D&AD welcomes Rebecca Wright as its new president, who plans to focus on learning and education

The dean of academic programmes at Central Saint Martins has been appointed as D&AD’s first education-focussed president. Below, she shares her visions for the year ahead.

8 October 2021

Rebecca Wright, dean of academic programmes at Central Saint Martins, has been appointed as the new D&AD president. The first from the world of education, the organisation welcomes Wright and her new vision – which will involve continuing D&AD’s legacy of the annual New Blood Awards and its free educational programme, Shift. Alongside the inauguration, which arrives in time for the organisation’s 60th anniversary next year, Richard Brim, the chief creative officer at adam&eveDDB will also become deputy president.

“As the first education president, it won’t surprise you that my focus in the year ahead will be on learning,” says Wright. “I see this as an opportunity to advocate for learning as a fundamentally creative and collective activity across our community, for the benefit of us all, including our clients and wider society.” Acknowledging the organisation’s 60th anniversary, Rebecca also states that D&AD will be “looking forward to the next generation and foregrounding learning as a central transformational core of D&AD.” This will be achieved by focusing on its “annual, awards and education work” which includes the Shift programme – the free educational programme for creatives from non-traditional backgrounds. Additionally, Rebecca’s vision will also focus on training and workshops, industry insights and progressional development. “We want to grow our D&AD learning community this year,” she adds.

The last year has proven exceptionally difficult for those entering the creative industry. “In so many ways,” says Wright, “the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on young people, and a measure of the strength and seriousness of your community is in how we respond and reach to them now.” Wright and the wider team at D&AD hope to support young creatives in schools, colleges and universities and be “more open about how we learn, why we learn and how challenging it can be.” She adds: “The most pressing concerns of our time – the crises of climate and social justice – will only begin to be addressed through learning with and from each other.”

D&AD, formerly British Design and Art Direction, made its debut in 1962 with a goal to promote excellence in both design and advertising. Years have proceeded – as well as a name change to Design and Art Direction (D&AD) – and its mission is still standing strong. So what’s in store for the next year? “Flipping the classroom and providing a platform for us to learn from the learners – of all kinds but particularly the next generation,” says Wright. “They have much to teach us and there is so much more we all have to learn.”

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Copyright © Rebecca Wright, 2021

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Ayla Angelos

Ayla is currently covering Jenny as It’s Nice That’s online editor. She has spent nearly a decade as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.


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