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Student Showcase Archive

Happy 180th New Year from the Royal College of Art

In 2017, the Royal College of Art celebrates its 180th anniversary in style, rated the world’s number one art and design school by the global benchmark of educational excellence – the QS World University Rankings – and planning an expansion that will consolidate its position at the apex of art and design pedagogy for the twenty-first century.

The turn of a year – a time of consideration, re-evaluation and imagination – is an appropriate moment to ponder the past and future directions of this august institution. Known to its alumni and friends as variously 'the RCA', ‘the College’ or occasionally ‘the Royal’ – the Royal College of Art, from its founding to the present day, is a vibrant, mixed and progressively international community of artists and designers, sharing discourse and discoveries, intelligence and innovation.

The RCA – from its foundation as the Government School of Design at the crowning point of the Industrial Revolution, preparing designers for industry, to its renaming by Queen Victoria and re-appropriation as a training school for artists and educators – has been the embodiment of changing ideas about the social purpose of art and design, and how to educate the artists and designers of the future.

These themes remain pertinent, and the College continues its engagement in the development of its progressive, contemporary approach to a global pedagogy, in which science and technology are fundamental and complementary components in educating tomorrow's artists and designers – in particular, looking forward to the opening of its new Battersea site in 2020.

2017 will see the launch of new programmes in the School of Architecture (MA City Design, MA Environmental Architecture), a proposed joint Humanities / Architecture programme (MA Exhibition Design), and a proposed new programme in the School of Communication (MA Digital Direction).

The 180th anniversary celebrations will take place across a number of events, from the Work-in-progress Shows in Architecture, Communication, Design, Fine Art and Material in January/February, including a College-wide Open Day in Battersea and Kensington, to the School of Communication / Fine Art Becoming exhibition, which showcases digital art and design in early March, and the world-renowned Graduate Show in June.

In November, we also celebrate the 50th anniversary of our University status, conferred by Royal Charter in 1967.

We look forward to welcoming you to the College, as future students, attendees of RCA Talks, returning alumni, staff and students.

Congratulations also to alumni Chris Ofili, who was awarded a CBE, and David Adjaye, who was awarded a Knight Bachelor in the New Year honours list

Best wishes for a peaceful and creative new year.

The Royal College of Art's 180th anniversary brand identity was designed by Professor Neville Brody, Dean of the School of Communication, to celebrate the heritage and future of the College.