Professor Christopher Frayling’s appointment as the new rector of the Royal College of Art was confirmed last week by the RCA’s council, following a unanimous recommendation by the college senate.
Frayling, aged 49, will take up the post on 15 July when outgoing rector Tony Jones returns to the US for family reasons. Frayling’s contract is for five years.
Frayling highlights teaching, research and industrial sponsorship as his main concerns at the RCA. But one of his first moves will be to recommend to the senate in the autumn that a strapline be added to the college logo indicating its involvement in design and communication as well as art.
He is keen for the RCA to become “the place you specialise” after completing increasingly generalist courses elsewhere. Frayling is looking to upgrade the RCA’s new technology facilities. “The place needs to be completely re-equipped,” he says, adding the need is greatest in workshops and studios. He also aims to set up shared resources for students, such as a media lab, to bring all disciplines together informally.
Welcoming the news, Jones describes Frayling’s appointment as “the right appointment of the right person at the right time”.
Meanwhile, the RCA declines to comment on reports of plans to move from its Kensington base.