Dan Hill takes charge at Fabrica

Dan Hill, formerly of the BBC and Arup, has been appointed as the new managing director of Fabrica, Benetton Group’s communication research centre.

The Fabrica campus
The Fabrica campus

Hill’s appointment comes as part of a management shake-up at the Italy-based institution, which sees Benetton Group chairman Alessandro Benetton take over as chairman, and Royal College of Art rector Dr Paul Thompson appointed to chair a new advisory board.

Fabrica was founded in 1994 and is based in Treviso, near Venice. Run by Benetton, it is described as ‘an applied creativity laboratory’, and offers annual scholarships to artists and designers around the world to work across graphic design, interactive projects, editorial design and more.

Fabrica alumni include artist Dryden Goodwin and Hellicar & Lewis co-founder Joel Gethin Lewis, while Andy Cameron was creative director of interaction at Fabrica between 2001 and 2010.

Alessandro Benetton says the appointments of Hill and Thompson see Fabrica ‘equipping ourselves with strong and well-articulated academic experience’.

He adds, ‘We have to recognise that the world is different from when we started Fabrica 20 years ago.’

Hill, who joins Fabrica from his role as strategic design lead for Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, says, ‘For me, Fabrica will continue to be a place that is difficult to pigeonhole.

‘We can begin to forge new partnerships and trajectories… We are looking to build partnerships, commercial, institutional and educational.’

Hill says he is interested in working with organisations such as the RCA, as well as new design organisations such as the Russia-based Strelka Institute.

Addressing rumours that Fabrica may have been looking to shut down some of its departments, Hill says, ‘I’m more interested in expansion than contraction at the moment.’

Thompson, who describes Fabrica as ‘an incredibly bold unfinishing school’, will be working to put together and advisory board for the institution.

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