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Stephen Bayley speaker

Stephen Bayley

speaker location icon London, UK

World-renowned designer and cultural critic

First CEO of London’s Design Museum

Best-selling author, columnist and broadcast commentator

“I don’t know anybody with more interesting observations about style, taste and contemporary design.” Tom Wolfe

Stephen Bayley is one of the world’s best known commentators on modern culture, art and design. With Sir Terence Conran he created the influential Boilerhouse Project in the Victoria & Albert Museum, Britain’s first permanent exhibition of design. This became London’s most successful exhibition space during the eighties and evolved into the influential Design Museum which Mrs Thatcher opened in 1989. He then became Chief Executive of the Design Museum in London, which grew out of the Boilerhouse Project.

Stephen is also a consultant working with designers, architects, consumer goods and manufacturing businesses at the highest level. These include Ford, Coca-Cola, BMW and Conran.

In 1997, Stephen was appointed as the creative director of the exhibition at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich but, after a series of high profile disputes with Peter Mandelson, he resigned in 1998 citing ministerial interference.

In honour of his many contributions to contemporary design, Stephen has been made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a Honorary Fellow of the RIBA, a Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales and a Fellow of Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.

As a best-selling author, Stephen has written books such as Life’s a Pitch (Corgi, 2007), Liverpool: Shaping the City (RIBA Publishing, 2010), and more recently, Ugly: The Aesthetics Of Everything (Goodman Books, 2012). He contributes regularly to The Observer, The Daily Mail, The Times, The Spectator, The Los Angeles Times, High Life, New Statesman, and The Independent. Stephen is also a contributing editor of GQ and Management Today.

Our Comment

"Once described as ‘the second most intelligent man in Britain’, Stephen has had some spectacular victories at the Intelligence Squared debates over the years, not least through his wit and charm. His best-selling books and award-winning journalism have, over the past thirty years, changed the way the world thinks about design."

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