Stephen Bayley Hon FRIBA

4th October 2021

Stephen Bayley was the person for whom the term “design guru” was coined. This he accepted with self-deprecating irony. He was plucked by Terence Conran ffom the tedium of provincial academe to create The Boilerhouse Project in the V&A, an exhibition space devoted to design which became London’s most successful gallery of the eighties. Then, the two of them created London’s influential Design Museum. He was – briefly and hilariously – Creative Director of The Millennium Dome before a spectacular falling-out with the Government which he wrote about in his book, Labour Camp (1998).

Over the past forty years his writing has changed the popular perception of “design”. His books include In Good Shape (1979), The Albert Memorial (1981), Harley Earl and The Dream Machine (1983), Sex Drink and Fast Cars (1986), Taste (1991), A Dictionary of Idiocy (2003), Life’s a Pitch (2007), Design: intelligence made visible (2007), Cars (2008), Woman as Design (2009), Ugly – the aesthetics of everything (2012), Death Drive (2016), How To Steal Fire (2019), Value – what money can’t buy (2021), The Art of Living (2021) and The Age of Combustion (2021). He has been art critic of The Listener, architecture critic of The Observer and design critic of The Spectator, as well as a columnist on The Independent and The Times.

Additionally, he is a regular contributor to a multitude of international newspapers and magazines. He is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres, Chairman of The Royal Fine Art Commission Trust, a Fellow of The University of Wales, and Honorary Visiting Professor at Liverpool University School of Architecture.

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