New director set to raise RSA’s profile

Penny Egan, appointed as director of the Royal Society of Arts, says she wants to use design to help project the RSA as a “think tank for the nation”.

Egan, the first woman in the RSA’s 243-year history to hold the post, says a rethink of the society’s corporate identity and the design of its literature is a fundamental element in what will be a three-year plan to raise the society’s profile.

Egan has been at the RSA since 1986 and will take over from the current acting director James Sandison on his retirement next January. Before then, she is to “think through” her plan and how design can contribute.

Currently the RSA’s programme development director, Egan says: “In all our work – covering arts, education, business, design and the environment – we seek to educate and agitate for change.

“We have the potential to become the think tank for the nation and I want more people to know who we are and what we do. We are well known in design circles, but designers don’t necessarily know the breadth of what we do.

“Because we have such an important role to play in design we need to communicate in the right style,” she adds.

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