Raymond Turner has been described as ‘a thought leader’ (Sean McNulty, Chairman, Dolmen-design and innovation, Ireland); ‘a design legend’ (Clive Grinyer, Director of Customer Experience, Barclays Bank, UK); ‘an inspiration and mentor to many’ (James Berry, Director, Woods Bagot Architecture, UK); ‘one of the few who have dominated the profession of Design Management’ (the late Peter Gorb, Life Fellow of the DMI and Professor of London Business School); and having had ‘an illustrious career in design, design management and design leadership’ (Robert Blaich, former Design Director, Philips, USA).
He is an internationally recognised authority on the strategic value of design leadership and management to business, government and society. Practical commercial experience of working in this area has been the focus of his career as a designer, design manager, consultant and corporate design director.
His practical experience, and innate interpersonal and communication skills, enabled him to work successfully with large corporations and small to medium size businesses across a wide range of industries. These include transportation, construction and real estate development, local and national government, city planning, public broadcasting, banking and health insurance, industrial and domestic product manufacturing. His ability to work with multidisciplinary teams enables clients to maximise design effectiveness within strict financial and time constraints.
He is one of the few design professionals who has held senior posts on both sides of the client-designer divide. Raymond was Design Director of two companies, London Transport, the provider of public transport services in the capital, and BAA, the world’s largest privately owned airport company. He has also been Managing Director of two international multidisciplinary design consultancies, Kilkenny Design in Ireland and Wolff Olins in London, UK.
Raymond’s book, ‘Design Leadership -– securing the strategic value of design’ has been hailed as ‘a Masterclass on the how and why of design leadership’ that ‘takes design off its pedestal and places the thorny issues of design management and design leadership in a modern business context’ (Mike Ganderton, Senior Creative Director, The LEGO Group). William Hannon, Founder, Design Management Institute, USA, says ‘Turner treats design issues in a refreshingly holistic manner that avoids the trap of fragmenting design into unrelated pieces. This book belongs on every executive desk, not on drawing boards.’
Practical design leadership on major projects has been a significant responsibility. Projects like Heathrow’s Terminal 5, the high speed rail link Heathrow Express and Eurotunnel, the physical link between England and France.
For 15 years he ran his own consulting business, Raymond Turner Associates – consulting in design management and leadership. His particular emphasis was on helping companies secure the strategic value of design in order to realise their corporate objectives, delivering enhanced customer experience and developing design awareness in the thinking of business leaders and managers.
Papers and Presentations
He has been a frequent contributor to international design journals with papers such as:
- Design and Business – who calls the shots? (PDF)
- Insights on Innovation (PDF)
- Wise Counsel: A Trinity of Perspectives on the Business Value of Design (PDF)
- Selecting Designers – one client’s way of auditing an entire industry (PDF)
- Design and Business DNA (PDF)
- Executive Summaries (PDF)
- Q and A Interview (PDF)
- Design Leadership and Strategy, Image Now (video)
Qualifications & Awards
Raymond’s qualifications include electrical and mechanical engineering and a First Class Honours degree in Industrial Design from Leeds College of Art, UK. He is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Tuck Business School, Dartmouth College, USA. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Technology from London City University and an Honorary Master of Arts Degree from the University for the Creative Arts, UK. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers, UK, has been a member of the Design Management Institute for 25 years and a Research Fellow at Lancaster University, UK.
At the beginning of 2018 Raymond chose to end his commercial practice, Raymond Turner Associates – consulting in design leadership and management although on a selective basis, he continues serving as a non- executive director, mentor or strategic design advisor when required. He says, ‘It is very hard to think I can suddenly walk away from nearly 50 years of involvement in design! I may well write some more and lecture if asked to do so.’
He hopes this life change will give him more time to spend on the other things he is so keen on, such as fly-fishing, fell walking, playing the piano and listening to music, reading and art appreciation. Raymond is married and lives in Dublin, Ireland and Winchester, UK.