Our Trustees:

Carolyn Abbott

Carolyn Abbott has lived in E17 since 1999. She makes hand-woven and hand-felted textiles for galleries and private commissions. She is founder member and main coordinator of E17 Designers, a group of artists, makers and designers local to Waltham Forest, now in its thirteenth year. She sets up several events annually helping over 60 makers sell direct from the William Morris Gallery, Vestry House Museum, the Walthamstow Garden Party and other venues around Walthamstow. Carolyn teaches textile craft skills and created the ‘Learning Resources for Weaving’ pack for William Morris Gallery.

Rob Fiehn is a freelance communications consultant, working within the built environment industry and lives in Walthamstow. Rob has worked as a book editor at Phaidon Press, an in-house comms manager at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and as an account director at bespoke design PR agency Caro Communications. He has also delivered projects for a number of key events and institutions, including Vision, Architect@Work, the London Festival of Architecture, New London Architecture, the World Architecture Festival and RIBA. Rob is passionate about our built environment and has developed firm roots within the architectural community, including strong relationships with key journalists, institutions and clients. For this reason, he also has advisory roles for the Museum of Architecture and Blackhorse Workshop.

Hadrian Garrard

Hadrian Garrard is the Founding Director of the arts charity Create London, which supports artists to work with communities, commissioning and producing ambitious programmes and projects. Previously Hadrian was culture lead for the Growth Borough Unit in east London, with oversight for cultural strategy for 6 London boroughs, as well as a Creative Programmer for London 2012. He has been a juror for the Olympic Delivery Authority arts commissions, the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Awards, Art on the Underground and chairs the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Award selection committee. He is also on the boards of London’s Open School East and Glasgow’s Baltic Street Adventure Playground.

Mark Kass

Mark Kass is an experienced entrepreneur, director, and one of East London’s leading authorities on business start-up, enterprise growth and flexible workspace provision. Whilst building and selling a portfolio of his own profitable businesses, Mark is a huge ambassador for business-led regeneration, community engagement, social enterprise development and corporate social responsibility. His current portfolio of executive and non-executive directorships extends across East London based profit and non-profit making businesses alike. Mark also sits on the Board of the Business Centre Association of Great Britain.

Mathew Leung

Mathew Leung is a designer, maker and writer and a founding member of Turner Prize winning architecture collective Assemble. Assemble initiated and set up the foundations of Blackhorse Workshop. He has wide-ranging research interests and has contributed to publications such as RIBA Journal and Performative Urbanism and was awarded the RIBA Silver Medal for his thesis on Chinatown in Yokohama, Japan. Mathew has lectured across Europe and has been a visiting critic for Bartlett, Cambridge and Manchester schools of architecture. He is currently a tutor on MA Spatial Practices at Central Saint Martins and for the CASS Cities unit at London Metropolitan University.

Maria Lisogorskaya

Maria Lisogorskaya is one of the founding directors of Assemble, recent winner of the Turner Prize, practicing between the scales of immediate hands-on material prototyping, architecture and urban strategy. Assemble initiated and set up the foundations of Blackhorse Workshop. Since Assemble’s early projects Cineroleum, Folly for a Flyover and Blackhorse Workshop, Maria has led on publications, theatre and housing projects in the UK and abroad. She has been awarded a 2015 Winston Churchill travel grant to research collective workspace in the US and China. Maria is an associate lecturer of Architecture at Central Saint Martins and has recently led a student construction workshop in Brazil.

Ruch Pathirana has been a regular user of the Blackhorse metal workshop, building everything from cocktail cabinets to gates for a friend’s house, and joined the board to offer his financial expertise. As a chartered accountant and tax specialist, he has worked for firms such as KPMG, Rio Tinto and Octopus Investments. Ruch helps us ensure we maintain a healthy financial position and we spend wisely.

Tessa Read is Deputy Head of the Careers and Employability department at the University of the Arts London and has worked in Widening Participation at UAL since 2004. Her interest lies in addressing inequality and under representation within the cultural industries. She is a graduate of both Manchester University and Sussex Universities. She has worked in India and South Africa, working closely with local social enterprises and has a strong interest in social entrepreneurship learning. She continues to work with Design Against Crime Research Centre supporting research in design-led social innovation and enterprise.