Moves and changes: design industry news

All the latest moves and changes across the design industry.


The Design Museum’s new chair of the Board of Trustees Stuart Roden

The Design Museum has announced Stuart Roden as the new chair of the Board of Trustees, replacing Lord Peter Mandelson who will step down in June after serving since 2017. Roden says: “Design not only plays an essential part in our everyday lives, it is also an important and growing driver of economic prosperity in the UK.

“The Design Museum’s broad and diverse audience, popular exhibitions, public programming and educational outreach, have a vital role to play in widening access and broadening design practice to be more inclusive to disadvantaged communities across the UK.”

Lippincott has promoted Brendán Murphy – who has spent the majority of his 30-year career at the studio – to the position of global creative director. Murphy has worked with brands such as NYC Pride, Liberty Mutual, Samsung, and Toys “R” Us and will continue to lead brand projects in his new role.

Jen Yeardley has joined Manchester-based design studio True North as its new strategy director. Yeardley comes from Born Ugly (formerly Elmwood) and, in her new position, will oversee strategy development for clients such as Age UK, The University of Manchester and Royal Museums Greenwich.

McLaren Automotive has appointed Tobias Sühlmann as its new chief design officer. During his 20-year-long career in the industry, Sühlmann has worked at Bentley, Bugatti and Aston Martin and was previously the lead designer for special projects at McLaren. In his first stint at McLaren, he oversaw the design of the track-only McLaren Solus GT, a single-seat hyper car based on a video game concept.

Thirst North America managing director Bailey James

Former Pearlfisher development director Bailey James has joined Thirst as its first North America managing director. James has overseen major redesigns in the food and beverage sector during her career, including Budweiser and Campbell’s Soup.

Rich Tu has been appointed executive creative director and partner at creative studio Sunday Afternoon. Tu has held senior creative roles at Nike, MTV and Jones Knowles Ritchie and is co-founder of Colorful, which offers grant programme to BIPOC creatives.

Dundee Design Festival 2024 curator Dr Stacey Hunter

Local Heroes founder and design expert Dr Stacey Hunter has been appointed as curator of Dundee Design Festival 2024. The festival will celebrate the city’s 10th anniversary as a UNESCO City of Design, showcasing work from local and national designers.

Elmwood has appointed Abi Main as global chief financial officer and Kristin Nevin as global client partner. Both previously worked as senior directors at Jones Knowles Ritchie.

Istituto Marangoni London will partner with British designer Tom Dixon, who says he is keen to help young designers solve “many pressing and urgent design problems”.


Landor & Fitch has acquired sound company Amp in a bid to expand its sonic branding capabilities. Amp’s approach to sound design includes an AI toolset which uses generative AI to develop brand audio content.

Design Bridge and Partners has officially launched as a new WPP design partnership following the merge of Superunion and Design Bridge which was announced in July 2022. Former CEO of Design Bridge John Morris will serve as Group CEO, while Jim Prior, who was previously CEO of Superunion, will serve as chair.

Strategic design agency Park, which builds and scales design innovation capabilities within organisations, has changed ownership. New owners James Hall and Andy Sharpe were first introduced to the business while working at Lego and Unilever, where they experience Park’s “unique offer and expertise”, says Sharpe. Park’s co-founder Frans Joziasse will continue as a senior consultant and ambassador for at least the next five years.

Banner image: Sunday Afternoon partner and executive creative director Rich Tu (far left) with his colleagues.

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