The Business of Antiques

Katie joined Toma Clarke Haines, The Antique Diva on her podcast The Business of Antiques.

You can listen to the full episode here

In today’s episode, Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co and founder of The Republic of Toma, talks with Katie Treggiden – author, journalist, podcaster, keynote speaker, and the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a membership community and online learning platform for designers, makers, craftspeople, and artists who want to become more sustainable. This episode is a journey from Katie’s idyllic childhood growing up in Cornwall, surrounded by beaches, moors, and the countryside, going fishing after school on sunny afternoons and having barbecues on the beach for tea to the bright lights of university and then a career in advertising. However, with the disillusionment surrounding what the career in advertising was giving – as Katie puts it,“the simultaneously devastating and the best thing that had ever happened” her at that time in life, and the sudden loss of her job due to the closing of her firm’s London office; this is when Katie Treggiden really started living the design writer’s life she had dreamed of as a child.

Katie’s love for design was the spark that kindled her love of writing, and her severance package bought her six months to makeover her life into that of a full time writer and do that, which she did! Katie’s story, at times, seems straight out of a movie. Her passion and perseverance are an inspiration to listeners who are on their own journeys launching their dream careers in design and antiques. When Toma saw Katie Treggiden’s latest book title–Broken, and the subtitle Mending and Repair in a Throwaway World, she knew she must have this longtime colleague and friend on The Business of Antiques podcast. Broken “celebrates 25 artists, curators, designers and makers who have rejected the allure of the fast, disposable and easy in favor of the patina of use, the stories of age and the longevity of care and repair. Accompanying these profiles, six in-depth essays explore the societal, cultural and environmental roles of mending in a throwaway world.” 

“I think the environmental crisis brings up a lot of feelings and emotions and you can’t create a space that is addressing the environmental crisis without holding space for those emotions you know I talk a lot about,” Katie explains. “Defiant hope and that’s not about passive optimism – that’s about waking up every morning and choosing to believe in a better world and acting accordingly but you can’t do that by bypassing the fear, right? You’ve got to hold space for the fear and hopelessness and the defeat that we all feel and then enable people to move through those feelings and empower them with what they need to take action.” This episode leaves listeners empowered and inspired to carefully and thoughtfully craft their own best lives harnessing their defiant hope to spark meaningful change as Katie Treggiden has.

Learn more about Katie, Making Design Circular, tackling the environmental crisis, and more at

The Antiques Diva & Co: Antique buying tours and sourcing services in 16 countries on 3 continents

Antique Dealer Training Program: Antique dealer training and mentorship & services for new and experienced dealers

Republic of Toma Business and Brand Consulting services:   Consulting services for entrepreneurs helping you to clarify your vision of your business and how it fits in with your personal goals. 

Republic of Toma Fashion: Custom jewelry designed by Toma, inspired by her love of antiques and travel

The Business of Antiques: Podcast on making your antiques business sexy, modern and fun… and PROFITABLE!

The Antiques Diva Furniture Collection By Aidan Gray: Reproductions using classic design mixed with modern materials

Fight to Repair Podcast

The Fight to Repair Podcast: Weekly dispatches from the front lines of the global fight for the right to repair, including interviews with repair warriors on the front lines hosted by Paul Roberts, the founder of and The Security Ledger and Jack Monahan.

Katie Treggiden featured as a guest in episode 019 of the Fight to Repair podcast exploring the surprisingly simple approach to environmentalism that you probably haven’t thought much about is “craft.” talking about why repairers need hope, not guilt!

You can listen to the full episode here

This week we welcome Katie Treggiden, a speaker, podcaster (, and author known for her expertise in craft, design, and sustainability.

Katie’s journey into the world of environmentalism took a unique path. Before she delved into issues like sustainability and circularity, she was a craft and design journalist. What sets Katie apart in her approach to environmentalism is her ability to see the world through the lens of craft.

For her, repair is not just about fixing what’s broken; it’s about storytelling and connection. She believes in the beauty of mending, where ordinary people can breathe new life into items using readily available materials and simple skills.

Katie’s perspective on repair extends beyond the individual level. She envisions a world where repair becomes a cultural norm, where we value objects for their history and the stories they carry. The intersection of environmentalism and repair, as seen through Katie’s eyes, isn’t about sacrifice; it’s about creating a future filled with joy and connection. Nor is repair just a means to do less harm, instead seeing it as a tool for a path towards doing more good.

Katie’s most recent book is all about repair, and we talk through how it relates to everything from human connection to solving our oversized waste problem.

Learn more about Katie’s work:

Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure

Broken: Mending and Repair in a Throwaway World

Making Design Circular Membership Community

Circular podcast

Monocle on Design

To celebrate the London Festival of Architecture, Monocle on Design met with design journalist Katie Treggiden to discuss her latest book on repair and reuse, Broken: Mending and Repair in a throwaway world.

While reuse and repair might not sound glamorous, they are essential practices for designers and industry leaders seeking to reduce their impact on the planet. Design journalist Katie Treggiden discusses her latest book, which spotlights designers, makers and creatives who are disrupting the take-make-waste model.

To listen to the episode on Monocle Radio click here.

BROKEN – Book Launch

In May 2023, Katie celebrated the launch of her sixth book, BROKEN: Mending and Repair in a throwaway world at RAEBURN Lab E20.

We live in a single-use society, where fashion is fast, disposability is the norm and it is easier to replace than to repair. We don’t need to mend things anymore – and yet we do. What is it about Homo faber – man the maker – that cannot resist fixing what is broken?

As we start to decouple from the linear take-make-waste model that has dominated Western economies since the Industrial Revolution and seek something more circular, an enquiry into what mending means has never been more urgent.

With a foreword by The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades, this new book by craft and circularity advocate Katie Treggiden celebrates 25 artists, curators, menders and re-makers who have rejected the allure of the fast, disposable and easy in favour of the patina of use, the stories of age and the longevity of care and repair. Accompanying these profiles, six in-depth essays explore the societal, cultural and environmental roles of mending in a throwaway world.

Katie was interviewed about her book by Yasmin Jones-Henry, a writer and strategist with specialisms across sustainability, design, fashion & culture.

The Lab E20 is designed & produced by RÆBURN: regenerating London’s creative industries, rethinking retail and bringing circular economy design to the built environment.

You can purchase your copy of the book here


The Restart Project – Restart Radio

The Restart Project helps people learn how to repair their broken electronics, and rethink how they consume them in the first place.

Katie Treggiden featured as a guest in episode 086 of the Restart Radio podcast talking about why repairers need hope, not guilt!

This month we talked to author and communicator, Katie Treggiden about her recent book entitled, Broken: Mending & Repair in a Throwaway World. Katie has put decades of thought into helping creatives and makers become more sustainable but also forgive themselves when they can’t be.

Back to her roots

Having grown up surrounded by nature in Cornwall, Katie tells us about her surprising origin story. She spent over a decade working in advertising before pivoting towards her life-long love of writing. With this, she also folded in a new interest – purpose-driven craft and design. Since then, she has explored what this actually means through writing dissertations, books, and hosting a podcast on the topic. With all this experience under her belt, she decided that she wanted to help makers develop their working practices to fit the circular future that we need to build.

How craftspeople are using repair

Katie has previously written about waste and reuse, and her new book Broken puts the focus on repair. She shares some standout case studies from the book of artists and craftspeople who are incorporating repair into their work. These include Celia Pym, Bridget Harvey, Ekta Kaul – all artists who explore repair in entirely different ways.

Katie notes her interest in the different ways repair can be used for example, as a tool to restore practical value, or to add artistic value, or even for self-care. We talk about where repair and hacking fits into the larger culture of craft, and more specifically the ‘craft of use’. She notes how much more difficult electronic repair often is compared to more traditional craft and making. This is especially true now that manufacturers make an effort to conceal the craftsmanship that goes into making (and therefore taking apart and repairing) our devices.

Letting go of guilt in order to move forward

While individual action is of course important, system change is essential for the scale of the problem we are dealing with. When running her courses for creatives, Katie really focuses on this point as key to forward movement. Instead of being weighed down by the personal guilt of climate breakdown, makers need to be led by curiosity and experimentation instead of sustainability perfectionism. We all have a part to play in helping the planet, but it is not our responsibility alone.

“I think really until companies are responsible for the things they sell for their whole lifetime, repair is not going to be the norm.”

Additionally, she stresses the need to be compassionate. There are so many reasons why people may not repair. These include social stigma, a lack of time or resources, or that their stuff is simply not designed to be repaired. Knocking down these barriers is not something anyone can do on their own, rather, we need collective action to change the system.

Practising ‘defiant hope’

It’s difficult to stay optimistic about our power to enact change but Katie believes hope is one of the most important tools we have. There isn’t a one size fits all solution to being sustainable, but what can join us all together in our efforts is our common goal.

“One of the most important parts of my job is staying hopeful and and helping to keep other people hopeful.”


To listen to the episode on Spotify click here.

Webinar: 5-stage path to sustainability, The Design Trust

Katie Treggiden was asked by The Design Trust to join as a guest speaker for The Business Club, with their topic focussing on creating more sustainable businesses – but not in just a ‘yeah, I do my recycling’ way – but really walking the talk when it comes to eco values – a session for giving really practical tips helping businesses move forwards with this properly and long term.

During this session, Katie shared her 5-stage Path to Sustainability, which helps makers to identify which stage of their journey they are at (Acord, Seedling, Sapling, Tree or Forest) and then provides actionable steps to help them move forward from wherever they are towards becoming a fully regenerative business.

She also shared the Making Design Circular framework which explores how they might choose to be rather than what they might choose to do in order to rewild their creative practice so it enables them, their business and the planet to thrive. This includes practices such as letting go of perfectionism and the idea that there is one “right” way to do sustainability and instead embracing imperfect progress towards a values-aligned approach.

Virtual Keynote, iChemE Sustainability Week

Katie Treggiden was asked by iChemE (The Institution of Chemical Engineers) to deliver a virtual keynote for their sustainability week, as they develop sustainability knowledge for chemical engineers.

The keynote challenged the very concept of waste – does it exist, or is it just a category into which we choose to place things? And if waste doesn’t exist, how can each of us contribute to a zero-waste society?

2022 Zero Waste Conference, Vancouver

Katie speaking on stage at an international zero waste conference, wearing a grey shirt, jumpsuit, back glasses and hand expressions

You can watch the highlights here

Image Credit: Metrovancouver Zero Waste Conference 2022

Tarkett Panel Discussion, Clerkenwell Design Week

Katie Treggiden chaired a panel for carpet and flooring company Tarkett during Clerkenwell Design Week 2022. The discussion covered how to break the take-make-waste model from every angle of circularity, what more needs to be done to ensure the right products and materials are specified, their lives are extended as much as possible, and then how materials are reused at the end of their first life.

Panel members:
Marcelo – Tarkett EMEA Sustainability Manager
Sunand Prasad – Principal – Penoyre Prasad
Zoe McLeod – Associate – Sustainability First
Lay Koon Tan – Nature Squared
Nadia Themistocleous – Trifle Creative

Header Image credit Tarkett

Caesar Ceramics Keynote, Clerkenwell Design Week

Katie Treggiden delivered a keynote for Caesar Ceramics as part of Clerkenwell Design Week.  Inspired by Katie’s book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure, the circular economy keynote explored the potential of waste as an exciting new raw material. Katie’s talk opened a Clerkenwell Design week-long discussion focusing on waste reduction and reuse of waste as part of a broader circular approach to design.

Header image credit Caesar Ceramics.

Johnson Tiles Keynote, Clerkenwell Design Week

Material Lab invited Katie Treggiden to host a live event at Clerkenwell Design Week – part four of their studio partner, Johnson Tiles‘ Making it Beautifully series of RIBA accredited CPDs. Katie’s presentation “Beauty Reversed: The ugly truth about waste” asked designers to consider beauty in the context of how beautifully a material performs, for how long and its impact on the environment.

The keynote speech was followed by a hands-on waste workshop led by surface designer Olivia Aspinall, member of Katie Treggiden’s private membership group Making Design Circular. Olivia guided attendees through the process of transforming discarded tiles into terrazzo art.

Image credits Material Lab.

Virtual Keynote, New Balance

Katie Treggiden was asked by footwear brand New Balance to deliver a virtual keynote for their global design team to kick off a week of thinking about how they could become even more sustainable.

The keynote explored the ways in which waste can be eliminated from production and even used as a raw material. 140 members of the company attended the talk, Katie invited the audience to ask questions asked at the end.

Design Hotels Arena 2022 conference, Crete

Circle Events Talk, TOAST

Katie Treggiden was invited by clothing and lifestyle brand TOAST to talk as part of the launch or their clothes swapping initiative TOAST Circle. Since launching in 2019, over 1,500 garments have been swapped, fulfilling the second tenet of the circular economy to keep materials and objects in use.

Katie’s talk took place in TOAST’s Brighton store, exploring the ways in which mending and swapping clothes can contribute to both personal wellbeing and community building. The talk was followed by a Q&A and also broadcast live via TOAST’s Circle page.

Keynote for Sustainability Week, Populous

Katie Treggiden was invited to deliver a keynote for architecture firm Populous to kick off their annual Sustainability Week. Katie spoke at their London office and the keynote was also live-streamed to their other offices around the world.

‘I went to SXSW this year and Katie’s talk was every bit as inspirational and thought-provoking as the talks I heard in Austin.’ – Simon Borg.

Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks, Stockholm Furniture Fair

Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks took place from Feb 8-10 as part of Stockholm Furniture Fair.

Katie Treggiden moderated a 2 virtual panels for the event. The first panel included Ana Cristina Quinones, Lay Koon Tan, Simon Ballen and Susie Jahren. They explored the notion of using waste as a raw material.

In the second panel Katie Treggiden explored mending and repair as tools to keep materials and objects in use with designers, makers and researchers. Katie was joined by artist Bridget Harvey, curator Hans Tan and Caroline Till, co-founder of Franklin Till.

With “Being a Game Changer” as an overall theme, Stockholm Design and Architecture Talks 2022 focussed on the most important issues facing the industry right now.

Dezeen Awards 2021

Katie Treggiden joined the judging panel for the Dezeen Awards 2021, Sustainability Category. This included:

Sustainable building

Any building designed with sustainability in mind including zero-carbon or negative-carbon projects, zero-energy projects, circular projects, reversible buildings or buildings that employ environmentally friendly construction techniques, materials, energy sources etc.

Sustainable interior

Any interior designed with sustainability in mind including projects that use ethically sourced products, make use of recycled materials, use innovative materials etc.

Sustainable design

Any product designed with sustainability in mind including products that follow circular principles or that reduce their impact on (or benefit) the environment.

Visiting Lecturer Programme, Carmarthen School of Art

Carmarthen School of Art offer a college-wide Visiting Lecturer Programme, welcoming speakers from the art, design and craft world to deliver a lecture about their practice. Previous speakers have included Dr Zoe Laughlin, Martin Parr, Kirsty McDougall and Jessica Turrell amongst others. 

Katie Treggiden was invited to contribute to the lecture programme to talk about sustainability in craft and design, delivered virtually to students across FE and HE courses.

Creative Residency Panel, TOAST

Katie Treggiden was invited by clothing and lifestyle brand TOAST to host a panel discussion as part of their Creative Residency. The annual TOAST Creative Residency brings together their community of creative individuals. This year, they hosted their first blended Creative Residency, with a three-day programme of engaging talks, workshops and live demonstrations both online and in person.

Katie was joined on the panel by New Maker Corrie Williamson, artist Abigail Booth, designer maker Darren Appiagyei and craftsman and environmentalist Sebastian Cox. They discussed the reinvention and repurposing of natural materials and the benefits of collaborating with nature in design.

Science Museum – Climate Change: How Consumers and Businesses Can Make a Difference

Do Good and Do Well – A Circular Approach

Sarah Fox’s podcast Do Good and Do Well: How to Be a Changemaker Without Losing Yourself is for people who want to create a positive impact in the world. Sarah Fox shares insights and stories from social and creative entrepreneurs and leaders to help you to feel inspired and reflect on what ‘doing good AND doing well’ means for you as a changemaker. Whether that’s impact, recognition, financial independence, or wellbeing, we cover many topics.

Katie Treggiden featured as a guest in episode 025 of the podcast. Katie explains the circular economy, what Do Good and Do Well means for her, and how money is an important factor in doing well and continuing to do good, and we discuss if craft can save the world. Katie also talks about her new mastermind programme for designer-makers – Waste: A Masterclass.

To listen to the episode on Spotify click here.

Waste in the Workplace – A Panel Discussion for The Great Outdoors

Instagram Live with Sugru founder Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh

Repair & Renewal – A Panel Discussion for Toast

Live talk with Gary Hustwit for Dezeen

The Home Show with Sinead Ryan interview

Circular-ish: the messy reality of circular design

Creating A Circular Society: Turning Trash Into Treasure, Stockholm Design Week 2021

Space Available, Space Talks #014


Katie was invited to take part in Space Available, a podcast which connects the dots to build a better world.

Space Available’s founder, Daniel Mitchell has built up a global community of designers, artists, scientists and environmentalists who he believes can work together to solve problems – and do their bit to try and change things.

Katie spoke to Daniel about making space for a sustainable future.


MCD Virtual Event with Glenn Adamson

The Museum of Craft and Design welcomed writer and speaker Katie Treggiden for a virtual discussion of her new book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure.

The program began with an introduction by the book’s forward author, renowned art critic and curator Glenn Adamson. Wasted, chronicles 30 designers who have founded their artistic and entrepreneurial practices upon principles of sustainability, waste reduction, and circular economics. Each of the featured makers and manufacturers have made reclaimed waste their primary material of construction in hopes of confronting Earth’s ever-ominous climate issues by straying away from the “take-make-waste” consumer model and rethinking the ways in which we can minimise our consumption and relative pollution.

They also explored the sociocultural and economic influences surrounding the book’s featured projects, as well as highlighting the people and ideas reinvigorating streams of waste into both functional and decorative objects.

More of Katie Treggiden’s virtual and public speaking events can be found on her YouTube channel.

Textiles and wellbeing: the new normal (Kvadrat)

Katie was approached to interview global textiles company Kvadrat’s Senior VicePresident of Products Charlotte Bastholmas for a live webinar to explore textiles and wellbeing in the wake of COVID-19.

All copy as provided to the company.

In the wake of COVID19, there is a perception that tactile, natural and porous materials like wood and fabrics are somehow less safe than hard, wipe-clean surfaces like plastic, glass and metal. However, the evidence simply doesn’t bear this out. As companies ready themselves for their employees’ return, health and safety concerns are high on the agenda–and rightly so. Social distancing and good hygiene practices are part of our new normal. However, in the maelstrom of a global health crisis, it is important that we don’t neglect mental health and wellbeing. Natural materials, such as wood and wool, not only offer the lowest survival time for the virus that causes COVID-19, but they can also help improve cognitive performance, creativity and mood. Stimulating the sense of touch through their tactility, they also make us feel more connected, trusting and generous–all important factors as employers seek to redefine the office as a hub for culture and collaboration.

Join design journalist Katie Treggiden in conversation with Kvadrat’s Senior VicePresident of Products Charlotte Bastholmas they explore how we can make sure the new normal is better than the one we’ve left behind.

Valued or Wasted: Four Perspectives on Making a Sustainable Impact


In December 2020, I was invited to join a live panel discussion on the challenges of making sustainability mainstream by Dezeen and Material Lab.

The talk, called Valued or Wasted: Four Perspectives on Making a Sustainable Impact, was moderated by Dezeen’s founder and editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs.

I was joined by The Good Plastics Company founder William Chizhovsky,  Nature Squared founder Lay Koon Tan and Jason Bridges, who is the head of procurement and production support at heritage British tile manufacturer Johnson Tiles.

MAD Brussels Digital Book Launch and Talk

Katie Treggiden in conversation with the Glenn Adamson at MAD Home of Creators in Brussels. They explore some of the themes raised in Katie’s latest book, for which Glenn wrote the foreword, from how waste is generated to what we can learn from craftspeople on what to do about it.

Design With Purpose; Legacy Without Ego – Decorex Virtual 2020

Stitch by Stitch Talk


Stitch by Stitch invited Katie to take part in their series of Instagram Live talks. Katie spoke to Stitch by Stitch co-director Karen Sear Shimali on the subject of sustainability in interiors.

Vancouver Zero Waste Conference

In November 2020 I was invited to deliver the closing keynote for the 10th annual Vancouver Zero Waste Conference.

For 10 years the Zero Waste Conference has been at the forefront of Canada’s circular economy journey. I joined keynote speakers: Beau Lotto, Chelsea Rochman, Michael Green, Suzanne Lee, Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson and Horacio Barbeito.

Sessions included: new materials, the built environment, and how to build back better.

The Human Instinct to Create panel (London Craft Week 2020)

In November 2020 I was invited to chair a panel discussion on The Human Instinct to Create for London Craft Week 2020.

The panel included Kanupriya Verma, CEO of Ikai Asai, with Ikai Asai collaborators Matthew Sasa, Noor Salma, Ayush Kasliwal, and Dharmesh Jadeja.

Photo credit: Ikai Asai

Atlanta Design Festival Talk

In 2020 I was invited to give an online talk for the Atlanta Design Festival on the subject of waste and how it can be turned into something to be treasured once more in a bid to help us to tackle the global waste crisis and climate change.

‘The annual Atlanta Design Festival is an open platform, ideal for fostering international dialogue on the economic and social impact of design. It provides connection, the free exchange of knowledge, design thinking and community building. Each year the Festival brings together independent designers, established brands, young talent, international speakers from academia, NGOs and government entities, exhibitions, installations and architecture tours – all centered on the economic and societal impact of design. We define this activity as ‘the design economy’ – the direct and indirect value created by those who use design in a wide variety of industries.’ Atlanta Design Festival.

DMTV Milkshake: Katie Treggiden Is Making Sense of Waste

In July Katie was invited to take part in an episode of DMTV’s Milkshake. Milkshake is Design Milk’s regular series, asking designers, creatives, educators, and industry professionals to select interview questions at random from their favourite bowl or vessel.

Katie answers include an insight into her latest book Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure.

How to Read an Object (Plymouth College of Art)

In August 2019, Plymouth College of Art invited Katie Treggiden to give a lecture entitled ‘How to read an object’ and host a workshop on the same theme, arming Masters students with the skills to derive knowledge from close visual and material observation of objects that had been designed and made by others, as well the confidence to articulately describe their own work.

PCA lecture grid 1 final.jpg

It was a fascinating lecture, very thought-provoking and an object lesson in how to research in the depth and level of insight our students should be aiming for,’ said Vicky Sykes. ‘Delighted to take part … An insightful experience to reflect upon,’ said Sue Lewry.

PCA lecture Grid 2 final.jpg


During Clerkenwell Design Week 2019, Katie Treggiden was invited to host a talk for workplace interior design practice Trifle* at Workstories’ showroom entitled Designing Human-Centred Workspaces. Katie was joined by (L-R above) Kursty Groves, workplace strategist, author and founder of Shape Work Life; Emma Morley, founder and creative director of Trifle*; Innocent Drinks’ environment and culture leader, David McKay; and Andrea Pattico and Susan Stanley, chief people officer and head of space respectively at MVF. Katie conducted extensive research on the topic and interviewed all of the panelists in advance, ensuring an insightful and free-flowing conversation. The event was fully booked and well attended (despite the sunshine outside!) and broadcast via Instagram Live to those not able to be there in person. ‘That was the best panel event I’ve ever taken part in’ said Kursty Groves afterwards.

Key insights from the talk…

‘The right environments can be healing, and time spent in nature – even if it’s just a moment staring out of a window or even looking at artworks or photography depicting nature – enables us to focus and concentrate better.’ – Kursty Groves, Shape Work Life.

‘Organisations get stuck and workspace design becomes more about numbers than people – then you get genuine sickness, stress and imbalance.’ – Emma Morley, Trifle*.

‘We are providing a variety of spaces, so instead of just open-plan desking and cafes, we are now providing quiet zones for deep work and ‘scrum spaces’ for problem-solving, so we’re supporting different types of work and different types of people.’ – Susan Stanley, MVF.

‘We have to understand what people need to do their best work and how their space needs to function to support that, before we can even start to think about how to make it look pretty.’ – Emma Morley, Trifle*.

‘People are asking for quiet spaces and one-to-one spaces – and that’s not just from introverts, that’s from everyone. Second to that is a desire for flexible working, so we need to enable that, while making sure Fruit Towers is still the hub our people want to come back to.’ – David McKay, Innocent Drinks.

‘We’re putting in a library for deep work; a ‘green room’ full of plants, a zen space, a corner with just one chair and a light, smaller meeting rooms and private spaces that can be booked out as prayer rooms or for new mums to express milk – and all of that came from really listening to our people.’ – Andrea Pattico, MVF

‘My ‘elevate model’ – or 6Es of workspace design – elevates the conversation from floorplans, beyond desks and up into hearts and minds: Establish the vision and objectives; analyse the Efficiencies and free up budget from the inefficiencies; look at Effectiveness – how people actually work, what they really need; then work on Expression – what are the values you want the space to express; Empower people by involving them in the process; and then finally Evolution – it’s going to change so think about what future employees might need.’ – Kursty Groves, Shape Work Life.

‘Workspace design is really about curating employee experiences. I worked with one organisation that wanted their people to whistle on the way to work, and I loved that, so now I always start with that ambition.’ – Andrea Pattico, MVF

‘It has to be genuine and authentic – if you haven’t got under the skin of the people and the brand, it’s not workspace design, it’s just decorating. When you get it right, people can sense a different atmosphere the moment they walk in, the space tells a story and people intuitively feel the values that it embodies.’ – Emma Morley, Trifle*.

‘People want to feel connected to their local communities, so we have partnered with local business, shops, cafes, pubs, gyms and yoga studios in the area to offer MVF-ers a discount. It gets people away from their desks and out into the world and also means we’re supporting local businesses instead of bringing everything in-house.’ – Susan Stanley, MVF.

‘Workspace design is just a tool to nurture culture. We have a large area that is used for Monday morning meetings, lunches and Friday beers – that enables us to share information, supporting transparency; it enables accidental interactions that encourage collaboration; and it builds connections and community.’ – David McKay, Innocent Drinks.

‘I spend time with my nephews, and I draw a lot of inspiration from them when I’m thinking about the future of workspace design. If you spend time with children, they will give you clues about the future. We have got a lot to learn from them.’ – Andrea Pattico, MVF

‘Change is the only constant, so question what really has to be fixed and what can remain flexible so it can respond to the future. Workspace design needs to be hyper-agile. It’s really exciting – we could be having a totally different conversation in two years’ time.’ – Emma Morley, Trifle*.

Photography: Trifle*

Making It In London – Craft at risk (Cockpit Arts)

Katie Treggiden was invited to host the opening event of London Craft Week 2019, a panel event for Cockpit Arts entitled Craft at risk: Making it in London and held in the iconic Leatherseller’s Hall.

 London Craft Week. Leathersellers' Hall. Wednesday May 08, 2019. ©David Mirzoeff 2019

Katie was joined by CEO of Cockpit Arts, Annie Warburton; weaver Majeda Clarke; ceramicist David Marques; and Culture at Risk Officer for the London Mayor, Ed Bayes to discuss the challenges and rewards of making it as a craftsperson in the UK’s capital.

 London Craft Week. Leathersellers' Hall. Wednesday May 08, 2019. ©David Mirzoeff 2019

An interview with each of the panellists before the event ensured the conversation ran smoothly and unearthed new insights from the perspective of both makers and those trying to support them.

 London Craft Week. Leathersellers' Hall. Wednesday May 08, 2019. ©David Mirzoeff 2019

The event sold out and live-streamed via Facebook to enable those outside London to take part.

 London Craft Week. Leathersellers' Hall. Wednesday May 08, 2019. ©David Mirzoeff 2019

All photography by David Mirzoeff / Cockpit Arts

Right to Repair (Skinflint)

Skinflint approached Katie Treggiden about an event during their pop-up at the MARK Product showroom for Clerkenwell Design Week. Katie worked with Skinflint co-founder Sophie Miller to come up with the topic of restoration, mending and repair, playing into Skinflint’s USP while providing editorial value.

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Katie wrote the copy for the Clerkenwell Design Week guide and secured three panellists to sit alongside Katie and Sophie’s partner Chris Miller – textiles artist Celia Pym; artist, maker and Hackney Fixers co-organiser Bridget Harvey; and Justin South, recovering addict and volunteer at Restoration Station.

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Katie conducted extensive research into the topic and pre-interviewed each of the panel, resulting in a fascinating conversation that covered built-in obsolescence, design for repair, the ‘right to repair’ movement, the gender and class implications of mending, the layers of stories in a repaired object, the dangers of westerners appropriating terms like ‘wabi-sabi’ and ‘kintsugi’, conscious consumption, and repair as an act of sustainability, recovery, wellbeing and activism. The event sold-out and secured an engaged audience on the day as well as being live-streamed on Instagram for both Skinflint and MARK Product.

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Designing for Worklife Panel Discussion CDW 2019

During Clerkenwell Design Week, Tarkett invited Katie Treggiden to chair two talks exploring a piece of pan-European research they had recently undertaken into the blurring lines between life and work. In the first talk, entitled Rethinking Stereotypes, Katie was joined by editor Elle Decor in the Netherlands, Evelien Reich; Senior Associate at HASSELL Studio, Catherine van de Heide; and Marc Richard – managing director at contract furniture manufacturer Roger Lewis to expose some of the more surprising findings from the research.

Findings included the fact that staggering 60% of UK workers report negative associations with work, such as feeling ‘like a number’ or ‘relieved to get through the day’ – the worst result in Europe; the UK are most dissatisfied with the look of their office (with men placing higher emphasis on aesthetics than women); less than 10% of UK workers are impressed with the ‘playground’ style offices that Google made famous – instead they want simple, functional, Scandi-style interiors.

Health and wellbeing matter most to UK workers – with particular concerns over air quality, temperature and noise – and younger people are most likely to resent the blurring of boundaries between life and work and want more barriers in place between the two; men are more likely to report struggling with work-life balance than women – and despite most UK employees wanting open plan spaces, only 10% describe their role as collaborative and most prefer to work independently.

The second talk was entitled Designing for Worklife and looked at the UK results in particular. For this talk, Katie was joined by Hannah Nardini, workplace consultant and designer at; Russell Glover: head of design at Peldon Rose, strategy director at FranklinTill, Julian Ellerby; and Measuremen’s Noel Brewster. Both talks were fully attended and broadcast via Instagram Live to an even wider audience.

Weaving: Contemporary Makers on the Loom (Tate Modern)

The Terrace Bookshop at the Tate Modern hosted the launch event for Katie Treggiden’s fourth book, Weavers: Contemporary Makers on the Loom. Katie chaired a talk with a panel comprising four of the weavers from the book: Lauren Chang, Jen Keane, Eleanor Pritchard and Karin Carlander.


The panel explored some of the themes raised in the book such as where weaving sits on David Pye’s spectrum from the workmanship of risk to the workmanship of certainty, the weavers’ relationships with the producers of their yarn and with industry and the purpose of their craft.


The event sold out within a few days of tickets going on sale, and again when more capacity was added – in the end 150 people attended for a packed event (with over 500 more following via Instagram Live), followed by a book signing.


Photography by Yeshen Venema


Katie Treggiden was invited by Desso/Tarkett to chair a panel event to close their Clerkenwell Design Week programme of events with a panel that ‘re-imagined the workspaces of the future’, bringing together everything that has been discussed across the week.


Working closely with Hattrick PR, Katie put together a panel, comprising applied futurist Tom Cheesewright, Gensler’s Ankita Dwivedi, Richard Francis of Monomoy, and workplace consultant Hannah Nardini and interviewed each of them before the event to ensure a smooth-running and informed debate.


The conversation covered about everything from why today’s organisations are like Melanesian Cargo Cults to the impact that Generations X, Y, Z and Alpha are having on contemporary workplaces, from the technology-driven transparency that driving better air and sound quality to a Royal College of Art conceived model for person-centric office design.


The event was fully-booked and the audience was engaged, participating fully in the audience Q&A and joining the panel to network over a buffet lunch afterwards.



Desso/Tarkett commissioned Katie Treggiden to put together a talk exploring contemporary trends in office design. She secured Caroline Till, co-founder of futures agency FranklinTill, for an ‘In Conversation With’ style talk exploring one in particular – tactility. They explored emerging trends such as ‘flesh’, ‘digital reality’, ‘messy play’ and ‘luxe touch’ before talking about their implications for workspaces.


In Conversation with Alejandro Villarreal (Hayche)

Katie Treggiden was invited by H Furniture (since renamed Hayche) to interview founder and creative director in front of a live audience to celebrate the launch of the WW Chair at Clerkenwell Design Week.

The WW Chair was designed by Alejandro Villareal. Inspired by the classic lines of the Windsor chair, its solid wooden seat is given a modern twist in the form of the structured wire backrest. The event was a great success, drawing people into the exhibition space to interact with this piece and the wider collection.

Urban Cabin Press Conference (MINI Living)

MINI Living invited me to host the press conference for their Urban Cabin concept at the London Design Festival – journalists came directly from the V&A as part of the British Land installations tour. I introduced the project and then interviewed the key players involved – Esther Bahne, MINI’s Head of Brand Strategy and Business Innovation; Oke Hauser, Creative Lead for MINI Living; and collaborating architect Sam Jacob – before directing people towards tours of the installation and the book swap that was taking place throughout the week. “Katie is the obvious choice when looking for a respected face from the world of design. Her consultation in the planning stages is invaluable and on the day she engages audiences, keeps panellists on point, and delivers in an authentic and conversational way.” – Rachel Newman, Iris Worldwide for MINI Living


As part of a wider project, Milliken invited me to be “in conversation with” Monocle24’s Josh Fehnert on the subject of my latest book, Urban Potters. Josh grilled me for 45 minutes on the themes raised within the book, which explores the contemporary ceramics movement in six cities around the world – London, New York, São Paulo, Sydney, Copenhagen and Tokyo. We talked about the heritage of ceramics in each of those cities, what’s driving the contemporary revival of studio pottery in urban environments, and finally the research methods I employed in putting the book together. Members of the audience then had the chance to ask questions before I did a book signing, and then raised a glass in celebration. “We all thought the launch event was perfect,” said Lucie Parkin, PR for Milliken.

Professional Practice (Plymouth College of Art)

I recently gave a lecture at Plymouth College of Art for second and third year craft and surface pattern design students about how to engage with journalists and bloggers to gain coverage of their work. I also worked with the course leaders to select just nine students from the summer show whose work will appear at the London Design Fair in September. Part of my lecture was about how to make the most of this opportunity for those selected, while also ensuring those not selected were given advice they could use at other fairs or when not exhibiting. I have worked with Plymouth College of Art for three consequetive years to curate their London Design Fair stand. “Katie is fantastic to work with and always happy to share her immense knowledge of and enthusiasm for the design world.” – Laura Wasley, Plymouth College of Art

Design in Education (Milliken)

Milliken approached me about putting together and chairing a panel event that would drive footfall to their showroom during Clerkenwell Design Week. I suggested a talk exploring the theme of Design in Education, building the Designing Futures campaign they’d been involved in the previous year. I secured high profile and passionate speakers on the subject – cofounder of Barber Osgerby Jay Osgerby, creative director of the Crafts Council Annie Warburton and principle and CEO of Plymouth College of Art Andrew Brewerton. The resulting conversation was informative and inspiring and offered a real insight into what Annie Warburton described as a “wicked problem.” The event was well attended by key industry members and journalists, and the conversation continued into the evening long after the panel event formally concluded.

Sustainable Upholstery (Second Sitters)

Second Sitters took over the Geffrye Museum 02 – 21 May 2017, showcasing a timeline of the evolution and new revolution within the craft of upholstery, in an exhibition entitled Upholstery: Evolution to Revolution, supported by the Arts Council England. As part of the programme of events that ran alongside that exhibition I chaired a panel event about sustainability in upholstery with panel members designer Ella Doran, founder of Frame and Cover Corinne Webb, Tim Cox of Coakley and Cox Ltd, and Alex Law, founder of School of Upholstery.






100% Norway in 60 Minutes (London Design Fair)

In September 2016, I was asked by The Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DOGA) to chair a panel event to coincide with 100% Norway, a showcase of the country’s design during the London Design Festival. The panel comprised exhibition curator Max Fraser and two of the design brands featured, Kim Thome and Vera & Kyte. We explored Norway’s design heritage, its role in the current trend for Scandinavian design, and what it means to be a Norwegian designer today.

(R)evolutionary Education (Design Prize Switzerland)

In September 2016 I was invited by the curator of Design Prize Switzerland, Michel Hueter, to moderate and chair (R)eveolutionary Education – a series of presentations from students studying in Switzerland, followed by a panel comprising lecturers and course leaders from Switzerland’s top design schools to explore the country’s design education system. “Thank you for your precious collaboration,” said Michel. “It was a pleasure to have your support and I was really pleased with how quickly we connected and you understood and also embodied the both questions we wanted to address and the insights we wanted to pass on. Everyone was really happy.”

The future of the home (Monocle x Kohler)

During the London Design Festival 2016, I was invited by Monocle to take part in a panel event about the future of the home, as part of Kohler’s Design Forum: Design in Everyday Life series. Led by Monocle’s Josh Fehnert, the panel, which comprised creative consultant Hugh McDonald, Kohler’s Mark Bickerstafffe, and me, engaged in a lively discussion about everything from the Danish concept of Hygge to the internet of things.

The Quest for Identity (Desso)

In May 2016 I chaired a panel event entitled The Quest for Identity for Desso as part of Clerkenwell Design Week. My panelists were Novocastrian’s Richy Almond, Hampson Wood’s Jonty Hampson and The New Craftsmen’s Natalie Melton. The panel was part of a wider project for which I also curated a small exhibition and accompanying workshops programme and commissioned the showroom’s hero window display.

You can listen to an audio-recording of the event here.

The Making of a Magazine (magCulture)

In May 2016 I was invited to take part in a special edition of the magCulture Meets series of events for Clerkenwell Design Week entitled The Making of a Magazine. Stack’s Steve Watson interviewed Fiera Magazine’s creative director, Jeremy Leslie, Issue 04 illustrator Alice Bowsher and me about the making of the current issue.

You can listen to an audio recording of the event here.

Design Undefined (Clerkenwell London)

Photography by Dan Weill

In May 2016, I chaired a panel event entitled Design Undefined for Clerkenwell London as part of Clerkenwell Design Week. Introduced by CEO Sara Carter, I interviewed Seetal Solanki and Kia Utzon in front of a live audience about their non-traditional routes into design and their cross-disciplinary practices today. The breakfast panel formed part of a wider event, for which I also curated a selection of products from the latest issue of Fiera Magazine around the same theme.

Photography by Dan Weill


Designing Futures (Milliken)

In April 2016, I was invited by Milliken and Jade Ilke to chair a panel event exploring how we can lessen the barriers for young people entering the design, manufacturing, installation, building and construction industries. The panel event was part of Designing Futures, a programme of workshops, activities and work experience for young people during Clerkenwell Design Week.

In Conversation with Sir Kenneth Grange, Anglepoise

In Conversation with Sir Kenneth Grange, Anglepoise, May 2014

I was commissioned to interview legendary British designer Sir Kenneth Grange in front of a live audience as part of the Clerkenwell Talks programme at Clerkenwell Design Week.

Here are some snippets from our conversation and you can find an edited version of the film below:

“I went in to Jack [Howe] and I said look there’s this job that I’ve been offered and I’d like you to do it. And to my horror, to my absolute horror he said, ‘No I don’t think that’s a good idea, I think you should resign and do this yourself.’ He had the wit and the generosity [to realise] that this might be the making of a man’s life, and it was.”

“I’ve worked a lot more, not necessarily better, but I bloody worked more hours, so you can’t avoid overtaking anybody else can you? You can make the biggest blunders in the world, but the likelihood is on average you’re still going to overtake your competitors just because you’ve put more time in. Somewhere in my makeup I’ve got an instinct for work.”

“My advice for a young designer? Work 80 hours a week.”

“It’s a marvellous world to be allowed into isn’t it? I mean, to even get paid for enjoying yourself. You wake up and you’ve got something to do, something which is creative, it’s uplifting isn’t it? Even if it’s only repairing an old window – if you do it really well and make light of it or do it better than the tradesman is going to do, it’s all part and parcel of what makes our life worthwhile. Anybody who has the good fortune to get into this trade… it’s not easy and you do get knocked about a lot, but I think underlying it all, it’s still worthwhile waking up in the morning.”

“I come from a very modest beginning and family. I don’t start with an assumption that I know better, therefore the only thing I can get hold of is whether something will work well or not.”

“You’ve got to embrace the notion that someone’s going to enjoy using [what you’ve designed] and as long as we’ve got hands and feet and eyes, using it means the engagement of our senses with the thing itself. You should aspire to make every damned thing better somehow.”

“I’ve got two Apple computers. Both of them are bloody difficult to find the switch for on and off. It’s a conceit that they assume that you’re part of their world, that you’ve been such an ardent admirer that you’ve been allowed through the door of knowing where the button is. If you’re smart enough and your fingers are delicate enough, just around that corner is something that you won’t even know you’ve moved, but just around that corner, you know you’ve been successful because the light comes on.”

Short version:

Long version: