Today the Burberry Foundation and Royal College of Art announced the appointment of Professor Sharon Baurley as Professor of Design and Materials and Chair of the Burberry Material Futures Research Group.
Professor Baurley was Head of Industrial Design at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste / Zürich University of the Arts (ZHdK), Head of Design Products at the RCA, Head of Design in the School of Engineering & Design at Brunel University, and was Reader at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (UAL). Her industry consultations include Courtaulds Textiles, Marks & Spencer, Unilever, Design Intelligence. She has also collaborated on research with Fairphone, Vodafone, HP Labs and Horizon, a Digital Economy Research Hub funded by the RCUK Digital Economy programme.
“I look forward to bringing my professorial leadership skills that can synthesise across Design and STEM to advance the RCA’s STEAM agenda”
Now working with Burberry Foundation and Royal College of Art, Professor Baurley, who completed her PhD in Textile Design at the RCA, will play a key role in applying radical thinking to invent new sustainable materials. She will also look to transform consumer experience and advance manufacturing to benefit the whole industry and broader community. Defining the research agenda of the Group, she will also lead the commercial and practical application of the outcomes through collaboration with industry partners.
On her appointment, Professor Baurley said: “It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to build the Burberry Material Futures Research Group into an internationally leading centre in research and innovation in design and materials that contribute to building a future of sustainable design and production. I look forward to bringing my professorial leadership skills that can synthesise across Design and STEM to advance the RCA’s STEAM agenda by developing researchers and students to occupy this unique cognitive space.”
The Burberry Material Futures Research Group is all about generating cutting-edge research of the sustainable future of materials. It currently acts as a “virtual” centre until it officially opens its doors in 2020 at the new RCA campus. Last year, the Burberry Foundation awarded £3 million to the Royal College of Art to establish the Burberry Material Futures Research Group – the first of its kind in the world – and expand the Burberry Design Scholarship Fund in line with Burberry’s new five-year responsibility agenda. Paving the way for the establishment of the future RCA Materials Science Research Centre, the Group is the first explicit ‘STEAM’ research initiative at an art and design university. “We are delighted that Professor Sharon Baurley has been appointed Chair of the Burberry Material Futures Research Group. The Group was created to find ways to build a more sustainable future, and we are excited to see the advances in material science that will be achieved under her leadership,” said Leanne Wood, Burberry’s Chief People, Strategy & Corporate Affairs Officer, and trustee of the Burberry Foundation.
The Burberry Material Futures Research Group will act as a “virtual” centre until it officially opens its doors in 2020 at the new RCA campus and will pave the way for the establishment of the future RCA Materials Science Research Centre.