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Still from The Mechanical Bride

Key details


  • 28 June 2022


  • RCA

Read time

  • 2 minutes

How can we start to think beyond when we have so little grasp of what’s in front of us? Whether manifesting as utopian fictions, painted abstractions or speculative robotics, RCA2022’s intrepid graduates are exploring new realms.

Categorisation may be fundamental to our navigation of the world – but these are the projects and collections that go beyond conventional understanding. Here are the students blurring the boundaries and envisioning the technologies, spaces, identities and architectures of the future.

Signe Pelne | MA Architecture

Location: Kensington, Ground Floor Darwin Building

Signe Pelne is an architectural designer and researcher from Latvia. She describes her RCA2022 graduate project as ‘a piece of eco scenography, which connects through different design interventions resulting in a 500-year architectural forest performance in a shape of a growing, evolving and performing stage.’

Against human intervention, the performance of the forest in Signe’s work asks how we can understand non-human agency?

Emma Stone-Johnson | MA Painting

Location: Battersea North, Painting Building, Ground floor

Neon Bones

‘What would it be like to walk through a museum of melted paintings? Their colours seeping over the floor. Juice dripping and split.’ Emma Stone-Johnson’s paintings are ‘chancy’ she says. ‘I want to make a mark that looks like it appeared out of nowhere.’

But abstraction gives us access to the inner world of the artist unfettered by rigid forms. ‘When form is missing all that is left is the sensation of presence and the colour and texture of memory.’

Hye Hyun Song | MA Design Products

Location: Battersea South, Third Floor Studio Block: Weston Design Studios

Still from The Mechanical Bride

Can you imagine a future in which humans fall in love with robots?

Hye Hyun Song’s speculative design project for RCA2022 ‘Neo-robophilia’ asks if the cost of technological advance will lead to a future where such relationships become the norm. ‘Creating the perfect 'human' for us will come at a price,’ she writes, ‘and what if it is our humanity?'

The project traces the consequences of human attachment to humanoid robots across the next century – with childhood relationships to robots leading to codependency in later life.

Siyuan Huang | MA Information Experience Design

Location: Battersea South, Studio Building, Ground floor

Non-fungible Love

Siyuan Huang’s non-fungible token (NFT) series of digital diamonds replicate real-life diamond consumerism – ‘packaged in hypnotising commercial campaigns.’ Tracing the history of our obsession with diamonds and their connection to love and relationships – ‘from a symbol of marriage to an anniversary gift’ – her work transports diamonds to a virtual marketplace.

Collection: Another World

Mo Nan (MA Fashion, 2022)

Dive into the unknown with this collection of works encompassing speculative and critical imagined worlds. Image by Mo Nan (MA Fashion).

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