Kwame Kwei-Armah is British actor, playwright, director and broadcaster. In 2018 he was made Artistic Director of the Young Vic Theatre, where he has directed Twelfth Night and Tree. From 2011 to 2018 he was the Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage. As a playwright his credits include Tree (Manchester International Festival, Young Vic), One Love (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), Beneatha’s Place (Baltimore Center Stage) Elmina’s Kitchen, Fix Up, Statement of Regret (National Theatre) Let There Be Love and Seize the Day (Tricycle Theatre). Kwame was Artistic Director for the Festival of Black arts and Culture, Senegal, in 2010. He was an Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse and has served on the boards of the National Theatre, Tricycle Theatre, and Theatre Communications Group. Kwame was the Chancellor of the University of the Arts London from 2010 to 2015, and in 2012 was awarded an OBE for Services to Drama. In 2019 he was the Chair of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. Kwame is a patron of Ballet Black and a visiting fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.
Tomoko Azumi (born in 1966, in Hiroshima, Japan) is a director of TNA Design Studio, London; a furniture, product, exhibition and retail interior design consultancy for multinational clients.
She graduated with an MA Furniture Design from Royal College of Art in 1995, started partnership design studio AZUMI, then opened her solo studio in 2005. Recent works include; furniture for court rooms of UK Supreme Court, ‘Flow’ for ercol (UK), ‘Stabellö’ for Röthlisberger (Switzerland) and ‘Tra’ coatstand for Zilio A&C (Italy). Her works are in public collections, include ‘Table=Chest’ (1995 ) exhibited in the Furniture Gallery at V&A, London. She has been teaching in design education since 2000, includes Glasgow School of Art, Royal College of Art, Middlesex University of Art and London Metropolitan University (UK), Vitra Design Museum summer workshops (France), IUAV (Italy) and Liechtenstein University (Liechtenstein). She has been on jury boards of international design competitions and awards include Good Design Award (Japan) and D&AD (UK).
For over 25 years the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has been at the forefront of international wood promotion, successfully building a distinctive and creative brand for U.S. hardwoods. AHEC’s global programme of activities secure a future for American hardwoods by demonstrating the performance and aesthetic potential of these sustainable materials, while providing valuable creative inspiration and technical advice.
Benchmark is a leading company of craftspeople and designers, founded 30 years ago by Sir Terence Conran and Sean Sutcliffe. Based in West Berkshire on a converted farm, the team is now 50 strong in over 40,000 sq ft of workshops for timber milling, carpentry, veneering, spraying, specialist metalworking and upholstery, as well as design studio and furniture showroom. Benchmark works extensively on design solutions for hotels, restaurants, public buildings, offices and private residences.
The London Design Festival is a key constituent of London’s autumn creative season, alongside London Fashion Week, Frieze Art Fair and the London Film Festival. Established in 2003 its role is to celebrate and promote London as the world’s design capital and gateway to the international design community and it has now established a reputation as one of the largest and most exciting design events in the world. This year the Festival will run from 15-23 September and over 400 events and installations will be on offer across the capital, from an exciting programme at the V&A to plus over 300 partners who will participate in the nine-day Festival.
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The Museum holds many of the UK's national collections and houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, theatre and performance.