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Talk – Graphic

Finding new truths for old places

  • Joy Nazzari


  • Patrick Eley




BCU Parkside - P350



In the world of design, ‘truth’ can be an elusive partner. And perhaps never more so than when designing places. Cities, neighbourhoods and countries are complex environments, built over time, and inhabited by people with conflicting opinions and aspirations. In that context, how can we as designers help build a positive vision of a place?

Joy Nazzari and Patrick Eley lead dn&co, the brand and design agency behind the reinvention of remarkable neighbourhoods with a strong heritage, like St James’s and Royal Docks in London, and Digbeth in Birmingham. In this talk, they will argue that designers are in a unique position to influence the way our towns and cities develop in the future. Inspired by the uncompromising attitudes of designers like Otl Aicher and Roberto Burle Marx they will call on designers to speak the truth –  to clients, and to power – and have the courage to create places that truly work for people. This is a business imperative, and a moral one too.


Joy Nazzari

Founder of dn&co

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Founder of dn&co

Joy has a natural curiosity for places and place identity. Born in Rio and educated in San Francisco, she has called London her home for 20 years and compulsively travels at every opportunity. Joy is the founder of dn&co, a brand consultancy inspired by culture and place, and the team behind the reinvention of some of London’s most remarkable areas — St James’s, Broadgate, Television Centre, White City Place, and Ilford Town.  Joy has collaborated with government, architects, developers and businesses to create meaningful destinations in workplaces, residential, retail, restaurants — through to entire neighbourhoods and towns.

Last year Joy founded Place Press, an independent publisher that explores the intersection between people, places and culture. Her recent book, Know Your Place, talks about the need to go beyond placemaking and create places with purpose.

Patrick Eley

Creative Director of dn&co

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Creative Director of dn&co

Patrick is creative director of dn&co. Born in London and the son of two architects, working with the built environment was probably always inevitable. Patrick started his career in design at the ever-pioneering National Theatre, before spending seven years at cultural design heavyweight, Spin.

With nearly 20 years in the industry, he has wide-ranging experience across all disciplines of design – from static print and moving image to wayfinding and immersive environmental. A stickler for the hidden detail as much as the bigger picture, he has created brands and identities for places across the world — from neighbourhood restaurants, to museums and entire parts of cities. Last year he co-founded Place Press with Joy as the perfect platform to explore how people think about space and place — from how they navigate, to what stories they tell and the experiences they take away.


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BCU Parkside - P350

P350 is a lecture theatre located on the 3rd floor of BCU Parkside. Entry is gated but will be open, if you have any issues find a volunteer or member of staff and they will be able to guide you.

The BCU City Centre Campus is a multi-million pound centre of excellence in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development. It is made up of four buildings: Millennium Point, The Joseph Priestley Building, The Parkside Building and The Curzon Building.

The Parkside Building is the home to our Faculty of Arts, Design and Media.

The City Centre Campus supports the creative industries, business engagement, applied innovation and cultural excellence.

With over 5,500 of our 24,000 students enrolled on courses in music, theatre, writing, media, digital technology, art, design, jewellery and architecture, Birmingham City University is one of Britain’s leading providers of talented professionals to the cultural and creative industries.

The vast majority of these students are part of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media – the driving force behind the creative provision at Birmingham City University.

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  • Nearby Parking
  • Wheelchair Access
  • Toilets
  • Accessible Toilets

Birmingham City University – Parkside Building,
Cardigan Street,
Birmingham, UK

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