Design Council appoints Terry Tyrrell as new chairman

Tyrrell takes over from Martin Temple, who has been chairman of the Design Council for five years.

The Design Council's new chairman, Terry Tyrrell, who comes from consultancy Brand Union
The Design Council’s new chairman, Terry Tyrrell, who comes from consultancy Brand Union

The Design Council has appointed new chairman Terry Tyrrell, as the organisation looks to enter a “new phase” that aims to raise the profile of design and invest in more social and healthcare projects.

Tyrrell will replace Martin Temple, who has been chairman of the Design Council for five years, and who is taking up a new role as chairman of the Health and Safety Executive Board (HSE).

Tyrrell, who originally trained as a graphic designer, will join from his current role as chairman at Brand Union, the WPP-owned design consultancy he co-founded in 1976.

Aims to give design “the recognition it deserves”

The new chairman has been involved with the Design Council since 2014, as one of the trustees on the charity’s board.

He says: “It is an honour to be selected as chairman of the Design Council in this new phase for the organisation. As a trustee, I get to see first-hand how fundamental design is to both business and society. Our aim, as we move forward under a new strategic plan, is to ensure that design receives the recognition it deserves.”

Temple says: “[Tyrrell] will bring passion for design and strategic wisdom to guide the Design Council through this exciting new chapter.”

Programmes to help older people through design

The Design Council says its new “strategy” will include launching new wide-spread programmes to “address issues of national significance” to “deliver positive social, environmental and economic change”.

This includes a project funded by the Big Lottery Fund, which involves £3.65m towards a scheme that aims to improve older people’s lives through design in response to the UK’s ageing population.

The programme aims to “help create a society where older people are more valued and play a more active role in the decisions that affect their lives, as well as develop a new positive narrative about ageing,” says the Design Council.

Tyrrell will look for a new chief executive

The new strategy will also include the use of grant funding from the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to “grow the market for design in areas of the economy where it is underused”, says the Design Council.

Alongside developing a new strategy for the Design Council, Tyrrell will also be in charge of appointing a new chief executive for the organisation, following the news last month that John Mathers will step down in November.

Temple says: “Trustees are confident Terry will work with the incoming chief executive to drive forward the Design Council’s new strategy.”

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