We have yet to see what Sir Michael Bichard will achieve in his new honorary role as chairman of the Design Council. Following the prolific and wonderfully enthusiastic Sir George Cox into the job will be a challenge indeed.
But Bichard has already proved his worth within design education – and was recognised for his outstanding contribution in that arena in last year’s Hot 50. We therefore expect great things of him in his new position, particularly given the council’s current focus on skills development and public sector design, and include him here by way of encouragement.
He took on the job of rector of the then London Institute in 2001 and oversaw the transition of the organisation, which comprised six colleges – Camberwell College of Arts, Central St Martins College of Art and Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Art – into the University of the Arts London.
He steps down as rector of this high-profile university this year, but will leave a legacy on which his successor, Nigel Carrington, can build. On the agenda are the move, scheduled for 2010, of Central St Martins to purpose-built premises in London’s Kings Cross and the relocation of the London College of Fashion, both of which Bichard has laid the foundations for.