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2020 Pokémon Scholars Announced

The Pokémon Company and the Royal College of Art are proud to announce the winners of the third Pokémon Scholarship - MA Design Products student, Giovanni Dipilato and MA Information Experience Design student, Leon Hapka.

The Pokémon Scholarship supports pioneering RCA students who demonstrate the potential for breaking new ground with their creative forces in the visual arts, design and communications. The scholarship provides full-fee scholarships for two second year students and a week-long trip to Japan to visit the Pokémon Studios.

To “enrich the world we live in” is a vision shared by the Pokémon Company and many designers around the world. The RCA is incredibly grateful to the Pokémon Company for the generous and ongoing support they offer our students. This scholarship will provide Giovanni and Leon the opportunity to learn from, and exchange creative thinking with, one of the world’s most imaginative and innovative companies.

Tsunekazu Ishihara-san, President and CEO of The Pokémon Company, said:

‘Pokémon has evolved as a brand by embracing new technologies and collaborating with partners from new fields. Through this scholarship, I am delighted to support students who show the potential for creating new industries or modes of expression by exploring hitherto unknown possibilities. 

‘Right now, the world is forcibly undergoing drastic changes under the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the fields of art and design are no different.

‘For this year’s scholarship, we have selected two candidates who have shown the ability to not only think critically, but to convert those thoughts into action, and whom we believe have the potential to overcome the difficulties ahead and envision an entirely new future for all of us.’

Leon Hapka, Bateria vs Antibiotic. A project to raise awareness about antibiotic overuse and highlight the consequences.
Bacteria vs Anitbiotic, Leon Hapka 2020
Leon was selected as a Pokémon scholar based on his work that straddles the line between the creative and the scientific.

‘I am very pleased to have such a forward thinking company like Pokémon as my supporter’, said Leon.

Giovanni was selected as a Pokémon scholar based on his recent work designing products made from recycled harmful materials. In response to being awarded the scholarship, Giovanni said:

‘It is with deep gratitude that I thank the Pokèmon Company for choosing me as a Pokèmon Scholar. I cannot emphasise just how influential Pokèmon has been in my life since childhood. Their products have introduced me to amazing and innovative experiences. I’m honoured and excited to have been given the opportunity to experience the values and ethos that the Pokèmon Company strongly embodies.’

Giovanni Dipilato, Reef. An adaptable Oyster farm which naturally enriches the marine biodiversity of areas that were once prosperous.
Reef, Giovanni Dipilato
Giovanni and Leon were presented with an award and gift package, including a toy Pikachu, during an online ceremony with the Pokémon Company. They will be welcomed to Pokémon headquarters in Japan during Spring next year.


Learn more about Scholarships.