Inaugural Design Trust/RCA Fellow Addresses Design Curation in a Global Context
The Royal College of Art is delighted to welcome Mina Song as the inaugural Design Trust/RCA Fellow in Design Curation. The Fellowship is established with kind support from the Design Trust, an initiative of the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design.
Mina Song was educated as a visual designer – she holds degrees from Seoul National University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She practised professionally in the design field before moving into cultural administration for community arts organisations in Hong Kong. Mina worked for the Hong Kong Arts Centre and Community Art Network, where she contributed to the multi-year Art@Government Buildings project, which commissioned artworks for installation in public buildings in Hong Kong.
Applications to the Fellowship were assessed on various criteria including the originality of research approach, the relevance of the research for design history and contemporary design practice in Asia, and the potential for the research to make a long-term contribution to curatorial development in Hong Kong and the Greater Pearl River Delta region. The panel were impressed with Mina’s commitment to public engagement through design curating and with her track record in public art projects involving government, university, industry and community stakeholders.
As the inaugural Design Trust/RCA Fellow in Design Curation, Mina will join the College for twelve months. She will focus on acquiring curatorial strategies that bring designers and design methods into public art frameworks in Hong Kong, as part of a toolkit for cultural commissioning in the public realm.
‘We are excited to welcome Mina to the RCA as the inaugural recipient of this Fellowship,’ said Dr Sarah Teasley, Head of Programme for History of Design. ‘We look forward to working with her on a research project that will contribute towards embedding design knowledge into public and urban commissioning projects in Hong Kong, not least by developing modes of curating that allow engagement with the rich history of design and making in Hong Kong and the Greater Pearl River Delta region. The Fellowship will strengthen the exchange of ideas in design curating internationally and build important international links through design histories.’
The Fellowship addresses the burgeoning field of design curating in a global context, and its place within the interdisciplinary curatorial field, such as the growth of new institutions devoted to design, the presence of design in art museums, biennale and cultural festivals and other new platforms for public engagement with design including new urban development.
‘We are pleased to award Mina the inaugural Fellowship,’ said Marisa Yiu, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Design Trust. ‘We hope that with this opportunity, she will be able to excel as a design curator and have access to new ways of thinking and practising. We are confident that she will be well equipped after the Fellowship and can contribute to the cultural, curatorial and public realm here in Hong Kong upon her return.’
At the RCA Mina will have the opportunity to engage in advanced research into curatorial contexts for contemporary design practice and recent design history, as well as to develop new thinking in curatorial practice and theory aligned with the social and cultural contexts for design. With the support of subject specialists at the RCA, she will devise and develop an original research project related to design in Asia and its global contexts.
‘I am very grateful to be the first recipient of the Design Trust/RCA Fellowship in Design Curation,’ Mina said. ‘My main focus will be exploring the potentials of the interplay between design and art, and the dynamics of designer and artist roles in the wider context of public arts curation. But at the same time, I would also like to take advantage of the opportunities presented by living in London and try to absorb as much as possible.’
The RCA is widely recognised as an international leader in the fields of curating and history of design. Established for over 25 years, the College’s Curating Contemporary Art programme offers collaborative project-based experiences and learning that integrate theory and practice. The V&A/RCA History of Design programme teaches and researches cultural, social, economic, political and technological history through artefacts and our interactions with them. Projects and expertise range across global geographies, from the fifteenth century to the contemporary, and draw on cognate areas such as geography, performance studies and design practice. The Fellow will have access to RCA’s world-leading teaching, staff expertise and networks throughout the 12-month programme.Design Trust was established in 2014 by Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, a registered charity in Hong Kong since 2007, as a grant funding platform. Design Trust supports creative projects that develop expertise, build research initiatives and content related to Hong Kong and the Greater Pearl River Delta Region. Working across a multiplicity of design disciplines from graphics, media, architecture to the built environment, the Trust aims to actively accelerate creative research, design and development of meaningful projects that advocate for the positive role of design. For more information: www.designtrust.hk