TTF Press Releases

Meet our Climate Conversations judges

With just over five weeks to go until our Conversations about Climate Change competition closes (24th August), we announce our exciting, expert judging panel carefully selected with the Building Centre. 

Conversations about Climate Change, a collaboration between the Timber Trade Federation and the Building Centre in London tasks architects, designers and craftspeople with creating innovative, playful and thought-provoking designs using responsibly sourced tropical timber, in an attempt to demonstrate the importance of this natural resource.

“Designs should stimulate conversation about material provenance and its place in the climate debate while revealing the aesthetic qualities of the palette of tropical hardwood species selected. The ‘conversation pieces’ could be furniture, sculpture, a model or functional design object – as long it responds to the material provided, a range of tropical hardwood species, and can start a conversation about the climate crisis” David Hopkins, Timber Trade Federation CEO.

“We have intentionally left the brief broad and opened the competition on an international scale to truly inspire design from across the globe. Climate change and the impacts accompanying climate change will ultimately affect and mean different things to every single person across the world. We are extremely excited to see what designs foster and the story they portray,” Hopkins continues.

The form and size of the design objects are completely up to the designer, as long as they do not exceed a 2m x 2m x 3m high.

Carefully selected for their proficiency to their field, knowledge and innovative ideas, we are confident of six distinguished winners selected, delivering a strong platform for urgent climate debates in London throughout November and further.

Designs will be assessed anonymously via a video-calling platform with the judging panel during the last week of August and announced the first week of September. The six winners will then have 8 weeks to fabricate their objects, ready to be installed in the last week of October in the Building Centre in London.

For full information, resources and to apply, visit Conversations about Climate Change.


Adam is a CEO of Brinkworth, working directly with design teams on the creative content of projects as well as fulfilling the executive role. Adam graduated from Wolverhampton University in 1988 with a BA First Class Honours in Furniture Design, followed by an MA in Furniture Design at the RCA. That year Deyan Sudjic nominated Adam ‘Furniture Designer of the Year’ at the New Designers graduate show, after which he established the company.

Adam’s furniture background – and his almost accidental transition into interior design – brought a fresh approach to the field. By taking responsibility for the entire process: from design, through to build, and beyond to the maintenance, Adam fostered an end-to-end ethos that grew at the very heart of Brinkworth. Based within a workshop rather than an atelier, Adam’s hands-on approach brought authenticity and practicality to the design work, whilst his long-term relationships with key clients built a rick expertise in commerciality and the desire for next-level client-service. Adam’s focus on these key skills continues to inspire the company 30 years later and runs through everything that Brinkworth does.


Julia Barfield is co-founder of London architecture practice Marks Barfield Architects. Barfield co-founded Marks Barfield Architects with partner David Marks in 1989, after graduating rom the Architectural Association. The architecture studio’s projects include the London Eye and British Airways i360 in Brighton. The studio’s most recent projects include a mosque in Cambridge, which aims to revitalise the social and religious community as well as champion sustainability in design.

Marks Barfield recognise that buildings and construction account for nearly 40% of energy related CO2 emissions are therefore a signatory, and a found, of the Architects/ Construction Declares Movement. In 2017, Barfield was a finalist for the Woman Architect of the Year Award and the following year was the chair of the National and International RIBA Awards panel. The studio’s award-winning projects, from cultural and business buildings to bridges to infrastructure, have earned both Marks and Barfield an MBE.


Yinka Ilori is a London-based multidisciplinary artist of a British-Nigerian heritage, who specialises in storytelling by fusing his British and Nigerian heritage by telling new stories in contemporary design. Humorous, provocative, and fun, every project that he creates tells a story. Bringing Nigerian verbal traditional into playful conversation within contemporary design, Yinka Ilori’s work touches on various global themes that resonate with different audiences all over the world.

He studied Furniture and Product Design at London Metropolitan University and has since exhibited internationally in solo shows and group exhibitions. Major public commissions include the Playground at Cannes Lions Festival, Thessaly Road Bridge, and the Colour Palace at Dulwich Picture Gallery.


Leah Riley Brown is the Sustainability Policy Advisor at the British Retail Consortium and covers topics including responsible sourcing, deforestation, food waste and more. She has a master’s degree in Food Policy from City, University of London and has worked in environmental health, hospitality, and retail sustainability. She is currently working on progressing the policy agenda for climate change by building a common understanding and ambition towards Net Zero.

BRC is the trade association for retail businesses with membership comprises over 5,000 businesses delivering £180 billion of retail sales and employing over one and a half million employees. Their purpose is to make a positive difference to the retail industry and the customers it serves, today and in the future.


Andrew is a founding director of Waugh Thistleton Architects, a world leading architecture practice dedicated to designing buildings and places of the highest architectural quality that acknowledge their impact on the environment. Fusing sustainability and design, Andrew is a passionate advocate of low carbon construction and encourages clients to look at the beauty and benefits of innovative technologies.

He has led the practice on award winning schemes from cinemas to synagogues; social housing to offices and was responsible for the design and delivery of Murray Grove; the project that was spearheaded the international movement in tall timber construction and Bushey Cemetery which was shortlisted for the prestigious Stirling Prize in 2018. Andrew continues to research from within the practice. He lectures around the world with a focus on sustainability, timber construction and the future of architecture. Andrew is a visiting Professor of Architecture at the University of Sheffield.


Vanessa is the Creative Director of the Building Centre. She is one of the leading curators of architecture in the UK and has commissioned and curated a range of exhibitions that celebrate architecture in a wider context. Vanessa was previously Head of Exhibitions at the Architectural Association, one of the world’s most influential centres of architectural culture and learning.

She has contributed to publications, magazines and blogs on the subject of art and architecture, is the editor of Construction of an Image on the work of Dutch photographer Bas Princen and is a guest critic at student juries.


David Hopkins is CEO of the Timber Trade Federation and Director of the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI). David is a former environmental journalist and has worked for most UK national newspapers, in addition to editing a number of trade and industry titles focused on utility and environmental markets.

His background from co-founding director of Carbon International, founder and non-executive director of low-carbon community charity Carbon-Leapfrog had put him firmly focused on putting timber at the heart of the low-carbon economy. David is an avid supporter and spokesperson for the EU FLEGT Action Plan, working to create awareness and generate market momentum behind FLEGT.

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