Posted in Business, News, People on 9 July, 2020

The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) is pleased to welcome the new BIID President for the 2020-2021 term, Lester Bennett, who officially took on the role at the BIID Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 2nd July, held via online video conference. The BIID also presented its two prestigious Institute awards, the CPD Award and the Merit Award, to recognise the achievements of individual BIID Members who have made a valuable contribution to the institute.

The BIID AGM provides members with the chance to learn about the Institute’s progress over the past twelve months and vote in new directors. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, and following member consultation, this year the AGM was held online for the first time.

BIID President

The AGM marked the official hand-over to new BIID President Lester Bennett (pictured), who takes over from Harriet Forde. Lester Bennett has 40 years’ experience gained from running his own practice, being a design director for a plc residential developer, a founding partner of Folio Design LLP and now an independent consultant. Although his main sphere of expertise is residential interior architecture and design, Lester has experience in commercial and retail design, industrial, exhibition and product design.

Prior to setting up Folio Design LLP, Lester was Design Director at Westcity Wates/Westcity Developers, delivering prestigious and iconic London residential schemes such as West End Quay, The Phillimores (now Academy Gardens), Pavilion Apartments and Phillimore Square (now Thornwood Gardens). His concept work and his understanding of high end, and often cutting-edge, residential design earned these schemes national and international awards.

In addition to his work in the contemporary field, Lester has studied, and lectured on, the history of the English House and is well versed in period interiors, informing his work on many historic and listed buildings. Lester also has a thorough understanding of cabinet making and site construction techniques, materials and processes, and is a passionate advocate for the art of hand drawing.

Lester commented: “I feel very honoured to be the new president of the BIID, there have been so many amazing people who have fulfilled this role in the past, not least Harriet from whom I am taking over, that I am only too aware that these are big boots to fill.

This will certainly be a challenging year, but I am extremely lucky in that I have the support of a most excellent Council and admin staff who work tirelessly for the benefit of the Institute and its members.

I look forward to continuing the work on the initiatives we already have in place, to help our members through this difficult time, and to help develop further ideas to benefit and expand our membership.”

CPD Award

Commitment to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) helps to ensure that BIID Members are keeping up to date with the latest developments in a rapidly changing industry. All BIID Members are required to undertake an annual CPD requirement of 20 hours to remain a Member.

The CPD Award honours the BIID Member who has far exceeded the minimum CPD requirement in that year. At the 2020 AGM, the recipient of the award was BIID Registered Interior Designer Nagashima Masumi, who accrued 111 CPD points between 1st April 2019 and 31st March 2020.

Merit Award

The Merit Award honours a member who has particularly excelled in three key criteria: excellence in interior design practice; a contribution to the development of the Institute and a commitment to the wider field of design education. Chosen by the awards committee, the 2020 award was given to BIID Registered Interior Designer and Director of Studies at KLC School of Design, Diana McKnight.

Diana trained as an interior designer before subsequently achieving an MA in teaching. In addition to running her own interior design practice, she has trained thousands of designers, including many BIID members, in her role of Director of Studies at KLC School of Design. She is responsible for the academic content, planning, management and delivery of all courses at KLC and has lectured in Japan and Russia as well as in the UK.

Diana joined the BIID in 1995 and has volunteered in many different capacities including the Registration Assessment Panel, the Professional Pathway Committee, the Professional Practice Committee and has also been a mentor for designers starting out in their careers.

For more information about the BIID, please visit

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