Our Team

Davide Padoa, CEO

CEO

After completing his architectural studies at the Polytechnic University of Milan and at the Pomona Polytechnic University in Los Angeles in 1994, Davide started his career in Indonesia.  At the age of just 25, he gained international recognition for the design of PSP bank headquarters - one of the tallest skyscrapers in Jakarta.

In 1998 he moved to London and joined Design International. Embracing the company’s ethos to tailor unique, commercially viable projects, Davide has pushed the design boundaries in every project undertaken.  He rose rapidly within the company, becoming a Partner in 2002 and Chief Executive Officer in 2006.

Committed to constantly setting new benchmark designs that are both financially sustainable and aesthetically strong, Davide has been Project Principal on many ground-breaking developments, including Odysseum in Montpellier (2009), Morocco Mall in Casablanca (2011), Nave de Vero in Marghera (2014), Il Centro in Arese (2016).  These, and many other Design International projects have been recipients of some of the most coveted industry Awards, including ICSC, Mapic, Mipim, RLI, a Guinness World Records™ and over 30 other International Property Awards across four continents.

Davide retains a hands-on, listening approach, working closely with colleagues and guiding teams to deliver projects that are meticulously crafted and tell their own unique story.  Under his leadership, Design International has grown into a globally-recognised practice.

Paul Mollé, Founder

Founder

Paul is the Founding Partner of Design international and was responsible for setting up the London office in 1982. Responsible for the overall global business development of Design International, Paul is closely involved in the design and development of all categories of projects including retail, hospitality and mixed-use.

Qualified at Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, Paul has overseen major projects throughout the world, from Sandton to Singapore, Miami to Milan. His experience and knowledge of retail architecture and design is unparalleled, built up over many years’ involvement in retail and mixed-use developments in North America, Europe and Asia.

Lucio Guerra, COO

COO

Lucio’s extensive design experience began with PFP Architects in Hamburg, Germany, where he successfully won numerous architectural design competitions. Lucio joined Design International in 2003 and, among his many projects with the practice, successfully completed Centro Commerciale Campania, the largest commercial project near Naples, South Italy. Lucio’s outstanding creativity quickly took the practice to new heights.

He became the design director for commercial projects in 2007 and was appointed Partner and Chief Operating Officer in 2009.

In this role, he oversees all aspects of the practice’s operations world-wide. He remains strongly involved in design, leading and inspiring teams to develop innovative, creative designs whilst also ensuring that the needs and expectations of both clients and end-users are fully met.

Luca Cappuccitti, Head of Business Development

Head of Business Development

A familiar face to high-level decision makers in the retail and property development industry for many years, Luca Cappuccitti is a highly-experienced Business Development professional.  A member of several leading industry affiliations, he has recently been named Co-Chair for the ICSC European Conference and was a Recon Mena Committee Member in 2016. He was elected as MECSC board member in November 2016.

Luca heads up the Global Business Development division at Design International, responsible for expanding its operational reach worldwide. He has spent the last 20 years providing strategic support to international property owners and working on numerous high-profile projects. With his unmatched experience in the retail sector, a results-driven approach and colourful character, Luca brings a new level of creativity to the practice’s global business development ambitions across Europe, the Middle East, India, the Americas, Africa, Thailand, China and Korea.

Born in Italy, Luca is a Political Science graduate of La Sapienza University of Rome, with a PhD in International Geoeconomics and Geopolitics and a Master's in International Luxury Management.

Stefano Fragola, Technical Director

Technical Director

An accomplished architect with extensive international experience, Stefano has been instrumental in delivering many large scale and complex projects around the world. With seventeen years’ experience as technical architect, he has led schemes from inception through to completion, coordinating the design development, tender documents, construction documentation and administration, as well as site inspections on projects of various scales and different building types. With this background, he is well used to handling pressurised situations working with production teams to ensure that projects are fulfilled efficiently.

His excellent knowledge of products, materials and construction methods, particularly in African and European countries, and his focus on sustainable design means he is able to expertly manage the use of non-renewable resources, to minimize waste and create healthy environments.

Mark O'Neill, Operations Director

Operations Director

With over 30 years in the industry, Mark is a very experienced architect, with a strong track record of delivering projects across a wide range of different sectors. During his career, he has worked on projects spanning retail, residential, hospitality and airports, public buildings, leisure and commercial developments, both within architectural practice and contracting company.

Some of his most recent projects include East Midland Airport, Great Eastern Street Hotel, Royal London House Hotel, and leading the fit outs of office refurbishment projects at The Square, Stockley Park, Thames Valley park and Arlington Business centre. With his considerable experience in design and leading and developing architectural practices, Mark joined Design International in 2017, where he is responsible for managing all the operations for the firm’s London office.

David Jones, Senior Associate

Senior Associate

With many years of working in retail design, including over 30 years at Design International, David is one of the most experienced retail designers and planners in the industry.

Over the course of his long career David has built an impressive track record and has been involved in the construction and completion of more than sixty commercial and leisure projects in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.

His experience covers all aspects of design and planning; from masterplan, to tenant’s coordination. He is truly a versatile designer who, through his keen interest in lighting design, graphic design and latest technologies available to the retail industry, enable him to bring a unique perspective to every project.

Louise Gardiner-Hill, Head of Marketing and Communications

Head of Marketing and Communications

With a career spanning more than 20 years, Louise is an experienced strategic communicator who has worked in wide range of organisations and sectors, both in the UK and abroad. She spent the early part of her career in France where she worked for global telecommunications firm, Alcatel and, subsequently, Alstom.

Having returned to London, she focused on extending and strengthening her expertise by working across the marketing and communications sector in both the corporate and public sectors. The varied and complex operating environments in which she has held senior roles include a City Law Firm, the Home Office, the Cabinet Office, COI and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

She joined Design International in 2017 and is responsible for all Marketing & Communications for the group.

Zoran Simeunovic, Head of Graphic Design

Head of Graphic Design

Zoran has worked with Design International since 2002 and was appointed Head of Graphic Design in 2011. He is responsible for all graphics at Design International and oversees all branding and visual identity communications, including signage and wayfinding schemes.

Zoran has worked on branding and marketing projects for numerous companies and clients, and has extensive experience of working on projects across the globe. He was the creative designer behind the branding for Nave de Vero in Venice, one of the most successful developments in the region, which opened to the public in 2014. Zoran is expert at creating unique brand identities, tailored to each project and the local market.

Roberto Sibiano, Office Director Milan

Office Director Milan

Roberto Sibiano joined Design International in 2007 and, shortly after joining the firm, was tasked with setting up our office in Milan. In his capacity as Studio Director and Head of the Milan office, Roberto oversees the work of all teams there, and is responsible for ensuring the successful delivery of a wide range of large retail and mixed-use developments.

Prior to joining Design International, Roberto was involved in a number of different projects for other firms, including working as Architect in charge of the coordinating a large retail Development in Campania.

Kuncara Wicaksana, Office Director Shanghai

Office Director Shanghai

Kuncara began his career in London, working on international commercial projects including hotels, high-rise office buildings and airports for KPF London. After joining Design International in 2006, he was instrumental in several renowned projects by the practice including the award winning and influential Morocco Mall. With his passion for design and his use of research to drive innovation, Kuncara brings unique insight and leadership to all his projects.  His work has also been featured in the London Festival of Architecture.

In 2013, he became Design Director for the group. He was subsequently tasked with opening the practice’s office in Shanghai and has been Director there since 2015.

Kollin Akbar, Office Director Dubai

Office Director Dubai

Kollin began his career at one of the largest engineering and architecture practice in Indonesia, where he was involved in many important commercial buildings, including offices and mixed-use. He moved to London in 2003 to complete his studies, after which he joined Design International in 2004.

As Studio Director, Kollin leads a team of talented designers and guides them on all aspects of the projects. Recognised for his strength in design, Kollin has had many successes translating the design brief into innovative and striking concepts for our clients.

Kollin is currently responsible for managing the set-up of our newest office in Dubai.

Luz Stella Pabon, Studio Director

Studio Director

Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Luz began her career with Grupo 3, where she designed and built several residential projects. After this, she joined USA-based architecture firm DDG in Baltimore, working on retail and mixed-use projects.

Luz has a proven track record for creative, unique designs and has extensive experience of leading teams on multi-national projects, including in India, Mexico, Central and Eastern Europe, China and Morocco.  Several of her projects have won prestigious awards, including Centerfalls and Mall of Guadalajara, as well as Galeries Lafayette – Casablanca which won a Guinness World Record in 2012 for “The largest in-store shop façade”.

Luz’ skills and expertise in realising client briefs result in unique designs that reflect the individual context for the development.

Paolo Bianchini, Studio Director

Studio Director

Paolo has 16 years of experience working on large scale projects across a variety of sectors. At the beginning of his career, Paolo worked for Renzo Piano Building Workshop where he had a particular focus on the construction documentation of the projects. He then moved to PFP-Architekten in Hamburg to assist with the schematic design and design development of a school complex in Genoa.

Since he joined the Design International in 2003, Paolo has done masterplans and designs for more than 500,000 sqm GBA of retail projects around the world. His experience in retail planning, together with his natural ability to identify client’s needs and objectives has contributed to some of Design International’s most successful projects, including Morocco Mall, in Casablanca, and Nave de Vero.

His enthusiasm for leading young creative teams allied with his extensive knowledge of the industry allows him not only to deliver projects on time and on budget, but also to be a trusted partner for clients and project stakeholders.

Alessandro Pologruto, Studio Director

Studio Director

After his graduation, and Masters at Polytechnic University in Milan, Alessandro began his career in Italy. He has many years’ experience working in London, Bahrain, and Dubai, for award-winning international architectural practices, and this has given Alessandro a genuine understanding of international design.

Alessandro joined Design International in 2014 and has since led many high-profile projects, including the winning design for the Kingdom City Mall competition. He is also currently working on Avenues Mall, Silicon Oasis for Lulu Group International, which is set to be a new landmark in Dubai.  Other projects in which his studio has been involved include Reem 2, which will set a new sky line in Abu Dhabi, and Riyadh Promenade. 

Alessandro’s creative skills and ambition has enabled him to progress to the role of Studio Director where he works closely with a team of architects and designers, creating projects in many parts of the world including the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

Neil Skinner, Lighting Design Partner

Lighting Design Partner

Neil’s career spans over 25 years and, at Design International, he oversees the conceptual design, design development, lighting equipment specification and installations of all lighting schemes produced by our studios in London and Milan.

Neil has created lighting designs for projects in over 21 different countries throughout Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. His understanding of the lighting industry and his focus on providing innovative, high-quality lighting designs, make him one of the best in the business.

Kate Monezi, Head of Landscape Design

Head of Landscape Design

Kate brings a wealth of experience and industry knowledge and has worked with several large International practices including AECOM and Gensler. During her career, she has had an integral role on range of projects including in UK, Qatar, Turkey, Croatia, Dubai and many other parts of the globe.

Since joining Design International in 2016 as a Senior Landscape Architecture, Kate has contributed to a number of major projects, including Dubai’s new shopping destination, Silicon Mall, Ada Mall, Cleopatra Mall as well as project across all sectors and geographies.

Francesca Menga, Head of Interior Design

Head of Interior Design

With 12 years experience as an Interior Designer, Francesca Menga has gained her experience working in Milan and Cagliari before moving to London.

Francesca is from Cagliari, Italy. She graduated with a Master of Interior Design from the Politecnico di Milano and she also holds a degree in Civil Engineering from Universitá degli Studi di Cagliari. In addition to her studies, she also has teaching experience in the Politecnico di Milano in the Interior Design Department.

Since joining Design International in 2014, Francesca has played an integral role in several projects, form conception through to development. Having a strong attention to detail, she also has a unique style and approach to interior design which makes each of Francesca projects different.

Paul Mackrow, Finance Manager

Finance Manager

Paul began his career in 1984 working for the finance department of a Lloyds of London insurance broker, eventually to lead the team as Financial Controller. During his early years Paul completed an NVQ national diploma in business and finance as well as going on to gain membership of the Association of Accounting Technicians.

Since joining Design International in January 2015, Paul has been responsible for all financial reporting for the D.I group of companies, overseeing all aspects of finances needed to assure our commercial expansion. He is also responsible for managing key support teams in our London headquarters, including Human Resources and IT.

Alexandra Fioux, Contract Manager

Contract Manager

Alexandra is a graduate of La Sorbonne University, in Paris, where she studied International Business Law. Alexandra has an extensive experience of working internationally and with people from all nationalities and backgrounds.

She started her career in the public investment sector, working for the French Development Agency and in the Economic Department of the French Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon.  She then developed expertise in International Contracts in an engineering firm specialised in complex buildings and infrastructures, where she managed contracts all over the world and coordinated associated issues such as insurances, taxes and guarantees.

Since joining Design International group in 2016, she has been responsible for monitoring the company's commitments with the clients and the consultants, from the initial stages to the completion of the contracts.