Cindy Allen

Interior Design Magazine

New York City

Lauded as "one of the most influential advocates for the interior design industry," Allen has been Editor in Chief of Interior Design for 15 years. 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. She has published nine books on design. It doesn’t stop at the printed page; She is an early adopter of media as a communications tool, and has made over 70 short documentaries featuring the giants of design. She also actively participates in a variety of panels, juries, roundtables, speaking engagements, and industry events worldwide.

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. Allen is the 2014 Open House New York Honoree and is chairman of the national board of DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids).

Verda Alexander

Studio O+A

San Francisco

As the co-founder of Studio O+A, the San Francisco design firm responsible for groundbreaking offices at Facebook, Microsoft, Yelp, Cisco and many others, Verda Alexander has spent 27 years in the design industry redefining workplace. Now as she branches off from the commercial mainstream of O+A’s core business, Verda’s new work focuses on expanding the dialogue between design and the arts.

Her concept booth at the 2017 Salone del Mobile in Milan speculated on the future of workplace in a world of dwindling resources. Her guest editorship at Metropolis Magazine in April 2018 examined the intersection of technology and interiors. Verda’s current works in progress include a public art commission in Seattle and The Food for Thought Truck, a mobile design lab that will take to the road in late 2018 to collaborate with local communities on design interventions and experimental projects.

Named by Contract Magazine Designer of the Year with Primo Orpilla in 2012, Verda is also a member of Interior Design Magazine’s Hall of Fame. In 2016 Studio O+A received the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Interior Design.

Jeffrey Beers

Founder & CEO, Architect
Jeffrey Beers International

New York City

Jeffrey Beers is Founder and CEO of Jeffrey Beers International (JBI). Beers has built a stellar career on creating distinctive and visionary spaces recognized for their lasting appeal. While an architecture student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Jeffrey Beers studied with renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. After graduating, Beers traveled to Brazil on a Fulbright scholarship with a goal of investigating how the arts and architecture could have a more symbiotic relationship. In Brazil, he worked in the office of legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer. Upon returning to New York, Beers accepted a position as a Project Architect with I.M. Pei & Partners, where he managed hotel and entertainment properties throughout the world. In 1986, he founded his own firm, Jeffrey Beers International.

John Cary

Design for Good


An architect by training, John Cary has devoted his career to expanding the practice of design for the public good. John is the author of two books, most recently Design for Good: A New Era of Architecture for Everyone, with a foreword by Melinda Gates. His writing on design, philanthropy, and fatherhood has appeared in The New York Times, on, and in numerous other publications. John works as a philanthropic advisor to an array of foundations and nonprofits around the world, and he frequently curates and hosts events for TED, the Aspen Institute, and other entities. For seven years, John served as executive director of the nonprofit Public Architecture, building the largest pro bono design program in the world, pledging tens of millions of dollars in donated services annually. John is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, a resident of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, and a three-time commencement speaker, among other honors. He lives in a co-housing community with his wife and two daughters in Oakland, Calif.

Linda Covit



After graduating from McGill University (Montreal), Linda Covit became involved with Powerhouse Gallery, an artist-run centre, while developing her sculptural practice. Numerous trips to Japan photographing temples, gardens and contemporary architecture have been influential. She has exhibited in Canada, the U.S., Italy and Japan, and her works figure in collections including the Musée d‘art contemporain Montréal, the Musée du Québec and the Cirque du Soleil. Among her many public artworks are a gift from the Quebec government to Shandong Province, China; an installation on Montreal’s Mount Royal Park commemorating the 1969 John Lennon-Yoko Ono bed-in, (Les Arts et la Ville Prix Aménagement 2012, CSLA/AAPC Regional Merit Award 2011); an art wall with mist at Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel and Residences (Toronto Urban Design Awards: Award of Merit 2015; CSLA Regional Citation/Design 2014); four “rooms” in the Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, Orange, Texas (ASLA Honor Award, 2012). Her monumental sculpture for the MUHC was a CODAawards 2017 winner. A monograph of her work was published in spring 2014 by Plein sud.

Sherry Dobbin

Cultural Director


Sherry is an experienced cultural strategist and producer with significant experience within the public realm and non-traditional spaces. As Cultural Director, she sets the vision and communication of Futurecity with Founder Mark Davy. She provides oversight across all strategy and commissioning, heads the Future\Pace collaboration and focuses on key projects across public, culture and private sector as well arts and technology in the public realm.

Her thirty years of delivery across the US and UK and past thirteen years establishing strategic business plans across arts institutions, as well as developing leading programs and organizations, gives her significant context for establishing policy, strategy and implementation plans. Her expertise across new cultural development models, public-private partnership collaborations, and the role of moving image on private assets in public space makes her a regular speaker, advisor and panelist for international conferences, review committees and for governments.

Reed J. McMillan

Leader, International Architecture + Design Network
Informa Exhibitions


Reed McMillan has a passion for art, design and the creative process. For more than twenty-five years, he has combined his passion with experience in sales, marketing and public relations to work with artists, designers, galleries, and design fairs to promote their businesses.

With considerable professional experience, Reed is currently Leader of the International Architecture + Design Network, ten annual architecture and design fairs produced by Informa Exhibitions in the U.S., Canada, London, and São Paulo. Prior to his current role, he was sales manager for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), and the Architectural Digest Home Design Show, both held annually in New York City. He also worked as shows director for the American Craft Council.

Reed serves on the board of directors of CERF+, a national artists’ service organization whose mission is to safeguard and sustain the careers of artists who work in craft disciplines and to provide emergency resources that benefit all artists. He has juried numerous fine art and design fairs, and speaks at conferences. He currently resides in New York City where he maintains close ties to the art and design communities.

Dan Menchions



With an eye for detail and discerning creative sensibilities, Dan Menchions co-founded II BY IV DESIGN in 1990 with partner Keith Rushbrook. A multi-faceted firm with interior and product design studios, the innovative brand has been creating iconic projects that capture the imagination for over 28 years. Their work spans North America, Europe and Asia with studios in Toronto, London and New York. Their international portfolio features a variety of projects including luxury lifestyle developments, restaurants, hotels, retail and cruise ships, as well as a variety of contemporary furnishings, lighting, textiles and accessories.

Involved at every stage of the design process, Dan collaborates closely with clients to produce ambitious projects that are characterized by the purposeful integration of art. An honours graduate of Humber College’s Bachelor of Applied Arts, Dan is a member of the curatorial committee for the Toronto based charity, Art with Heart and he is the principal designer for II BY IV DESIGN’s condominium development, Minto 30Roe; Minto 30Roe’s Articulated Lobby Screen was the winner of the Residential category in the 2017 CODAawards.

Mark Morton

Principal, Design Director

New York City

As a Principal and Design Director, Mark Morton plays an important role in creating inspiring environments that support his client’s vision, values, and business strategies. Mark is an innovative and versatile designer who believes that his best designs are the result of close collaboration between client, designer, and consultant.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from New York University and a background in theatrical set design, Mark’s creative approach ensures that each design solution is unique to the specific project aspiration, often including collaborations with artists on original site-specific artwork. Mark has also worked and collaborated with many manufacturers to create successful product design offerings.

Karim Rashid

Karim Rashid Inc.

New York City

Visionary and prolific, Karim Rashid is one of the most unique voices in design today. With more than 4000 designs in production, nearly 300 awards to his name, and client work in over 40 countries, Karim’s ability to transcend typology continues to make him a force among designers of his generation.

Eschewing style in favor of designing in the modus of our time, Karim’s designs include luxury goods for Christofle, Alessi, and Veuve Clicquot; democratic products for Umbra, bobble, and 3M; timeless furniture for Bonaldo, Tonelli, BoConcept, and Vondom; exquisite lighting for Artemide and Fontana Arte; high-tech products for Asus and SirinLabs; surface design for Marburg and Abet Laminati; iconic graphics for Citibank and Sony Ericsson; and award-winning packaging for Method, Paris Baguette, Kenzo, and Eos.

Keith Recker

HAND/EYE Magazine

Shelter Island

Keith Recker is the founder and editor of HAND/EYE Magazine, an online publication that profiles forward-looking creators, faraway cultures, ancient craft traditions, and cutting-edge design. HAND/EYE sees humankind’s creative future as handmade, which demands attention the struggle of artisans to earn decent livelihoods through preservation of ancient traditions, innovation of new ones, exploration of new markets, and educating the consuming public about the cultural and economic importance of their work.

Prior to founding HAND/EYE, Recker was vice president of home furnishings at Bloomingdale’s and Gump’s San Francisco, and director at Saks Fifth Avenue. As director of product development at Granet and Associates, Recker helped create relationships between creative brands and manufacturers and marketers serving the retail and design industries. Clients included Clodagh, Suzanne Kasler, Suzanne Tucker, Charlotte Moss, Pantone, and many others.

Michael Rooks

Wieland Family Curator, Contemporary and Modern Art
High Museum of Art


Michael Rooks joined the High Museum as Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art in January 2010. Besides his responsibilities at the High, Rooks was appointed Commissioner and co-curator of the U.S. Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia and is an independent art writer. Prior to joining the High Museum, Rooks held curatorial positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), The Contemporary Museum Honolulu, and the Honolulu Academy of Arts. At MCA, Rooks curated several group exhibitions and solo projects, as well as major retrospective exhibitions of work by Roy Lichtenstein and H. C. Westermann for which he co-authored Westermann’s catalogue rasionné. As curator at The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu Rooks curated more than fifteen exhibitions including projects by Michael Lin, Paul Morrison, and Yoshitomo Nara. His High Museum exhibitions include Workshopping: An American Model of Architectural Practice for the 12th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, KAWS: DOWN TIME, Alex Katz, This Is Now and two historical survey exhibitions entitled Picasso to Warhol: 14 Modern Masters and Fast Forward: Modern Moments 1913-2013. His most recent projects at the High Museum include the traveling exhibition Al Taylor: What Are You Looking At? and Glenn Kaino/Tommie Smith: With Drawn Arms (forthcoming, September 2018).

Ingrid Spencer

Executive Director
AIA Austin and the Austin Foundation for Architecture


Ingrid Spencer is a California native who spent eight years in New York City serving as managing editor of Contract Design and Architectural Record magazines. During her leadership tenure at Architectural Record the magazine won a prestigious National Magazine Award, as well as several other editorial and photography awards. Ingrid relocated to Austin in 2004, where she remained a Contributing Editor for Architectural Record until joining AIA Austin as Executive Director in 2015. She is also the Artistic Director of the Waller Creek Conservancy’s Creek Show installation series. Ingrid’s writing has appeared in Architectural Record, This Old House, Texas Architect, My House magazine, Cowboys&Indians, GreenSource, SNAP, Tribeza, AIArchitect, and other publications.

Hemant Sud is one of India’s leading interior designers, based in New Delhi.

His design firm, Abraxas Interiors (AI), a unit of Abraxas Communications Pvt. Ltd), is a professionally managed private limited company which has been in the field of Interior Design, Project Management, Consultancy and Turnkey Interior Design Solutions for the past almost 30 years.

Hemant has won several accolades & has been honoured numerous times for his excellent & outstanding work in Interior Design. Hemant has been a Keynote speaker in several national and inter- national Seminars and has presented several papers on various topic of Interior Design. Hemant is a jury / guest faculty for several renowned Design educational institutions in Delhi NCR & all over India.

Calvin Tsao, FAIA

Tsao & McKown Architects


Calvin Tsao is a recognized and leading voice in contemporary architecture whose work draws from a lively engagement with a variety of art forms. He serves on the Board of The American Academy in Rome, and is an active board member and President Emeritus of The Architectural League of New York. In 2012 Tsao received a Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Legacy Award and in 2009 the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Award for Interior Design, along with his partner Zack McKown. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, he has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Cooper Union, Syracuse University, and Parsons The New School for Design, and has also served as guest critic and lectured at universities internationally.

Tsao & McKown’s current work includes a wellness and educational center in Suzhou, a community center plus urban farm in Shanghai, an urban farm prototype in Singapore, an office tower in Tokyo, the corporate headquarters for the Glen Raven Textile Company in North Carolina, the renovation of the permanent collection galleries in New York’s Jewish Museum, and numerous residences.

Marc Tsurumaki

LTL Architects

New York City

Marc Tsurumaki, AIA, is a Principal at LTL Architects based in New York City. He received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia and a Master of Architecture from Princeton University. LTL has completed academic, institutional, residential and hospitality projects throughout the United States. LTL received a 2007 National Design Award and has received multiple AIA design awards. The firm’s designs and drawings have been exhibited around the world, including the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, and are part of the permanent collections of the MoMA, SFMoMA, and Carnegie Museum of Art. LTL Architects are the authors of Manual of Section (2016), Intensities (2013), Opportunistic Architecture (2008) and Situation Normal....Pamphlet Architecture #21 (1998). He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture at Columbia University’s GSAPP, and a visiting critic at Cornell AAP NYC. He has served as a Trustee of the Van Alen Institute, a panelist for the New York State Council of the Arts for Architecture and Design and is a General Services Administration National Peer.

Tucker Viemeister

Viemeister Industries

New York City

Tucker Viemeister an industrial designer, most famous for OXO Good Grips kitchen tools that conceived “universal design” designed at Smart Design, the company he helped found in 1979. He was dubbed "Industrial Design’s Elder Wunderkind" (“America's Hottest 40” ID ’95) and “Guru” (BusinessWeek ‘97) when he founded frogdesign’s New York office. Then “scruffy brand-meister” (Architect’s Newspaper ‘06), a “Living Design Innovator” (New York Magazine ‘07), “whiz-kid” ( ‘09), “Star of Design“ (D&D ‘11), one of 125 Pratt Icons (’12), called “industrial demigod” (New York Magazine (3/20/14), and voted one of 50 most notable members of IDSA ever (’16)! He is a fellow of IDSA. He founded Springtime-USA, and the Lab at Rockwell Group. He is now working with Xenario designing the exhibitions for the new Shanghai planetarium. He graduated from Pratt and teaches at Parsons. His work is in MoMA and other the permanent collections, holds 32 US utility patents and was named after a car.

Ilene Shaw

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 its show management in its development, and that of Accent on Design. She leads NY NOW’s green initiative, Sustainability: Design for a Better World.

Shaw serves as a founding member of the NYCxDESIGN Steering Committee, New York City’s official design week, during which Shaw produces Design Pavilion, a 9-day cultural public event intended to increase awareness of the power of design, and NYC Design Talks, offering inspired topics by today’s most insightful design thinkers.

Shaw serves on the board of trustees for DIFFA: The Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS and co-founded Operation Design, creating mentorships and creative programs between architects, designers, artists and NYC public schools.