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This latest edition of the RCA X Logitech Grand Challenge kicked off in London, in early October 2019, with support from CERN.

Students from across the RCA’s School of Design worked together on this speculative design project with a liberating broad brief: design for humans 180 years from now. The brief – established by Head of Textiles, Anne Toomey and Head of Fashion, Zowie Broach – took students out of their comfort zones, ignited conversations and provided a blueprint for future ways of working. 

Students worked in interdisciplinary groups and attended a series of lectures and workshops to expand their minds. Themes ranged from gastronomy to neuroscience and the workshops involved dance and meditation to encourage creativity and completely different ways of thinking. Each team was also given guidance from academic and industry mentors.

Out of the 79 groups, 12 finalists were selected to present their projects to Logitech and the RCA for the chance to compete for prizes of up to £10,000. Each group presented optimistic solutions drawn from human ingenuity and nature to possible futures based on real projected problems, including climate change, overpopulation and complex ethical challenges. 

At Logitech, the project is spearheaded by Alastair Curtis Logitech’s Chief Design Officer who is an RCA alumnus. Logitech is recognised amongst the most innovative design brands in the industry. Looking towards the future, they have a long-term goal to embrace design thinking across all functions and teams at Logitech.  

Through this partnership, Logitech were inspired by the next generation of designers, and in return, students were able to draw on the experience of Logitech designers and business leaders through mentorship and critiques. 

“We are at an inflection point in design where new technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, computational design, AR and VR will be woven into everything we touch. This partnership is a challenge for both Logitech and RCA students to continue pushing the envelope. Together we will explore the interweavings of technology and modern life, recognise and plan for future obstacles, and build off of ideas, experiences and environments in which consumers use existing technology to do more than what they’re capable of on their own”

Alastair Curtis Chief Design Officer, Logitech