The Sir Misha Black Medallist’s Address
Margaret Calvert OBE, RDI
finding a way

“Looking back on a life spent mixing work with play, I realise how lucky I've been, in finding myself pursuing a career in Design, that leaves me believing there are still fresh challengers ahead.

Through drawing and painting, at a very early age, we are free to interpret the world as we see it, until transported into a less personal space by the attractions and expediency of a digital world, still in its infancy.

To have it all at our fingertips, displayed on the largest screen available, is now the norm, and has been for a long time. But we all know, hopefully, that the fast moving benefits of technology should not be an end in itself—that there other ways of realising ideas and solving problems which may require a more time consuming, and physical, ‘head, heart and hand’ approach — a term coined by Professor Richard Gyatt, in an article for the Swiss magazine Graphis, published in 1969, covering Visual Communications in the Sixties, at the Royal College of Art.

Design education, still undervalued by successive Governments, incapable of appreciating the enormous contribution it can make, to the economy and quality of life, is still one of the most valued legacies left to us by the Victorians, with an art school in almost every town or city, initially established to supply Industry with the required skills.

Despite amalgamations, and huge fees imposed on an ever increasing number of students, keen to follow a course in Art and Design, there are still opportunities to pursue paths that embrace more than one discipline, giving students a greater understanding of new problems to solve, and a chance to form lifetime partnerships.”

The 2016 Awards Ceremony