Photography Ian Hughes
With a career spanning four decades in the design industry, Wayne Hemingway has a fair few stories to tell and lessons to give – and people love to hear them. His talks are insightful, thought-provoking, inspiring, often hilarious and always truthful, warts and all. Read on to discover the seven different divisions of lectures on offer and feedback audiences have given over the years, with a few videos of him in full speech-giving swing at the bottom of the page. For scheduling and booking information, do contact us.
Wayne's Life Story:
Wayne's rise to success was a rather unusual one, with his
big break on a Camden market stall and a segway into housing design due to a
scathing piece he wrote for The Independent. Audiences are riveted by his rags-to-Red
or Dead tale and how Wayne has continued to push himself creatively,
wherever his career may take him.
"Saw you at Friday's gig in Liverpool, great presentation. I owned a pair of those Red or Dead steel toe capped shoes back in the day, they ruined my feet at Glastonbury so I swapped them for a bottle of Thunderbird Red. Not polishing your head, but keep on doing great stuff and being a stand out Wayne.” - Wayne Malcolm, Managing Director, Bread Media
"Thanks for the warmly delivered kick up the arse at yesterday's conference.” - Stu Churchill, Initiatives Manager, Cultura Technologies
“Inspirational, funny and engaging is a hard combination to pull off, I think we were all riveted!” - D.A, Project Manager, Midland Heart
“Wayne Hemingway MBE who I loved ever since I heard him say he never wanted to be 40+ and still wearing jeans, (he does do other stuff) was as entertaining and as political as I remember at the Grampian Awards for Business Excellence. HemingwayDesign is truly one of the best executed brands and series of concepts I have seen, simple, direct, clear. The KiosKiosK model is start up and innovation genius. If you get the chance get in a room with the guy and listen, you will without a doubt learn something or at least be energised to go off and think harder.” - Graeme Gordon CEO at IFB
“I wanted to thank you for an absolutely excellent talk at our meeting on Friday evening. We have had universally good feedback with our staff finding you both entertaining and thought provoking which was exactly what we wanted. You have a fascinating story and a great approach to life which comes across so naturally in the way you present, giving great credence to your call for action without lecturing. It was a delight to listen to and the interesting thing for me was that a number of the audience left with the stated intent of doing something different.” - David Hall, Chief Executive Officer, Polypipe
“Wayne, what an excellent life story. Really enjoyed where you came from, how you did it, and where it has taken you. Also understanding the social initiatives you are now passionate about was good to hear. There needs to be more people in the world with your values.” - Mick White, Senior Network Administrator, Polypipe
“I just wanted to say how awesome I thought your speech was for the Enterprise North East Awards. You are the first after dinner speaker I have seen who hasn't made me switch off and head for a drink or check Facebook.'” - Isla Stewart, Business Development Manager
"Thank you for your exhilarating star turn at the Oxford Innovation away day. You will have sensed that your contribution was more than well received and much enjoyed but I think it went far beyond that! I was personally most moved by, first, the reminder that entrepreneurs travel in non-straight lines towards their accomplishments and, second, you reminded us that purpose, or rather social purpose, in one’s life is a healthy thing but is so particularly for a company that seeks to provide environments for innovators to thrive and for small businesses to survive when they otherwise might not." - David Crichton-Miller, Chief Executive Officer, Oxford Innovation
"Then there was Wayne Hemingway, who I always thought was a fashion designer but it turns out isn’t at all really. That business became a multi-million pound brand and, through hard work, creative thinking and persistence (and driven by a sense of social justice) Hemingway has gone on to other things. Amongst them are creative and community-centric social housing projects, sparked by outrage at a particularly bland and depressing housing development (which really did look more like a prison complex). I found it inspiring stuff. I think there was a message for the industry in that fulfilment isn’t really about technology, or channels, or media but about people. Understand what individuals want and need and be creative in finding ways to deliver it. Hemingway seems to have a knack for doing that, and I’m pretty sure he still finds time to dance". - Tim Barker, Sustainability Consultant
"Wayne’s story, values and plans completed landed at Catalyst. Authentic, relevant and resonated big time. Went down a storm. Also really appreciated that he stayed behind after." - Eddie Kelly, Catalyst Housing Limited
Wayne's Career History:
This talk encompasses his erstwhile role as Director of The British Fashion Council, to being on The Trustee Board of the Design Council and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. Wayne's eye-opening insights on how creativity can have social and societal impact and also enhance the bottom line are endlessly riveting and provide real talking points for business owners, employees and students alike.
“Just wanted to say a quick thank you for what was a fantastic presentation you made at the recent IOD Northwest event. Many 'done well's in the business world have an interesting story to tell, but the way in which you conveyed yours was captivating and it was a pleasure to listen.”
“Your passion for the causes you feel strongly about is inspiring, and as somebody with (what I like to think is) a strong moral compass myself it was great to see somebody else with aligned views. House building planning 'crimes' throughout the UK, artificially inflated commercial property pension fund short term thinking bull shit, LFW protest against France etc etc...all pleasantly reassuring to know that other people don't just sit back and take these things for granted.”
“As a young director of a company myself I found it really interesting both from a personal and business perspective and would like to thank you once again for making it a worthwhile day out of the office.” - Kieran Gately
"Just finished listening to Wayne Hemingway MBE talk about buying quality clothing on the Jo Good show BBC Radio London. A breath of fresh air." - Vivienne Aiyela
great presentation by the truly inspirational Wayne Hemingway MBE.
Thanks!" - Gillian Blair
"I wanted to say thank you for being an (unknown to you!) inspiration for my colleagues and I who recently founded our own business. During the first few months there were often times when we feared that we were taking on too much but we would remember your speech and a common refrain in the office would be: “what would Hemingway say?” which became a rally call for us to keep faith in ourselves and always embrace the opportunity to take on new customers no matter where the risks may take us." - Tom Anderson, Chief Executive Officer
"I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your talk last night at Leicester university. I’m not sure if you’ll actually receive this message in person but last night has really made me open my mind. It's shown me how easy it is to become such a narrow-minded designer at university, only ever concentrating on one project to another and never opening my eyes to the world around me and what’s actually happening. I only ever wanted to be a designer who improved people’s life’s, and I thought the only way to do this was to study Interior Design at university. However, you’ve shown me if I want to make a real change, I need to join the real world and get involved in projects I’m passionate about and not sit in front of a computer for 12 hours a day! I would have preferred to say this in person, but a lot of people seemed to want to talk to you afterwards so hopefully you receive this message today." - Student at Leicester University
Brand building, Marketing and Leadership:
Wayne explores the contrasts and synergies between building Red or Dead in the 80s, before the internet, and building the Vintage brand using social networking/digital marketing, along with effective and creative leadership techniques.
“As always, you managed to
engage and provoke thinking in our BBC leaders and I had many asking me to send
you their personal thanks.” Roger Cole, BBC
“He's straightforward, focused and willing to be interested in a whole heap of things outside his area of 'expertise' because he is interested in what it is to be alive and to have values.” - Linda Green BBC
“I just wanted to extend a big thank you to you and Wayne for helping to make our big event the best lecture the University of Dundee has ever had.” - Joanna Jones, The London Speaker Bureau
"Thank you for the exceptionally inspirational speech at the Orchard conference. Streets ahead of previous speakers." - David Nelson
Firstly, our formal thanks for your fantastic presentation on Wednesday night. I would like to reiterate that you single-handedly transformed our event. We have had a lot of positive feedback. - Richard Baines
"Just to say thanks for your brilliant talk yesterday. It was just what we needed to stimulate our thinking to make Harrow better!" - Jane Fernley, Head of Business Development and Transformation, Housing Department, Harrow Council
Regeneration, Housing, Urban Design and Architecture:
Over the past decade, HemingwayDesign have delivered a number of high profile and award-winning affordable new build housing schemes, 'turned around' troubled estates, have a string of impactful seaside regeneration projects under their belts and an extensive worldwide knowledge of creative led regeneration, great urban design and architecture. Wayne was the chairman of the place-making campaigning body Building For Life for eight years and sits on the Trustee Board of CABE (Commission for Architecture and Built Environment). His views are political, often controversial, and as HemingwayDesign works with some of Britain’s largest house builders, is able to comment on the state of an industry which has a significant impact on the economy and our well being.
“Wayne Hemingway - hilarious, inspiring go-getter. Brilliant keynote #iodconference” - Clare O'Neill, @claire_oneill24
“On behalf of everyone at Kent Housing Group thank you very much for coming along to our Seminar and giving such an inspirational presentation. The feedback from delegates is that your presentation was the highlight of the day and we are extremely grateful that you were able to spare the time to be there.” - Jill Pells, Partnership Manager, Kent Housing Group
“Just a note to thank you for the fantastic talk that you delivered to Midland Heart conference yesterday, you have obviously had a diverse and interesting journey. I was fascinated by your talk and could have listened for hours, its not often you hear of people developing their entrepreneurial career purely by accident, as yours appears to be.” - Sue Rechter, Quality Manager, Midland Heart
"I would like to say a huge thank you from myself and all of HS2 SLT for your inspiring and provocative talk today. It was really fascinating, and both engaging and hilarious and the comments from the delegates, and ongoing talks which have started since you spoke are transforming the way people are approaching what they are doing and thinking at HS2. The “people’s train” is a phrase we will use and hear for always now. If I had a £ for every time someone mentioned your name the rest of the afternoon, I’d be doing rather well! Which I consider to be a great success!" - Head of High Speed 2
a great afternoon at the MEN property lunch. Wayne Hemingway MBE was simply
inspiring for everyone in attendance. He was Fantastic." - Jonathon Nolan
Wayne has a few words about developers and regeneration...
Creatively Led Regeneration, Brave and Generous Design:
The HemingwayDesign team have led on and have extensive knowledge of creatively led regeneration worldwide. Wayne talks about creative led regeneration, bravery and generosity in design that is happening from the Mitte in Berlin and Margate whilst taking in Brooklyn and Blackburn.
Described by many as the most ambitious and coolest festival start-up ever, there is the story of The Vintage Festival: identifying an opportunity in the market, then designing and delivering a summer festival for 50,000 people from scratch. The assembly of the team of designers, collaborators, bands, artists and designers, volunteers, plus the viral and street-led campaign, is an amazing and visually stunning chain of events, full of disasters and triumphs. Now an internationally recognised events brand with some interesting placemaking events working with councils and developers (including the Classic Car Boot Sale and the multi award winning Festival of Thrift and the National Festival of Making and a leading name in the competitive festival market, Hemingway Events is the events arm to HemingwayDesign and has a string of successes to its name, including the official The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant Festival in June 2012 for 70,000 in Battersea Park and the Transatlantic 175 event that attracted 250,000 to Liverpool’s Waterfront in 2015 and the truly uplifting Urban Village Fete (and its little sister SAMPLE).
modern tale of creating a multi faceted brand focusing on heritage but using
modern technology and forward thinking marketing techniques is exciting.”
“I had the pleasure of listening to Wayne Hemingway on Wednesday. He was performing a Masterclass in Events and Festivals – a two-hour presentation to an interested audience – but I wish that I could have somehow bottled his enthusiasm and words and sent them off to every career advisor, teacher and politician in the land.”
"The cultural team at Greenwich Peninsula have collaborated with Hemingway Design for 3 years now, commissioning a new free design -led festival; The Urban Village Fete which first launched in May 2015 and was developed specifically for this neighborhood and its fledgling audiences.
We are thrilled with the rigor, quality and consistency that the team applies to all projects- delivering quality events from conceptualisation to delivery, well thought through curation that engages an unrivaled roster of performers, artists, designers and food producers.
Hemingway Design have also consulted on brand development complimented by the development of extensive visually appealing marketing campaigns that have reached audiences of 60 K + Wayne Hemingway is an outspoken brand ambassador for the Urban Village Fete and has been featured in multiple publications and attend significant press engagements on behalf of the project.
In 2017 we have expanded the scope of the Urban Village fete to include a new fashion- led pop up SAMPLE and are now committed to partnering with this dynamic studio for 3 Greenwich Peninsula festivals this year.
Hemingway Design are one of our most valued cultural collaborators and have driven footfall of approximately 36,000 new visitors to the area." - Kaia Charles, Cultural Projects Manager, Now Gallery and Greenwich Peninsula
Social and Cultural Responsibility of Companies, Corporations and Individuals:
We have come to learn how large corporations increasingly care and share our belief about 'improving things that matter in life'. We have worked with McDonald's, Coca Cola, Cafe Direct and others on responsible products, and there are many avenues to explore here.
Conference Hosting and Awards
Wayne also hosts conferences and award ceremonies. He scrubs up well and looks quite good in a black tie – trust us.
"Thank you for your generosity of spirit and also for a warm, witty and inspiring lecture. Have you thought about going into politics - I'd certainly vote for you! " - De Montfort University Student
"I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your talk last night at Leicester university. Last night has really made me open my mind. It's shown me how easy it is to become such a narrow-minded designer at university, only ever concentrating on one project to another and never opening my eyes to the world around me and what’s actually happening. I only ever wanted to be a designer who improved people’s life’s, and I thought the only way to do this was to study Interior Design at university. However, you’ve shown me if I want to make a real change, I need to join the real world and get involved in projects I’m passionate about and not sit in front of a computer for 12 hours a day!" - Leicester University Student