- 20 April 2023
- 2 minutes
The AcrossRCA Team is excited to announce the launch of the new AcrossRCA Digital Discovery Platform showcasing AcrossRCA. A yearly unit giving RCA students the opportunity to cross disciplinary boundaries and unite their thinking in response to a complex and changing world.
The unit launched with a range of events including keynote presentations from internationally acclaimed speakers. Drawing on inspiration from the launch events, students worked in collaborative cross-programme teams in terms one and two, developing innovative responses to pressing contemporary issues.
Discover projects from each of the acrossrca2023.rca.ac.uk themes below.
- 20 April 2023
- 2 minutes
The Being Digital theme brings together the potentials and challenges of new digital technologies across fields as different as gaming, education, activism and medical care. Our students have examined our new entanglement with the digital realm and asked what it means to live without the limits of the physical world.
Like “ ” ——NON-BODY BOUNDARY by Jiao Ouyang (MA Information Experience Design), Rui Jiao (MA Animation) and Xuanwei Dong (MA Design Products), a project exploring a fantasy future lived across the divide of physical and digital worlds. Through putting their creative minds together, they have created incredible renders of this new humanity as an imagined speculative world bridging the gap between the theoretical, visual and product orientated. As Rui Jiao explained 'these differences between us have inspired each other in the individual projects we are working on now, making our creative thinking more comprehensive.'
Justice, Equality and Misinformation
In a new world of constant digital accessibility and communication we have seen debates around social injustice gather speed via technological structures like social media that can empower us as active participants – but can also exacerbate existing inequalities through misinformation and alienation. The Justice, Equality and Misinformation theme asks what structures reinforce inequalities and how can these be highlighted? With RCA students seeking to tackle misinformation and alienation with design innovation.
‘Under Attack!’ from Monica Moon (V&A/RCA MA History of Design), Ria Yukta Shyamsundar (MA Information Experience Design), Qianyi Li (MA Service Design), Yiwen Zhang (MA Photography) and Alex Davies (MA Animation) invites players to resists modern alienation in the form of Gentrification, which it defines as ‘an appropriation of a place – commoditized and sold to a middle-class market that has no previous relationship with it.’ Each player attempts to resist gentrification in the game by building relationships with landmarks and local businesses, in order to prevent the rising property prices that displace local communities.
We’re on the verge of a tipping point for our climate and the last few years have seen many RCA projects and new initiatives addressing the catastrophe facing our planet. The Climate Crisis theme collects together the kinds of projects that can only happen when makers, writers, artists, designers and architects come together to tackle environmental disaster.
A particular focus in this year’s AcrossRCA projects has been on regenerative and sustainable materials. The Future of Growth by Zoë Daley (MA Textiles), Helena Robless (MA Architecture), Laurence Jansen (MA Painting) and Tamar Ben Joya (MA Visual Communication) takes an in depth look at how we can work with materials more sustainably in construction. The project examines the potential for the more widespread use of four materials: Hemp, Willow Flax and Dry Leaves. With a focus on systemic change, the team wants to inspire new regenerative methods in the construction industry with holistic benefits.
What does it mean to live in a ‘Caring Society’? And how can we shape our society to be more adept in the processes of care? This theme addresses the ways that art and design can help move these questions forward through exploration and innovation. With a particular focus on the changing structures of our social world.
‘Munch & Bunch’ from Yutong Lan (MA/MSc Innovation Engineering), Anqi Liu (MA Interior Design), Emma Mo (MA Curating Contemporary Art), Dongxuan Luo (MA Photography), Yiwen Lu (MA Visual Communication) and Vincent Tam (MA Architecture) looks at food as a medium of a caring society. The team examined the case study of the 2022 covid breakout in Shanghai. They observed that makeshift food deliveries acted as a vehicle of social cohesion at a time when contact with others was scarce. With a view to fostering a culture of acquaintance among neighbours they propose that food may be key to human connection.