Charles’s talk is ‘Brand It Like Beckham: The Nature of Identity’. Charles says:
‘We shape our modern identities by the choices we make. Brands like David Beckham invade every part of our modern lives. We understand who someone is by the brands they trust. We identify ourselves relative to our affiliations. We choose our interiors and interior designers by what they can do for us. At the very heart of this process is communication, optimism, and belief. And at the heart of that is our desire to share values and to belong. But how does this happen? Is creativity a universal human trait or do designers use their minds differently? My talk will explore the starting point of all identities, the human mind, and particularly the designers mind and how we define identity and its modern consequence, the ‘brand’. We will explore pattern making minds, the triune brain, attention, consciousness, beliefs, emotion, brain Biases, story-telling, memory, association, qualia, the Umvelt, method acting, decision making, tribes, optimism, messages and meaning.’
Charles trained as a theatre designer and began his professional career working for the National Theatre and the English National Opera, designing stage sets for theatre, opera and ballet in the UK and abroad. This led naturally into designing for film, working on several feature productions for Golan Globus and Working Title. In 1988, he was invited to join the UK’s foremost international hotel design company where he remained for five years, working on luxury hotels across Europe. In 1994, Charles established his own design practice, Charles Leon Associates which specialised in hospitality and residential design, working mostly with entrepreneurs and hotel developers. In 2010, he was joined by Nicholas Black and in 2014 they formed the partnership Leon Black.
Charles joined the BIID council following the 2013 merger with the Interior Design Association (IDA), where he was formerly Chairman. He currently leads the BIID Education Committee, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA) and is also a guest lecturer at Middlesex University. Charles is renowned for his captivating lectures, talks and seminars on the theory of design and design thinking, and will be imparting his expert knowledge with the BIID conference audience.
To view the full conference programme please click here.