Dunne and Raby step down from Royal College of Art
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Dunne and Raby step down from Royal College of Art

News: Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby have announced their departure from teaching roles on the Design Interactions course at London's Royal College of Art.

Tony Dunne is leaving his position as head of the Design Interactions programme at the end of this academic year after 10 years in the role.

Raby, another member of the Design Interactions staff team, is also stepping down from the institution. The duo said they were leaving to focus on their design studio Dunne & Raby.

Dunne's departure marks the second senior staff change at the institution's design faculty in under two years. In September 2013 designer Tord Boontje left his post as head of the Design Products course. He was replaced with Dr Sharon Baurley, an academic who had previously been head of design at the School of Engineering & Design, Brunel University.

Both Dunne and Raby have a longstanding history with the RCA. Dunne studied Industrial Design at the college before completing a PhD in Computer Related Design (CRD), then began teaching in 1991. Raby studied on the RCA's Architecture and CRD courses, and both designers were founding members of the institution's CRD Research Studio.

"I feel very fortunate to have worked with so many amazingly talented students, teachers and colleagues across the RCA and within the programme during my time here, both as a student and as a member of faculty," said Dunne. "I am very proud of what our team and students have achieved over the last decade and I look forward to continuing the many conversations that began here in new ways."

The Design Interactions course encourages students to find applications for developing and speculative technologies within product and industrial design. Projects by recent students and graduates include synthetic biology proposals for meals that behave like living creatures and modifying the human body so it can consume and digest rotten food.

"Tony leaves the college at a high point, with his and Fiona's critical design philosophy fully embedded throughout the School of Design," said Dale Harrow, dean of the School of Design. "As a colleague, and as a valued member of my senior team, Tony will be much missed, as will Fiona."

Dunne and Raby set up their own studio in 1994 to "use design as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry and the public about the social, cultural and ethical implications of existing and emerging technologies", according to their website.

Their work features in the permanent collections of museums including New York's MoMA and London's V&A.

The RCA will begin searching for a replacement to head the Design Interactions programme immediately.

Photograph by AFP/Stringer, courtesy of Getty Images.