Mayor Khan names 50 ‘design advocates’ to help make London better

"Good Growth by Design" programme launched to create "a legacy of world-class buildings, outstanding public realm and large-scale regeneration for Londoners of the future"

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced a batch of “design advocates” – including Sir David Adjaye, Wayne Hemingway MBE and Sadie Morgan – to work with City Hall to improve the architecture and design of the capital and its neighbourhoods.

It’s all part of a new programme called Good Growth by Design, and, as the city’s population closes in on 10 million, marks Khan’s first major intervention on this topic. The Mayor used a speech at the LSE to call on London’s architectural, design and built environment professions to help make “a city that is socially and economically inclusive as well as environmentally sustainable”.

On the housing front, the programme has ambitions to build the 50,000 new homes a year needed to keep up with demand – but to do so while “leaving a legacy of world-class buildings, outstanding public realm and large-scale regeneration for Londoners of the future”.

New homes built in Greater London, 1871-2014 (via

A large-name panel of 50 design gurus has been co-opted to help out, including architects Sir David Adjaye OBE and Sadie Morgan, and fashion designer Wayne Hemingway MBE.

The Good Growth by Design programme promises to:

  • Set ambitious design standards.
  • Apply these standards and undertake rigorous design reviews.
  • Increase capacity by launching a new social enterprise – ‘Public Practice’ – that will place talented designers and planners in local authorities for up to a year, plugging the skills gap and creating a sense of common endeavour in enhancing London’s built environment.
  • Support diversity by pushing the firms that City Hall commissions to do much more to tackle the under-representation of women and people from minority groups in the built environment professions.
  • Use open procurement processes such as design competitions to seek the highest standards for public projects.
  • Lead by example, with the Greater London Authority being champions of good growth by advocating best practice to support success across the sector.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan: “My vision for London is a city that enables all Londoners to reach their potential, a city that is inclusive and a city where growth brings benefits to communities.

“London is facing unprecedented population growth and with that comes challenging work, but also amazing opportunities to deliver a city that is socially integrated, sustainable, healthier, safer and with a world class public realm. We must embrace London’s rapid growth with both hands and take this chance to use good architecture and planning to make a real difference to the lives of Londoners. And this is a chance to learn from past mistakes, some of which are still dotted across our city, and blight the lives of the communities that live in them.

“We’ve already seen examples of where good growth can lead to a host of other benefits such as better social integration amongst different communities and generations, and new transport links transforming areas and local economies.

“One of the way I want to apply the principles of Good Growth is to re-balance development in London away from the high-price homes in central London towards more genuinely affordable homes for all Londoners.

“This is just one of the ways in which Good Growth has the potential to transform London. This programme will ensure we make the most of London’s growth so that every community is able to share in the fruits of development.”

Sir David Adjaye OBE: “Predictions of unprecedented growth within our capital urgently necessitate exceptional leadership and unparalleled design strategies in order for London to thrive as a successful and sustainable World city.  But how also do we create and shape a city that benefits everyone, a city with inclusivity and diversity at its heart?  These are one of the key challenges I will relish working on with Mayor Khan, my fellow Design Advocates and the citizens that live, work and visit our great capital and it will be an absolute honour to play a part in re-imagining London’s future.”

Wayne Hemingway MBE: “I’ve been a designer working in London since 1980 and have seen the city benefit no end from design and witnessed the UK design industry go from being considered in many quarters to being a bit of fluff to being rightly recognised as one of the most dynamic drivers of our economy . I am looking forward to putting these 37 years to good practice as a Mayors Design Advocate.”

Sadie Morgan: “For me, London is the greatest city in the world, but it will only prosper if it is fit for the next century and beyond.

“With pressure on the world’s natural resources increasing, architects and designers can help government create a future that is sustainable and which encourages the next generation to flourish and prosper; a beautiful city whose residents are housed well and safely, in which travel is accessible and affordable, the air is clean, and where the public realm is truly for the public good.

“I have spent my professional career advocating the importance of good design. I’m absolutely delighted to be chosen as one of the Mayor’s Design Advocates, and will continue to make the case that people and place should be at the forefront of our thinking when designing our built environment.”

Here’s the full list of Khan’s Design Advocates:

  • Sir David Adjaye OBE
  • Hiro Aso
  • Joanna Averley
  • Rachel Bagenal
  • Clara Bagenal George
  • Claire Bennie
  • Dinah Bornat
  • Andy von Bradsky
  • Alison Brooks
  • Adam Brown
  • Peter Coleman
  • Russell Curtis
  • John Dales
  • Irene Djao-Rakitine
  • Alex Ely
  • Liza Fior
  • Kathryn Firth
  • Daisy Froud
  • Alice Fung
  • Roger Hawkins
  • Wayne Hemingway MBE
  • Dan Hill
  • Tom Holbrook
  • Rory Hyde
  • Indy Johar
  • Dipa Joshi
  • Paul Karakusevic
  • Adam Khan
  • Lynn Kinnear
  • Vincent Lacovara
  • Richard Lavington
  • Christopher Lee
  • Julian Lewis
  • Holly Lewis
  • Laura Mazzeo
  • Sadie Morgan
  • Peter Murray
  • Lucy Musgrave
  • Fabienne Nicholas
  • David Ogunmuyiwa
  • Elsie Owusu OBE
  • Julia Park
  • Sowmya Parthasarathy
  • Manisha Patel
  • Sunand Prasad
  • Hilary Satchwell
  • Monica von Schmalensee
  • Fiona Scott
  • Neil Smith
  • Maria Smith
  • Paloma Strelitz
  • David West