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Confident Sketching

Event date

Event description

BIID members are invited on a sketching day with Past Presidents Charles Leon and Lester Bennett

Take some time out to sit and sketch the incredible interiors of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum with drawing enthusiasts and interior designers, Charles Leon and Lester Bennett. Charles and Lester both have a wealth of experience sketching for interiors and are excited to take other designers on a journey through the museum exploring form and line to capture the essence of place and space.  


  • 10:00 Registration, collect materials and stool, Cromwell Road entrance, Level 0, near the cloakroom
  • 10:10 Introduction to your tutors and warm up sketches, John Madejski Garden, Level 0
  • 11.00 Longer sketching exersizes, The Simon Sainsbury Gallery, Level 1: Room 64B & Ceramic Gallery vestibule, Level 4
  • 12.00 Lunch break (lunch is not included, please bring your own packed lunch, visit the V&A cafes, or utilise the nearby establishments)
  • 12.30 Free sketching with the tutor’s guidance, Dome, Level 0
  • 13.30 End


  • 1 x A3 hardback spiral sketchbook (or your own equivalent)
  • 2X fine liner pens (0.1 and 0.5)


This class will not dwell on perspective or ‘perfection’ but more on opening the attendee’s creativity via a free sketching style. Designers will leave with a newfound confidence to commit pen to paper after an enjoyable morning of ‘guided scribbling’.


Interior designers looking for a creative and relaxing outlet to explore pen on paper sketching. No experience required!

This event is exclusively for BIID members (Registered Interior Designers, Associates, Provisional Associates, and Employees of a BIID Registered Design Practice).



Lester attended Falmouth School of Art in the late 60s and was Head of Art and Design at a large London Comprehensive for most of the 70s. He set up his first interior design practice in1983. Hand drawing has always figured prominently in all his work, and he always encouraged his various staff members to draw as much as possible, especially when engaging with clients, knowing how much they enjoyed seeing their schemes emerge before their eyes.

As well as drawing hundreds of visuals, both interior and exterior, for his professional work, Lester has always taken a sketch book with him wherever he travelled, preferring to draw rather than photograph anything that took his eye. It was during such a trip many years ago that he developed his “scribble technique”, preferring to catch the impression rather than the detail. His approach is to seek out the drama and the dynamism in his subject matter, looking for viewpoints that emphasise form and light, sometimes these inspire development into abstract paintings.

Lester is a Past President of the BIID and during his 20-21 tenure, created the “President’s Drawing Board” series for the Newsletter, posting drawings to illustrate various techniques or purposes and encouraging members to submit their own hand drawings for publication. Lester is a guest lecturer at university and art college, and amongst many other things is currently working on a children’s picture book with his wife.


Charles is a designer, speaker and author and trained initially as a theatre designer, working with the Royal National Theatre and the English National Opera. This led to designing for film, and then to designing hotels. Charles established his design practice, CLA (later Leon Black), an internationally acclaimed, award-winning design consultancy specialising in hotel, residential design, and innovative thinking.

“Sketching has always been a part of my life in one way or another. Part of my work as a designer was to communicate an idea in my head to someone else. Sometimes words can't explain something as well as a sketch. Sketching is a skill, like driving a car, nothing more. However, it can open doors to seeing and connecting with things in new and fresh ways. I love the ordinary and the familiar because they have stories to tell, every bit as interesting as the grand stories that historic buildings can tell.”

Charles also lectures internationally on the interface between design-thinking, neuroscience, economics, politics, philosophy, sociology, innovation, emotion, and how creative minds work.

He is Past President of the BIID and member of the All-Party Parliamentary Design and Innovation Committee and is a guest university lecturer.

Charles has published one sketch journal and is currently working on a new volume for Kew Gardens.


The Victorian & Albert Museum in London is the world’s largest museum of applied arts, decorative arts, and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.7 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Digital Map

Additional Information

If this event is fully booked, please join the waiting list. If you are no longer able to attend, please inform the office so that we can give your spot to someone else.

The advertised price does not include VAT.

If you have any queries, please email the office at or call 020 7628 0255.

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