RCA Society

James Dyson succeed Sir Terence Conran and RCA Dyson Building - Battersea campus

Sir James Dyson to Succeed Sir Terence Conran as Provost of the Royal College of Art. The Head of the College, the Provost presides over meetings of the Court and confers degrees at Convocation. Sir James will take up the post on 1 August 2011. Sir James Dyson, whose term of appointment is five years, is widely acclaimed as one of the world's most successful and influential design entrepreneurs. Earlier this year, his report for the Conservative Party, Ingenious Britain, called on the Government to re-awaken Britain's innate creativity and competitive spirit. A graduate from the Royal College of Art and a Member of Council since 1998, Sir James has long been a generous supporter of the College, and his educational charity, The James Dyson Foundation, has a close relationship with the RCA.

Sir James Dyson said, 'I discovered engineering here under the guidance of Tony Hunt and have enjoyed watching the RCA¹s output ever since. Thanks to Terence Conran¹s ambition and foresight, the College will continue to grow. The UK needs to rediscover its talent for making things. At the RCA the efforts of engineers, designers and scientists converge. I look forward to a period of inventiveness, productivity, and collaboration of brilliant minds.'

Sir Terence Conran said, 'The Royal College of Art is a unique institution and truly one of the world's elite art and design universities. Its continued success is key to the economic revitalisation of our country, and I say to our politicians, ignore the creativity and innovation of our talented young students at your peril.

'I feel greatly privileged to have been involved with the College for the past 25 years and the last six as Provost, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. It is with sadness that I step down from this role but I'm delighted with the appointment of James Dyson, who I am certain will be an inspirational Provost, and he is certainly the best successor I could think of. He incorporates all the qualities that the RCA can strive for – original design, innovation and entrepreneurialism.'

RCA’s new Battersea campus
15 February 2011 – Minister of Communication, Culture and the Creative Industries Ed Vaizey MP, Sir James Dyson and a host of distinguished guests including Sir Terence and Lady Victoria Conran joined Rector Dr Paul Thompson for the Dyson Building’s Topping Out ceremony.

The Dyson building, which will open officially in Autumn 2012, will mix artists and designers together. Uniting all four departments of Fine Art, as Printmakers and Photographers move from Kensington into the Dyson building, across the road from their Sculpting and Painting compatriots, the premises will also be home to InnovationRCA. The Building is to also have a public face – housing a 222 seat lecture theatre and a 250 sqm exhibition gallery open to the general public.

Dr Thompson thanked all those who have helped make this project a reality, including Higher Education Funding Council of England, for its match funding scheme which contributed £2.75 m to this phase of the Battersea development, the Garfield Weston Foundation, and Sir James Dyson. AND architect, Graham Haworth and his team at Haworth Tompkins, the College’s Battersea landlords, Robert & Elspeth Lane of Chelsea Estates, Wandsworth Council which has given the College great support, contractors Wates Construction and the Buildings & Estates Committee chaired by Sir Idris Pearce.