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Mark Major and Jonathan Speirs named Royal Designers for Industry

15 November 2012 12.00 GMT

(UK) - The Royal Society of Arts named Mark Major and Jonathan Speirs as two of twelve top designers to be been made Royal Designers for Industry. They are the first architectural lighting practitioners to receive the honour.

The RSA award, regarded as the highest honour a designer can achieve in the UK, was presented  ‘for their innovative use of light to create public space’.  

Mark Major collected his award at a special ceremony on November 14th at the Royal Society of Arts in London. Jonathan’s award, which was given posthumously following his death in June of this year, was collected by his wife Elizabeth Speirs.

In accepting the award, Mark Major made reference to the benefit of this recognition to the lighting design profession as a whole:

“I am delighted and honoured to have been made a Royal Designer for Industry.  Even more so that my late partner Jonathan Speirs has also been recognised in this way. Both of us strived hard over many years to improve the quality of light for people within the built environment. It is therefore a real achievement for our work to be recognised in this way.  I am looking forward to working with the Royal Society of Arts to help promote the importance of good public lighting and in particular to improve general education about the need to develop a truly sustainable approach to lighting development.“

The distinction Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) was established by the RSA in 1936 to enhance the status of designers in industry and to encourage a high standard of industrial design.

Other RDI’s being created this year include the musician Brian Eno, landscape designers Andrew Grant and Dan Pearson, production designer Mark Fisher OBE, TV and film lighting designer Charlie Paton and architect Sarah Wigglesworth.  Honorary RDI’s are interaction designer Bob Greenberg, interaction designer Tom Roope, video games designer Toshio Iwai and architect Peter Zumthor.


Mark Major and Jonathan Speirs.

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