Sir Jony Ive, top design chief at Apple, was appointed Royal Chancellor at the world’s most prestigious design school, the London Royal College of Art. He won’t be leaving Apple though; this position is more of a ceremonial think. Paul Thompson, rector (UK version of dean) of the Royal College of Art, had this to say:
It is a great honour to be joined by the world’s leading designer of his generation, who has produced consistently innovative and commercially successful technology and design. As chancellor, Jony embodies the RCA’s ideals of technology and design excellence, inspiring students and staff, and enabling us to educate the next generation of world-leading artists and designers.
Sir Jony is taking over the position from Sir James Dyson OM, who is busy founding his own engineering university. Jony is a sort of “spiritual successor” to Sir James, as the latter is one of Jony’s sources of inspiration for his own designs. Jony is looking forward to the opportunity, and noted:
I am thrilled to formalise my relationship with the RCA, given the profound influence the college has had on so many of the artists and designers that I admire. Our design team includes many RCA alumni, who embody the fundamental values of the college. I look forward to advising both the college and students, hoping that my experience proves useful in their work.
The duties of Royal Chancellor will include presiding over RCA’s advisory committee, attending faculty meetings and conferring degrees at graduation ceremonies. Jony will also serve as advisor as the college looks to expand with a new building in Battersea, which will open in 2020.