The Team

The Design South East Team

Our core team of built environment professionals and support staff delivers many of our key programmes and services:

Chris Lamb – Director

Chris is the Director of Design South East, an independent organisation supporting a better built environment across the South East, London and the East of England. Chris trained as an architect and practiced for a number of years graduating from the Bartlett. He taught post-graduate architecture and urban design for many years and has a Masters in Architecture. After developing the Architecture Centre for the Humber sub-region, Chris joined Design South East, then Kent Architecture Centre. Chris led the organisation through the period following the loss of public funding into a successful social enterprise. This period also saw a widening of the organisation’s scope as it worked increasingly across the South East, the East of England and now London. Design South East’s design review service is one of the most respected sources of independent built environment design advice in the UK and is involved in numerous major projects including new settlements and urban extensions. In parallel Design South East is developing new models of public engagement and launched Kent Design, a unique county wide membership built environment networking and skills programme.
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David Tittle – Head of Design Advice

After an early career in business and providing business advice, David decided to make the built environment the focus of his career while working at the Civic Trust from 2001 to 2003. He later founded R99, a company specialising in urban design training for local authorities and others. He has designed, managed and delivered a number of training programmes for Government, Urban Design London and individual local authorities.  For five years David managed the international Urban Design Summer School.

David joined MADE, the built environment centre in the West Midlands, in 2008 and became Chief Executive in 2011. He saw MADE through the transition from a publicly funded organisation to one which supports itself through fees and project income.  MADE provided the regional design review service, training and design support for local authorities, design professionals and developers as well as arts, heritage and education projects. In 2015 David was invited to give evidence to the UK House of Lords select committee on national policy for the built environment. David has post-graduate diplomas in both Marketing and Urban Design.

Sarah Brown – Programme Coordinator

Sarah has 14 years experience of the coordination of design review. An excellent communicator, Sarah ensures that all stakeholders are regularly updated and will rapidly unlock any issues to make sure the design review process progresses to schedule.  Sarah also provides project support for Design South East’s training programmes, including Kent Design.

Sogand Babol – Design Advisor

Sogand is an architect and urban designer with a specific interest in research-based practice, strategy, participation, and the city. She gained her Part 3 at the University of Westminster, Part 2 as a member of the Free Unit at London Metropolitan University, graduating with distinction, and Part 1 from the University of Sheffield, with a first. Her diploma project won a North West London Society of Architects RIBA award for quality design combined with social engagement, entrepreneurship and activism.  Sogand is also member of OKRA CIC, an architecture collective who co-founded a new workspace on industrial land off the Old Kent Road in London.

Xan Goetzee-Barral – Design Advisor

Xan’s background is in Urban Planning and Urban Design, and since graduating he has worked in urban planning and project management in the private, public and charity sectors, in the UK, Australia and East Africa.

Prior to joining Design South East, Xan worked at Sustrans, the UK’s leading active travel charity. He worked on community engagement, collaborative design and cycling infrastructure projects and events with local authorities and Transport for London. He has also worked at Nesta, on the Flying High Challenge. This involved investigating the development and integration of drones across the UK, including carrying out research and engaging in outreach with city, technology and civil society stakeholders.

Xan obtained a BSc Hons in Urban Planning, Design and Management from The Bartlett, UCL, with an exchange semester at The University of Melbourne. During this time he carried out research into community-led design and produced a masterplan as part of his final degree submission.

Jade Huang – Design Advisor

Architect, Jade Huang joined us from AAB architects where she has been working on public, community and education projects and their independent self-led urban research initiative, Locus Focus. Jade also teaches at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff. Previous to that she had over three years’ experience with Stanton Williams architects, working on award winning healthcare, higher education and public arts projects. Jade also spent six months in China working for the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, a government agency for architecture, planning and urban design.

Outside of work Jade has led workshops with housing and homelessness charity Crisis and the RIBA, as well as within schools and community theatres. She has recently been appointed as governor at a pedagogically forward-thinking secondary school, the UCL Academy in Camden.

Rosie Dennis – Design Advisor

Rosie’s background is in surveying and planning in both an urban and rural context. She is currently undergoing a part-time masters at The Bartlett, UCL, in Urban Regeneration (to be completed in 2020).

Prior to DSE Rosie worked at JLL as an Assistant Town Planner, working on projects in London and South East England most specifically in education and residential sectors. Her particular focus was in Affordable Housing where she worked with national housing associations to deliver affordable housing in small to large scale projects. Prior to this, Rosie worked in affordable housing viability consultancy, where she performed viability assessments for new build residential and mixed use development, and valued new build and existing housing stock for loan security and acquisition purposes.

Prior to moving to London she worked in a rural setting managing two estates close to Lewes, Sussex, that comprised a diverse portfolio of commercial, agricultural and residential property.

Rosie obtained a BSc Hons in Real Estate at the University of Reading, during which time she volunteered for the National Trust conducting research into natural flood management systems and compiling case studies to inform the creation of rural design guides for use as best practice guidance for rural surveyors.

Kieran Toms – Design Advisor

Kieran’s background is in Urban Design and research. He came to Design South East from the social enterprise Create Streets where he was responsible for working with a range of Local Authorities, Housing Associations and community groups to help them positively influence the built environment through urban design, strategy advice and advocacy; and for undertaking a wide range qualitative and quantitative researching on the built environment in relation to wellbeing, happiness, popularity and value.

He previously worked for the London Borough of Hounslow where he worked on policy, strategy and implementation around transport planning and public realm projects including the implementation of Cycle Superhighways and Quietways.

Prior to that he worked for Copenhagenize Design Consultancy in Copenhagen, specialising in bicycle culture, urban policy, and communications, making the case worldwide for cycling.

He started his career in community organising, working for London Citizens in the build up to the 2012 Olympics on a programme to create links between Olympic employers, community groups and employment training opportunities, before undertaking the ‘4 Cities’ Masters in Urban Studies, jointly awarded by the Universities of Vienna, Brussels, Copenhagen and Madrid – involving living and studying in each of these cities over 2 years.

Kieran serves on the steering committee of the Academy of Urbanism’s Young Urbanist organisation – outside of work he plays music and supports Leyton Orient FC.

Laura Lewis-Davies – Learning Manager

As a qualified Lecturer delivering 3D Design qualifications, including small-, human-, and large-scale design projects, Laura also has extensive experience as a Museum Educator, working with local and national museums to increase diversity within the sector and develop sustained community engagement strategies.

In her previous role at the V&A Museum, Laura managed a work-based learning provision focused on skills development within conservation and collections care, curatorial and visitor experience specialisms where she trained ACR Conservators to assess vocational qualifications, and co-developed a programme to empower Gallery Assistants to unlock the hidden narratives behind objects to inspire diverse audiences.

Leading on the creation of new apprenticeships for the V&A and the sector, Laura was appointed to the Department for Education’s Creative & Design T-Level panel, interrogating policy decisions and advising on the development of new qualifications within the Cultural Heritage pathway. Prior to that Laura worked for national awarding bodies to write exams, moderate assessment decisions, and ensure that qualifications were assessed to the national standards.

With her first degree in Architecture, Laura is an award-winning selfbuilder, having completed two houses on gap and infill sites, winning RIBA London and national awards. Laura is also a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) committed to enriching society through ideas and actions.

Julie Payne – Events and Marketing Coordinator

Prior to joining Design South East in October 2016, Julie gained experience of working within a London based architectural design studio, providing administrative support to the Chairman, studio directors, architects and interior design team.  Her role was quite varied but also specialised in hospitality and events, marketing and bid support, as well as studio, office and building management and also frontline support. Julie’s previous experience of PA/office management was built up from working in the computer games and entertainment industry and also some time spent working at a private medical practice, and for the NHS.

Eleanor Wood – Administrator

Eleanor previously attended Canterbury College and more recently completed her Business Administration NVQ II within a Legal Secretary Apprenticeship.