The RCA degree show

This year the Royal College of Art has split its degree show over its two campuses –Kensington and Battersea – and also united several of its courses to display together.


So design interactions and design products share one of the RCA’s cavernous Battersea Testbed spaces, while visual communication and animation get a series of poky corridors and rooms up at Kensington.

This Kensington space, is, it’s fair to say, a bit of a problem for the exhibiting students (Gavin over at Creative Review makes the same point). There’s a lack of democracy, with some exhibitors given prime corridor or mezzanine space while others make do with a small bit of wall.

Also, showing visual communication alongside animation leads to some incidences of print being showcased in rooms darkened to display lightbox animation. In some cases the work gets lost.

At Battersea, this jumbled approach is less of an issue, but exhibiting the more conceptual design interactions work alongside the better-executed products has the danger of highlighting the weaknesses in each.

Logistical griping aside, there’s plenty to enjoy on both sites.

Tobias Revell
88.7: Stories from the first transnational traders, by Tobias Revell

Design interactions student Tobias Revell presents a vision of the 2040s, where a former Soviet icebreaker ship is commissioned to circle the Arctic Ocean keeping in constant contact with all the world’s trading zones as an experiment in global finance. Revell’s concept is supported by a wealth of beguiling CGIs, infographics and other material.

David Channing
Data from runners in Hyde Park, by David Chatting

Fellow design interactions student David Chatting created this 3D graph using data collected from runners in Hyde Park using Nike+ data.

Norie Matsumoto
Chiffon light, by Norie Matsumoto

Petter Thorne
Wet and Dry light, by Petter Thorne

Design products student Norie Matsumoto created this charming Chiffon Light, and coursemate Petter Thörne displayed the Wet and Dry Light, made by wetting a single sheet of paper and drying it over a frame.

Min Huh
Future without PSW, by Minjae Huh

Up at the visual communications show, Minjae Huh showed this Future without PSW project, a reaction to changes in British immigration law, in which Huh developed his own typeface and also wrote to Immigration Minister Damian Green to invite him to the show…

Robert Fresson
Images from Arbitrary Starting Points, by Robert Fresson

Susanne Stahl
Meteopoem, by Susanne Stahl

Robert Fresson showed these lovely Tintin-esque panels and Susanne Stahl displayed a series of editorial and print work, including MeteoPoem, a visual programme to describe weather by colour.

Jiyeun Sung
Typing Your Emotion, by Jiyeun Sung

There were plenty of type experiments as well, including Jiyeun Sung’s Typing Your Emotion project, which (like Stahl) uses weather data to create a dynamic typeface.

The RCA degree show is at Kensington Gore, London SW7, and Howie Street, London SW11, until 1 July.

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