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Design Futures 2022: Critical Friends Day

As part of the final stages of the Design Futures 2022 challenge, our shortlisted designers had the privilege of presenting their innovations to industry experts at our ‘Critical Friends Day.’ The day provided the finalists with the rare opportunity to receive critical feedback from specialists in various sectors to ensure their design concept is foolproof ahead of their final presentation to the judges.   

Each shortlisted designer had the opportunity to sit down with five different Critical Friends panels including: Business Planning, Marketing, Design Innovation, Production + Sourcing, and Use Phase + End of Life. The designers took the first few minutes to introduce and explain their concept in detail. Afterwards, the Critical Friends critiqued the proposed design innovation and gave feedback from the perspective of their specialist area. 

This part of the challenge is designed specifically to support our shortlist in the lead up to the final presentations, where they will showcase their design innovation and pitch to win. To be in with the best chance of winning, the panels were aligned to the key points of the Design Futures criteria so that the designers could develop their propositions using constructive feedback.

The Critical Friends have been selected for their expertise and experience across specialist areas, ensuring that the designers get well-rounded feedback in each session.

Read on below to see the full list of experts that took part. 

Alan Hunt – Head of Intellectual Property, Lewis Silkin
Tom Gaunt – Co-Founder of The Collective and Deputy Co-Head of Media and Entertainment Group, Lewis Silkin
Stuart Balmer – Principal of Financial Planning, Balmer Financial Planning
Sally Denton – Editor and Founder, HRE AFTA

Mafalda Oliveira – Business Engagement Lead, ReLondon
Emily Gordon-Smith – Content Director and Sustainability Lead, Stylus
Jen Charon – Co-Founder, LOANHOOD

Dagmar Grote – Partnership Manager, Fashion for Good
Marilyn Martinez – Project Manager, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Chelsea Franklin – Senior Concept Designer, PANGAIA

Blake Sturgess – Senior Manager, Product Operations, PANGAIA
Andrew Yip – Head of Materials and Process Innovation, PANGAIA
Mikha Mekler – Lecturer in production manager, Ex-Head of Production at Raeburn

Anastasia Grenkova – Sustainability Manager, Oxwash
Rory Hugill – Materials Impact Manager, PANGAIA
Layla Sargent – Founder and CEO, The Seam

We would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to all of the industry experts that provided invaluable feedback during the Critical Friends Day. We can’t wait to see the results at the final presentations in November.

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