About Us

The Cheltenham Design Foundation was established in 2009 by design professionals living and working in Gloucestershire.

We are a registered charity that aims to explore the new, the exciting, and the innovative across all areas of design.

We do this through two key activities:

The Design Festival

Our bi-annual festival with design at its heart engages the public with the very best design thinking through talks from industry leaders, debates and workshops.

Good design improves the way we live and helps us navigate the world around us. We can design for healthy living, to ease the ageing process or against crime. Design can drive productivity, business growth or scientific advancement. Our programmes engage audiences with design and the design process examining how it influences our world today and our world tomorrow.

The Design Academy

Our free, 13-week Saturday design school, where we introduce 13-16 year old students to the process and practice of design disciplines. Each week students are led by practicing design professionals and work individually or in teams on projects exploring disciplines from graphics to landscape design, offering inspiration and opportunities to young people through design, showing how creativity can improve their lives and others.

Download Academy Prospectus

Our Design Festival and Academy will educate, inspire and engage the general public and the next generation of creative individuals.

Taking the notion that today’s thoughts, ideas and concepts shape tomorrow’s world we believe that everyone should care and take an interest.

We offer an opportunity to develop design ‘literacy’ by showcasing thoughts, ideas and concepts that underpin our intellectual and cultural lives.

Through interactive debate, talks, and experiential activities we create opportunities to discuss and develop these ideas whilst encouraging the public to engage with them in innovative and exciting ways.

“Design and design skills are at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution. They give us the tools to respond to these unprecedented challenges, and instigate the growth, innovation and jobs that will drive the UK’s global future.” – Sarah Weir OBE CEO, Design Council, 2018

The Team

Andy Thorne

Chair of the Cheltenham Design Foundation,

Founder of Factory Pattern 

Rob Beswick

Foundation Trustee

Founder of BD Landscape Architects

Helen Rea

Foundation Trustee

Director Glazzards Architects

Simon Rea

Foundation Trustee

Director Glazzards Architects

Georgina Thorne 

Festival Director

Co-founder of Factory Pattern

Fred Pensom

Foundation Trustee

Head of Product Design at Curtis Fitch

Kate Atkinson

Festival Content and Marketing Director

Content & social manager at IRESS

Dorian Ursell

Head of Fundraising

Founder of 9320 Sponsorship

Hannah Tierney

Head of Festival Communications

Studio Executive at Third Floor Design

Olivia Buckley

Festival Designer

Junior Graphic Designer at Factory Pattern

Becca Stanley

Festival Administrator

Account Manager at Factory Pattern

Tickets now available!

Buy your tickets now and secure your place at this year’s design festival.

Tickets now available!

Buy your tickets now and secure your place at this year’s design festival.