The British Council is to lose design director Malcolm Reading, who will not being replaced.
Reading says it is “totally his own decision” to leave. “It’s not connected with budget cuts and I’m not being made redundant. I’ve achieved everything I personally can here. It’s time for a break.”
He will take on a consultancy role for the British Council. “Contractually I won’t be design director any more, but I will continue to advise the council on effective ways to buy design for the council’s 109 countries,” says Reading, who joined the council six years ago as an architect and has been design director for two years.
Reading and brand manager Ian Gunter have developed a feasibility study to be submitted to the council in September. “It will look at restructuring of design posts. This may lead to more in-house designers but definitely no design director,” confirms Gunter.
He adds that “Malcolm will be missed, but this won’t really have a negative effect. We’ll have a smaller in-house architecture and interiors resource, but we always use a lot of outside consultants anyway. He’ll become one”.
Reading plans to “do some teaching” and work for organisations which can use his knowledge of commissioning interior designers and architects for international projects.
Marsha Lebon, exhibition designer at the British Council, was made redundant from her post earlier this month.