Martin Darbyshire

Martin Darbyshire

Chief Executive Officer

Martin has been inspiring groundbreaking innovation and forward-thinking strategic design at tangerine since co-founding the company in 1989. Under his stewardship the company has grown into an international design consultancy with offices in the UK, South Korea and Brazil; from which, tangerine exports innovation, strategy and design services to the world’s leading brands, service providers and manufactures.

As CEO, Martin leads the strategic and commercial development of tangerine. He identifies new business opportunities and growth potential in new sectors, manages high-level client relationships, drives innovation and oversees the outstanding design work that the company delivers for its clients.

From tangerine’s beginning, the company won overseas clients in Asia and America including Apple, Hitachi and LG, working strategically with the consumer electronics companies on design strategy, product innovation and industrial design. Over the company’s three-decade history, Martin has been instrumental to tangerine broadening its focus to develop wider expertise and move into sectors such as transportation, retail, hospitality, brand environments, service design and user-experience.

tangerine has completed a diverse range of successful projects that create exceptional customer experiences for both business and consumer for clients including: British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Cepsa, Gulf Air, Hyundai, Huawei, Innisfree, LG, Nikon, Samsung, Sindoh and Toyota.

To serve tangerine’s global clientele, Martin regularly travels internationally to support tangerine’s Heads of business in the key markets of China and Korea, as well as visiting Europe, the US and South America for client liaison and new business.

Most notably, Martin led the multi-disciplinary team that created both generations of the “Club World” business class aircraft seating for British Airways – the world’s first fully flat bed in business class, which, since its launch in 2000, has remained the profit engine for British Airways.

A design leader on the international stage, Martin combines his work for tangerine with a worldwide programme of keynote speeches and activities promoting the importance of design to improve business success and human well-being.

For longstanding client Sindoh, Martin holds a quarterly companywide strategic seminar at their facility in Seoul, where all levels of the business from the CEO down to the production engineers learn how to better utilise design throughout the business to build the Sindoh brand and improve commercial performance.

Martin has served two terms as a board member of the World Design Organization (formerly ICSID), during which time, he judged the World Design Capital 2014. He was also formerly a visiting professor at Central Saint Martins, University of Arts, London.

He is a trustee of the UK Design Council, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Chartered Society of Designers, and a long-standing juror at the Red Dot Awards in Europe and Asia. In 2017, Martin also judged the product design category at the prestigious D&AD Awards in London.

With over 80% of tangerine’s income coming from exports, the UK Creative Industries Council recently recognised Martin’s global export success by awarding him their CIC International Award.

Formed tangerine

BA Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design

Email Martin

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