137: Developing the Design District with Matthew Dearlove

This week, we’re speaking to Matthew Dearlove who is the Head of Design of Greenwich Peninsula at Knight Dragon, the development company.

Matthew’s career started off as an architect, trained in Cambridge and the Royal College of Art. He’s worked internationally. He worked for a brief period at Robert Stern Architects. He was a research associate at Helen Helen Hamlyn Research Centre. He’s worked for De Matos Storey Ryan, Anouska Hempel Design. He’s also founded his own company called Blocwork, which he ran for a number of years.

Most recently, he transitioned his career from the design aspects over into the role of working with developers and kind of almost being a translator between the value of good high-quality design and public space, and how that can be translated into financial and business gains for developer clients.

Knight Dragon is a really forward-thinking development company that has a reverence for design and has a deep understanding of the craft. Their new project Design District, which is located on the Greenwich Peninsula has involved a number of high-caliber architects.

In this episode, Matthew discusses his career, how he moved over from being an architect into this role, Head of Design with a developer, and how he is able to navigate those conversations between design and business.

We also discuss the work behind Design District, how that’s been conceived as a major development, how it’s working, how it’s going to be working financially, how they structured the appointment process, how they came to choose the architects, how they’ve been working with the designers to create a very unique location in London and its metrics for success.


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