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Nicola Hawkins

Duke Street Property, Director of Design & Development

Nicola is the Group Head of Design at Selfridges Group, a global leader in retail and property. She is responsible for the design, management, and delivery of the Selfridges Group major architectural developments, including the £350 million David Chipperfield Duke St new build & Oxford St Accessories department, and more recently the mixed-use redevelopment of 388-396 Oxford St, including six storeys of FORA Office fitout and two storeys of retail.

Having qualified as an Architect in 2002 she worked for leading Architects practices in the UK and abroad, including Ushida Findlay in Tokyo & London, Future Systems & Ron Arad. The retail sector became her specialism over the 12 years she worked with Clients including Marni, Shinkong Place, Battersea Power station and Selfridges. As Project Director she designed and managed retail and commercial projects all over the world, predominantly in China, Europe and the Middle East working at the forefront of reimagining retail experiences for customers.

Nicola’s love of travel started young growing up in the Solomon Islands and then living and working in Indonesia, Japan, Lesotho, Uganda, and Beijing. After 12 years of travelling extensively for work, she decided that with a young family (then aged 5 & 8) being away for 9 months in Beijing over a two-and-a-half-year period was taking too great a toll on family life. So, in 2014 she moved to Selfridges, as their in-house Architect. This enabled her to sidestep into a Client Agent role and set up her own Consultancy company in 2015. Over the last 7 years she has been fortunate to work with the likes of Chipperfield, Grafton and Piercy & Co, as well as many leading Consultant, Developer and Contractor teams.

Strategic thinking, organisation, collaboration, an ability to understand a client’s complex brief, digest complicated and disparate information and play it back to tailor the audience are key attributes and skills she has honed over the years. A love of factories, quarries and building sites have kept the job real and alive for her, along with a passion for Sustainability and driving Sustainable design solutions. Nicola is a keen outdoors hiker, skier, kayaker and recently has taken up rowing on the Thames in Kew. She hopes to support young women and working mothers through their career development in the industry and encourage them to find the right balance to stay and grow in the profession.  •