Royal Designer for Industry

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Sustained excellence in design

The British Royal Society of Arts (RSA) established the Royal Designer for Industry designation in 1936 to encourage high-quality industrial design and elevate the reputation of designers. It is given to persons who have demonstrated “consistent excellence in beautiful and efficient industrial design.” British nationals get the letters RDI after their names, whereas those who aren’t get the letters Honorary RDI after their names (HonRDI). A Member of The Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry has earned this qualification (founded in 1938).

Their work encompasses various disciplines, including fashion, engineering, theatre, product design, graphics, and environmental design.

Every year, new RDIs are elected, and the Faculty continues to support projects that promote design excellence, such as an annual Summer School for inventive young designers.

Only 200 designers are allowed to have the RDI distinction at any given time. It is recognized as the most incredible honour in the United Kingdom in various design fields, including industrial design. Furthermore, the RSA may bestow HonRDI titles on up to half of the people who now possess the RDI designation.

At the annual RDI Dinner, new RDIs are presented with diplomas. Past Masters, including Dinah Casson, Mike Dempsey, Sir Kenneth Grange, Geoffrey Harcourt, Martin Hunt, Timothy O’Brien, Chris Wise, Malcolm Garrett, and Tristram Carfrae, elect a new Master of the Faculty every two years. Mark Major is the current Master.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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