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Thirty-five Years of Innovation Design Engineering Showcased in Tokyo Exhibition

Students and alumni from the Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) programme are set to take part in the Golden Eggs exhibition at the AXIS Gallery in Tokyo from 27 August to 6 September 2015. The exhibition will feature the work of Japan’s most innovative new designers, as well as showcasing groundbreaking Royal College of Art/Imperial College London IDE projects that have been realised as commercial products.  

Since 1981, AXIS has been at the heart of innovative design in Tokyo, using the power of creativity to solve actual problems in the real world, and in doing so, engendering excellent design. This is the tenth anniversary for AXIS's Golden Eggs, an exhibition similar to London’s annual New Designers’ annual show.

IDE and AXIS share the same mission to explore how innovative, creative products can tackle important real-world issues. This is the first year the RCA has been taken part in Golden Eggs, and coincides with Kinya Tagawa’s inaugural year as visiting professor at the College. Tagawa’s fresh thinking and creative output has helped lead to this exhibition, steering IDE towards a truly monumental standing on the global design stage.

The work displayed at Golden Eggs has been selected by Professor Miles Pennington, head of the IDE programme, with the exhibition curated by AXIS. Featured works were chosen from a long-list of projects conceived at the RCA and since launched as successful products. The selection spans the duration of the programme’s 35-year history and includes iconic designs such as the Strida bike by Mark Sanders, an elegant and simple folding bike that has been in production since the 1980s, and which started life within the design studios at the RCA.

The exhibition also features Concrete Canvas, by Peter Brewin and William Cawford, a flexible roll of concrete-impregnated fabric that hardens on hydration to form a thin, durable water proof and fire-resistant concrete layer that has been used extensively in disaster relief efforts. Their company was this year placed sixteenth in the top 100 fastest growing companies in the UK. 

Professor Miles Pennington, head of IDE, notes that ‘innovation starts at school’, and is proud that the programme has sparked the creation of many successful businesses. Also on show is Morph Wheels, by Duncan Fitzsimons. Fitsimmons over-came the challenge of re-inventing the wheel by creating an award-winning detachable wheelchair wheel that can be conveniently folded down to a size and shape which makes for easier transportation and storage.

Other innovative products on display include Kranium by Anirudha Surabhi Venkata, a cardboard construction bicycle helmet which is named as being possibly the safest helmet on the market today as it provides better impact protection than current polystyrene versions; Vivobarefoot by Tim Brennan, a light-weight, highly flexible footwear product that uses patented Pure Barefoot Technology to make shoes that are healthiest for walking and running, and which aficionados say is like walking barefoot; and Squease, by Andrew Brand, Sharaz Arif, Menno Kroezen and Katrien Ploemakers, an inflatable pressure vest hidden away inside a hooded top that improves the lives of people with sensory difficulties.

Further highlights of the exhibition include Move It by David Graham, a cardboard wheel that attaches easily to shopping bags and boxes to facilitate transportation and Bare Conductive by Matt Johnson, Becky Pilditch, Bibi Nelson and Isabel Lizardi, a conductive ink which allows users to draw electric circuits.

Over the course of the exhibition, Professor Miles Pennington and Professor Kinya Tagawa will conduct workshops and lectures to major corporations and the British Embassy, Tokyo.

Golden Eggs exhibition runs at the AXIS Gallery in Tokyo from 27 August to 6 September 2015