Dominic Jones, Business Design Centre

Our next Surface Design Show Isolation Talk is with Dominic Jones,Add_SDS_2.JPG Chief Executive of the Business Design Centre.

The Business Design Centre is a Grade II listed building that serves as an exhibition venue, a conference centre as well as being home to over 100 businesses and showrooms. With a central location and close to many of London's architectural practices, it is the perfect home for Surface Design Show.

Hi Dominic

Thanks for letting us self-isolate with you, keeping in touch with our friends makes us all feel better.

Where is your isolation home right now? Isolation home is our house in North West London. I’ve lived here sixteen years and have never spent more than a few days in it at any one time, so this has been quite an interesting time to reconnect with it. I’ve loved that aspect of lockdown.

I think we are now into the 8th week of lockdown - how are you coping with this new lifestyle? Generally pretty well. Like so many people I’m sure, it feels like I’m on a rollercoaster. So many ups and downs but all in all, I can’t complain. Living with three teenage daughters is interesting at the best of times but thankfully, we have a lovely garden which has been a bit of a refuge for me.

You must have developed a daily schedule by now? Do you think this will be the norm for the future? Yes, I have a pretty set routine which has been pretty important for my sanity. For example, dressing for work as opposed to wearing just jeans and a tee shirt. My kids keep asking me where I’m going ! I tell them “downstairs” !


What tends to be the highlight of your day? A glass of wine and a home cooked meal. I love to cook so I plan well in advance.

What are you missing most? And what don’t you miss at all? I’m missing the freedoms I always took for granted. Mainly to travel. I’m also missing my colleagues and the general camaraderie of work. I’m not missing London’s traffic.

Are there some long neglected jobs that you intend to get around to doing during the lockdown? Yes, I went through my wardrobes early on and decided to have a mass clear out. Felt really good .

The BDC has been Surface Design Show's home since our launch...what is happening there right now? We are installing a new system to bring people back to a new socially distanced but welcoming building using a combination of technology, signage, one way systems and new levels of hygiene to create a safe environment for people to operate within.

The BDC is best known for its strong programme of temporary events such as trade and consumer shows...when do you envisage these might start up again? We as an industry are lobbying the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to allow us to host events from the Autumn as we should be distinguished from the definition of mass gatherings.

Do you think there is a future for the traditional trade show after Coronavirus? Yes but it will need thought and care. We have already created an environment that is as safe as anywhere. We need to work with show organisers on show layouts to help provide the necessary space for them to work successfully.

What plans are the you putting in place to ensure that the BDC remains an interesting and enjoyable venue to visit whilst ensuring the safety and health of your public? As described above, we are going to publish a video showing the measures we’ve put in place. We presented the plans to our tenants and received a very positive response. Look out for them on our website soon.

What one activity are you most looking forward to when this isolation is over? Swimming !

It's been a great chat Dominic, thanks for letting us self-isolate with you!