With three months to go, the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has announced news of its panel discussion at this year’s BIID conference at the Royal Geographical Society. Taking to the stage on Thursday 16thJune 2016 will be Graeme Brooker, Catherine Croft and James Dilley for a much anticipated panel discussion on The Interior Designer’s Dilemma: Reverence Vs Reinvention.

The discussion will explore how interior designers exist in a unique professional and creative sphere as they most often work in spaces created by other designers – usually architects. Their designs need to engage with the vision of the building’s original creator, whilst meeting the needs of current and future occupants. On one hand they have significant power and influence over the fabric of a building in terms of the alterations they may make – whilst on the other hand almost every trace of their work could be gone within a few years if another architect or designer is appointed to redesign the space. And yet whilst historians, conservationists, architects and politicians publicly debate which buildings are worthy of conservation, and why, the voices of interior designers seem curiously missing from this national conversation.

The panel will debate these and other provocative issues including;

  • Should society place greater demands on interior designers as guardians of the buildings (even unlisted ones) they work on?
  • How does the responsibility to respect the design intention of the creator of a building impact the creativity of a designer?
  • How does the often ephemeral nature of an interior shape the individual identity of a designer and the public identity of the profession?

This panel will include an extended Q&A to enable attendees to fully engage with this thought-provoking and often controversial topic.

Graeme Brooker is a practising interior designer and Head of Interior Design at the Royal College of Art. A well-established author within the interior design realm, Graeme has published and featured in a plethora of interior design books focusing on a range of different interior aspects. His self-penned titles include, Key Interiors Since 1900 (2013), and his latest release, Adaptations: Interior Architecture + Design Strategies (2016). In addition to his writing credentials, Graeme is a regular speaker on interior design at conferences across the globe and will bring widespread knowledge on the industry to the BIID panel.   

Joining Graeme as a panellist is Catherine Croft, Director of the 20th Century Society. Catherine has been Director of the C20 Society for over ten years, and is Editor of the well subscribed C20 magazine. Prior to C20 Society she worked for English Heritage as a buildings inspector in London and the Midlands and has amassed a well-respected knowledge for period interior design. Author of a book on Concrete Architecture, Catherine writes on contemporary as well as historic buildings, and will provide great comparisons and insight on interior identities.

Completing the panel is James Dilley, Head of Interior Design and Hospitality at the award-winning architecture and interiors practice Jestico + Whiles. Working internationally with prestigious independent developers and clients including Hilton, Starwood, and Marriott, James has delivered a diverse range of high-profile projects, including the vibrant W London on Leicester square and most recently the first European Hard Rock Hotel in Ibiza. Beyond his hotel work, James’ portfolio includes the aqua shard restaurant in the iconic London skyscraper. James also lectures internationally on hotel design and has judged the European Hotel Design Awards, European Hospitality Awards, FX International Design Awards and the World Interior News Awards. His first-hand experience in designing high-profile commercial projects gives the panel a great practical standpoint that many attendees will be able to relate to or be inspired by.

James Dilley, Head of Interior Design and Hospitality at Jestico + Whiles comments, ‘‘It is great to be taking part in a panel that addresses the role, responsibilities and value of interior design in the context of a wider, architectural project. Elements of design are often viewed in forced segregation, with interior design often side-lined and viewed as subservient to that of architecture. This is a rare and exciting opportunity to discuss the significance of our work and how it is viewed in the industry.’’

The BIID annual conference ‘Interior Identities’, is set to be a day of stimulating seminars and talks, and will also include the presentation of the Institute's Honorary Fellowships, created to recognise those who have had a profound impact on the development and success of the interior design profession.

For more information on this year’s conference, buy tickets and to access the full programme, please visit . Further speakers and talks will be announced shortly.

For further information, please contact:

Jenny Parker / Sarah Locke

Wildwood Public Relations          

Tel :  +44 (0)1293 851115              

Email: /

About the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID)

Established in 1965, the BIID is the professional institute for interior designers in the UK.

The BIID’s growing national and international membership represents both the commercial and residential sectors, from heritage to cutting edge. In addition to rigorous entry requirements that assess training, experience and professionalism, the Institute requires members to continue their professional development throughout their career, ensuring their continued expertise in design process, practice and regulatory matters.

The BIID has been granted the prestigious and rare accolade of Institute status by the Minister of State. The Institute’s mission is to encourage and support creativity and competence in the field of interior design through facilitating best practice, practical professional support, development opportunities and education.

On the national stage, the BIID is a full member of the Construction Industry Council and, as a result, is now part of Government consultations to advise on new policy and legislation. Internationally, the BIID is represented on the board of the International Federation of Interior Architects and Designers. More details at