The Rector of the Royal College of Art, Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, is to step down next year. With fundraising challenges for its new applied arts campus lying ahead, who would you tip to take on the job?
He will be hugely missed, but the star system he has used at the Royal College of Art is out of date, and the outputs seem irrelevant to the modern world. Someone who is public-facing, able to deal with difficult management, an inspirer who can manage creative types? Jonathan Ive? No, it’s got be Jose Mourinho, and he’s available.
Clive Grinyer, Design director, Orange France Telecom
Chris Frayling is a class act who will be hard to follow. Filling those shoes will be difficult, apart from the fundraising chall enges. Maybe the RCA needs to break with the past and appoint a non-academic, a senior executive from a large international company – maybe even that rare animal, a designer with boardroom experience. What is needed is someone who not only has the kind of future vision that will make people part with large sums of money, but who also recognises that inter nationalisation is key, and that that design schools in the US and Asia are already outpacing the RCA.
Stuart MacDonald, Head of Gray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University
It will be difficult to find someone with Chris’s abilities and enthusiasm. He knows how Government works and what modern education requires. He understands designers and artists and what they need to flourish, and he is brilliant at articulating this. He has increased the international reputation of the RCA, as witnessed by the record number of overseas applicants in spite of justifiably high fees. Candidates will need a deeprooted enthusiasm and an understanding of the difficulties and problems they face. They need to be predictive, not reactive, because the RCA sets the pace, and because design and art are in a constant state of flux as technology continues to develop.
James Dyson, Inventor
It will be almost impossible to replace Chris Frayling. His all-round knowledge and culture is unique. However, off the top of my head, I would tip Alice Rawsthorn to replace him. She is a woman who seems to have the right creden tials, experience (in that area between creativity and bureaucracy) and personality.
Sebastian Bergne, Industrial designer