Our vision is for a Wales that is simply a better place.

The Design Commission for Wales was established by the National Assembly for Wales to promote good design.

We support local planning authorities, developers and clients to capture the value of high quality design for better outcomes and a better return on investment.

We nurture design talent for a skilled workforce, necessary for growth and innovation.

By promoting good design and communicating its benefits, we add value and help to support well-being and enhanced quality of life for the people of Wales.

The Commission knows that the costs of bad design represent a risk to developers and investors; reduces value for the public purse; undermines environmental quality, climate resilience, public health and well-being.


We know that good design:


Maximises efficiency and value for money.

Focuses on users, maximising ease of use, accessibility and inclusiveness.

Uses resources and energy efficiently, contributing to carbon reduction.

Has been shown to significantly improve patient recovery times in healthcare.

Has been shown to reduce the public health problems linked to poor housing.

Reduces maintenance, costly refurbishments and running costs.

Makes products, places and buildings more attractive.

Adds value and enhances public good.


Good design makes everything better.


The Commission promotes good design in four ways. Please contact us to find out how we can help you capture the value of good design.

The national Design Review Service provides opportunities for early consultation on plans and projects throughout Wales as well as access to expert input prior to the submission of planning applications.

Training for local authorities, professionals and practitioners as well as training and accreditation for Building for Life 12 Wales

Client support for commissioning clients provides help and guidance during the early stages of developing the brief and securing the right design team.

Events, publications and networks that raise awareness, stimulate wider debate and communicate the benefits of good design. Our HATCH network provides a platform for emerging design talent and fresh thinking shapers of the built environment.

Welsh College of Music and Drama
Welsh College of Music and Drama


The Design Commission for Wales promotes good design across sectors.

  • Our vision is for a Wales that is a better place
  • We promote good design and communicate its benefits
  • We value openness, transparency and mutual respect in a culture where knowledge is shared with all our stakeholders.

The Commission is an expert body. It is not a membership organisation or professional body. It does not represent the interests of any single profession.

The Commission is differentiated by:

  • Its multi-disciplinary remit for the whole of the built environment in Wales
  • An expert, multi-disciplinary team, delivering specialist services
  • An independent stance
  • Its depth and breadth of knowledge and experience
  • Its ability to attract and retain the commitment of skilled professionals
  • Its capacity to sustain Wales-wide professional networks

The Commission receives funds from the Welsh Government for its activities which respond to four strategic aims set out by the Welsh Government, in its funding agreement. These are:

  • To champion high standards of design and architecture to the public and private sector in Wales by promoting wider understanding of design issues and the importance of good standards in enhancing the built environment across all sectors.
  • To promote design practice that is compatible with the Welsh Assembly Government’s Sustainable Development Scheme, promoting best practice in energy efficiency, waste disposal and public transport.
  • To promote design practice compatible with the highest standards in relation to equal opportunity and promoting social inclusion.
  • To give due regard to promoting excellence in day to day developments, like housing estates and industrial units, as well as promoting excellence in prestige projects.

Comisiwn Dylunio Cymru Design Commission for Wales is the trading name of DCFW LIMITED, Private Limited Company No: 04391072 incorporated in England and Wales as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Welsh Government. Its Registered Office is at 4th Floor, Cambrian Buildings, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff CF10 5FL.


The Team minus Ewan and Mark

The Team and all but two of our Directors.
Mark Hallett and Ewan Jones were unable to join us for this snapshot, but you can scroll to find their details below.
Photographed at Design Commission for Wales HQ, April 2016


Gayna Jones BA Hons, FCIH, FRSA
Chair, Board of Directors
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Carole-Anne Davies, BA (Hons), PG Dip. FRSA
Chief Executive
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Sue Jones, MBA, MSc, Assoc CIPD
Resources & Finance Manager
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Jen Heal, BSc (Hons) MA, MRTPI
Design Advisor
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Ian Carter BSc, MA Urban Design, MRTPI
Commissioner, Board of Directors
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Elinor Gray-Williams BA (Hons) BArch RIBA SCA
Commissioner, Board of Directors
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Philip Jardine
Commissioner, Board of Directors
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Ewan Jones, BSc (Hons), BArch (Hons), RIBA
Commissioner, Board of Directors
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Fiona Nixon
Commissioner, Board of Directors
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Trevor Skempton
Commissioner, Board of Directors
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Design Review panel members are all practicing professionals, experienced in all kinds of development.

Design Review panelists are appointed via competitive interview for a term of two years, pending review and reappointment. Panel members are unpaid. The panel is multi-disciplinary, reflecting the disciplines of urban and landscape design; architecture: buildings, structures and infrastructure; sustainability; planning; civil engineering; energy and transport infrastructure. They are individuals with significant reputations for excellence in their field.


Toby AdamArchitectGaunt Francis Architects Cardiff & London
Jonathan AdamsArchitectJA Partners, Caerleon
Maria AsenjoArchitect, Fulbright ScholarMace Group
Ashley BatesonSustainability & Building Services SpecialistHoare Lea & Ptnrs, Cardiff, London, Global
Jamie BrewsterArchitectDarnton B3 Architecture
Simon CarneArchitect and Urban DesignerDolgellau & London
Kedrick DaviesBiomass, Urban Design and Planning Specialist
Michael Gwyther JonesArchitectCity of London Corporation
Mark HallettDeveloper, ArchitectIgloo, UK
Jen HealUrban Designer, PlannerDCFW, UK
Jonathan HinesArchitect, PassivHaus SpecialistArchitype, UK
Chris JeffordArchitectGaunt Francis Architects
Christopher JonesArchitectArchdiocese of Cardiff
Ewan JonesArchitect/Infrastructure specialistGrimshaw, UK, Global
Helen KaneAccess ConsultantAccess Included
Martin KnightArchitect, Bridge & Structures specialistKnight Architects, UK
Alister KrattLandscape Architect, Energy SpecialistLDA, Oxford
Cora KwiatkowskiArchitectStride Treglown, UK
Andrew LinfootLandscape ArchitectJacobs
John LloydEnergy/Building Physics/Sustainability/Performance SpecialistHoare Lea & Prtnrs
Wendy MadenUrban Designer, PlannerBath and North East Somerset Council
Simon PowerLandscape Architect, Environmental SpecialistMott MacDonald Group
Simon RichardsLandscape ArchitectLan Studios, Mold
Elfed RobertsArchitect, Urban Designer, DeveloperGwalia Group, Swansea
Phil RobertsArchitect, DeveloperPhil Roberts, Carmarthenshire
Ben SibertCivil Engineer, Bridge specialistARUP, UK, Global
Stephen SmithUrban DesignerCity & County of Swansea Council
Steven SmithUrban DesignerUrban Narrative, London, Global
Amanda SpenceArchitectAlt-Architecture
Lynne SullivanArchitect, Sustainability SpecialistSustainable By Design, London, UK
Matt ThomasDirectorVectos
Jonathan Vernon-SmithUrban DesignerUrban Design Box UK
Angela WilliamsArchitectA Williams, UK
Neil WilliamsonLandscape Architect/Urban DesignerNeil Williamson Associates
Richard WoodsArchitectUrban Fabric Architects
Jamie YeomanArchitectRio Architects Ltd