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Last Updated: Monday, 27 September, 2004, 12:47 GMT 13:47 UK
Dyson leaves Design Museum role
James Dyson
Mr Dyson became chairman of the Design Museum in 1999
Entrepreneur James Dyson has resigned from his post as chairman of the Design Museum in London.

Dyson said he was quitting the post because he felt the museum was "no longer true to its original vision" as set out by founder Sir Terence Conran.

He accused the museum of becoming a "style showcase" and was failing to rekindle public interest in technology.

Museum director Alice Rawsthorn said the process of appointing a new chairman would start later this month.

A statement released on behalf of Mr Dyson said: "The Design Museum was founded to herald the manufactured object and the industrial design process.

We are very grateful to [Dyson] for leading the museum during this time and thank him for his support and generosity over many years
Alice Rawsthorn, director

"Today, without Sir Terence Conran's curatorial guide, James Dyson believes the balance has shifted to iconography and style. It is no longer true to its original vision.

"By failing to give a lead to the public on the difference between design as styling and design as intelligent problem solving he believes the museum is perhaps neglecting its purpose.

"Therefore, while he wishes The Design Museum every success, he feels his own interests and experience are no longer applicable to the museum in its current guise."

Mr Dyson has called on the museum to return to the original ideals by exhibiting more works which explained the design and manufacturing process.

Works currently on show include the evolution of video games consoles and a retrospective of Saul Bass, who designed film title sequences for directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick.

Educational project

Mr Dyson said: "Design can be about manufacturing and engineering too. It is not something to be ashamed of, it should be celebrated.

"We need to rekindle the fascination in technology and the excitement of industry. And I believe there is an appetite for it."

He added that he plans to set up an educational project through the James Dyson Foundation to help children and teachers understand the design and technology by expanding workshops at schools and universities

In a statement, Ms Rawsthorn, who was appointed director in 2001, wished Mr Dyson well with his educational project.

"James Dyson has made a major contribution to the success of the Design Museum as chairman over the past five years.

"We are very grateful to him for leading the museum during this time and thank him for his support and generosity over many years. We wish him every success in his new project."

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