Douglas Scott

(1913—1990) industrial designer and educator

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(1913–90) After studying at the Department of Metal Studies at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (1926–9), Scott worked for lighting design companies in Birmingham and London. In 1936 he joined the newly established London offices of Raymond Loewy Associates, thus becoming one of the first professional British industrial designers.

Among the company's principal clients were Allied Iron founders (for whom Scott redesigned the Aga cooker), Electrolux, the General Electric Company (GEC), and Rootes, the motor manufacturers. During the Second World War Scott worked in the engine department of the aircraft manufacturers De Havilland where he learnt agreat deal about materials and production engineering. Scott then took on a variety of freelance commissions, including luxury luggage for Papworth Industries (1947), coach design for London Transport (1946–8) and radio cabinet and selector systems for Rediffusion (1946–7). In 1949 he joined Fred Ashford to establish the design consultancy Scott-Ashford Associates.

Important in this period was his work for London Transport (LT), including designs for the luxury Regent Type Coach (RTC). He was also heavily involved with prototype work for the celebrated double-decker Route master bus (1952–4) which went into production in 1959 and remained in service for more than 30 years. In 1955 he split from Fred Ashford to establish Douglas Scott Associates (1955–76). Commissions included work for British Sound Recorders (tape recorders), the General Post Office (stamp-vending machines, pay-phones, and clocks), Prestige (kitchenware), Ideal-Standard (sanitary ware), Marconi (broadcasting equipment and mobile outside studio), and English Electric (electrical motor housings and computer control systems). One of his most celebrated designs was the practical, best-selling Roma washbasin for Ideal-Standard (in production from 1964). Scott also made an important contribution to design education, establishing the industrial design curriculum at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London. He was Visiting Professor at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) in 1970, where he became a full-time Professor of Industrial Design from 1976. He received three Design Council Awards and the Instituto Mexicano de Commercio Exterior's Gold Medal for Design (1973). His work is represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He was made a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) in (1974), and received the Design Medal of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers (1983). He was awarded the Japan Design Foundation's second International Design Award in Osaka (1985).

From A Dictionary of Modern Design in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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