Editor-in-Chief, Interior Design magazine
New York City
Lauded as "one of the most influential advocates for the interior design industry," Cindy Allen marked 12 years as Editor in Chief of Interior Design magazine in 2013. Since her editorship in 2001, Allen has established herself as a force in elevating the publication’s importance and exposure—strengthening its credentials as the main ambassador of design while proving it the vehicle of growth and success for the industry it represents. Allen is an industry champion, promoting both the giants of design and the rising stars. A self-proclaimed design junkie, she brings an unbridled passion for design to the pages of the magazine each month, offering a unique view into design and personal connections to leaders in the industry. Recipient of the 2010 Circle of Excellence Award from IFDA and the 2009 Alpha Award by Alpha Workshops, Allen has served as juror for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards and the Gensler Design Excellence Awards, and she is a board member for Design Trust for Public Space and Alpha Workshops. She was recently appointed chairman of DIFFA.
Director, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
New York City
Caroline Baumann became Director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in 2013 after serving the museum in various leadership positions for twelve years. Baumann oversaw the three-year, major restoration and renovation of the museum’s home in the historic Carnegie Mansion and Cooper Hewitt campus, as well as the development of award-winning interactive exhibitions and digital technologies. Baumann and the Cooper Hewitt team worked closely with numerous design firms throughout the renovation, including Gluckman Mayner, Beyer Blinder Belle, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Local Projects, Pentagram, and Walter Hood. The renovation earned Cooper Hewitt LEED silver certification and widespread critical acclaim as “the museum of the future.”
Baumann has also overseen the expansion of the museum’s award-winning education department, which offers programming for all ages and includes a free national design education program, professional development programs for K-12 teachers, drop-in design programs for children, and a graduate-level program in the history of design and curatorial studies in partnership with Parsons School of Design.
Founder and Executive Director, Forecast Public Art
Jack Becker is the founder and Executive Director of Forecast Public Art, a nonprofit started in 1978 and based in St. Paul. In 1989, he established a grant program for emerging public artists and Public Art Review, an international magazine devoted exclusively to contemporary public art. Jack leads Forecast’s Community Services program, offering consulting services, technical assistance, partnering and programming support to design professionals, businesses, government agencies and others.
As an artist with experience in theater and visual arts, he applies his creativity to projects that connect the ideas and energies of artists with the needs and opportunities of communities. Jack received the 2007 Award of Excellence from Americans for the Arts for his contribution to the public art field. He is also the recipient of the 2014 Public Art Dialogue Lifetime Achievement Award, a program of the College Art Association. As a founding member of the Institute for Public Art, he is currently working with international partners to research and recognize outstanding public art projects around the world, with the International Award for Public Art.
Principal Interior Designer, Laura Bohn Design Associates
New York City
Over her career, New York City-based interior designer Laura Bohn has produced a wide range of residential and commercial interiors in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. These include the V&V Restaurant in Kobe, the Angelo Pietro Restaurant in Kyushu, and the Archinet Building in Tokyo, Japan; retail shops and residences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and the residential conversion of a historic bank building in Manhattan. Bohn’s purview includes product design, textiles, wall coverings, and set design for motion pictures, Year of the Dragon among them. This large and diverse body of work has been published in books, newspapers, and magazines around the world. For her design of fabrics and wallpapers, Bohn has been honored with two Interior Design Roscoe Awards. In 1998, she was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame, and on March 20, she received the Pratt Institute 2014 Alumni Distinguished Career Award.
Bohn has been a member on the Advisory Board at Fashion Institute of Technology, and a visiting critic at New York design schools, including Parsons, FIT, Pratt Institute, and New York School of Interior Design.
Founder and Chief Editor, CFile Foundation
CFile Foundation is a nonprofit global education resource for contemporary ceramics in art, design, and architecture and technology.
Garth Clark is a leading figure in the growth of contemporary ceramic art. He is the author of over 80 publications, hundreds of essays and reviews. Together with Mark Del Vecchio, he ran the Garth Clark Gallery, and was the leading international dealer in the field from 1981 to 2008 in Los Angeles, New York, Kansas City, and briefly, London. His many awards and honors include being made a fellow and member of the court of the Royal College of Art, London, and he is the recipient of the prestigious College Art Association's Mather Award for Distinguished Achievement in Art Journalism.
Cheryl S. Durst, Honorary FIIDA, LEED AP, is the Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). She leads the Board and Members of the international organization and champions and elevates the profession of interior design and its practitioners. Part of the IIDA HQ team since 1997, Cheryl began her career in sales at Knoll and marketing at The Washington Design Center (Washington, DC).
The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) is the Commercial Interior Design Association with a global reach. We support design professionals, industry affiliates, educators, students, firms, and their clients through our network of 13,000+ members across 50 countries. IIDA advocates for advancements in education, design excellence, legislation, leadership, accreditation, and community outreach to increase the value and understanding of Interior Design as a profession that enhances business value and positively impacts the health and well-being of people’s lives every day.
Design Principal, Gensler’s Consumer Goods Practice
A Firmwide Leader of Gensler’s Consumer Goods Practice, Todd utilizes his impressive architectural background and interior design experience to promote in-depth integration of spatial design and planning, materials and detailing. As a Design Principal and Studio Design Leader in Gensler’s Chicago office, Todd is engaged in the design of next-generation corporate workplaces and co-working environments. Always striving to expand his design reach, Todd is actively involved with the professional design community as well as the arts, serving as a Board Member of the Chicago Arts Coalition and providing pro bono design services to organizations such as City Year and the Marwen Foundation. Most recently, Todd was named Designer of the Year by Contract magazine, a recognition of excellence in design and leadership within a firm and the profession. He holds Master of Architecture, Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Interior Design degrees and received the Henry Adams Medal from the AIA.
New York City
Christy MacLear is the Chief Executive Officer of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. The Foundation oversees the artwork of Robert Rauschenberg, manages a philanthropic program supporting the intersection of art and global issues, and an artist residency on his compound in Captiva Florida.
Beyond the RRF, Christy’s career has been defined by starting up projects or institutions in the realms of art, architecture and design with a particular focus on new business strategy. She has never had a job which existed before and is most comfortable in large scale, complex projects – moving them to new market territory and refined approaches. She was the Executive Director of the Philip Johnson Glass House, Director of the Museum Campus in Chicago – moving Lake Shore Drive to create a lakefront park and Managed Strategic planning for the Walt Disney Company’s new town Celebration.
She has a degree in Urban Design and Architectural History from Stanford University and an MBA from Wharton. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Stanford University and on the Board of Directors of the Municipal Arts Society.
Chief Architect and Founder, Nefa Architects
Dmitry Ovcharov is the principal and lead architect of Nefa Architects architectural studio /ex-Nefaresearch/. The firm was set up more than a decade ago and has been working on projects ranging from offices and houses to airports: advertising agencies, restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, youth clubs, private homes, apartments and award-winning interiors of corporate headquarters and airports.
In more than 25 years of practice, including at his firm Nefa Architects, Dmitry Ovcharov has developed contemporary trends in architecture and interior design. He holds a Master of Architecture from the Moscow Institute of Architecture (State Academy). Dmitry has taught in The British Higher School of Art and Design (Moscow), served as a juror for Metrocompetition-2015 and others. The studio's work is featured regularly in international media and has been published in Interior Design, Domus, Interni and other international magazines.
Nefa Architects' projects have won numerous awards including several Best Office Awards, Interior Design ‘MakeItWork Award’, Moscow Metro Station for Solntsevo and many others.
Founder and Principal, Post Architects
Raymond “Skipper” Post architectural projects have ranged from small structures to a recently completed $100 million dollar courthouse. His practice has included various categories of work including church, convention center, justice, educational, institutional and recreational facilities. The firm has also provided master planning services, the most prominent of which was the Louisiana State Capitol Park Master Plan.
Contribution of civic service has included leading the boards of almost thirty organizations, and he has chaired or served as president in important organizations including the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, the Arts Council/Community Fund for the Arts, and the Louisiana Art and Science Center. As an active supporter of the architectural profession, Skipper has served as president of all levels of the American Institute of Architects including the national presidency. He currently serves as treasurer of the AIA College of Fellows, and will serve as chancellor in 2018.
Skipper is an Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University and Business Person of the Year of the Baton Rouge Business Report.
President and Founding Principal, Rottet Studio
Lauren Rottet is the only woman in history to be elevated to Fellow status by both the American Institute of Architects and International Interior Design Association. She also holds the coveted titles of Interior Design Hall of Fame, Contract Designer of the Year, and Lifetime Appointee to the U.S. General Services Administration’s National Register of Peer Professionals for Design Excellence. In 2006, Rottet was inducted as an Inaugural Member of the Women in Design Hall of Fame. In 2010, she served as a juror in the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award and in 2012 was named Boutique Design Designer of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Ms. Rottet was inducted into Hospitality Design magazine’s legendary Platinum Circle, the magazine’s highest honor for design professionals. Ms. Rottet’s furniture and product designs have earned her four gold medals for Best of NeoCon and a Chicago Athenaeum Award.
Ms. Rottet is known for her expertise and leadership in the Design of Office Environments and has created offices for many of the Fortune 100 Companies including Goldman Sachs, Disney and GE as well as the top International Financial Service and Law Firms.
Founder and Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects
Donald Schmitt’s experience in architecture includes performing arts, academic, healthcare and research facilities with an emphasis on sustainable design. Significant projects include the Symphony Hall, Detroit, University of Ontario Institute of Technology and the Bahen Centre for Information Technology at the University of Toronto. Recent projects include the 110,000-square-foot St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre and the Regent Park Arts and Culture Centre in Toronto. Current projects include the National Arts Centre Rejuvenation in Ottawa and the Global Innovation Exchange Building at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.
A Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and a member of the American Institute of Architects, Mr. Schmitt and his firm have won over 300 design awards including six Governor General’s Awards.
He is the Founding Chair of the Public Art Commission for the City of Toronto for which he was awarded the Civic Medal. He is currently a member of the Advisory Committee on Planning Design and Real Estate for the National Capital Commission, Ottawa and a member of the Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel.
Open Spaces in Professional Systems, Philips Lighting
Boston, Photo: Chris Pfaff
Susanne Seitinger, Global Sub-segment Manager for Open Spaces in Professional Systems at Philips Lighting is responsible for leading the strategy around the impact of programmable LED lighting elements to create safe, inviting and responsive urban environments. Her combined background in architecture, urban planning and human-computer interaction is comprised of research and design projects like the Digital Mile in Zaragoza, Spain and Urban Pixels, wireless LED pixels for ad-hoc media façades. LightBridge, a project in honor of MIT’s 150th anniversary in Cambridge, Massachusetts, used new configurations of low-resolution displays and sensor-activated urban screens to showcase the potential of responsive infrastructures in future urban lighting plans. She recently published Light for Public Space which provides an extensive overview of recent city lighting design trends: www.philips.com/lightforpublicspace
Seitinger received a BA from Princeton University as well as a PhD, MS and MCP from MIT. Her PhD dissertation—Liberated Pixels: Alternative Narratives for Lighting Future Cities—explored the aesthetic and interactive potentials for future lighting and display infrastructures.
CODAawards Senior Advisor, President, Shaw & Co! Productions
New York City
Shaw has devoted her career to the advocacy of good design. A design marketing consultant who conceived of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, Shaw worked closely with GLM Shows in the development of the ICFF and Accent on Design, and currently leads the New York NOW initiative Sustainability: Design for a Better World. She assists product and interior designers in the licensing of sustainable home product designs including textiles, carpets, wall coverings and furnishings. Shaw & Co. Productions has produced a variety of design, art and corporate marketing events, award and educational programs, and has a diverse international clientele.
Shaw serves as a founding member of the Steering Committee for NYCxDESIGN, the city’s official design initiative, during which Shaw will launch NYC Design Talks and the Design Pavilion, a 9-day public activation to increase awareness of the power of design. Shaw serves on the board of trustees for DIFFA: The Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS and co-founded Operation Design, a not-for-profit that creates mentorships and creative programs between architects, interior designers, artists, and NYC public school students.
Partner, Interior Architecture, NBBJ
Rysia Suchecka is partner in charge of interior architecture at NBBJ, named one of the largest practices in the world by BD magazine. As a driving force behind NBBJ’s design excellence, Rysia has led project work for clients that include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Rysia possesses a special ability to translate a client’s vision, purpose, and culture into an elegant facility by integrating the interiors with the building’s structure, character and surrounding context. Her work further stands apart for its graceful detailing, fine materials and finishes. Rysia’s work has brought national and international recognition, including her induction into the Interior Design magazine Hall of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the IIDA. In addition, her design has garnered many prestigious awards, including two National AIA Honor Awards for Interior Architecture and five Best of Year Awards from Interior Design magazine.
Rysia is also a popular design awards juror, lecturer, and advisor. She has been an interiors juror for the AIA Chicago and DC chapters, the Institute of Business Designers and Interior magazine’s Best Interiors awards.
Publisher and Managing Editor, Abraxas Lifestyle magazine
Hemant Sud is a leading Interior Designer, Photographer and Artist for the almost three decades, based in New Delhi, India.
Hemant is currently the Director / Principal Designer of ‘Abraxas Interiors’, Honorary Secretary - ‘Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID-DRC)’, Proprietor / Principal Photographer - ‘Abraxas Photography’, and Publisher / Managing Editor - ‘Abraxas Lifestyle’.
Hemant is a Faculty / Visiting Faculty / Guest Lecturer / Advisory Board Member / External Jury / Viva Examiner for several renowned Design / Arts educational institutions in Delhi NCR and all over India. He has written several articles on Interior Design and Photography; and his photographs, articles, comments and projects have been featured in several media sources.
He has also been on the Jury for many major International and National Design and Photography awards including the Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2015 - Singapore, Herman Miller Smart Living Awards 2014 - Singapore, and Kohler-Abraxas Designer of Tomorrow Awards 2014-15.
Artist and 2015 CODAawards Winner, Widgery Studio
Catherine’s practice of creating site-specific artworks for the public realm spans over 35 years. The richness of learning about new places and meeting the people who will live with the artwork, the people who care so deeply that it be ‘right’ is a humbling experience that inspires her to make art for the public her primary focus.
Catherine Widgery and her team have built more than 40 site-specific public art projects across the US and Canada. In addition to numerous solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums, her award winning projects have been featured on the covers of Sculpture, Landscape Architecture, Espace and World Sculpture News magazines. Her particular interest and strength is working with communities and teams to create environmental sculptural experiences that respond to the unique spirit, shape and function of a place. The use of wind, light, water and computer controlled lighting programs communicate energy and animate the space within her environmental works. Catherine knows the best projects are the result of a lively dialogue with the stakeholders and design team.
Founder, Design Trust for Public Space
New York City
Andrea Woodner’s professional life has been dedicated to the vitality of New York City. In 1995, Andrea founded the Design Trust for Public Space, to unlock the potential of New York’s parks, gardens, public infrastructure, plazas and streetscapes. Today, the Design Trust is nationally recognized for its impact on both policy and design in all five boroughs of the City.
In 2015, Andrea launched the Hercules Art/ Studio Program, to encourage and enable talented young artists to work and engage in dialogue in New York City. The Hercules program offers affordable work studios and shared exhibition and meeting space to young visual artists starting their careers in New York. Seven top graduates from Hunter and Columbia MFA programs now occupy space in the Hercules program in lower Manhattan.
Andrea heads the A. Woodner Fund, supporting a wide range of social, educational and cultural initiatives. She serves on the visiting committees of the Architecture and Design Department of the Museum of Modern Art and the Prints and Drawings Department of the Morgan Library and Museum.