Alice Rawsthorn writes about design for The International New York Times, which syndicates her articles worldwide. She is also a columnist for Frieze magazine and an author, whose latest book, the critically acclaimed Hello World: Where Design Meets Life explores the changing role of design in our lives: past, present, and future.
A prominent public speaker on design, she has participated in important international events, including the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Based in London, Rawsthorn is chair of the board of trustees at the Chisenhale Gallery and a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery and of the Michael Clark Company. Alice was awarded an OBE for services to design and the arts in 2014.
Born in Manchester, Rawsthorn graduated in art and architectural history from Cambridge University. From 1985 to 2001, she was an award-winning journalist for the Financial Times, working as a foreign correspondent in Paris and pioneering the FT's coverage of the creative industries. Alice was director of the Design Museum in London from 2001 until 2006, when she was appointed design critic of the international edition of The New York Times.
An honorary senior fellow of the Royal College of Art with an honorary doctorate from the University of the Arts, Rawsthorn has served on numerous cultural juries, including the Turner Prize for contemporary art, the Stirling Prize for architecture, the British Council’s selection panel for the Venice Architecture Biennale, the PEN History Book Prize, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, and the BAFTA film and television awards. She is a member of Writers at Liberty, a group of writers who are committed to supporting the human rights charity Liberty.
A trustee of Arts Council England from 2007 to 2013, she was previously ACE’s lead adviser on the visual arts and chair of the Turning Point review of the contemporary visual arts, which led to a record increase in public funding. She is a past chair of the British Council’s Design Advisory Group, and a former member of the Design Council and the government advisory panel on the BBC Charter Review.
In addition to contributing essays to a number of books on design and contemporary culture, Rawsthorn is the author of an acclaimed biography of the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. Her latest book, Hello World, described by the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist as "panoramic in scope, passionately argued and highly addictive to read," is published by Hamish Hamilton in the U.K. The U.S. edition is to be published by the Overlook Press in 2014, followed by multiple foreign language editions.