Alice Rawsthorn

Critic; Writer; Lecturer / Architecture; Fashion Design; Graphic Design; Interior Design; Product Design / United Kingdom /

Alice Rawsthorn is an internationally renowned design commentator whose latest book, the critically acclaimed Hello World: Where Design Meets Life, explores design’s impact on our lives: past, present, and future.

A prominent broadcaster and public speaker, Rawsthorn speaks on design at important international events, including the World Economic Forum’s annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland. Based in London, she is chair of trustees at the Chisenhale Gallery, as well as a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery and of the contemporary dance group, the Michael Clark Company.

Born in Manchester, Rawsthorn graduated in art and architectural history from Cambridge University. She became an award-winning journalist for the Financial Times, working as a foreign correspondent in Paris and pioneering that newspaper’s coverage of the creative industries. In 2006, Rawsthorn joined the international edition of the New York Times as a columnist, writing a weekly design column syndicated to other media worldwide.

An honorary senior fellow of the Royal College of Art in London, Rawsthorn has served on numerous cultural juries, including the Turner Prize for contemporary art, the Stirling Prize for architecture, the British Council’s selection panel for the Venice Architecture Biennale, the PEN History Book Prize, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, and the BAFTA film and television awards.

A trustee of Arts Council England from 2007 to 2013, she is a former chair of the British Council’s Design Advisory Group and a former member of the Design Council and the UK government’s advisory panel on the BBC Charter Review. Before joining the Arts Council’s board, Rawsthorn was its lead advisor on the visual arts and chaired the Turning Point review of the contemporary visual arts, which led to a record increase in public funding.

Rawsthorn’s latest book, Hello World: Where Design Meets Life, was published in the UK in March 2013. The U.S. edition of Hello World is to be published by the Overlook Press in February 2014, followed by various foreign-language editions. Her previous books include an acclaimed biography of the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.

In addition, Rawsthorn has contributed essays and interviews to a number of books on design and art, including Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: Bivouac (Hélène Guenin and Laurent Le Bon, eds); Hella Jongerius: Misfit (Louise Schouwenberg, ed); Designing Media (Bill Moggridge); The Infamous Chair: 220º Virus Monobloc (Arnd Friedrichs and Kerstin Finger, eds.); Articulado (Articulado, ed.), AC/DC: Contemporary Art, Contemporary Design (Jean-Pierre Greff, ed.); Rises in the East: A Gallery in Whitechapel (Katrina Schwartz and Hannah Vaughan, eds.); Frieze Projects and Frieze Talks: 2006–2008 (Neville Wakefield and Jennifer Higgie, eds.); Women of Design: Influence and Inspiration (Bryony Gomez-Paladio and Armin Vit eds.); Don’t Buy It If You Don’t Need It (Martí Guixé, ed.); Fashion Theory: A Reader (Malcolm Barnard, ed.); Frieze Projects: Artists Commissions and Talks 2003–2005 (Polly Staple and Melissa Gronlund eds.), and a monograph of the work of the industrial designer Marc Newson.

Contributed Articles

Daily Features
By Alice Rawsthorn November 26, 2013

Alice Rawsthorn’s favorite place to buy books (it’s in Cambridge), the best “book as object” she owns (it’s very small), and more answers to The Proust Questionnaire—Book Edition.

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