John Williams


John Williams is the Founder/Director of SpaceInvader, a Manchester-based consultancy he set up in 2009, following a decade working in the UK and USA for leading architectural practices. SpaceInvader is fast becoming one of the UK’s premier interiors agencies, with projects covered by the press worldwide and nominated for over 40 awards. SpaceInvader projects have, to date, been award winners at the BCO North and OAS Development Awards, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards, the Sustainable Design Collective Awards, Mixology North and the London Design Awards, where the company was also named the UK’s ‘Best Medium-Sized Design Agency’ in 2020.

John leads his creative team across many sectors, including hospitality, commercial workplaces, retail, developer residential and cultural, public-facing environments. Clients include leading brands and institutions, from Accor to Hilton, Tribe, Pullman and Wilde Hotels Group; Lloyds Bank; JDSports; Manchester City Football Club; Legal & General; AVIVA; MUSE and Bruntwood.

John is a member of the BCO, a BritList-nominated designer and a regular industry speaker, commentator, panellist and podcast guest. He has appeared at events across the design, property, hospitality and workplace sectors – from Material Source to Meet Up North – and has recently been profiled by Design Insider, for whom he is a Design Ambassador, with a focus on both his leadership style and on his future vision for the hospitality sector. John has also contributed thought leadership pieces to Architecture Magazine, Work in Mind, Natwest Business Hub, Be the Business, Designerati, DARC and Hotel Designs, with a stand-out piece on what great design is all about published in FX in 2023 as part of the magazine’s regular ‘Radical Thinking’ column.

John believes in evolving and pushing design projects at every stage, whilst remaining loyal to the SpaceInvader ethos of collaboration and authentic, location-specific schemes. His relaxed and friendly personal style ensures a positive and happy studio culture, where creativity is continually encouraged, directly enabling the team’s questioning, creative approach.

John is a strong advocate for a more sustainable future, pushing for the use of sustainable products and materials and projects with the lowest possible carbon impact and energy use. He believes the carbon footprint of the construction sector remains a massive issue and that businesses need to do more than pay lip service to get to net zero.

John also believes in design with a social value and that the vision of each project should continue out into the community, with both hotel and office developments offering areas for local small businesses and retailers, for example, and at manageable rent levels, so that not only the look but the vibrancy and integrity of schemes is optimised and enabled.