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2021: A Year in Review




Virgil Abloh

  • Kerry Curtis was appointed as our new Dean of the School of Communication following an extensive international search.
  • Sir Peter Bazalgette, a leading figure in the media and creative industries, was appointed as RCA Pro-Chancellor & Chair of Council. He takes up his role as Chair in March 2022.
  • World-renowned designer and champion for design education and equality of opportunity in the creative industries Virgil Abloh joined the RCA as a Visiting Professor. Sadly, Virgil passed away this November leaving a huge legacy that will continue to impact future generations of creative practitioners.


Together As One by Adalberto Lonardi


Three Things


MA Design Products Graduate Dani Clode with her 'third thumb' device

  • The RCA’s Senior Management Team published its Draft Action Plan Towards Becoming an Anti-Racist Institution.
  • Two RCA staff and graduate collectives; Cooking Sections and Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S) were shortlisted for the 2021 Turner Prize.
  • The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the RCA announced a partnership with Invisible Creations® to improve the lives of older people through home technology.
  • We collaborated with Imperial College Business School and a consortium of business partners to launch Wicked Acceleration Labs, aimed at speeding up the resolution of the world’s wicked problems.
  • Our MA Design Products graduate Dani Clode’s remarkable work with brain scientists at UCL showed how the brain adapts to a robotic third thumb.




Paul Thompson speaking at the Terra Carta Design Lab COP26 Event

  • The RCA Materials Science Research Centre won an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Sustainable Digital Society award to drive its mission around sustainability in textiles.
  • An incredible seventeen RCA alumni were among the artists selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2021.
  • Our Royal Visitor, HRH The Prince of Wales and our Chancellor, Sir Jony Ive, officially launched the Terra Carta Design Lab to find credible design solutions to climate change.
  • A unique rideable bench design by our MA Intelligent Mobility students won the Ford Fund Smart Mobility Challenge.


Extreme E's floating operations hub the St Helena


Wayne Binitie and Catherine Dormor with 1765 Sculpture




New UK Chargepoint

  • Graduates from across the School of Arts & Humanities exhibited alongside graduates from London’s other leading art schools at Saatchi Gallery for London Grads Now. 21.
  • The Department for Transport unveiled the iconic new British Chargepoint for electric vehicles designed by the RCA and PA Consulting.
  • Terra Carta Design Lab participants joined HRH The Prince of Wales and Sir Jony Ive for a unique event showcasing their work at COP26.
  • MA Intelligent Mobility student Mingwei Liu was announced as winner of the Polestar Design Contest for his ‘glad to be dirty’ air-cleaning car.


Zandra Rhodes

2022 at the RCA starts with our annual Work In Progress show.

Find out more
Show 2015