Charles originally trained as a theatre designer and began his professional career working for the National Theatre and the English National Opera, designing stage sets for theatre, opera and ballet in the UK and abroad. This led naturally into designing for film, working on several feature productions.
In 1988, he was invited to join the UK’s foremost international hotel design company where he remained for five years, working on luxury hotels across Europe.
In 1994, Charles established his own design practice, Charles Leon Associates which specialized in hospitality and residential design. Working mostly with entrepreneurs and Hotel developers. In 2014 he formed the partnership Leon Black.
Leon Black are internationally acclaimed designers and are design-led, committed to design excellence, a sense of place, a sense of purpose and operational practicality.
Charles is currently Past President of the BIID (British Institute of Interior Design).
Charles lectures on design theory, innovation, emotion and the workings of the designer’s mind. His talks blend design, neuroscience, economics, politics, philosophy and current affairs to provide a new, powerful and persuasive way of understanding the creative mind and the role of design in our lives.
He is also a guest lecturer at Middlesex University, Inchbald school of Design, KLC and The Interior Design School.