Gavin Cawood remembered

26 February 2017
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Gavin CawoodA tribute to Gavin Cawood of PDR, a driving force behind the SEE network which involved many BEDA members.

It is with admiration and fondness that we remember Gavin Cawood who passed away at the end of November 2016. Gavin worked at PDR (International Design and Research Centre) at Cardiff Metropolitan University for 21 years.

He built and steered Design Wales over 13 years from humble beginnings to an internationally renowned design support programme. It was seen as a leader in its field that pioneered new approaches, promoted new design methods and skills and was something hugely admired across Europe. Gavin was the driving force behind three successive phases of the SEE (Sharing Experience Europe – Policy Innovation Design) network involving many BEDA members. The network shared good practices in design support programmes and influenced policies and programmes at multi-levels of governance. A few years ago he took over responsibility for the management of all of PDR. His expertise has been fundamental to building PDR towards the standing and success it enjoys today.

The news in September 2015 that Gavin was seriously ill was a true bolt from the blue. He was diagnosed with stage 4 Melanoma Cancer. Over the following weeks and months, our already huge admiration for Gavin grew as we all witnessed the approach and bravery with which he faced his diagnosis. His blog was inspirational, yet typical of Gavin’s incredible humanity and humility. Perhaps greater than his achievements in PDR is the impact and legacy that Gavin has had on those with whom he worked and collaborated. This is evidenced by the large number of messages and the genuine sense of loss that we’ve been sent from people from around the world. We would like to sincerely thank all those who sent messages and shared memories of Gavin.

We would like to celebrate the fact that we were lucky enough to get to know Gavin a little. He was a transformational force in a quiet, unobtrusive way that left a positive impact on so many people around him. He leaves a lasting legacy of good and some very fond memories and it was a privilege and honour to have known him.

Jarred Evans and Anna Whicher, PDR

Contact BEDA  Koloniënstraat 56, 1000 Brussels (Belgium) t. (+32) 2 217 39 77  f. (+32) 2 217 99 72
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