Arup structural engineer announced as Master of Royal Designers

The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) has announced Tristram Carfrae as incoming Master of the Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry, taking over from fashion designer, Betty Jackson.

A structural engineer, Tristram is known for designing remarkable buildings around the world including the Beijing 2008 Olympics Aquatic Centre (the ‘Water Cube’), Singapore’s Marina Bay double helix bridge and the City of Manchester Stadium. He has worked with some of the greatest names in architecture and design including Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Philip Cox and Thomas Heatherwick. Currently, he is helping complete the design of Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Now Deputy Chairman of Arup, Tristram started in the firm as a graduate, working alongside Sydney Opera House roof engineer Peter Rice. Since the early 1980s he has focused on designing and pushing the boundaries of lightweight structures. His work has been recognised by the award of the Institution of Structural Engineers’ most coveted prize, the Gold Medal.

Tristram was appointed as a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) by the RSA in 2006. The title RDI is awarded to designers of all disciplines who have achieved ‘sustained design excellence, work of aesthetic value and significant benefit to society.’ Since it was introduced, recipients of the honour have included designers as diverse as Eric Gill, Barnes Wallis, Lucienne Day, Jonathan Ive, Richard Rogers, and Vivienne Westwood.

Tristram Carfrae RDI, Arup Fellow, said:

“As engineers we are rarely in the spotlight, so I am proud that this post recognises the importance of our design work. But it is important to remember we are part of an even more powerful design community. Whether we work as designers in fashion, architecture, or computing we help to improve people’s lives. Now more than ever, the world is relying on us to provide answers to challenges such as climate change, population growth and resource depletion. I would like to welcome the new Royal Designers for Industry to the Faculty. Our task is to encourage the next generation of designers to move the world to a better, more sustainable future.”