Professor Martyn Evans appointed director of Manchester School of Art

  • Professor Martyn Evans appointed director of Manchester School of Art at MMU
  • Prof Evans has been head of art school research centre since 2015
  • Brings 20 years of experience in design and innovation to role


Professor Martyn Evans has been appointed the new director of the Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University.  

Professor Evans has worked at the university for the past five years as the head of the research centre at the art school, alongside 20 years of experience in design and innovation.  

He has held many leading roles including, being including the director of the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts at Lancaster University as well as on the panel of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). 

He is taking over the ‘global leading’ art school, in his own words, which is the second oldest art school institution in the country dating back to 1838.  

He said: “It’s an absolutely huge honour, it is an amazing art school and we want to make it as brilliant as it can be. It is a huge honour, a challenge and exciting all at different levels. 

“ I want [Manchester School of Art] to be a global-leading arts school, that’s the goal. And I should have the role if I didn’t have that ambition. ”.  

He added:  “I want us to do one thing well and that is to be the best art school we can be, so if we do that everything will follow nicely from that. In order for us to be the best art school we need to provide the best student experience.”  

Professor Evans has deeper resonance with the art school, as well as being head of the research centre since September 2015, he studied a master’s degree in industrial design at the art school during the 1990s.  

Since then, he has led various projects on a national and international scale including Design 2020 as well as the AHRC funded Design Action Plan aimed at ‘Strategic use of design in both the public and private sectors’ 

Professor Sharon Handley, pro-chancellor of arts and humanities at MMU, said:  “He is the right person to lead Manchester School of Art through the next stage of its journey as an art school for the 21st century.

“He brings with him an exemplary track record of leadership as a head of  department.”