Architecture Today Awards judge Despina Katsikakis, Executive Partner and Global Head of Total Workplace at Cushman & Wakefield, discusses her hopes to see a shift away from the visual focus on buildings and towards the resiliency and value they can offer.


Despina Katsikakis is one of 18 judges for the inaugural Architecture Today Awards. As the head of the workplace division of real estate company Cushman & Wakefield she lent her insight on the changing attitudes to workplace design to an article for Architecture Today on the evolution of the post-pandemic office space as the UK entered its first lockdown period. Katsikakis was also a speaker at our Anticipatory architecture event, where she predicted the rise of the office as a “social condenser”.

Katsikakis shares why she became involved in the Architecture Today Awards, and what she hopes to see from entrants.

What attracted you to be a judge at Architecture Today Awards?
Design awards often focus on the visual impact of the object. The focus on resiliency and the value buildings can provide through use is a very significant differentiator of these awards and a critical priority for the future of the built environment

What qualities will you be looking out for – what will make a project stand out to you?
Data and evidence of adaptability and performance. Buildings need to adapt to the ever changing priorities of their occupants and the surrounding context. Having the opportunity to understand how these projects have done that, will be a very exciting part of the process

What do you hope can be taken away from the awards and live presentations?
An understanding of the dynamic nature of architecture. We often judge the quality of buildings as static objects, so having the opportunity to bring to life use and experience I hope will demonstrate both the social and business value of well-designed buildings.

What building would you most like to see among the entries?
Projects that focus on placemaking, that engage with the community and their occupants and make a positive impact to individuals, businesses, the city and the planet.

Find out more about the Architecture Today Awards and how to enter by visiting the Architecture Today Awards portal.