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Design Meets Insight - Ep 5: Feeling Empowered in Public Space

Welcome to Design Meets Insight, our podcast series where we share some of the fascinating and inspiring conversations we have with creators and innovators who work in and around the world of design. At Heta, our focus is on people and how we can create uplifting and delightful places for people to live well, now and into the future. This podcast is centred around just that, and explores how we can prioritise healthy living, social equality and resilience to create sustainable buildings, communities and cities.

21st April 2022
Design Meets Insight Podcast
Design Meets Insight - Ep 5: Feeling Empowered in Public Space

Public spaces for all.

Simply because space is deemed ‘public’ does not mean it is automatically or inherently inclusive. In this episode, our guests Pippa Catterall and Adam Bray share their views on how we can create public spaces that are truly safe and welcoming, and how we can all feel empowered to use them.

We get to the fundamental conversation around who has power in public spaces – from the people who design them to the organisations who often claim them, and how design can signal and encourage everything from authority to equality. We also discuss the tension between the desire – and need - to blend into society while simultaneously championing diversity and inclusion.

Pippa Catterall is Professor of History and Policy at the University of Westminster, editor of National Identities and Chair of AIDS Memory UK. She has published widely on subjects including heritage, the development of the media, constitutional history, and international relations. Reflecting her role as a member of Westminster’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, her recent research focuses upon the relationship between inclusivity and public space. This resulted in the report and film on Queering Public Space that, with Ammar Azzouz, she published in 2021.

Adam Bray is a Director at Savills and heads up the place-shaping team within London, helping deliver programmes of cultural activity at sites across the capital including King’s Cross, London Bridge City and The Leadenhall Building. He is particularly active in areas of diversity & inclusion and community engagement, with an interest in how this translates into business environments. He enjoys helping shape places which foster collaboration between people and communities and exploring ways in which people interact with the built environment in new, unexpected and creative ways.

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The more you know of other people, the less you are scared of them. If you make public spaces where you are having to engage, visually, with difference and accept it as part of the public realm, the more you can create a society in which everyone can be valued.

Design Meets Insight is hosted by Namrata Krishna, Design Strategy Lead at Heta. This episode is guest curated by Nicky Wightman, Director of Emerging Trends at global real estate business Savills. The podcast is edited by Jon Mardlin. Original illustrations for each episode by Lorraine Chan. You can see them at

We’d love to hear from you, so please get in touch at, or find us on LinkedIn at:

Linkedin: Namrata Krishna

Linkedin: Nicky Wightman

Heta Contact

Namrata Krishna

Heta Contact

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