D&AD CEO pays tribute to the 'grace and impressive presence' of Moira Gemmill

The CEO of D&AD Tim Lindsay has paid tribute to former Victoria & Albert (V&A) director of design, Moira Gemmill after she was killed while cycling to work last week.

A leading figure in architecture and design, Gemmill was paramount in the implementation of a £150m future plan at the V&A to update its galleries which led to a host of new exhibitions.

"Moira’s contribution to our great city’s design heritage cannot be overstated," said Lindsay. "Her work at the V&A is well documented, and for good reason. She approached design with a grand vision rather than as a series of individual problems. And what’s more, she did it with grace, and with impressive presence."

"Anyone who has visited the V&A will have been affected by Moira’s vision. The recent swathe of exhibitions and innovative events may have brought in the numbers, but they wouldn’t be possible without the revolutionary transformation throughout the V&A’s halls."

Gemmill was also largely responsible for commissioning the museum's new outpost in Dundee, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and oversaw the extension of the V&A beyond its Kensington site with the opening of the Clothworkers’ Centre for textiles and fashion in Olympia.

The designer had recently started work at the Royal Collection where she was tasked with modernising Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. "We can only imagine the transformative effect she would have on our experience of royalty and heritage," added Lindsay.

"Design needs the modernising figures, the people who stand above the parapet and push for the transformative projects. Let’s hope she inspired more to emerge."

Gemmill died aged 55.

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