The ACID team were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sarah Weir OBE., before Christmas. Sarah lost her fight against a cruel illness so bravely fought and we send our sincere condolences to her partner and family. Sarah was the first female CEO of the Design Council and held the post from 2017-2020 when she had to step down because of illness.
How bravely she made her exit from work by tweeting, “I am bringing my career to a close as I was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease at the beginning of lock down” and then carried on indefatigably communicating so ably on the reality of what she was facing to help others with better understanding of such a debilitating illness.
Dids Macdonald OBE., ACID’s CEO said., “Unlike many, Sarah really understood the value of design and I am reminded of the insightful article she wrote about Sir Winston Churchill’s industrial design vision in City News in 2019 with the headline, “Churchill knew that design was crucial to Britain’s global future – and so should we.” How right she was. Churchill, as many know, was the architect of the Industrial Council which later became the Design Council. Culminating the article, she said, “Churchill realised this back in the 1940s, and so did Attlee. And today, though we’re now known simply as the Design Council, our founding principles remain the same. Whatever may happen with Brexit, leaders in business and government must realise the potential of design to boost economic growth.”
Another of Sarah’s truisms, “The crucial barrier we must overcome is the widespread misconception that design is just a way to make something look nicer, rather than a discipline that can help businesses work better, be more productive, and employ more people.“
Dids continued, “I first met Sarah in the first week of her appointment as CEO of the Design Council and we attended various events together. From the outset, Sarah always understood the significance of the intellectual capital of this amazing sector of which intellectual property plays such a key part. From day one she was an advocate of ACID’s work and supported us whenever she could. For this we are very grateful.“
Rest in Peace Sarah, you were a lovely, clever, funny, and wise person. The design world will be poorer with your passing.
Read the full City News Article here