, won the Somerset Maugham Prize.

He is a trustee of Mass Observation, and is the editor of several books of journals and letters from the archive, including Our Hidden Lives and A Notable Woman.

His book To The Letter was one of the inspirations for the theatre shows Letters Live. He was a feature writer for The Independent and The Observer, and was named Editor of the Year while at Time Out. His most recent book is In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate The World.

Simon Garfield
Journalist and Author
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