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David Carter CBE

Honorary Fellow
Person Type
David  Carter CBE


Honorary fellow

Founder of DCA, the product design and development company behind the iconic Stanley knife, David Carter is one of the UK’s most decorated designers.

David Carter founded the product design and development company DCA in 1960 which continues to be an award-winning, world-leading business.

Before Carter’s retirement, the company had worked extensively on projects as diverse as rolling stock for British Rail and London Underground, as well as Le Shuttle for the Channel Tunnel in 1985; designed many hand tools including the iconic Stanley knife; re-invented the BT phone kiosk; and designed Dunlop Slazenger’s Swingball game.

As a schoolboy, Leicester-born Carter showed an early talent for design, but credits his time as a student at Central Saint Martins for helping turn his hobby into a career.

Having trained at Leicester College of Art, he served in the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm before returning to full time study at Central Saint Martins in 1948.

Recognition for his work during his career included Design Council Awards (1961, 1969, 1974), The Duke of Edinburgh Prize for Elegant Design (1967) and The Prince of Wales Award for Industrial Innovation (1981-1985).

In 1980, Carter was appointed a commander of the British Empire (CBE) and, in 2000, became Honorary Doctor of the University of Central England.

Carter taught at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design and held various academic roles including Professor of Industrial Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art as well as Visiting Professor at Imperial College of Science.

After his retirement in 1992, he and wife Theo, having met while studying at Central Saint Martins, moved to a picturesque village near Cheltenham where Carter still resides.