Meet the Judges: Design Insider Awards

At the BCFA Northern Dinner in April 2020 Design Insider will celebrate the very best Northern commercial projects by awarding 4 Awards for design excellence, each project nominated by our readers and BCFA members, judged by key industry players.

We are thrilled to be able to introduce you to Ella Doran, Liam Hopkins, Dean Stanford-Palmer and Alys Bryan who will bring their design and industry knowledge to the table when judging the Design Insider Awards 2020.

Ella Doran

Designer – Interiors Textiles and Photography

Ella Doran is a leading independent designer, photographer and mark-maker. Her award-winning work has been commissioned and licensed by leading manufacturers and retailers, including Alternative Flooring, John Lewis and Tate Galleries and spans product and textile design, fashion, furniture and large-scale interior graphics. Her own-label ‘Ella Doran’ homewares range is also a firmly-established lifestyle and media favourite. As a fellow of the RSA, Ella champions the work of the Great Recovery through various public engagements and student teaching projects at, for example, the Barbican, V&A and Clerkenwell Design Week. Her recent solo show and documentary on material circularity and transparency, ‘Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor’, was held at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the Summer of 2019.

Dean Stanford-Palmer

Palmer Designer| Design Researcher | Design Educator

Dean Stanford-Palmer is a furniture designer maker who ran his own successful design practice for over a decade before undertaking a senior lecturing design teaching role on the product design and product design: furniture courses at Sheffield Hallam University. Dean’s research activity is based around his own design practice, design intent and teaching, in a wider and more critical context. Dean is particularly interested in critical and speculative design and exploring how design can be used to mobilise debate and inquire into matters of concern through the creative processes that exist when designing objects. Design as a form of critique is really important and special. Dean is also engaged with material research; exploring opportunities to better utilise a range of materials (including post industrial waste) that offer a more sustainable alternative to those presently predicated on a reliance on Petro-chemicals.

Liam Hopkins


Liam Hopkins is head of Manchester based creative studio LAZERIAN. Liam studied 3D Design at MMU where he is now also an associate lecturer on the Product Design and Craft course.  Hopkins has worked with brands such as Nestle, Bloomberg, Skoda, National Trust and RHS. He also has pieces in collections worldwide including Manchester Art Gallery, Moscow Design museum and Museo Poldi Pezzoli.

LAZERIAN creates bespoke products and experiences for spaces both interior and exterior. This could be in the form of public art, bespoke statement sculpture/pieces, brand promotional objects and/or furniture.

Alys Bryan

Design Insider Editor | Furniture Designer

Alys Bryan uses her passion for design alongside her professional design experience within the contract sector to guide her as editor of Design Insider.  Alongside her role as Editor Alys works as a freelance furniture designer, a specialist in upholstered seating design, with a goal to create furniture that is not only functional but also a joy to look at and experience.

Design Insider Awards is open for nominations, click here to nominate (it takes less than 10 minutes).  We invite you to use the form below to nominate up to 3 projects in each category which have been completed after April 2018:

Interior Designer/Practice of the Year 2020
Northern Sustainable Project of the Year 2020
Northern Hospitality Project of the Year 2020
Northern Workplace Project of the Year 2020

Nomination Deadline – 28th February 2020
Shortlist Announcement – 16th March 2020
Awards presented at the BCFA Northern Dinner on Thursday 23rd April 2020

The BCFA will invite the winning designers to be our guests at the BCFA Northern Dinner in order to receive their award.


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
View all posts by Alys Bryan →