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It is with great sadness that the Royal College of Art has learnt of the recent passing of Dr Louise Kiesling.

Louise was not only a valued member of the RCA’s alumni community (having graduated with a PhD in Vehicle Design in 2013), but also a generous philanthropic supporter of the College’s students.

Widely known as a versatile designer and manager, Louise was a member of the Volkswagen Supervisory Board since 2015 and both CEO and Creative Director of the Austrian textile manufacturer Backhausen.

An incredibly talented and inspirational leader in her field who held an unwavering belief in the transformational impact of education, Louise will be greatly missed by all here at the RCA and across the creative industries internationally.

Dr Paul Thompson, Vice-Chancellor said,

‘Louise Kiesling was an extraordinarily generous and talented designer, whose passions ranged across so many different design disciplines: Textiles to Automotive to Architecture. She was a brilliant doctoral student at RCA and a wonderful benefactor to future generations of automotive designers whom she supported with scholarships. A dear friend of the RCA, she will be much missed.'

Professor Dale Harrow, Chair and Director, Intelligent Mobility Design Center (IMDC) said

‘I got to know Dr Louise well during her time with us at the RCA and it was a delightful experience to enjoy her development through her PhD studies. She became a friend and a great supporter of the programme and wider RCA.

She was always ready to take on any challenges with warmth and enthusiasm. She was a great inspiration to the other students, keen to engage in debate and discussion on design. She valued her time at the RCA and met many friends and I’m grateful that she studied with our community and for her continued legacy with us through the scholarships that provided opportunities for others to study.’

Dr Artur Grisanti Mausbach, Senior Research Fellow, Intelligent Mobility Design Centre said,

‘I was very lucky to have Louise as a colleague at the RCA Vehicle Design department. She was always supportive and inspiring to work with, building long lasting collaborations and friendship. I will miss her very much.’

Design Transience