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Great Exhibition Road Festival 2019

Key details


  • 15 June 2022


  • RCA

Read time

  • 4 minutes


The future of fashion: clothes as canvas

Ondaatje Lecture Theatre, Royal Geographical Society | 2.30–3.30pm, Sunday 19 June | Free to attend – booking required

From tackling societal injustice to addressing – and dressing – the climate crisis, fashion experts and upcoming designers from the RCA and the V&A discuss the future of the industry and the trailblazers who will steer it. The discussion features Zowie Broach, Head of Fashion at the RCA, as well as Samuel Ross, founder of the label A-COLD-WALL* and current MA Fashion students who are pushing the boundaries of their discipline:

Reiss Dendie - Project INJECTION - 2022 - INGREDIENTS

Reiss Dendie’s design practice explores the idea of craft in shoe making, led by sustainable methodologies in materiality and construction. This approach is influenced by Dendie's thoughts on ‘the void capitalism left behind’. Navigating social, geographic and political dynamics relating to perceived social class, ethnicity and lack of access, Dendie's work develops artefacts which best serve communal practices or individual events.

Spectral Objects

Maria Fernanda Nava Melgar explores the transition and blending of the physical and digital realm by creating installation spaces that allow the spectator to become part of the storyline, modify it and even challenge it. Her work across these spaces encompasses costume design, soft robotics, AI, 3D printing, CNC machining and digital processes – combining to highlight the importance of the sense of touch and how it relates to memory.

Rooya Rasheed

Rooya Rasheed’s work is about her identity as a Maldivian having moved to Australia at a young age. Her work is a response to the effects of post-migration and integration – acting as a form of preservation of her home country, under threat from rising sea levels. She expresses this intuitively through sculptures and artefacts by reusing waste materials and focusing on the symbolism and provenance of objects. She juxtaposes imported elements with existing natural materials – a dualism that has been present throughout her upbringing.

Sebastian Roeck

Sebastian Roeck lost his hearing in 2010 due to a rare neurological condition, an experience which is at the core of his practice. His current work Multisensory Bodies explores how one can experience sound even if they are unable to hear. Roeck has developed different experiences which translate sound into visual and tactile stimuli. Considering sound from an emotional perspective, the aim is to develop a garment which translates sound into tactile stimuli, enabling people who are deaf to experience sound without hearing it. He will continue this research during a PhD which begins in September.

Variations: Trans approaches to literature, film and journalism

Hochhauser Auditorium, V&A | 4–4.40pm, Saturday 18 June | Free to attend – booking required

Juliet Jacques in performance

Hear from Juliet Jacques, Visiting Lecturer in MA Contemporary Art Practice, filmmaker and author of Trans: A memoir, an account of transition and transgender politics and culture. Juliet will discuss her latest book Variations which explores the lives of trans and non-binary people in the UK through archive material and real life events spanning the period from 1846 to 2014, as well as how her identity influences her approach to literature, film and journalism.

InHouse records: The music label run from prison

Ondaatje Lecture Theatre, Royal Geographical Society | 4–5pm, Saturday 18 June | Free to attend – booking required

InHouse Records

Join RCA Service Design alumnus Judah Armani – founder of InHouse Records, the UK’s first record label to be launched in prison – to hear about breaking the reoffending cycle through music. With around two thirds of inmates unemployed before the start of their custody, Judah set up InHouse Records with employability in mind. This talk explores how creativity and design thinking can be used to tackle societal problems and questions the focus on punishment in our justice system. Former inmates who are now InHouse artists will also perform live.

Designing for an ageing society

G16, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Imperial College London | 1–2pm, Saturday 18 June | Free to attend – booking required

Credit: Centaur Robotics

By 2043 it is expected that 24% of the UK population will be over the age of 65. How can we support the UK’s ageing population through design? Join Melanie Andrews of the Design Age Institute alongside a panel of healthcare designers who will discuss exploring new medicines, new mindsets and new technologies that could revolutionise how we support health and wellbeing during later life.

Neurodiversity Zone

Goethe-Institut | 12–6pm, Sunday 19 June | Free to attend, drop in

GERF 2019

Discover how art, science and neurodiversity collide with a day of programmes and activities celebrating neurodiversity and creativity. The programme includes a number of short films from RCA students and RCA dyslexia coordinator Qona Rankin, as well as the talks Chaos as Catalyst by MA/MSc Global Innovation Design student Luisa Charles, and Spectral Transmissions, Fragmented Realities by Senior Tutor (Research) for MA Visual Communication, Luke Pendrell.

The year of glass: Celebrating a wonderous material in science and culture

Flett Lecture Theatre, Natural History Museum | 4–5pm, Saturday 18 June | Free to attend – booking required


Join experts from around the world – including RCA PhD alumnae and glass artist Dr Shelley James and MA Ceramics & Glass tutor Dr Heike Brachlow – to celebrate the UN International Year of Glass. This talk offers a chance to discover the importance of glass for scientific and cultural developments through history to the present day – from vaccines and energy to art and design.

Prince Albert’s Vision: South Kensington then and now

Performance Hall, Royal College of Music | 1–1.45pm, Sunday 19 June | Free to attend – booking required

Great Exhibition Road Festival 2019

Join Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, former Rector of the RCA, and Professor Colin Lawson, Director of the Royal College of Music, as they discuss the legacy of the Great Exhibition of 1851 – the inspiration for GERF. Instigated in part by Prince Albert – who envisioned a cultural quarter and super-university in South Kensington – they’ll explore which aspects of Prince Albert's original vision have come true and which haven't.


Blue Prints

Exhibition Road | Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June | Free to attend, drop-in sessions

Cyanotype workshop at The Dalgarno Trust

Explore cyanotypes in this family-friendly workshop run by RCA graduates Melanie Issaka and An Ting Teng, supported by current MA Photography students. Suitable for beginners, these workshops will introduce participants to one of the oldest photographic printing processes in the history of photography. No darkroom is needed – instead cyanotypes use the power of the sun and iron salt solutions to create distinctive cyan blue prints. The workshops run throughout the weekend and places are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Climate Change Creatures

Family zone, Princes Gardens | 12–6pm, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June | Free to attend, drop in

Family zone at GERF 2019

What will the plants and animals of the future look like as they adapt to climate change? Join MA Sculpture student Samuel Domínguez who is supporting these family-focused workshops exploring biodiversity through creativity. Make your own paper-plate puppet or mask and learn about the amazing ways animals survive and thrive in the natural world – while exploring what the future might look like for these animals under climate change and what we can do to help.

Plan your visit to the Great Exhibition Road Festival

Find out more about the RCA's Community Engagement programme

Community Engagement
Cyanotype workshop at The Dalgarno Trust