The Surrey Institute of Art & Design University College (04.06.04)
The Surrey Institute of Art & Design University is to award Honorary Degrees
The Surrey Institute of Art & Design University is to award Honorary Degrees to:
- authoritative fashion commentator, Colin McDowell;
- renowned product designers and founders of Seymourpowell, Richard Seymour and Dick Powell
- textile designer and founder of NUNO, Reiko Sudo;
- award winning broadcaster, Peter White MBE;
- photographer and video artist, Gillian Wearing.
These six talented individuals will receive their Honorary Degrees at the Institute's academic award ceremonies being held at Guildford Cathedral on the 24 and 25 June 2004.
Professor Elaine Thomas, Director of The Surrey Institute of Art & Design University, explains the reason for the awards: "As one of Europe's largest specialist colleges of art, design, media and communication, we are delighted to reward and acknowledge the contribution of outstanding individuals to the creative industries. These Honorary Graduands are no exception and provide a remarkable source of inspiration to our students. We are particularly pleased this year to be able to include Dick Powell - an alumnus of the Institute - among those receiving honorary degrees."
Alongside the six Honorary Graduands, around 950 students will gather together at Guildford Cathedral to receive their degree certificates as they formally complete their university education.
Professor Thomas comments on the significance of the event: "The Institute's award ceremonies are an ideal opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our students. After all, it is our students that make the Institute the success it is today."
Note(s) to the Editor
1. The Surrey Institute of Art & Design University is one of Europe's largest specialist colleges of art, design, media and communication, with around 3,500 students studying on more that 30 programmes leading to diplomas, degrees and postgraduate qualifications. A thriving and vibrant community of researchers, staff and students, the Institute is home to the Crafts Study Centre, Animation Research Centre, Centre for Sustainable Design and Anglo-Japanese Textiles Research Centre. Alumni of the Institute include Changing Rooms' Linda Barker; fashion designers Owen Gaster and Gharani Strok; and Oscar-winning animators Daniel Greaves and Michael Dudok de Wit.
2. University Status. In April it was announced that the Governors of The Surrey Institute of Art & Design University and the Kent Institute of Art & Design have given their approval in principle for the two institutions to move towards merger. Their agreement follows the announcement made in January 2004 that the specialist organisations were seeking opportunities for closer collaboration. Marking a joint desire to pursue attainment of university status, both Boards of Governors are now in a position to support the development of a business plan with a view to a merger.
3. Colin McDowell, authoritative fashion commentator. Colin McDowell is recognised as one of the world's most authoritative fashion commentators. The author of sixteen books, he is Senior Fashion Writer for The Sunday Times Style section and is Chairman of The Costume Society of Great Britain. His book, McDowell's Directory of Twentieth Century Fashion has become so much the standard work on modern fashion designers that it is referred to as 'The Bible' within the fashion industry.
4. Richard Seymour & Dick Powell, renowned product designers and founders of the Seymourpowell consultancy. Established in 1984, Seymourpowell has risen to a commanding position on the international stage with clients as diverse as Renault, Ford, Minolta, Tefal, Casio, Tumi, JCB and Nokia. Powell is an alumnus of The Surrey Institute of Art & Design University.
5. Reiko Sudo, textile designer and founder of NUNO. Born in Japan in 1953, Reiko Sudo was one of the founders of the NUNO Corporation based in Tokyo - a company whose name is synonymous with innovative textiles that blend tradition and technology. Sudo now heads the NUNO Corporation, drawing on traditional aesthetics and creative processes to inspire today's fashions, while enlisting modern technologies to make Japan's 'lost art' more accessible to textile lovers worldwide.
6. Gillian Wearing, photographer and video artist. Winner of the Turner prize in 1997, Gillian Wearing is an innovative creator of artist photography and videos exploring the disparities between public and private life, between individual and collective appearance. She exhibited in the shows that brought the so-called Young British Artists into the public eye: Brilliant! (1995) in Minneapolis and Sensation (1997) in London. Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You to Say is probably the most famous of her pieces and was even copied for a television advertising campaign by Volkswagen.
7. Peter White MBE, award winning broadcaster. Peter White is a regular presenter on Radio 4 and Radio Solent and is the BBC's Disability Affairs Correspondent. Born in Winchester in 1947, White has been totally blind since birth. His career began by door-stepping BBC Radio Solent even before they'd opened and he started broadcasting for them in 1971. Over the past thirty years he has continued to present live current affairs programmes for the station. White first presented In Touch, Radio 4's programme for visually impaired listeners in 1974. He became the BBC's Disability Affairs Correspondent in 1995, making him the first totally blind person to produce reports for television news.
8. The Surrey Institute of Art & Design University has previously awarded Honorary Degrees to pre-eminent independent film-maker and artist, Isaac Julien; innovative animator and Academy Award nominee, Caroline Leaf; fashion designer, design consultant and style commentator, Wayne Hemingway; internationally renowned potter and editor of Ceramic Review, Emmanuel Cooper OBE; award-winning designer, Dinah Casson of interior design practice Casson Mason; oscar-winning animator, Michael Dudok de Wit; design creative, Mary Lewis; graphic designer, Angus Hyland; weaver, Peter Collingwood; editor of Design Week, Lynda Relph-Knight; fashion womenswear designer, Owen Gaster and photographer and screenwriter, Freddie Francis.