Dyson takes over as Design Museum head

Product designer James Dyson has been appointed chairman of The Design Museum, replacing Terence Conran who steps down after five years in the role.

Dyson was voted into the position unanimously. He has sat on the museum’s Board of Trustees since 1997.

Meanwhile, Conran will continue to play an active role in the museum he founded, becoming chairman of the museum’s curatorial committee.

Dyson’s appointment comes hot on the heels of a 200 000 grant to the museum from Culture Secretary Chris Smith, donated as part of his drive to expand the creative industries.

As chairman, Dyson will work closely with Design Museum director Paul Thompson on a wide range of initiatives. Making design more accessible to the general public is high on his – and the museum’s – list of priorities.

“The more schoolchildren and parents understand how products are created the better,” says Dyson. “We want to explain that there is a strong link between creativity and successful business and that you don’t have to be a lawyer to use your brain.”

Other board movements include the appointment of Barbican Centre managing director John Tusa. Meanwhile, trustees Sherban Cantacuzino and Sir Peter Parker have stepped down from the board.

The Design Museum will officially celebrate its tenth anniversary on 6 July and expects to receive 136 000 visitors this year.

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