Meet our speakers
At the Future of Design London 2023 conference, we had the honour of hosting a lineup of distinguished speakers who are thought leaders in their respective fields. With their profound insights and groundbreaking contributions, these speakers shared their expertise, discussing the changes that are driving the evolution of design and shaping the future of our built environment.
Julia Barfield Marks Barfield Architects
Talk: Towards a Circular, Regenerative Future
Marks Barfield Architects, as a design-led practice, has always strived to build sustainably since the practice was formed over thirty years ago. Now, driven by the urgency for drastic change, and feeling the responsibility of the construction industry’s huge environmental impact, Julia Barfield is leading the practice towards regenerative design, with a focus on retrofit and the circular economy. Rapidly developing the knowledge required to provide pre-retrofit audits, material passports and promote material reuse; a commissioned project designed to be built solely from re-used building materials is putting ideas into reality. Additional research to mitigate future extreme weather conditions and equipping other architects with the practical knowledge to design for deconstruction, also provide valuable new design principles.
Julia is a leading member of Architects Declare, initiated climate training for design panels, arranges forums and workshops to share and increase the understanding of the new methodology for designing to combat the climate crisis, and is an external university examiner at UCL. Julia recently travelled to Sweden, Romania, Greece and Italy by train.
Jorg Stamm Jorg Stamm Bamboo Construction
Talk: Light, Long and Strong; Innovation in Bamboo
Jorg learned his trade as a conventional furniture maker in a small town in Germany and upgraded his skills as a traditional journeyman with some structural carpentry skills in the late 80s. He moved to Colombia in the early 90s, where he learned about local bamboo construction from local masters like Simon Velez, who invited him to contribute to the Zeri Pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hannover.
His technical background allowed him to quickly develop his own style, rationalizing insect treatment and cost-effective construction methods. He even brought the first prefabricated bamboo pavilion to the United States, fully certified by City Hall in Vero Beach, Florida – which survived Category 4 Hurricane Rita in 2004. Back in Colombia, in the aftermath of a major earthquake, Jorg began to focus on big buildings like bridges and large roofs for community centres and schools. This earnt him a reputation for working on reconstruction projects for the UN and national development agencies all over the world, wherever a Tsunami, an earthquake or a man-made disaster required bamboo experts.
Through an introduction by the well-known Bamboo Queen Linda Garland to John Hardy, the founder of Greenschool in Bali, Jorg developed a completely new bamboo construction style that went well beyond the standard post and beam structures seen before. The well-sponsored, creative, and norm-free school environment became his favourite playground, where spiralling towers, shells and hypars on a gigantic scale could be tested, analysed and approved.
Working together with teams of architects, civil engineers and testing laboratories since 2000, Jorg has published a few papers on bamboo and was even awarded last year in Vietnam as Bamboo Pioneer, by the World Bamboo Organization.
Manja van de Worp YIP Structural Engineering
Talk: Working with the future. Life-long design strategies
Manja van de Worp is the director of YIP Structural Engineering London (formerly NOUS Engineering London), holding Master’s degrees in Architecture, Structural Engineering and in Emergent Technologies and Design. She is a structural engineer with 15 years of professional experience in the Construction Industry focusing on Structure Geometry and Fabrication, while teaching at the RCA & IAAC.
She has worked for Arup in London in the Advanced Geometry Unit and at the Advanced Technology and Research group in ARUP, designing structures with complex geometry and moveable structures. Manja has Launched NOUS Engineering LONDON (now YIP) in 2013 an engineering consultancy bearing extensive knowledge of advanced structural analysis tools, complex structural systems, materials and fabrication technologies. Current projects involve an FRP shell and a modular steel roof structure. YIP also focuses on structural product design and research-based projects, looking at innovative ways to use timber and 3d printing of concrete, searching how materials not conventionally used in structural design and how they could find their way into building engineering.
Mark Tillett Heyne Tillett Steel
Talk: The Art of Refurbishment
Mark is committed to great design and loves his work. Mark gives projects momentum with his energy and innovation. He values the long-term collaborations built up over 25 years of working with leading architects and clients on challenging award-winning schemes. He cherishes projects where he can significantly contribute to creating successful buildings. Working on new buildings and re-imagining existing sites in all sectors and materials, Mark applies the true principles of sustainability; long-life, loose-fit and doing more with less, focused on the benefits good design can bring over many years. He particularly enjoys opportunities to contribute to quality architecture.
Mark promotes an approach of ‘Total Engineering’ wherever possible with all responsibility from the existing building through to the finished structure encompassing all temporary and permanent works in between. He is happiest sketching through designs with the team and walking and photographing sites, allowing him to remain intimate with the project from concept through to completion. He enjoys the detail and the process.
Mark co-founded Heyne Tillett Steel in 2007 and has helped to build a practice with a culture of excellence and constant learning. Prior to this Mark worked at design offices in London and Sydney.
Moritz Meiselbach schlaich bergermann partner
Talk: Sustainable approaches to concrete designing
Moritz is an accomplished Structural Engineer with a wealth of experience spanning over 8 years. Since graduating with a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Technische Universität Berlin, Moritz’s journey has been defined by a fervent commitment to innovative design and sustainable solutions.
Moritz has been working at sbp since 2015, with significant contributions to a diverse portfolio of projects that exhibit his proficiency in pushing the boundaries of structural possibilities, across Europe and Asia. Notable Projects include the VW Campus in Sandkamp, an 80,000 m2 Education and Research Centre with cutting-edge sustainability standards, the Second Hooghly Bridge in Kolkata, India which involves the renovation of a cable-stayed bridge, and the Storstrøm Bridge in Denmark, where Moritz led the Independent Design Check for the cable-stayed bridge spanning a strait. Moritz is an active member of Baukammer Berlin and the International Association for Bridge & Structural Engineering (IABSE). His dedication to advancing engineering excellence is underscored by his publications in technical magazines, including the ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering
The workshop as hosted by Jenny Haines and Dan Cole, Senior Structural Engineers at Webb Yates Engineers.
This practical and interactive workshop introduced attendees to form-finding techniques for designing efficient structures. From past to present, we will look at the historical context of form-finding techniques used to design some of the world’s most recognised buildings. This included the work of engineers and architects such as Heinz Isler, Frei Otto, Antoni Gaudí and more, providing case studies of their works and their methods.
The session broke down the topic into different structural forms such as membrane structures, catenaries, grid shells and arches. Each of these structures is suited to different form-finding methods which were explored during the workshop. There were also 2 practical break-out sessions – in the first, physical tension and compression structural models were built and in the second the delegates were introduced to hand-drawn graphic statics to determine the form of a bridge structure. Finally, our hosts reviewed some of the modern methods of form-finding using computational approaches.
Meet your workshop hosts
Jenny and Dan are both key members of Webb Yates internal taskforce aimed at advancing computational knowledge within the company. They are both passionate about parametric modelling and using digital design approaches to optimise buildings and reduce carbon.
Jenny Haines Webb Yates
Jenny has worked on several complex projects at Webb Yates, including a striking new home in Canada utilising structural stone to support tied vaulted masonry roofs, and several residential projects throughout the UK with exposed concrete and timber frames. She has previously gained varied structural engineering experience at a large engineering practice, which included working extensively in the sports and infrastructure sectors.
Dan Cole Webb Yates
Dan has gained experience on a range of projects; from residential refurbishments, including an award-winning house refurbishment and extension utilising traditional timber connections, through to large scale projects, such as an underground structure that supports airport traffic at a major London airport. He works collaboratively with everyone involved in his projects to ensure elegant, sustainable, and efficient structural solutions
We had an exciting line-up for the panel discussion on the role of AI in the future of design.
Dr Alice Cicirello University of Cambridge
Dr Alice Cicirello is a University Assistant Professor in Applied Mechanics at the Cambridge University Engineering Department and a Fellow of Churchill College. She is the founder of the Data, Vibration and Uncertainty group. Her research is focused on three Engineering overarching grand-challenges: (i) Design under uncertainty and nonlinearity; (ii) Monitoring and modelling complex systems for remaining useful life assessment under uncertainty, nonlinearity and sparse noisy data; (iii) Development of explainable and interpretable machine learning strategies for engineering applications. Alice enjoys exploring exciting new techniques based on physics-enhancing machine learning, uncertainty quantification, dynamic testing and advanced physics-based models… including those of spiders! She has experience working on research challenges related to energy, automotive, aerospace and civil engineering.
Alice obtained her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2013 and was a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher (2009-2012) and a Research Associate (2012-2014) at the same institution. Alice worked as a Senior Research Scientist at SLB (2014-2017) and returned to academia as a Lecturer at the University of Oxford (2017-2019), and then continued as an Associate Professor at TU Delft (2020-2023). She held visiting positions at several research institutions, including MIT and the Alan Turing Institute, and is currently an Alexander von Humboldt Experienced Research Fellow (2023- present), a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Engineering Science Department (2020 – present), and an Editorial Board member of the Data-Centric Engineering journal.
Dr Christian Málaga-Chuquitaype Imperial College London
Christian Málaga-Chuquitaype is a researcher, engineer, and educator currently working as Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London where he leads the Emerging Structural Technologies Research Group.
His research covers a wide range of topics where he leverages innovative technological tools and state-of-the-art numerical and experimental techniques to provide solutions to a wide range of structural engineering questions. Of particular interest are engineering problems arising in extreme or hostile environments such as earthquake-prone areas and extra-terrestrial settings. His research has received several prizes including the Tso Kung Hsieh Research Award from the ICE, the Structures Best Research Paper Prize from the IStructE and the Unwin Prize from Imperial College London.
Having practised for several years in large and small infrastructure projects in Latin America, Christian continues to be involved in specialised consultancy and expert advice internationally and serves on a number of committees related to international code development and the advancement of engineering practice.
Dr Luke Whale DAISY AI Inc.
A Civil Engineer by training, Luke began his career in research before becoming Technical Director of Gang-Nail Systems in the UK truss plate industry.
He ran consultancy companies TimberSolve then C4Ci for over 18 years, before joining Staircraft Group as Technical Director in 2015. In 2019 he co-founded DAISY AI Inc – a start-up aimed at developing and commercialising AI applications for use in the residential construction market.
Luke has chaired the BSI structural timber committee for over 30 years, and is co-author of the European timber design standard Eurocode 5.
Peter Debney Oasys/ARUP
Throughout his career, Peter has been exploring how structural engineers can make their work easier and more efficient, often via the application of computer technology. While he started his career as a pioneer of CAD and BIM, over the last twenty years he has focused on structural analysis, optimisation and computational design.
He has worked as a structural engineer in general consulting as well as the water and petrochemical industry, as a CAD product manager, and now as the customer service leader at Oasys Software (the software house of Arup). He has been a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at Bradford University and regularly guest lectures on high-tech structural engineering at many others.
Among his many talks and other writings, he is perhaps best known for his book Computational Engineering: an introduction to computing for structural engineers, covering everything from parametric design to quantum computing via finite element analysis and artificial intelligence.
Peter is a Chartered Engineer, a member of the British Computer Society, and a Fellow of the Institute of Structural Engineers.