Meet the panel
Re-imagining one of the largest garden squares in London is a big responsibility and we owe it to future generations to get this right. An independent panel of experts with a diverse range of talents and expertise will help us filter and critique submissions. From the worlds of art, horticulture, design and retail, we’re drawing on our panel’s experience and insight to help us capture and refine the very best ideas.
Yana Peel (Chair)
CEO, Serpentine Galleries
Yana Peel is CEO of the Serpentine Galleries, one of the most recognised organisations in the global contemporary art, design and architecture worlds. She is also Chair of the Intelligence Squared Group, the global forum for live debate which she previously ran. Having co-founded Outset Contemporary Art Fund in 2003 as a hub for creative funding solutions for cultural projects, Peel’s board & advisory positions include: Tate International Council, British Fashion Council, V-A-C Foundation (Moscow) and Para Site Art Space (HK).
Peel is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a regular contributor to the Davos Annual Meeting and DLD, particularly on topics at the intersection of technology and art. Her two children provide inspiration for her best-selling book series, Art for Baby, which benefits the National Society for the Protection Against Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). She was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, attended McGill University and completed her post graduate degree in Economics at LSE before starting her career at Goldman Sachs.
Deborah is a Director of the award-winning architecture, urbanism and research practice DSDHA, whose work blurs the boundary between architecture, landscape and urbanism and is best known for its innovative approach to sustainability and public engagement.
Recent examples of DSDHA’s work include several major mixed-use and housing schemes in London; new studios for the ceramic artist Edmund de Waal and jewellery designer Alex Monroe; as well as a number of innovative education schemes – including the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlisted Christ’s College. Deborah has also led the team working on the rejuvenation of Camden’s West End and she is currently working on the re-design of the public realm around the Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington as well as on the refurbishment of the Smithsons’ iconic Economist Plaza.
Alongside her practice, Deborah is also active in research and teaching. Having recently completed a PhD, as well as a Research Fellowship in the Built Environment (awarded by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851), she is now an ADAPT-r fellow and leads research projects within her practice. Deborah has taught widely in the UK, in Switzerland, USA, Iceland and, most recently, in Spain. Moreover she is on the founding faculty for the newly launched London School of Architecture (LSA) and heads its collaborative Design Think Tanks Initiative.
Wakehurst Head of Landscape & Horticulture, RBG Kew
Ed Ikin is the Head of Landscape and Horticulture at Wakehurst for Kew Gardens, and was previously the General Manager of Morden Hall Park and Rainham Hall for the National Trust. He is the author of Thoughtful Gardening and Gardens Friends and was a contributor to the bestselling Gardening Secrets and The Good Gardener (all published by National Trust Books). Ed is also a 2017/18 Clore Fellow, part of the Clore Leadership Programme – a unique programme of cultural leadership development that seeks to enrich and transform cultural practice and engagement.
Managing Director of Lodha Group
Abhishek has been associated with the Lodha Group since 2003, and has served as the company’s Managing Director since 2010. Prior to this, he worked on advising Fortune 500 Companies to Business Strategy as a consultant with McKinsey & Company (in Atlanta, USA). He has been instrumental in establishing a company that exceeds the expectations of the customer. Under his leadership, the company has transformed into India’s largest real estate developer.
Through select brand alliances, Abhishek has brought some of the top global names to India which include Armani/Casa, Philippe Starck, Jade Jagger, Greg Norman and Pei Cobb Freed. Bringing the best the world can offer to customers, Mr Lodha lays emphasis on working with the very best names in design, architecture and lifestyle services. Active in the UK since 2013, Lodha UK is currently delivering a flagship residential scheme at No. 1 Grosvenor Square.
Abhishek has a Master of Science degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA.
Director, London Design Festival
Ben Evans is the Director of London Design Festival, which he co-founded with Sir John Sorrell in 2003. The Festival celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world and has inspired similar events in many international cities. It is an annual event involving 300 partner organisations and attracts over 900,000 individual visits. As well as managing the Festival, Ben initiates, commissions and curates projects for the event including an annual residency in the V&A museum. In 2016 he added a new activity – London Design Biennale – where 37 countries presented design installations to a theme. He is the Executive Director of the Biennale.
He has been a governor of the University of the Arts London, a board member of the Roundhouse, and a trustee of Artangel. Since 2017 Ben has become Chairman of the Mayor’s Cultural Leaders Board – a statutory advisory group to the London Mayor. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary degree from the Royal College of Art and graduated there in 1989.
Ricky Burdett CBE
Director, LSE Cities and Urban Age, Professor of Urban Studies, LSE
Ricky Burdett is Professor of Urban Studies at LSE and Director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age Programme. He sits on the Mayor of London's Cultural Leadership Board, is a Council Member of the Royal College of Art and Trustee of the Norman Foster Foundation. He was Chief Advisor on Architecture and Urbanism for the London 2012 Olympics and architectural advisor to the Mayor of London from 2001 to 2006. He was Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2006 and curator of the Global Cities exhibition at Tate Modern in 2007. Burdett has been on architectural juries for high-profile projects including Tate Modern, London's Aquatic Centre, Rothschild Bank Headquarters, Holland Green and Elizabeth House and has worked on major regeneration projects across Europe and the USA. He was appointed CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in the Queen's 2017 New Year's Honours List.
Designer, Nicholas Kirkwood
Nicholas Kirkwood is firmly on a path to become his generation’s globally acknowledged leading shoe designer. Kirkwood decided to launch his own, eponymous brand in 2005, whereby his designs were defined by daring innovation in the use of unconventional materials and techniques that married high craft and tradition with the cutting edge of technology and the unexpected. This technical innovation, together with an aesthetic boldness, dynamism, graphic edge and feminine sensibility, became the signatures of Nicholas Kirkwood’s output. Often experimenting with contrasts and tensions, tradition and tech, nature and artifice, fluid femininity and harder-edged masculinity, the designer’s shoes playfully subvert expectations and present a new kind of aesthetic luxury in footwear.
Creative Director, Selfridges
Linda Hewson has occupied several roles within Selfridges since she joined the company in 2001. She started out as a Visual Merchandising Manager for the London store, then led the windows team before becoming Head of Creative Direction for the business. She took over from Alannah Weston as Creative Director in February 2014. Previous employers included Habitat where Linda was Visual Merchandiser Manager. Linda studied Public Art at Surrey University and then Photography at London College of Printing.
Selfridges was awarded Best Department Store in the World 3 times by (Intercontinental Group of Department Stores) IGDS with Linda being responsible for the initiation and development of all large scale creative projects that Selfridges has become globally recognised for. Recent examples are the Agender, Material World, Shakespeare Refashioned, EVERYbody, Music Matters and Radical Luxury.
Linda also instigates collaborations and projects with well-respected and up and coming creative talent who partner with Selfridges to create something new and exclusive. Recent examples include collaborations with the ICA in the Old Selfridges Hotel, The Interfaith Charity Shop by Miranda July & Art Angel and partnering with Crossrail on the Culture Line project which has commissioned artist Darren Almond to create a large scale public art piece for Bond Street station, launching at the end of 2018.