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2021 Pokémon Scholars Announced

The Pokémon Company and the Royal College of Art are proud to announce the winners of the fourth Pokémon Scholarship – MA Visual Communication student Phoebe Hayes and MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering student Minwook Paeng.

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.

Research for Survival, Phoebe Hayes
Research for Survival, Phoebe Hayes
Phoebe Haye’s practice is interdisciplinary, involving the landscape and site-specific works. Her approach to making and building connections between subjects and people allows her to problem solve and address economic challenges. She interrogates spaces using an experimental approach together with systematic methods, as she collects and categorises her surroundings.

Phoebe Hayes said:

‘I am truly honoured and excited to have been selected as a Pokémon Scholar for 2021. This scholarship allows me to push my practice and realise ambitious projects. Having the support to research and create established projects allows me to think on a larger scale, involving more people and sites. It lets me think globally, with the possibility of taking these projects abroad to build spaces and connections in different countries and climates. Crucially, I can develop my research on this larger scale to document the landscape and communities which otherwise would not have been possible, without this generous support.

I am thrilled to build a relationship with The Pokémon Company, whose work thrives on community, exchange and collaboration through innovative techniques. I am eternally inspired by their ambition to think globally and act locally.’

Third Eye, Minwook Paeng
Third Eye, Minwook Paeng
Minwook Paeng is a transdisciplinary industrial designer based in London and also in Seoul, South Korea. His design/art project contains multidisciplinary thinking for creative energy and ideas. When aiming for innovation and delivering sustainable future driven design, he has a continuous discussion with creators from science and engineering, as well as design, to create a synergy effect. This allows him to broaden his mindset and deeply understand the potential, but also limitations, of creative design, from a practical perspective.

Minwook Paeng said:

‘It's an honour and an opportunity to be supported by such an innovative and creative organization as The Pokémon Company. I am grateful that I can build a relationship and interact with The Pokémon Company in a purposeful manner.

Since I started my master’s program at the RCA, I have been trying to become a designer that challenges the standard. I believe the insight and comprehension of various factors, including product, user, and technology are necessary to challenge this standard. The support of The Pokémon Company will allow me to be more enterprising and active in achieving my goal.

As the relationship between me and The Pokémon Company becomes stronger, I hope our interaction will contribute to changing the world.’

Shelter, Minwook Paeng
Shelter, Minwook Paeng

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

‘Due to the influence of the new coronavirus that has been ongoing since last year, society as a whole has been forced to make major changes and adapt. How can art and design contribute to society? 

Minwook Paeng aims to be a "creative designer who challenges the standards". 

Phoebe Hayes explores new forms of connections between people with the power of design.

It is a great pleasure for us to be able to support these two individuals who are not only giving great answers to the challenges at hand,but are taking a step further toward the future as well.’

Kerry Curtis, Dean of School of Communication, said:

'We are honoured here at the Royal College of Art to continue this meaningful partnership with The Pokémon Company to support students bringing innovative and future-facing ideas and solutions to life. One of this year's scholars is Experimental Communication student Phoebe Hayes. Her practice brings communities together through connection and I believe this aligns perfectly with The Pokémon Company’s mission to enrich the world we live in.'

Gareth Loudon, Head of Programmes, Global Innovation Design and Innovation Design Engineering, said

‘The Pokémon Company continues to be a pioneering force in design and technology so it's with great pleasure we celebrate the fourth iteration of the Pokémon Scholarship. Innovation Design Engineering student Minwook Paeng has already received global recognition for his project 'The Third Eye'. I can't wait to see how his practice evolves to new heights with the support of this valuable initiative.’