Ron Arad has been appointed professor of industrial design at the Royal College of Art, bringing together under one head the schools of industrial design and furniture.
Arad, who succeeded Floris van den Broecke as RCA professor of furniture last summer, will remain in that post. He will bring in a senior tutor for each course, both of whom are also likely to be active practitioners.
The appointment follows an international trawl to fill what RCA rector Christopher Frayling describes as one of the college’s most prestigious jobs.
It has been empty since Pentagram partner Daniel Weil’s departure in 1995. Steven Kiffin has since been course director.
Arad, who will continue to run London design group Ron Arad Associates, says “this sort of merger is overdue”.
By creating a bigger group through the two courses, there is greater scope to subdivide into smaller specialist groups, he says.
Arad doesn’t foresee an immediate merger. “Because people registered on different courses, we owe it to them to provide what they invested in,” he says, adding that small groups can continue to focus on specific things.
Frayling says of the appointment: “The solution was staring me in the face and I didn’t see it. We have a superstar in our midst, who brings stability to the course.” He says Arad will be an “inspirational, visionary” leader.