RCA Appoints Professor Paul Anderson as Dean of the School of Design

The Royal College of Art has announced the appointment of Professor Paul Anderson as Dean of the School of Design.

Professor Anderson has extensive experience in higher education at an executive leadership level. He joined Glasgow School of Art in 1993, and in 1997 was responsible for the creation of the Digital Design Studio (DDS), which became the focus for postgraduate design research at Glasgow School of Art. DDS resulted in a multidisciplinary, unified approach to postgraduate academic teaching, pure research and commercial activity. Director of DDS until July 2016, Professor Anderson has an international profile in leading-edge research into fundamental human computer interface issues associated with 3D interfaces, haptics, 3D sound and gesture-based interaction supporting real-time 3D visualisation.

Professor Anderson received his MA in Industrial Design from the Royal College of Art in 1986 before working for consultancy firms in London and developing his own practice. He has served as an on-call consultant to government agencies, and is an active member of SPIE and ACM SIGGRAPH. Cultural and academic affiliations include Fellowships of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and the Royal Geographical Society.

'This is a very exciting time for the College, and I am delighted that Paul is joining the senior team' said Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the Royal College of Art. 'Having developed a thriving research centre at Glasgow School of Art, he brings to this role significant research credibility, both academically and with external partners. Paul’s vision for the School of Design will nourish it in new ways and take it in new directions.' 

Professor Naren Barfield, Pro-Rector, added: 'As a senior academic and research leader with a track record of success and strong industrial experience in high-end technical product design, Paul’s appointment as Dean of the School of Design is excellent news. Under his leadership, I am confident that the exciting opportunities for new design models to develop here at the College, and for current programmes to thrive, will be successfully achieved.'

Paul Anderson said: 'I find the College’s appetite to embrace the STEM to STEAM agenda very exciting indeed, and I look forward to forging new connections with RCA colleagues and with the wider RCA community. The way that we approach design has changed dramatically over the last two decades: we no longer limit the discipline to purely object-orientated activities. System, experience, and service offering are now an integral part of the discipline, and the RCA is in prime position to continue to deliver world-leading design teaching and research.'

Professor Anderson succeeds Professor Dale Harrow, recently announced as Director of the RCA’s new Intelligent Mobility Design Centre and inaugural Chair in Intelligent Mobility. This appointment marks the conclusion of an international search.