London Design Festival 2022 Medal Winners

Each year, London Design Festival recognises the contribution made by leading design figures and emerging talents to London and the industry with four London Design Medal awarded:

The London Design Medal: the highest accolade bestowed upon an individual who has distinguished themselves within the industry and demonstrated consistent design excellence.

Design Innovation Medal: celebrates entrepreneurship in all its forms, both locally and internationally. It honours an individual for whom design lies at the core of their development and success.

Emerging Design Medal: recognises an impact made on the design scene within five or so years of graduation.

Lifetime Achievement Medal: honours a significant and fundamental contribution to the design industry over the course of a career.

The London Design Medal: Sandy Powell

Sandy Powell is a celebrated costume designer behind the Oscar- and Bafta-winning costumes of The Favourite, The Young Victoria, Velvet Goldmine, Shakespeare in Love, and The Aviator. Powell has worked with over 20 directors on more than 50 films in her four decades in the industry.

Born in 1960, Powell was raised in south London, where she was taught to sew by her mother on a Singer sewing machine and began experimenting with cutting and adapting patterns at a young age. Powell’s career break came when the film director and stage designer Derek Jarman appointed her costume designer on his film, Caravaggio (1986), starring Tilda Swinton and Sean Bean.

She has earned over 75 award nominations and won over 30 awards in her career. At the same time as enjoying a film career, Powell had a 25 year collaboration with the choreographer Lea Anderson who she met on her first day at Central St Martins, designing costumes for her companies The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs. Powell was appointed OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours list for her services to the film industry.

“In film, it’s the people who have worked on the right project that year who get awarded. I’m very grateful and appreciate the fact that my work is recognised, but the London Design Medal is more exciting because it’s design across the board, not just me and other costume designers. This is a huge honour.”

Emerging Design Medal: Joycelyn Longdon

Joycelyn Longdon is a 24-year-old, PhD student at Cambridge University on the Artificial Intelligence For Environmental Risk (AI4ER) programme. Her PhD research will take an interdisciplinary approach, combining Machine Learning (ML), Bioacoustics, Forest Ecology, Indigenous Knowledge (IK) and Sociology to investigate the role of technology in forest conservation.

Longdon’s fieldwork has so far been carried out in Ghana where, with the help of locals, she is installing acoustic sensors to record ambient forest noise and wildlife. Next year, Longdon will revisit the Ghanian communities to present her findings from the forest, and build an interactive tool that helps them engage with ecological data.

She is also the founder of ClimateInColour, an online education platform and community for the climate curious, making climate conversation more accessible and diverse. It stands at the intersection of climate science and social justice and is making climate conversations more accessible and diverse.

Since April 2020 the platform has grown to a community of 27,000 and has collaborated with a wide range of organisations including Estée Lauder, Samsung, Oxford University, The Design Museum, Greenpeace and the Wellcome Collection. Joycelyn was awarded the CCI Knowledge-Exchange Studentship in 2021 supporting collaboration with the British Trust for Ornithology.

“I’m drawn to working on problems that are affecting those who live closest to nature, but are going to be the most vulnerable to it. If technology is going to play a bigger part in conservation, then I think people need to build that technology in equitable and respectful ways.”

Design Innovation Medal: Indy Johar


Indy Johar is an architect, co-founder of 00 and Dark Matter Labs.

On behalf of 00, Johar has co-founded multiple social ventures from Impact Hub Westminster to Impact Hub Birmingham. He has also co-led research projects such as The Compendium for the Civic Economy, whilst supporting several 00 explorations and experiments including the Johar is a non executive director of WikiHouse Foundation & Bloxhub. Johar was a Good Growth Commissioner for the RSA, RIBA Trustee and Advisor to Mayor of London on Good Growth, The Liverpool City Region Land Commissioner, The State of New Jersey - The Future of Work Task Force - amongst others.

Most recently he founded Dark Matter Labs - a field laboratory focused on building the institutional infrastructures for radical civic societies, cities, regions and towns. Dark Matter Labs is a design practice that focuses not on buildings or products, but the underlying ephemeral infrastructure – systems, institutions and policies – that enable or constrain them. These range from laws around property ownership, contracting and public accounting, to entrenched social and political norms and conceptions of value – in other words, the many decisions that shape cities such as London. Dark Matter works with institutions from around the world, from UNDP (Global), Climate-Kic, and McConnell (Canada), to the Scottish Government and Bloxhub (Copenhagen).

He has taught and lectured at various institutions including the University of Bath, TU-Berlin; Architectural Association, University College London, Princeton, Harvard, MIT and New School.

“We're in a moment where most of the world around us is going to have to be reimagined. Design is an act of synthesis, so I think it will play a central role across the material, social and institutional, and how they interweave. I see the discipline growing.”

Lifetime Achievement Medal: Sir Don McCullin CBE

Sir Donald McCullin CBE is a British photojournalist, particularly recognised for his war photography and images of urban strife. His career, which began in 1959, has specialised in examining the underside of society, and his photographs have depicted the unemployed, downtrodden, and impoverished.

For the past six decades, McCullin has designed the way in which we see the world. A combination of sharp eye and hot shoe, nerve and audacity, instinct and curiosity has helped frame world events, inspire thought, form opinions and politicise minds.

Following a north London childhood McCullin was called up for National Service with the RAF. After postings to Egypt, Kenya and Cyprus he returned to London armed with a twin reflex Rolleicord camera and began photographing friends from a local gang named The Guv’nors. Persuaded to show them to the picture editor at the Observer in 1959, aged 23, he earned his first commission and began his long and distinguished career in photography more by accident than design.

Between 1966 and 1984, he worked as an overseas correspondent for the Sunday Times Magazine, recording ecological and man-made catastrophes such as wars, amongst them Biafra in 1968, and victims of the African AIDS epidemic. His hard-hitting coverage of the Vietnam War and the Northern Ireland conflict is held in particularly high regard.

He also took the photographs of Maryon Park in London used in Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 film Blowup. In 1968, on 28 July, he was invited to photograph the Beatles, then at the height of their fame and in the midst of recording The White Album. These sessions, made at several London locations, have become known as The Mad Day Out.

In 1961 he won the British Press Award for his essay on the construction of the Berlin Wall. His first taste of war came in Cyprus, 1964, where he covered the armed eruption of ethnic and nationalistic tension, winning a World Press Photo Award for his efforts. In 1993 he was the first photojournalist to be awarded a CBE.

Unusually, a 2019 Tate Britain retrospective of McCullin’s work saw every photograph having been printed by McCullin himself. He is an expert printer, working in his darkroom at home, returning time and time again to produce the best possible results.

“Everything you do with the camera is creative. It can be a lethal weapon, telling ugly truths, but it can also tell happy stories. Whatever I was doing, I always made sure I did it peacefully. Instead of a rifle, I took the camera.”