Lord Foster of Thames Bank O.M. has been appointed President of the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust, with effect from 15 January 2018.
Announcing the appointment, the charity's Chairman, Lord Palumbo, said:
"We are delighted that Norman Foster has agreed to serve as our President. Britain's most eminent architect, renowned across the world as a master of his profession, he combines huge accomplishments with a laser-sharp strategic vision of how our cities should develop. We look forward to working with him to help ensure that the good design is seen across the country, especially in the context of the Northern Powerhouse, as something that both creates and enhances economic growth”.
Lord Foster took the opportunity of the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust’s annual lecture in Manchester just over a year ago to argue that the cities of the north could once again drive growth and innovation in Britain, but were being hampered by short-sighted planning strategies. “It is ironic”, he said, “that one of our prime exports – design and engineering skills – continues to fuel investment and growth globally, while being restricted by indecision and short-termism in the UK.” He challenged decision-makers to rediscover the traditions of intelligent design, innovation and civic pride that had provided a blueprint for growth in the rest of the world.
Lord Foster’s predecessor as President of the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust, The Rt. Hon. Lord Carrington K.G., G.C.M.G., C.H., M.C., has been appointed the charity’s first Patron.
The architect Sir Terry Farrell and Dr. Maria Balshaw C.B.E., Director of the Tate Galleries, have been appointed to the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust’s Advisory Board for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2018.
The Royal Fine Art Commission Trust (registered charity 298201) was set up in 1987 as a complement to the Royal Fine Art Commission, the Government’s independent adviser on matters affecting public amenity and aesthetics in England and Wales. Over the past thirty years, the Trust has sought to promote visual awareness and public appreciation of high-quality design, for example through educational initiatives and an architecture award. Today it continues to advance its charitable objectives through commentary on design matters, by undertaking or commissioning relevant research and by partnering projects where its involvement can add value.