British Council design head joins Royal Society of Arts

British Council head of design and architecture Emily Campbell is leaving the organisation after 12 years to join the Royal Society of Arts as director of design. The move could spell a major shift across design and architecture for the British Council, which effectively acts as an extension to the Foreign Office. During her time at the British Council, Campbell has established its design and architecture programme, commissioning the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale since 2002, as well as orchestrating the first major international exhibitions of contemporary design to tour India and China.

A spokesman for the British Council says, ‘Emily has made an extraordinarily valuable contribution to the success and profile of the British Council’s cultural relations work in design and architecture internationally.

She leaves a very talented team, a focused programme and an excellent network of contacts – it is a great opportunity for her successor to take the British Council’s design and architecture programme to the next level.’

The British Council expects to recruit a replacement for Campbell in due course. Design and architecture advisors Alison Maloney and Catherine Ince will assume Campbell’s responsi – bilities in the interim. Campbell will take up her role at the RSA in October.

‘The RSA’s mission is all about removing the barriers to social progress, and part of that work will be advocating the true social value of design,’ explains Campbell.

‘It’s easy to see where design fits into the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce, but when it becomes RSA – “removing the barriers to social progress”, the connections with design become less clear,’ she adds.

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