RCA Students Showcase Latest Designs at Milan Design Week 2019

Design Products MA students present prototypes that bring interactions of fire into lighting, communicating the passing time and exploring design for disassembly and repairability as part of Ventura Future at Milan Design Week, 9–14 April 2019.

Designing for the real world, the students explore a range of possibilities, from smart futures with devices that allow users to take control of their data and privacy, to soft robotics to support deep, meditative breathing for the visually impaired. And from sustainable futures with homewares using industrial waste material, to detergents from forestry waste and biomaterials for domestic interiors. 

Discussing the exhibition, Head of Design Products Professor Saeema Ahmed-Kristensen said: ‘The Royal College of Art’s Design Products Programme addresses real-world challenges, both current and in the future, through balancing high levels of creativity and technical capability with contextual insight and empathy for people. We are excited to bring a selection of ongoing project work to this year’s Milan Design Week at Ventura Future.’

Milan Design Week is a global event in the design industry calendar. For five days, international exhibitors take over the city to display their most exciting innovations and newest creations to the world's top interior designers, stylists and press. 

This student-led exhibition will also showcase a selection of projects created as part of a collaborative brief with OPPO, China’s leading mobile phone manufacturer. The project examines a future in which habitats and aspects of daily life are augmented by smart technologies including new applications and capabilities of mobile technology. Through the project, students navigated a future that is seamlessly connected, enhanced by design and that embraces humanity.

Of the collaboration, Vice-President of Smartphone, OPPO, Garven Yin said: 'We are delighted to work with the Royal College of Art’s Design Products Programme on this project. The creative designs exhibited at the 2019 Milan Design Week exemplify young generations’ understandings and visions of a smart and connected future. Thanks to collaborative projects like this, we encourage more young talents to join our journey of exploring the possibilities of design and how they interact with technology.'

RCA highlights from the exhibition include Eric Saldanha’s Frigo which is an actively cooled vaccine carrier that can be powered by the motion of the person carrying it.

SafeSound by Yang Yu, in collaboration with OPPO, is a smart earphone that lets people take control of what is captured from their surroundings. For those who like using smart devices but are concerned about privacy and data safety.*

GoodWaste by Ambra Dentella, Ewan Alston and Rafael Muldal El Baz is a proposal for the Old Oak redevelopment area in London. Industrial waste from nearby Park Royal — London’s largest industrial site — is used to produce homewares for the 25,000 new homes being built area over the next 20 years

Isabel Alonso has created a collection of flat-packed crafted furniture that combines affordability and accessibility with local manufacturing, authenticity, sustainability and quality. The user finishes the artisan’s work by assembling the furniture with a system that resembles traditional carpentry clamps.

Lastly, Elliot Lunn’s Make Something kits teach users to make and unmake working products such as a mixing synthesiser or a spy’s tripwire with readily available electrical components and low-cost recyclable materials.


Find out more about the Design Products Programme and how to apply.


Milan Design Week 
BASE Milano (two entrances)
Via Tortona 54, 20144, Milan, Italy
Via Bergognone 34, 20144, Milan, Italy

9–14 April 2019
Tuesday 9 April – Saturday 13 April: 
Wednesday 10 April (Open evening): 8–10pm
Sunday 14 April: 9.30am – 6pm