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RCA Design Past, Present and Future Celebrated at Dubai Design Week 2017

At Dubai Design Week 2017, iconic designs and inspirational ideas from the RCA will be explored through installations, exhibitions, talks and workshops, which highlight the College’s position as a world leader in design innovation.

An exhibition celebrating the history of graphic design at the RCA will have its third iteration as part of Dubai Design Week. GraphicsRCA: Fifty Years and Beyond – curated by Professor Teal Triggs, Richard Doust, Jeff Willis, and Adrian Shaughnessy – debuted at the RCA in 2014, before travelling to the National Museum of the Republic in Brasilia in 2015.

‘It is exciting for us to be able to introduce GraphicsRCA: Fifty Years and Beyond and our graduates' student work to new audiences at this year's Dubai Design Week,’ Professor Teal Triggs, explained. ‘As the show covers a broad range of RCA-related activities over a period of time, it provides unique insights into student life, communication practices and teaching approaches. Dubai Design Week provides us with an extraordinary opportunity to open up new dialogues and foster new relations through an exchange of views on visual communication.’

The exhibition features rarely seen works from the RCA archive, including designs by alumni who have gone on to become leading practitioners; Film Society Posters; stamps commissioned by the Royal Mail; the infamous student magazine Ark; typographic experiments; and early examples from pioneers of digital design. The expanded exhibition will feature new works by recent graduates among over 120 designers.

Dubai Design Week 2017 also offers the opportunity to hear from Sir David Adjaye, who graduated from the RCA in 1993, and will be delivering a keynote talk in conversation with Sultan Al Qassemi on 13 November. Adjaye is one of the leading architects of his generation and the founder of Adjaye Associates, who were recently selected to design the National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre for Victoria Tower Gardens, London. The conversation will explore Adjaye’s approach to projects and will offer insights into the creative process behind his buildings, which include the Nobel Peace Centre, Oslo; the Stephen Lawrence Centre, London; and Moscow School of Management, Skolkovo.

The RCA is also hosting a series of two-day courses as part of Dubai Design Week offering participants a unique opportunity to discuss current challenges in design thinking and experience RCA teaching first-hand.

‘Interior Futures: Immersive Retail’, led by Dr Harriet Harriss, Senior Tutor in Interior Design, looks at ways that design can engage shoppers in immersive retail experiences that stretch far beyond browsing and transactions, and offer compelling and visually enduring connections to a brand and its values. ‘Designing with People: Product Design’ led by Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad, a Design as Catalyst Tutor on Design Products, will consider how participatory and collaborative design can engage with and learn from the public. ‘Immersive Information Experiences’, run by Angus Main, Tutor in Information Experience Design, will employ experimental design methods and creative prototyping techniques.

The College is also running portfolio review sessions for potential applicants. On Monday 13 November Professor Naren Barfield, Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost, and Professor Teal Triggs will be running half-hour portfolio reviews that will provide applicants with constructive feedback and advice, with recommendations and guidance for any improvements that can be made before submitting an application to the RCA.

Elsewhere in Dubai Design Week there are installations featuring iconic designs from the some of the RCA’s best-loved graduates. Superstudio, one of the leading furniture dealers in Dubai, is presenting RCA alumnus Konstantin Grcic’s Jungle_One installation and the iconic Spun Chair by Thomas Heatherwick, who received an MA in Furniture from the RCA in 1994. SVENM, an architecture and design studio founded by Sven Mueller, is presenting arrangements by Italian lighting specialists Flos and award-winning artist and designer Michael Anastassiades, who is an alumnus of the RCA Industrial Design Engineering programme.

Designs from several 2017 graduates from the School of Design will also be showcased at the Global Grad Show 2017.