Apple’s Chief Design Officer has a new gig–in his hometown. Jony Ive will replace James Dyson as the chancellor of London’s Royal College of Art.
Ive, who today is one of the most high profile designers in the world, led design at Apple over the past two decades, establishing its ethos with the Macbook, the iPhone, and the company’s new campus. In 2015, after serving as senior vice president of design, he became Apple’s first ever Chief Design Officer–a role that was meant to allow him more flexibility to pursue broader projects. He’ll continue as Apple’s CDO as he serves as RCA’s chancellor for a five-year term, a gig for which he will not be paid.
So, does Ive’s appointment reflect a shift within the culture at RCA?The 180-year-old British institution–and one of the most prestigious art schools in the world–has emphasized technology and science recently, with courses in intelligent mobility and design engineering. In a release, the school described its efforts to expand, “into the domains of computer and materials science, the impact of the digital economy, advanced manufacturing and intelligent mobility.” Ive’s involvement could push it along.
“I am thrilled to formalize my relationship with the RCA, given the profound influence the College has had on so many of the artists and designers that I admire,” Ive said in a statement.
Though it’s unclear how much of his time the chancellor role will demand, the move may show Ive stepping further away from Apple and spending more time in the U.K. He’ll always have Apple’s new spaceship campus to bring him back, though.KS