Who decides what makes places or spaces beautiful?

What are key principles behind design?

And what do Northerners really think of ‘that there London’?

In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to designer, entrepreneur and master planner WAYNE HEMINGWAY MBE.



  • Twitter: @HemingwayDesign

Known for:

  • Co-founder – Red Or Dead
  • Partner & Co-founder – HemingwayDesign
  • Trustee – The Design Council
  • Professor of The Built Environment – Northumbria University
  • Fellow – Blackburn College
  • Senior Fellow – Regent’s University London
  • Author – The Vintage Fashion Bible: The Complete Guide to Buying and Styling Vintage Fashion from the 1920s to 1990s
  • Author – Just Above The Mantelpiece: Mass-Market Masterpieces
  • Author – Kitsch

The 5 Big Questions:

Measuring change How do you measure the impact of what you do?

Ready for anything - future proofingHow should people/businesses be preparing for the future?

Skills, talent & opportunityHow do we build the workforce we need for that future?

Embedded innovationHow do you use creativity to solve problems?

Bold connections, collaborationHow do you collaborate?

Key quotes:

“We should be mobile, we should feel good wherever we are — and we don’t get that by placing people against each-other.”

“When we go into towns we unearth a whole series of masterplans that might have been done ten years ago, five years ago, or two years ago even, and they’re all full of great ideas from great architects and urban designers but they’ve sat in a drawer. Nothing has happened, you find absolutely diddley-squat has been delivered.”

“We believe even if the smallest things happen, it creates momentum. So we work on lots of small ideas that might seem inconsequential or lacking in substance to some people, but we know that once you get started the community comes along and ultimately real change happens when people make it happen.”

“I think people have got to be absolutely clear about why they’re doing something.”

“We built cities, we built energy systems, transport systems, all of them without the knowledge of what new generations have to deal with. That’s why design, creativity, is so important to the world right now. Well, it’s always been important.”

This episode was recorded in May 2022

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts


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