Just over a week left to get your entries into Western Living‘s 2021 Designers of the Year awards!

Put your work in front of world-renowned judges€”including these three on our just-announced Industrial Design judging panel. Get to know them below, and get your entry ready: the deadline for DOTY 2020 is April 2. 

Akanksha Deo, Ikea

As a designer for Ikea since 2016, Akanksha Deo specializes in textiles, where she translates the uniqueness and imperfection of handicrafts into a mass production set-up. In 2020, she was ranked number 8 on the Forbes India 30 Under 30. She received a Bachelor of Design from India's National Institute of Fashion Technology, and then worked as a designer in Indian companies and as a freelancer. Through Ikea's Democratic Design program, she believes in the company’s responsibility to design products that help many folks live a better life. Democratic Design guides the team through the design process to ensure the designers create sustainable works that support both the customers and the environment.

Nathan Williams, Indigo

Nathan Williams was appointed Chief Creative Officer of Indigo in 2019. He is responsible for Indigo's creative studio, design studio and visual merchandising.

Nathan Williams is a Canadian creative director, author and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Kinfolk magazine and the Ouur apparel homewares and accessories brand. Founded in 2011, Kinfolk has become a leading design authority, sold in over 100 countries and connecting a global community of creative professionals from London to Tokyo. Nathan is a New York Times bestselling author with publications spanning interior design, cooking, entrepreneurship and creative direction. Nathan's creative work has been recognized as one of Elle Décor€™s Top 10 Influencers in Design, Forbes 30 Under 30 and the Hypebeast 100 list. Prior to founding Kinfolk and Ouur, Nathan was an analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York trading Equity Derivatives and Securities.

Nathan holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a degree in Conflict Resolution from Brigham Young University, Hawaii.


Liana Thomson, EQ3

Liana is EQ3's Accessories Product Developer, where she leads design for the brand's tabletop, decorative, and other accessories. In addition to her role in developing accessories for EQ3, Liana leads the packaging task force, working to ensure EQ3's packaging standards are eco-friendly and that product offerings are sustainably enhanced and consciously created. Liana holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Manitoba with a focus in architecture. While at the University of Manitoba, Liana edited the Faculty of Architecture's annual journal and contributed to the City of Winnipeg's annual Arts + Architecture Competition On Ice.