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08 Oct 2019
Tim Marlow announced as next Design Museum director
By Andy Knaggs
Tim Marlow announced as next Design Museum director
Tim Marlow has been at the Royal Academy of Arts since 2014
Photo: Cat Garcia
London's Design Museum has named Tim Marlow – currently artistic director at the Royal Academy of Arts – as its new chief executive and director.

Named European Museum of the Year in 2018, the Design Museum was founded by Sir Terence Conran and opened its doors in 1989. It is one of the world's leading museums devoted to contemporary architecture and design with work encompassing all elements of design, including fashion, product and graphic design. Since 2006 it has staged more than 90 exhibitions and installations on contemporary design, and has increased its international footprint with touring exhibitions across Europe, Japan, Korea and China.

Marlow brings a wealth of experience from his role at the Royal Academy of Arts, as well as a previous ten-year stint as director of exhibitions at the contemporary art gallery White Cube from 2003 to 2014. An award-winning broadcaster and author of numerous books and catalogues, he has lectured, chaired and participated in panel discussions on art and culture around the world.

At the Royal Academy he oversaw six departments, from exhibition programming to publishing, and has worked with many influential artists of modern times, including Ai Weiwei, Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

Of his new role, he said: "The opportunity to build on the impressive work that the museum and its staff have already done in promoting the central importance of design and architecture in shaping our world is phenomenal. In a world-class building with an energetic and talented team, I'm fired up for the challenges which lie ahead."

Current co-directors, Deyan Sudjic and Alice Black have worked together for 12 years at the museum. Together they have transformed it from a small, specialist institution attracting 120,000 visitors per year, to one that today welcomes around 600,000 a year. The pair successfully led the museum through an £82m (US$100.4m, €91.4m) move to a new home in Kensington which tripled its size.

The museum's founder, Sir Terence Conran, thanked Sudjic and Black for their efforts, saying: "I am eternally grateful to Deyan And Alice for their outstanding work in leading and realising this vision, and for the three successful years we have enjoyed in our museum's new iconic home. They have created the robust foundations that will ensure the Design Museum continues to promote the importance of design to our country for decades to come."

Marlow will replace Sudjic and Black, from the end of January 2020. Sudjic will become director emeritus from January 2020, in recognition of his curatorial and creative leadership. Black said she is "ready for a new challenge".

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