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  • Old Pocklingtonian wins major industry award


    Former Pocklington School pupil and patron of its new Art and Design Technology Centre Campaign, Professor Steven Kyffin, is to receive a prestigious industry award for outstanding contributions in the field of design.

    Steven will receive the Institution of Engineering Designers’ (IED) ‘Support Inspire, Achieve’ Award at a ceremony next month [July 8th], recognising his work encompassing academic learning, research and industrial practice.

    He follows such illustrious names as billionaire Dyson inventor Sir James Dyson, Apple’s Chief Design Officer Sir Jonathan Ive, industrial designer Sebastian Conran and Formula 1 engineer Adrian Newey.

    Having spent much of his childhood and early adult years based in Pocklington, Steven is now Northumbria University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Enterprise) and the award particularly recognises his continuing commitment, through this role, to the leadership of the design discipline from both within the industrial and academic contexts.

    He said: “I have spent many years working in professional practice; both in private consultancy and corporate strategic design leadership, as well as in the academic research and education environments. I have always tried to connect the four worlds in enabling this amazing discipline to be able to contribute so much more to creating a ‘better future’ in all its different ways.

    “So, it’s fantastic that, perhaps, the IED has recognised the importance, positioning the design discipline as one of our strategic leads in the creation of ideas and the search for meaning in both cultural and economic growth.”

    Steven’s commitment to guiding the design discipline into the future through the academic context has fired his enthusiasm for Pocklington School’s new £2.5 million Art and Design Technology Centre, where he has lent his support as a patron of the Campaign to raise funds for the new building.

    He said: “Developing the energy, critical curiosity and innovative thinking skills in young people is more essential than ever for the future of design and is vital, if we are to grow our country’s excellent reputation in this area. Pocklington School’s Art and Design Centre was a pivotal inspiration for me in the 1970s, a true leader, one of very few schools in the ‘general education space’, and I want to do everything I can to see that great ambition grow and grow.”

    Mark Ronan, Headmaster, Pocklington School, said: “We are very proud that the foundations for Steven’s successful career were laid at Pocklington School. We are also extremely grateful for his continued links with the School and particularly his interest in promoting our design talent for future generations through the new Art and Design Technology Centre.”

    After leaving Pocklington School, Steven studied Design for Industry at Northumbria University in Newcastle, graduating in 1981 with first-class honours. He then gained his Master of Design at the Royal College of Art in London.

    He enjoyed a successful period of senior leadership in industry, including a decade as Global Senior Director of Design Research and Innovation at Royal Philips Electronics, while working in the Netherlands. However he continued his academic links, supporting many university design research programmes in Europe, Asia and the US.

    Steven was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Northumbria University in 2009 for his outstanding contribution to design research and innovation, and returned to Northumbria School of Design the next year as Dean of the School.

    Pocklington School’s Campaign to raise funds for the new Art and Design Technology Centre was launched in 2015 and continues as it welcomes people to the School who are interested in helping it to reach the £2m fundraising target.