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Design Trust / Royal College of Art Fellowship in Design Curation 2022 is open for applications

The fourth year of the Design Trust / Royal College of Art Fellowship in Design Curation is offering two six-month fellowships at the RCA. Applications are open to individuals based in or connected to Hong Kong or the Greater Bay Area with a background in curating and a research interest in design. Each six-month fellowship has a maintenance grant of £7,500, with additional support available for the development of exhibitions, events or other research outcomes. Applications are invited that address the 2022 fellowship theme of ‘Hyperlocal’.

With generous support from the Design Trust, fellows will have the opportunity to undertake advanced research into the theory and practice of design curating at the RCA. The fellowship addresses the burgeoning field of design curating in a global context, with a particular focus on Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area Region as the site of Fellows’ current or future practice.

Established in 2017, the fellowship scheme has so far supported four fellows to carry out dedicated research projects focused on various aspects of design curation, from the role of curating in the context of public art, to fashion production and consumption, AI and other emerging technologies and education. 

A man looks inside a fruit shop where there is an exhibition
You and Me in Design – Seminar in a Fruit Shop, Anne Zhou
Anne Zhou, the 2019/20 Fellow, explored the democratisation of how design is understood in China. Her project proposed that design relevancy can come from designers sharing their ownership of design with end-users, first through a process of co-creation with the designer, and then by embedding creative agency in the final product.

Discussing her experience of the fellowship Anne explained: ‘Prior to the fellowship, I was working in spatial design for public spaces and museums. The main focus was translating the core value of the concept into a physical space and communicating with the public through a spatial experience. The fellowship resulted in me researching the formation of ideas.’

As part of her curatorial research, Anne organised a series of workshops and curated an exhibition in a fruit shop on a Shanghai street to test her hypothesis. She completed her fellowship with an exhibition research placement in the Design, Architecture and Digital department of the Victoria and Albert Museum

‘The fellowship enabled me to meet many amazing people and I am now working with a few of them’ Anne commented. ‘These are my mentors, peers and people who are interested in similar areas as me with who I wish to keep in conversation.’

two people look at the camera, they stand inside an exhibition
Carrie Chan
Previous fellow Sunnie Chan (Joint Fellow for 2018/19) considered the relationship between design curation and public institutions as vehicles for cultural learning and Carrie Chan (Joint Fellow for 2018/19) asked how China's internet culture is changing self-representation and expression through fashion and wearable artefacts.

Inaugural Fellow Mina Song explored the potential for public art curators to employ emergent practices in design research such as fiction and adversarial design in their practice.

Join an online event on 28 July to learn more about the fellowship and hear previous fellows Carrie Chan and Anne Zhou discuss their research.

Find out more about the Design Trust/Royal College of Art Fellowship in Design Curation.
The deadline for applications for the 2022 Fellowship is Thursday 23 September 2021 12:00pm (GMT).