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Seven of the UK’s best designers are to be recognised for their outstanding contribution to design and society by becoming Royal Designers for Industry (RDI) at an award ceremony held at the RSA on Thursday 28 November including:

  • Paul Brown RDI for fostering the place of UK set and costume design on the world stage

  • Ian Cartlidge RDI for developing innovative typography for the British cultural sector, and enhancing public engagement through his way-finding systems, exhibition design, signage, and publications.

  • Hussein Chalayan RDI for his sustained excellence and innovation in fashion design and his significant contribution to the UK’s reputation as a global industry leader

  • Tony Meeuwissen RDI for his distinctive and innovative contribution to British illustration over 50 years, and serving as an inspiration to generations of children learning to read or draw

  • Sandy Powell RDI for her contribution to the establishment of UK’s pre-eminence in film costume design

  • Patrick Woodroffe RDI for his innovative and influential use of light to create inspiring public events, and for his development of energy saving lighting

  • Saeed Zahedi RDI for his innovative solutions in prosthetic product design and improving the quality of life of people with physical disabilities

Regarded as the highest honour a designer can receive in the UK, two Honorary RDI awards will also be given to:

  • Lidewij Edelkoort Hon RDI for her pioneering and inspirational work as a design forecaster, publisher, exhibition curator, and educationalist

  • Hartmut Esslinger Hon RDI for his ground-breaking work in transforming and humanising consumer electronics

“The RSA is committed to encouraging and rewarding outstanding designers who challenge convention, discover new insights, and improve our quality of life. The work of these nine outstanding practitioners is varied but they have all demonstrated sustained design excellence and have helped to make the world a better place.”

The distinction Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) was established by the RSA in 1936 and is awarded annually to designers of all disciplines who have achieved sustained design excellence, work of aesthetic value and significant benefit to society. Only 200 British designers can hold the title RDI, and non-UK designers are awarded the honorary title Hon RDI. There are now 142 RDIs and 56 Honorary RDIs. Members of the Faculty include Terence Conran, Jonathan Ive, James Dyson, Vivienne Westwood, and Thomas Heatherwick.

The Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry was formed in 1938 as the association of Royal Designers for Industry. Many of the Royal Designers give their services to the RSA both individually and as a body, for example funding and organising summer schools, serving as jurors in the RSA's Student Design Awards scheme, and contributing their design expertise to the RSA Academies.

Following the RDI presentations, Malcolm Garrett RDI, graphic designer and incoming Master of the Royal Designers will give his inaugural lecture entitled, ‘The Correct Use’, highlighting the value of design in education and industry.

For quotes from the new RDIs and additional background information about their work please see the attached documentation or contact

Notes to editors

1. For more information contact RSA Head of Media Luke Robinson on 020 7451 6893 or 07799 737 970 or


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