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Artificial Intelligence, Emojis and Hope: School of Communication Research Exhibition in White City

The exhibition, Intentions: Conversations, Experiences and Knowledge from RCA School of Communication research students in White City, brings together work from 24 students at different points in their research journeys and considers what the researcher seeks to discover, how this might be achieved and ultimately who the research is for. The exhibition also provides insights into how methodological choices are made, how data gathering informs visual outcomes, and how theoretical concepts are deployed in practical work.

Associate Dean of the School of Communication Professor Teal Triggs said: ‘It is fantastic that research students from the School of Communication are exhibiting in White City. Making public is an important part of the research process – it offers an opportunity to share and test ideas with peers, and importantly challenges students to communicate their research to a wider audience. Research is an essential part of the School of Communication where it is grounded firmly in theory, while maintaining a high degree of creativity, experimentation and expanding the possibilities of the field of communications.’

In the exhibition each student will share their intentions, be those early articulations of a field of interest, or redefinitions of their research aims. These are made manifest through explorations of visual vocabularies, digital publishing, social interactions, digital personas and augmented behaviours, narratives in documentary and more applied aspects of typography, public services, product advertising and brand identity.

Research projects on display include:

Kelly Spanou is currently conducting MPhil/PhD research in Information Experience Design and Architecture. Her research envisions practical creative applications for exhibition settings, employing new forms of storytelling by merging computational environments with real space. Her practice-based enquiry aims to uncover new ways of understanding the agency of objects towards humans, in order to both raise questions about, and help inform the development of, a world of intelligent and active objects.

MPhil/PhD student Marisa Tapper works with a combination of moving image, performance, writing and videogame design to explore the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and consciousness. Her work for the exhibition, Other Eyes, provides a possible arena
for explorers into future worlds, where the discourse between human and AI may become a reality. It prompts us to look at the mysterious inner mind of AI and try to imagine the world as seen through the lens of computer vision.

MPhil/PhD candidate Larissa Nowicki is researching the intersection of art and design with the practice of Anni Albers. Larissa is investigating 
how Albers’ modernist philosophy – located in experiential, economical, functional and timeless sensibilities – can be significant to today’s practitioners. The texts of Anni Albers form a guiding principle and grounding to Larissa’s work, particularly in informing her approach to play, exploration and examining familiar materials to find new ways of employing them.

Rimjhim Surana is an MRes RCA candidate. Her research explores the meaning of hope in the context of the individual and the collective and how the feeling of hope transfers back and forth between the two. Rimjhim is interested in the power of stories to build hope and how hope is conveyed amongst people locally and globally. She is working on visualising ‘hope’ through a methodology that uses aspects of storytelling, cartography and design.

Paul Ransom is an MRes RCA candidate researching the role of the designer in pictographic and ideographic communication such as emojis, social messaging ‘stickers’, pictures and gifs. For the exhibition Paul is presenting a piece of writing paired with an exploration through photography that considers how personal visual metaphors can be created and used instead of pre-existing emojis to express non-verbal communication.

The exhibition also includes a space designated as the ‘reading room’ in which students have collected together books and other texts relating to their projects. This space reflects a shared vision of what collaborative research can achieve.


Intentions: Conversations, Experiences and Knowledge from current MPhil, PhD and MRes students in the School of Communication is on display from 5 to 12 December at WestWorks Unit 3, White City Place, London W12 7TS, including workshops, screenings, exhibits and talks..