Professor Rodney Fitch, who founded design consultancy Fitch and was one of the giants of the UK design scene, has sadly passed away.
Born in 1938 and after studying at the Central School of Arts and Crafts his career started in 1963 as a junior designer at Conran Design Group where he quickly rose through the ranks becoming managing director after five years. In 1972 he set up his own consultancy, Fitch, where he worked with clients including BP, Debenhams and Topshop. In 1990 he was honoured with a CBE for his services to the British design industry.
In 1995 he became non-executive Director at Morgan the British furniture designer and manufacturer, where his insight and encouragement have been instrumental in the growth and successful navigation of the business towards a successful brand and finally to the opening of the London showroom. Morgan’s Directors Rodney and Katerina McMahon comment: “His input as a Strategy and Design Consultant has been immense with his mentoring and support. He was an inspiration to everyone at Morgan and a great and true friend to us. His influence and knowledge will remain with us all. He will be greatly missed.”
The influence of Rodney Fitch is widely spread and there can be few in the interiors industry that has not been touched by his presence. BCFA Managing Director Colin Watson who used the services of Fitch on design projects added his tribute. “It is totally appropriate that in 2013 the BCFA presented Rodney with its Lifetime Achievement Award. It was a unanimous decision and followed closely the 2012 award to Terence Conran. Two giants of our industry whose careers were closely related”
Though recognised globally for his work in retail design, it is his broader contribution to the Arts and Design establishment that have distinguished him as an industry leader. Rodney played a key role in the evolution of design education, served as a member of the Council of the Royal College of Art, a President of the Designers and Art Directors Association and of the Chartered Society of Designers and as a trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum. For these and countless other contributions, he was awarded a CBE in 1990 for his influence on the British design industry. In recent years he also became a Professor of Design at the University of Delft.