Head of Royal College of Art Design Products to Step Down
Head of the Royal College of Art’s Design Products programme, Sharon Baurley, is set to step down from her post after just three years to take up a position at a “prestigious European institution”.
Baurley, who joined the RCA’s school of design in 2014, will take up her new post at the unnamed school in January next year, while her successor is yet to be found.
She commented: “While I am sad to be leaving the RCA for family relocation, I am delighted to take up this new post in another prestigious European institution, which will enable me to build on existing interests and partnerships.”
According to the RCA, Baurley’s new post, which will be announced on October 5, will allow “opportunities for cross-disciplinary research with a particular focus on internationalisation”.
She will also continue to work as a research professor at the RCA, working alongside the institution to develop its research lab named Distributed Everything, which investigates and challenges sustainable methods of production.
She will also continue to play an active role in the Design Products scheme and the research strategy of the college.
Until Baurley’s position is filled, senior tutors James Tooze and Robert Phillips will lead the Design Products programme, with Phillips taking on the role of acting head of programme.
The RCA was named the top-ranking design school in the world earlier in the year and has recently been hit by a number of staff departures, with department and course heads stepping sideways into research roles, taking visiting positions, retiring or resigning.
The Design Interactions course was rocked by the resignation of course head Anthony Dunne and his partner, Design Interactions tutor Fiona Raby, last March.
Baurley, who was originally brought in to replace designer Tord Boontje, was also made acting head of the design interactions course after the departure of Dunne. The RCA is yet to reveal who will replace her in this role.