DIVERSITY & INCLUSION IN THE DESIGN COMMUNITY

Dr Abigail Hird, Innovate UK KTN, Design Innovation Network
Nicole Agba, Creative Strategist/Director, previously at McLaren, Ford and Lotus.
Emric Sawyer, Designer, Heatherwick
Michael Omotosho, Founder & Designer, Tosho & Co

Friday 8 July, 13:00 - 14:00

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Launching the newly published Inclusive Design Toolkit, this panel discusses diversity and inclusion within the design community. We’ll explore why inclusion is particularly important for Design and some of the challenges we face practically and culturally. Our passionate, energised and trailblazing panelists will share their own encouraging experiences and insights and there will be plenty of time for audience participation and Q&A.

Abi Hird
Nicole Agba resized again
Emric Sawyer resized
Michael Omotosho

PANELLISTS

Dr Abigail Hird (Innovate UK KTN, Design Innovation Network)

Abi leads the Design Innovation Network. Working across sectors and technology areas, Abi creates connections to help innovators leverage good design practice and deliver positive change.

Abi is passionate about the role that diversity and inclusion, good collaboration and systems thinking have to play in delivering better innovation outcomes.

Abi has deep expertise in design, manufacturing, innovation, and engineering management, and previously led KTN’s “Navigating the Design to Manufacture Journey” programme. With experience in both industry and academia she has led multi-partner innovation projects in a range of sectors including automotive, aerospace, logistics, defence, textiles and medical devices. Abi holds a Doctorate in Systems Engineering, an MEng in Product Design Engineering and is a Fellow of the RSA.

Nicole Agba (Creative Strategist/Director, previously at McLaren, Ford and Lotus)

Nicole studied Automotive and Transport Design at Coventry University. Shortly after graduating in 2014, she won the Autocar Next Generation Award for an idea that used smart materials to improve driver safety. This kickstarted her career in the automotive industry, she has since gone onto work for the likes McLaren, Dyson, Lotus, and Ford; supporting these companies to define colour and materials strategy, create materials development processes, as well as deliver world class vehicle projects to production.
After years in the industry, seeing the difficulties designers face introducing sustainable practices and materials into production programmes, she is transitioning from the role of designer to creative strategist/ director, undertaking a master’s degree in Communications Design at Norwich University of the Arts to bridge this.

Emric Sawyer (Designer, Heatherwick)

After completing his furniture and design course in Nottingham, Emric has moved onto work for residential, hospitality and commercial projects in the Interior Design world. Providing his skills and knowledge of organic shapes in design and furniture, he now works for the award-winning architecture practice Heatherwick Studio as an Interior Designer.

Michael Omotosho (Founder & Designer, Tosho & Co)

Michael is an Industrial Design Engineer, Maker and winner of the Young Innovators Award 2021, with over 9 years experience working in various industry sectors. Having a problem solving background, he is always enthusiastic about finding solutions to problems that challenges everyday living. His key focus areas are inclusivity, conscious functionality, and sustainability.