Hunter, who joins the Design Council on Monday, will head up the organisation’s design strategy, direction and partnerships, providing design leadership across projects such as Design Bugs Out and Design for Patient Dignity.
He replaces former chief design officer Andrea Siodmok, who left in July 2009 to take up a role as programme director for Designs of the Time Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Interim chief design officer Marianne Guldbrandsen replaced Siodmok on a temporary basis.
Hunter says, ‘I can’t think of many other roles which have such a broad remit, from public-sector organisations to private businesses. What is also notable is not just the Design Council’s range, but its understanding of how important it is to look at the big issues.’
Hunter adds that as well as developing healthcare and crime programmes such as Design Bugs Out and Design Out Crime, he is particularly interested in working on projects dealing with low-carbon design.
He says, ‘My personal interest is in low-carbon industry and in issues of energy use. The Design Council is already engaged with this issue through work at Dott 07 for example, but I feel this is an issue very much of the moment.’
David Kester, chief executive of the Design Council, says, ‘I am particularly thrilled to have Mat on board at a time when Britain is demanding new thinking and ingenuity. The breadth and depth of his business and design experience will be a great asset just when we all need it.’
Hunter joined Ideo in 1995 as a junior interaction designer, after studying at the Royal College of Art. He was made parter in 2007.
He has also had academic roles at Imperial College Business School, London Business School, London School of Economics and the Helen Hamlyn Centre.
Hunter left the global consultancy in August 2009 following a restructure ofthe London office, although he told Design Week at the time that his departure was not directly linked to this move.
Christopher Exeter, formerly head of public policy and research at Connecting for Health, joined the Design Council as director of policy on Monday.
Key elements of Chief Design Officer role
- Implementing Design Council projects with NHS and Government departments
- Working on Design Council projects to promote design in businesses
- Engaging with and supporting the design industry