An Interview with Professor Wendy Dagworthy

Judges Interviews

Wendy Dagworthy

Dean of School of Material, RCA

Judging all the entries for the inaugural Creative Conscience Awards:UK is proving to be a long process. It is also a deeply inspiring one. Not just because of the awesome quality of the entries we’ve received but because we also get to spend quality time with some of the creatives we most admire.

Aside from the judging, we’ve been chatting about what inspires them and why they’ve chosen to become part of this ambitious initiative.

Here’s what Head of Programmes and Dean of School of Material at the Royal College of Art, Professor Wendy Dagworthy had to say…

What is the single most interesting brief you’ve worked on during your career?

I’ve recently curated a new exhibition at the V&A called ‘Club to Catwalk:London Fashion in the 1980s’. That’s been a really exciting adventure because I’ve had to research the work of several designers and their influence on the 90+ pieces of work in the exhibition.

Who has been your biggest influence?

Travel is my biggest inspiration; in Asia and India especially. I’m really interested in workwear, military wear and the details that designers incorporate into menswear – the fabrics, the colours, the weaves, it’s all fascinating to me.

What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Be yourself, do what you really believe in.

What advice would you give a creative student today?

Follow your dream; believe in yourself as an individual and have confidence in your own abilities. Never do what’s already been done before – innovate!

In this culture of fear and cautiousness, what is the future of design?

We have to address design and value it. Sustainability and inclusive design, both those sentiments are of incredible importance today. Applying design to every day objects has the power to change people’s lives – that needs to be recognised more. It’s good to see that the British Fashion Council is embracing all that.

What is it about this initiative that has inspired you to get involved?

Sustainability is so important so it’s good to get students starting to think about it. We don’t really push it at the Royal College of Art but they’re all very aware of its importance. This project encourages students to think more – we will all lose if we don’t take more care.

How does your creative conscience express itself in your work?

For me, it’s all about passing on knowledge to young people. I learn as much from them as they do from me.

Interview by Kate Burton