Jamal Abdourahman

Jamal Abdourahman

Producer, Vancouver Fashion Week

After immigrating to Canada from East Africa in 1990 and landing in Toronto, Jamal Abdourahman was eventually seduced by the West Coast’s mountains, ocean and fresh air, and made the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver his home in 1993.

Fluent in three languages, and able to converse in 25 others, Jamal attended college with the goal of working for the United Nations and traveling the world. To make money as a student, he began buying clothing at wholesale and organizing fashion and trunk shows at nightclubs, hotels and warehouses. He eventually opened a clothing store on Robson Street and later teamed with an investor who wanted to do fashion shows in Asia. Jamal closed the store and began jet-setting to fashion capitals including Hong Kong, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and London, and attended Paris Fashion Week in 1999. Back on home soil, he collaborated with a friend and started the first official fashion week show in 2000 which was named International Fashion Week. Continuing on his own, he rebranded the event Vancouver Fashion Week in 2002.

Now entering its 16th year and 27th season, Vancouver Fashion Week is the fastest growing fashion week in the world – creating a stage for talented local and international designers to reach global markets, fashion media and industry buyers. Vancouver Fashion Week has served as the gateway to designers who can’t show in the big events such as London, Paris, Milan and New York, and has helped launch many talents.

Jamal continues to put Vancouver Fashion Week on the world stage and every season the energetic producer attends fashion week events in South America, Asia, Europe and North America – meeting designers, fashion editors and forging partnerships. To date, Jamal has racked up more than 1,000,000 air miles, with no end of his promotion of Vancouver and designers in sight.

Aidin Ardjomandi

Aidin Ardjomandi


The Good Design Mark holder, Aidin Ardjomandi, is an awards winning Iranian designer. He has received Master of Industrial Design from IA University of Tehran in the specialization of aesthetics. In 2015 he won A’DESIGN Award by inventing a new brand musical instrument, the Celloridoo, which was a hybrid one by combination of Cello and the didgeridoo. He has also won several other national and international awards.

Aidin is the official member of World Design Consortium, International Design Club, International Council of Creative Industries Alliance of International Business Associations and the International Association of Designers.

He has been part of Jury members and executive committee of several design awards and competitions all over the world such as A’DESIGN Award of Italy, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 Design Excellence Award 2018, Archstorming Design Competition of USA 2018, Asia Design Prize of South Korea 2019, LIT Award 2019, Design that Educates Award of Germany 2019 ,2020 , Envent Challeng of India 2019, Insutrart Awards of Ukraine 2020, ADA of Azerbaijan 2020 and Ukrainian Design awards: THE VERY BEST OF 2020. He is the Marketing Advisor of Design that Educates awards and the International Relations Manager of Azerbaijan Design Awards and the Marketing and Events Manager of Istituto de Moda Burgo in Qatar.

Lester Bennett

Lester Bennett


Lester Bennett is an independent design consultant with 40 years of design experience. His career has included founding his own practice, working as a design director for a leading residential developer and as a founding partner of Folio Design LLP. Lester specialises in residential interior architecture and design, whilst also having a wide range of experience in commercial and retail design, industrial, exhibition and product design, with a client list including Mobil, Alliance and Leicester, Celador Productions, Morgan du toi, Elstree Studios, Taylor Walker Breweries and Handles and Fittings Ltd (HAF), with products still in production after nearly 30 years.

Prior to setting up Folio Design LLP, Lester was Design Director at Westcity Wates/Westcity Developers, delivering prestigious and iconic London residential schemes such as West End Quay, The Phillimores (now Academy Gardens), Pavilion Apartments and Phillimore Square (now Thornwood Gardens). His concept work and his understanding of high end, and often cutting-edge, residential design earned these schemes national and international awards.

In addition to his work in contemporary design, Lester has studied, and lectured on, the history of the English House and is well versed in period interiors, informing his work on many historic and listed buildings.

Lester also has a thorough understanding of cabinet making and site construction techniques, materials and processes, and is a passionate flag waver for the art of hand drawing.

Other than the many facetted aspects of art and design, his passions are his family, music (he is an accomplished jazz drummer) and the countryside.

Lester is the current President of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID). He previously served on the BIID Professional Practice Committee as Chair, a term on the Membership Committee and for several years as assessor and student mentor. His key objectives as President are to work closely with the BIID Council, committees, and other groups within the design community, nationally and internationally and to continue to raise the profile of the BIID, the only professional institute for interior designers.


Jorge Canete

Jorge Canete

It was no accident that Jorge Cañete, a Swiss of Catalan and Andalusian origin, chose to devote his life to interior architecture and design. After a career in luxury products (with Ungaro, Bvlgari, Mugler et Azzaro), which honed his sense for beautiful objects, and completion of an MBA in Lausanne, he opted to express his creativity in three-dimensional form through work in interior design.

He gained his diploma in Interior Design from London Metropolitan University. Thereafter, a series of projects in the offices of architects in Rome and in Geneva served as a springboard and impetus for him to found his own design studio in Switzerland, more than 10 years ago: INTERIOR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY.

In 2014, he was awarded Best International Designer of the Year by ANDREW MARTIN, known as “the Oscars of the Interior Design world”.

Featured for 11 years in a row in the book “Interior Design Review, the definitive guide to the world’s Top 100 designers” by Andrew Martin.

This interior architect is distinguished by a style that seeks to surprise. His signature, between memory and modernity, yields a mysterious and sensual alchemy in which raw and sophisticated elements communicate with one another as if by magic.

Each project always tries to tell a story in a poetic way...

Prestigious firms and an important private clientele have asked him to decorate their universe according to his characteristic philosophy of building a poetic vision of the world to give material expression to emotion that stems from within.

Jorge Cañete’s working method involves very careful analysis of each parameter – the environment in which the project is set, the feeling inherent in the location and, of course, the client’s own personality. By combining these three sources of inspiration he is able each time to come up with a project that accurately fulfils the requirements of his very demanding clientele, who seek an emotional yet at the same time practical inner substance.

Susan Deliss

Susan Deliss

Susan Deliss is one of "House & Garden" magazine's Top 100 residential decorators and is one of Country Life magazine's Top 100 for making the perfect country house.

The designer and her products have been featured in House and Garden, World of Interiors, Country Life, Homes and Gardens, Homes and Antiques, The English Home, the London Evening Standard, the Financial Times - 'How to Spend it', the Sunday Times - ‘Style’, and in the USA, House Beautiful and Verandah, Architectural Digest and other leading publications.

She designs her own range of fabrics and sells ikats, silk embroideries, kilims, velvets and linens, antique, vintage and new. One-off furniture, both antique and made to order and upholstered in Susan Deliss's fabrics are complemented by limited edition cushions and hand-made and lined silk lampshades, decorative objects and fine art. All decorative, beautifully made, useful and highly individual, she supplies her products to well-known decorators, hotels and other companies, as well as private clients in the UK, the USA, Europe and Australia.

For interior design projects, Susan's approach and style were best summed up by one of her clients:
"Susan’s approach is to listen to the client and listen to the house and then bring the space alive using a sophisticated and nuanced combination of colour, pattern and design. Her approach is to avoid design clichés, and trends, but to make each home feel unique to its owner; to imbibe the house with a feeling of history and personality – one that doesn’t shout but whispers. With her mix of antique and new textiles, traditional and irreverent use of wallpapers and paints, and globally-sourced furniture and objects – rarely sourced from the usual channels, but from her extensive travels - Susan helps her clients see a house’s potential in a new way without them having to let go of their own story."

Annette Fisher


Partner FA Global

Chair Let’s Build

Commonwealth Association of Architects alternate Regional VP Europe and Trustee

Former RIBA Vice president 2001/2001

Former Nominated RIBA Presidential candidate 2002

I’m delighted to be invited to join the jury for the IDA International Design Awards 2020. I’m an award winning black British female Architect of Nigerian descent.

After graduating in architecture studies from Strathclyde University, I worked at several London practices for six years, with a short spell in Nigeria and three years in the US before returning to UK to set up in practice with a former partner of Rolfe Judd. I then set up my own practice Fisher Associates Ltd in Chelsea doing Leisure/ Community buildings Commercial offices, residential and mixed-use developments. It has evolved and is now FA Global operating in Lagos and London.

I have been involved with the RIBA for some time. I was elected to the RIBA Council 1999 and was RIBA Vice President Communications for two years. I was also a nominated RIBA Presidential candidate in 2002 and was re-elected as a National councillor several times and stayed on Council for 9 years in total.

In 2013 I was asked to represent the RIBA at the Commonwealth Association of Architects general assembly in Bangladesh. I was tasked to mend relations between the RIBA as the largest member country with other member countries of CAA and was offered the role of CAA Trustee and Alternate Regional Vice President Europe. I attended the conference and met other member representatives and was able to bond with the group and re-establish the RIBA as a firm friend and supporter. There was no further call for UK to exit the group. This resulted in the CAA accepting RIBA’s offer to host the CAA 50th Anniversary celebrations at 66 Portland Place in 2015. I am still a trustee of the organisation.

I was invited to join the Kush Board which was a subsidiary of Places for People. In my 2nd year as a board member the Group wanted to disband this black social housing group in streamlining the organisation. I took over as Chairman of Kush to lead the negotiations at board level and secure the future legacy of Kush as the only BAME organisation in the group. The successful conclusion of those negotiations led to the formation of a Diversity group at Group Board level where I was a founding non-executive Director. We also preserved the Nile Centre (over 21 years of treating mental health in black men) one of the key success stories of Kush. So that PFP would create preferred homes for all communities by becoming aware of cultural differences. These key decisions have transformed PFP ownership and as a business.

I’m founder and Chair of Let’s Build a televised debate celebrating black and minority architects and their work. To make this unseen group visible and provide role models for the younger generation of black and ethnic architects. To offer an alternative platform for discussions on diversity and make it possible for inclusion of black and ethnic people in these high-level discussions. Sponsored by RIBA, PFP and Yanga TV www.lets-build.it.

I’ve been a judge at the prestigious Civic Trust Awards, and more recently a Judge at the Malta Architecture and Spatial Planning Awards 2020 (MASP) in Valletta, Malta. FA Global’s ethos is “transforming lives through architecture”. We focus on projects that make a social impact on communities and the built environment. Currently working to deliver 500,000 low cost homes over 5 years as sustainable villages in Nigeria. Visit www.fa-global.co.uk for more information.



Editor-in-Chief, OBJEKT International

Fonk first completed his advanced studies in textile technology and then embarked on his career in photography, as a fashion photographer. In San Francisco he began photographing interiors, architecture, art and design. At the end of 1991 he launched his own publication, OBJEKT, which has meanwhile achieved world wide circulation in its English-language edition, OBJEKT International. Over the years, OBJEKT International has produced some stunning features on prominent interior and textile designers, antique dealers, artists and architects throughout the world. For OBJEKT International, he is also responsible for most of the photography, as well as the design, layout and editorial production.


Dawn Garcia
Dawn Garcia


Publisher + Editor-in-Chief of ATOD Magazine

Los Angeles native, Dawn Garcia is an award-winning writer, magazine editor and journalist whom has taken a rather colorful road to get to where she is. With experience in network marketing and advertising, production, and publishing, she has written books, films, short fiction, TV Series', and magazines. Her journey began as a makeup and special effects artist and eventually led her to her ultimate calling: storytelling. Known for her work ethic and impeccable taste in design and aesthetics, she continues to fight for quality content, diversity and inclusion, and innovation in the entertainment industry.

Dawn is Irish, Spanish, British and Mexican with a passion for words. An equality activist, mother, lover of film and culture, her family origin is steeped in old Hollywood nostalgia and is peppered with unfathomable loss. Writing is her refuge, and her first love.

She lives in Southern California with her daughter Barcelona, her partner, his son, a dog and two cats. She searches for meaning in everything.


Oscar de la Hera Gomez

Oscar de la Hera Gomez

Founder, Delasign

Oscar is an award winning multidisciplinary designer & technologist and founder of Delasign. His work is sold in over 30 countries by the Museum of Modern Art and can be found in over 200 Apple stores around the world. He has worked on high-profile projects such as the Apple Watch Nike+ and has been interviewed by El Mundo. He has presented as one of Spain's emerging designers at ICFF Talks 2017 and has done work for over 20 Fortune 500 companies including Nike, MoMA and Samsung. He has served as a judge for organizations such as the One Club for Creativity, the A Design Award and the Webbys. His work has reached media outlets that include The New York Times, The Verge and The Washington Post.

Oscar’s work has won awards, nominations and shortlists from recognized institutions including Cannes International Festival for Creativity, Industrial Designers Society of America, The CLIOs, The One Show, Webby, The Creative Review and Core77.

Oscar, born in Basel, Switzerland, is Spanish and was raised in The Netherlands. He holds a Masters of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London and an MFA in Products of Design from the School of Visual Arts.

Annie Ivanova


Executive Director, Studio Ivanova

Annie Ivanova is an international curator, executive producer, entrepreneur and acclaimed author based in Taipei. She is executive director of Studio Ivanova, regional president of Asia Designer Communication Platform, and former senior curator, MOCA Taipei.
Amongst the many world-leading institutions Annie has worked with are: ZKM, Centre Pompidou, Ars Electronica, The Barbican, Centre Pompidou, Aaros Museum, National Palace Museum, Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.
In 2016 she received an ANZ Chamber of Commerce Business Award for 'outstanding contribution to the Australia-Taiwan partnership' and Taiwan DESIGN Top100 Award for her groundbreaking book "Taiwan by Design".


Carlos Jadraque

Carlos Jadraque

Head of the Creative Department at Oscar de la Renta

Growing up in Spain, Carlos Jadraque was obsessed with magic. The house was littered with ropes, decks of cards, and magic boxes. If you’d asked him in those days what he wanted to be when he grew up, he’d tell you without batting an eye: “A wizard.” In a way, that’s exactly what he’s become.

An intellectual and geographic nomad with more than 15 years of design experience, Carlos has crafted a career providing design and consulting for best-in-class clients in the worlds of luxury, fashion, and architecture. He has worked with the likes of Ralph Lauren, Gensler, Tommy Hilfiger, and Lladró, and has taught students of interior design and product design at the Isituto Europeo Di Design in Madrid.

Carlos started out studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven in The Netherlands. Upon graduating, and after a brief stint at Y&R Amsterdam, Carlos returned to Spain and entered the world of interior design, working for the firm Cuarto Interior and in the studio of acclaimed interior designer Tomas Alia. After moving stateside in 2010, Carlos held positions as an Art Director at MA3 and as a Product Designer at MZ Berger, working with companies like L’Artisan Parfumeur, Pierre Cardin and Salvatore Ferragamo. He then moved to Condé Nast as a Senior Art Director, where he dialed his art direction, digital voice, and branding talents for luxury clientele.

He is the Head of the Creative Department at Oscar de la Renta.

When he isn’t making magic, he can be found spinning records in a handful of New York City clubs, exercising an ear just as honed as his eye.



UX Director, Clay

Alexander Khmelevskiy is a User Experience Design Director with more than 15 years of experience. He is highly recognized in the field for his expertise in user experience design, having been integral to numerous brands, such as Facebook, Google, Slack, Coinbase, Coca-Cola, VMware, Fossil, Oppo, Sony, Samsung, Huawei, among others.He pushes the boundaries on every project for which he is commissioned, making him a leading creative force in the design industry. His exceptional design expertise as a leading user experience director and graphic designer is critical to the image and appeal of his clients. Alexander is currently holding a position of UX Director at San Francisco based design agency Clay


Rebecca Kong

Rebecca Kong

Rebecca Kong is the co-founder of ArtwareEditions.com, the worldwide e-commerce hub founded in 2006 for the best artist-designed functional objects and furniture. Previously, she was the Director at contemporary art galleries Peter Freeman, Inc. (NYC), Donald Young Gallery (Chicago) and Alan Koppel Gallery (Chicago). She holds and MFA in Art History and Philosophy from University of Chicago and a BFA from Colgate University.



Kahi Lee is an interior designer, television personality and author who has appeared as a host and designer on numerous television programs including Trading Spaces (TLC), While You Were Out (TLC and HGTV), Design On A Dime (HGTV), Merge (Lifetime), Renovate My Family (Fox), FreeStyle (HGTV), My Celebrity Home (Style Network) and The Rachael Ray Show (CBS) among others. In Asia, Lee hosted the first season of the long-running reality competition show The Apartment (AXN / Sony Pictures Entertainment).

Kahi Lee Lifestyle launched in 2005 and specializes in residential interior design in Los Angeles. Lee's high profile projects include the Malibu home of surf legend Laird Hamilton and model/volleyball star Gabrielle Reece, a landmark Hollywood Hills home for actress Alison Brie, a penthouse at the W Hollywood Residences for singer Nick Jonas and the Beverly Hills home of Japanese rock star Kyosuke Himuro.

Lee attended UCLA where she earned degrees in Art History and English Literature and studied interior design through the UCLA Extension program. Kahi Lee was born in Washington DC and raised in Palos Verdes Estates, California. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.


Sheng-Hung Lee


Designer and Engineer at MIT & IDSA Boston Vice Chair

Sheng-Hung Lee is a designer, maker and educator inspired by multiple domains of knowledge and perspectives, thriving on creating new value for clients in multi-disciplinary teams. Trained as an industrial designer and electrical engineer, Lee works for prestigious design consultancies. His approach to problem solving is influenced by his passion for how design and technology are integrated into—and impact—society.
Lee worked with clients including Bank of China, EF (English First) and Rubbermaid to redesign their services and user experiences. He also worked as a researcher at the National Science Council in Taiwan and is a member of the Taiwan Society of Technology and Sociology, IDSA, Phi Tau Phi Scholastic Honor Society and China Technical Consultants, Inc.
Lee holds a double bachelor’s degree with honors in industrial design and electrical engineering from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. His work, including the latest, TetraPOT—a natural, green and sustainable sea defense system—won IDA Gold in Design for Society; IDSA International Design Excellence Award 2016 Gold in Environments; European Product Design Award 2017 Gold in Design for Society/Design for Sustainability; Braun Prize; Core77 Design Award; Red Dot Award (Best of the Best); iF Design Award Gold, Spark Design Award and James Dyson Award.
The adjunct associate professor of product at Fudan University Shanghai Institute of Visual Art is also a student in computer science, taking regular online courses and creating apps.



President and Founder, Cristiano Magni Public Relations

Cristiano Magni is the President and Founder of Cristiano Magni Public Relations, a boutique premiere agency specializing in fashion, design and lifestyle. As a Public Relations Manager at two of the most prestigious luxury goods agencies in Milan, he oversaw numerous brands including Montblanc, Tag Heuer, S.T. Dupont, Antinori, and and Krug Champagne. Encouraged to utilize his unique vision, Cristiano moved to New York in the early 2000’s as Public Relations Director of C.P. Company and Stone Island, and launched three years later a new and innovative personal agency committed to promote European Fashion and Design. His clients range from iconic cult brands, like Kartell, to powerful yet understated outsiders. Cristiano splits his time between New York, Florence and Milan, and travels globally for his clients.

Agnes Mandeville

Agnes Mandeville

Director Concepts Starbucks

Passionate and international architect / designer with 20 years of success creating high-profile store experiences, ranging from pop-up stores to flagships throughout Europe and North America.

Graduated from the Bordeaux School of Architecture in France, Agnes moved to the Netherlands working with Dutch renowned architectural agencies in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. She contributed to a multitude of winning competitions for public buildings and residential developments. Her career took a turn in 2010 when she joined the Starbucks Coffee Company Design team. First designing the new cafes in various European markets, she moved to the United States in 2016 to create and innovate the Starbucks store experience. Her work celebrates the idea of people, context, comfort, community and sustainability, introducing new ideas of service and interaction with the brand. Her positive contribution brought her to join as Director Concepts with the Global Growth and Concepts team in 2019 where she currently works on Brand Design strategies and the translation of those strategies to innovative multi-sensorial design concepts.

Next to her day-to-day, fueled by her creative curiosity and her poetic approach to design, she participated in workshops across multiple disciplines from City planning for Almere Haven to furniture design brainstorm for Minotti at Milano Design week. Equally enthusiastic about sharing the power of design, she has been a guest lecturer at the Delft University of Architecture and is a huge proponent of working with young talents from various design disciplines.

Agnes is a true global citizen who calls Amsterdam, Paris and Los Angeles home. If not discovering new cities, architects or stores, she prefers to enjoy the Moroccan desert as a retreat from the metropolitan life she is exposed to day to day.

Jane McMillan

Jane McMillan

Fashion Business Coach

Jane McMillan is a Fashion Business Coach living in London, where she works with entrepreneurial fashion designers to start and grow their fashion businesses from scratch enabling them to become recognised as leading fashion brands and propelling them to the next level of success.

Jane envisages a new future for Fashion Designers supported by a level playing field which is less dominated by large corporations. Where more designers have financial and creative freedom, working in a sustainable and ethical way, instead of being exploited and unfulfilled. Not everyone gets their dream design job after college and many no longer want to spend huge amounts of cash going through the college system.

She helps fashion entrepreneurs become more optimistic in achieving their dreams and gaining financial freedom for their future, even in uncertain times! Encouraging them to develop the right mindset to grow their business in a holistic way that fits around the lifestyles they want: to gain business skills; develop a collection for a receptive market; range planning; finance; sales & marketing; public relations; grow their customer list; position themselves as a market leader; work with manufacturers; build a team and scale etc.

McMillan built her own business from scratch with no financial investment whatsoever, and for fourteen years she was Creative Director and owner of the Mac Millan brand where she had the creative freedom to design her own unique vision of colour and texture. The original charm and heritage of a Mac Millan design was enriched by quality craftsmanship which caught the attention of London boutique “Koh Samui” who bought her very first collection in 1997.

In 2000, Jane was the first designer to start using digital prints in fashion, using vibrant patterns inspired by her Scottish heritage. Digital prints, at that time, were only being used on T-shirts and she started using digital printing out of necessity. As a cash strapped solopreneur, she didn’t have time to go out sourcing fabrics so started playing around on photoshop and making her own fabrics. Since digital printing had never been used in the realm of fashion she was not sure how receptive customers would be. It was actually a huge success and many designers thereafter started using the same digital methods.

MacMillan showed twice yearly on schedule at New York, London, Paris and Tokyo Fashion Weeks. With global customers including an HRH and top celebrities, Mac Millan was featured on television shows such as The Apprentice, Top of The Pops and X Factor; and in publications such as: Vogue, In Style, Marie Claire, Glamour and Cosmopolitan.

She has received many awards for fashion design including one from the British Fashion Council presented by Diana, Princess of Wales and in 2007 she was recognised by judges such as Hilary Alexander and Kate Phelan of British Vogue when nominated for Scottish Designer of the Year.

Jane was a member of the UK Governments' Sector Skills Council for Fashion Design, and has worked with many of London’s top designers and for twenty years have been an Associate Lecturer, teaching the students at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design.

Now she wants to pass her knowledge and experience on to ambitious entrepreneurial fashion designers who are ready to turn their success switch ON! She believes we now have a unique opportunity in time where young people can reshape the world and she's excited to see what this will lead to.

Rajesh Nandan

Rajesh Nandan

Rajesh Nandan is the Founder, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the design industry’s premier regional media house, Indesign Media Asia Pacific. After acquiring his first magazine at the age of 22 in 1993, Raj continued to launch a suite of magazine titles throughout the 90s which would become the foundation for his boutique publishing house in 2000 under the flagship title, Indesign. In 2010, the company moved further throughout Asia with digital and print titles as well as an extensive event portfolio.

Raj has since lent is curatorial eye for several boards and juries including the RedDot Design Awards Judging Panel, the Strategic Advisory Board of the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers, the Advisory Board for Emergency Architects Australia, and is also an Ambassador for Unlimited: Designing for the Asia Pacific, an Official Judge for the International Design Awards Los Angeles, and for the Good Design Awards Australia.



Davis, Carter, Scott Ltd / Project Director

Anita Sircar, AIA, has over 25 years of experience in design and construction of high-rise, Class A office buildings, multifamily residential, hospitality, institutional and mixed-use projects in the U.S. and Canada. As a Senior Project Director at DCS Design in the Washington DC Metro area, Anita leads projects through every phase of development including master planning, entitlement, design and construction. She is a registered architect, member of AIA, LEED accredited professional, and is dedicated to advancing sustainability, health-conscious design, and attainable / affordable housing for all residents.

Murat Soygenis


Founding Partner, Professor

Murat Soygenis FAIA, a founding partner at S+ ARCHITECTURE, is an architect and a professor practicing in Istanbul. He received his architectural education in Istanbul and at University at Buffalo. He has served as the Dean of School of Architecture (YTU) and received awards for his contributions to profession. Soygenis has given numerous lectures in various countries, received architectural firm awards including from the RIBA Journal among many, participated in exhibitions and served as a jury member in many international architectural prizes and competitions. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), member of the Chamber of Architects in Istanbul (UIA), and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).




Design Scientist, Founder Bionic City

A recipient of several international awards for innovation, creativity and enterprise, Dr. Melissa Sterry is a transdisciplinary design scientist, complex systems theorist, biofuturist and serial founder whose research and practice explores how emerging and anticipated near-future science, technology and thinking may help humanity to build a brighter future in the face of challenges including climate change, resource shortages, and biodiversity and virgin habit loss. Her career largely spent crafting first-to-market concepts and companies, she has a PhD in developing architectural and urban resilience to major wildfire events, together with over two decades experience in delivering strategic advisories at board-level to multinational corporations, NGOs, and market-founding start-ups. Melissa is a visiting lecturer/fellow, guest critic, thesis supervisor, assembly member, scientific committee member, peer-reviewer, editorial board member, author, juror and keynote speaker to manifold leading international STEM, design, architecture, and arts journals, conferences, awards, societies, and academic and professional institutions.
Melissa is the founder/director of London-based biofuturism consultancy Bioratorium® [est. 2019], and its lab Labioratorium®, and of Bionic City® [est. 2010], which asks “how would nature design a city?” and explores the potential of biomimetics, biotechnology and biology in the built environment in the now, near and far future. Developing original research, concepts and creative works, Bionic City® has attracted a global community of interest and has collaboration and co-creation partners worldwide. Her earliest interrogations dating to the early 90s, Melissa has 25+ years experience in researching and developing original biodesign, biomimetic, biofabrication, and biotechnology concepts across fields including textiles, fashion, architecture, construction, urban planning and infrastructure. One of her most recent scientific enquiries is available open access through the Panarchic Codex® project.
Her previous works include founding the award-winning sustainability think tank and collaborative laboratory Societás [2004 - 2010]; co-founding award-winning catalyst for rapid innovation in sustainable design, New Frontiers [2009 - 2010]; co-founding the world's first online digital visual arts awards, Creative Graduate Prize [2004-2010] and Iconique Societás Awards [2007-2010]. Having founded her first creative business in her early 20s, she has also served as an executive director, board-level advisor, and mentor to several market-founding start-ups in fields including digital publishing, marketing, communications, events, music, and social business, amongst others.

Shari Swan

Shari Swan

Founder and CEO, Mole in a Minute

Founder and CEO, Streative Branding

Shari Swan is a third time entrepreneur, founder and investor and committed advocate of female founders and the start-up eco system. She is a global expert on consumer insights, brand strategy, innovation and design and has a passion for transforming data into actionable and highly relevant, creative business opportunities for corporations with the support of co-creation and expert online communities.

Shari is a former global marketing executive of Mexx International and Reebok International. At Mexx, she created and re-launched the brand communication in 40 countries. At Reebok, she played a fully integrated role, strategizing in product design, marketing, sales, research and strategic brand management in Europe and North America. As a past faculty member of the University of Amsterdam’s Fashion Institute, she received the single largest research grant to create a proposal for a branding think tank that united fashion students and companies worldwide.

Swan founded Streative Branding in 2003, an Amsterdam based, award winning global insight and design agency and later transformed the business into a global, online, agile platform that relaunched as Mole in Minute in 2016. Mole in a Minute is an automated collaboration platform that connects corporations to globally vetted and curated maverick freelancers, industry experts and creative talent (Moles, Mavens Makers) for research, strategy and design projects.

Shari is also an acknowledged global speaker on insight, innovation, co-creation and consumer behavior and it's impact on the future of business and society. Aside from whispering into the ears of global senior executives at UEFA, Liberty Global, Royal Bank of Canada, News UK, O2, LCBO, Estee Lauder and others, Shari and her partner own and operate an award winning, boutique manor house in France; Manoir du Moulin.



Fashion Curator, Writer and Marketing Strategist

Carly has a fifteen-year history working closely in the fashion industry having been based in Paris, Los Angeles and Australia. Some of the titles she has held range from Fashion Editor, Stylist, to Creative Director having owned her own label, to then go on and create an annual Fashion Festival where she was the Founder and Director in one of Australia’s largest States. Her experience also stretched into Fashion Curation where she has a reputation for having an eye for the most likely to succeed emerging fashion designers.

Lastly, Carly often consults on a marketing and branding perspective lecturing in Universities and working with fashion and luxury companies refining their entire marketing strategy and reach to increase sales and engagement. She has consulted with businesses from university graduates starting out, to managing global teams in cross country campaigns with companies with turnover in excess of $60m. She has a passion for sustainability and hopes in every role she takes on to make the biggest impact possible to creating a sustainable fashion world. Her stand out career moments has been interviewing Mr Jimmy Choo OBE and chatting about all things fashion at a private fashion event with Diane von Fürstenberg.


Jason Wang


Secretary-General, Asia Pacific Design Center (APDC)

Mr. Jason Wang is the leading figure in the Chinese design arena who had devoted himself to the design industry as a curator up to 2009. Wang is the Secretary-General of Asia Pacific Design Center (APDC) as well as the Secretary-General of the Organizing Committee for the APDC Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards for Elite.

In 2010, Mr. Jason Wang established the Asia Pacific Design Center (APDC) in Hong Kong, China. He also initiated the Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards for Elite with the theme ‘Celebrating Creativity’, which has become one of the most important design awards in the Chinese community.


Lynn Wang


APDC Head of Overseas Affairs Dept, Asia Pacific Design Center (APDC)

Ms. Lynn Wang, passionate about the organic lifestyle, sees herself as a LOHAS, low on carbon footprints and big on sustainability.
In 2012, Ms. Lynn Wang and Mr. Jason Wang jointly initiated the Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards for Elite with the theme ‘Celebrating Creativity’, which has become one of the most important design awards in the Chinese community.
Ms. Lynn Wang has dedicated herself to providing Chinese and international designers with a platform for communication and cooperation.




Managing Partner, JZA+D

President-Elect, American Institute of Architects - New Jersey

Joshua Zinder is founder and managing partner of Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design (JZA+D), now celebrating its 10th anniversary as a firm, and currently serves as President-Elect for AIA-New Jersey. Passionate about every aspect of architecture and design, Joshua Zinder brings a unique, contemporary style to every project. His architectural approach blends an affinity for traditional materials with a commitment to appropriate design, allowing every project to reflect a sense of purpose, place and context.

With a career spanning more than 20 years, Joshua’s diverse design portfolio includes high-end commercial space, gourmet restaurants, cultural and educational institutions, private residences, multi-family mixed-use developments, and government/municipal facilities. The AIA-New Jersey named Joshua as Architect of the Year in 2013, and JZA+D as 2014 Firm of the Year. Currently, the firm is involved in projects for three universities in New Jersey: Princeton, Rowan, and Rutgers, and for three synagogues in Texas, New Jersey, and New York. Other current projects include a a 20-story mixed use tower in Jersey City.

Prior to founding JZA+D in 2006, Joshua led the design and construction of residential, commercial and institutional projects while serving as a designer and team leader at other firms, most notably Michael Graves & Associates. He has served as a board member with the Jewish Center of Princeton, the Electronic Music Foundation, Big Tent Judaism, and Gotham City Networking.

Previous Jurors

LISE COIRIER - Editor-in-Chief, TL (Trends & Living) / Director, Pro Materia
EMILY HARDING - Editor, District-W magazine
ALEX GOH - Editor-in-Chief, founder and Publisher, TAXI
JOSH RUBIN - Editor-in-Chief, Founder, and Publisher, Cool Hunting
AARON KENEDI - Editor-in-Chief, Print
JORDAN ALYSSA LANDES-BRENMANI - CEO and Founder, Haute House PR & Marketing + Haute Blue Web
REBECCA EPSTEIN KONG - Co-founder, Artware Editions
NICOLE LLOYD - Senior Art Buyer, Deutsch, Inc.
WILLIAM MENKING - Founder, Editor-in-Chief, The Architects' Newspaper
JEFFREY NEMEROFF - Art Director, Architectural Digest / Co-founder, Creative Director, Entra Magazine
LAURENCE NG - Publisher, IdN
BRANDUSA NIRO - Editor in Chief, The Daily Group / Senior Vice President, IMG Publishing
ROBERT SCHAFER - Chief Editor, Topos Magazine
NEWELL TURNER - Style Director, House Beautiful
JOHN DUNNIGAN - Head, Department of Furniture Design (Rhode Island School of Design)
RIDO BUSSE - Chairman, German Trade and Industry Board / Founder, Busse Design Ulm
MAXWELL GILLINGHAM-RYAN - Founder, Apartment Therapy
DAVID HERTZ (AIA, LEED) - Principal, David Hertz, AIA Architects / Founder, Syndesis, Inc.
QINGYUN MA - Dean, University of Southern California School of Architecture
ANGUS MACKENZIE, Editor-in-Chief, elemente
JESSICA MULTARI - Managing Editor, Specifier
GWYNNE PUGH (AIA, LEED) - Co-Founder and Partner, Pugh + Scarpa Architects
CELESTE HOLT-WALTERS - Senior Art Producer, McCann Erickson NY
FEDERICO ROCCA - Fashion Director, Fashion Fm Milano
BARBARA THORNBURG - Senior Style Editor, Los Angeles Times Magazine
KELLY WEARSTLER- President, Kelly Wearstler, Inc.
MICHAEL CANNELL - New York Editor, Dwell
ROSE APODACA - Freelance Culture and Style Writer, Owner, A+R Design Store
YUK CHO - Chief Marketing Officer of DESIGNKEEPER, Co-Founder of Beijing Zhijian Cultural Communication Co., Ltd.
DMITRY TSOZIK - Design Director and Co-founder, Clay
Yolande Wong - Senior Freelance Journalist, Chief Content Operating Officer of DESIGNKEEPER, Founder of Beijing Zhijian Cultural Communication Co., Ltd.



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