Richard Eisermann, director of design and innovation at the Design Council, has left the organisation prematurely to co-found start-up consultancy, Prospect, after two and a half years in the role.
He will not be immediately replaced in the short term, because the Design Council is in the midst of an internal review to look at how best it manages its ‘strategic design input’ – and in turn how it organises its senior team – within its London headquarters. Chief executive David Kester is working with former head of Ideo London Colin Burns on this project. It forms part of a wider strategy, as the council sets out its forthcoming three-year design agenda, due to be announced late spring, which will be implemented from 2007.
It is not yet clear if Eisermann will be replaced in the long term. In a statement issued by the Design Council, the organisation says it is considering the requirements of the role in light of the evolving needs of the organisation. As the council prepares to act on key recommendations put forward by the Cox Review, the body is seeking to adapt and evolve to meet the demands of taking forward large, state-run programmes, adds Kester.
‘Very significant changes are taking place. There is a gradual shift from being viewed as a promotional body to a national strategic body. The ante has been upped,’ adds Kester.
Over the years, the design director role has evolved with different remits. Product designers Sean Blair and Clive Grinyer both took up the post, pioneering alternative design-led strategies for the council. Whether or not the current job role is re-launched in a different guise remains to be seen.
During his time at the Design Council, Eisermann was responsible for directing design campaigns across manufacturing, technology, school learning environments and design skills initiatives.
Eisermann has left to launch a ‘strategically-driven’ group with Anja Klüver. Its current clients include Nokia and a company from the travel services industry. The consultancy will be design-led and collaborations with designers are anticipated.
‘We’ll be examining the entire service-scape and working with all the touchpoints of the brand experience,’ says Klüver.
Design Council Directors:
• Chief executive, David Kester
• Deputy chief executive, Harry Rich
• Director – Red, Hilary Cottam
• Media director, Deborah Fitzgerald