Frayling plans to bridge divides

Building links within the design community will top Professor Christopher Frayling’s agenda when he becomes Design Council chairman in April. But he has yet to reveal what form any initiative will take.

The Royal College of Art rector is also keen to boost public awareness of design, citing Channel 4’s Seymour Powell series Designs on your…, made with support from the Design Council, as a model.

Frayling plans to create an “afterlife” for Millennium Products after the Millennium Dome exposition and travelling shows end. “The Design Council’s role is to tease out what can be developed [as a resource],” he says.

Industry will be targeted via partnerships with bodies such as the Confederation of British Industry, while Frayling is keen to explore the design implications of e-commerce. On Government and design, he will “continue to spread the message”, and aim to raise the profile of design and technology in the National Curriculum for schools.

The honorary appointment was made by Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers. Frayling commences three years as chairman on 1 April, succeeding John Sorrell, who has done the job since January 1994. Frayling will remain at the RCA, but is resigning many honorary posts, including his seat on the Arts Council.

Sorrell says of Frayling: “He has real talent and vision and is just the right person to build on the considerable successes the Design Council has achieved.”

Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers has appointed four new Design Council members. They are Elmwood chairman Jonathan Sands; Deepend chief executive Gary Lockton; kitchen manufacturer Stoves’ chief executive John Crathorne; and retailer Thomas Goode chairman Rumi Verjee.

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