New director at Design Council

Sean Blair, the 29-year-old founder of North East industrial design consultancy Octo Design, is to be the Design Council’s first design director.

The keenly-awaited appointment leaves just one director post vacant at the council.

Blair joined the Design Council at the beginning of 1995. He admits he came into the running for design director “quite late on”. He takes up his new post on 1 August and is selling Octo Design,which he set up in 1989, in a management buy-out.Blair says of the council and his new role: “I know we have the capability and passion to put design on the agenda like it has never been before. These are exciting times for the new Design Council.”

Blair’s role will include liaising with design’s professional bodies and promoting design to industry, the City and the Government.

Interim director of education and training Wendy Powell left the council on Friday without a permanent successor being appointed. Powell says her departure is due to her contract with the council ending.

The council still declines to comment on Design Week’s story that Angela Dumas is to be made its permanent director of research. Dumas has been the interim director for about a year.

Wendy Powell is to return to head the Design Management Department at De Montfort University. Of her time at the council she says: “There was nothing here a year ago and there is now one of the most diverse programmes in education and training ever”.

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