- 21 June 2023
- 7 minutes
21 June 2023: From 30 June to 3 July, students from the Royal College of Art (RCA) present RCA2023, a series of exhibitions and events across the College’s Battersea and Kensington campuses and online as a digital discovery platform – RCA2023.
Bringing together work from across the RCA’s four schools – Architecture, Arts & Humanities, Communication and Design as well as the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre – RCA2023 Exhibitions and Events will feature an international student cohort of emerging artists, designers, architects and creatives ahead of their graduation. MA students who started their courses in September 2022 will exhibit at the College’s campuses in Battersea and Kensington, offering visitors an insight into their work and creativity, through exhibitions, events, interactive activities and discussions with artists, designers and creative practitioners.
RCA2023 at Battersea and Kensington will encompass conversations, presentations, performances and unique experiences as RCA students and teaching staff come together to inspire, educate and inform.
Events available to browse on the RCA2023 digital discovery platform include:
- Join + Stitch, a stitch workshop exploring various hand-led joining methods, developed by Zoë Daley (MA Textiles) from her practical research into modular clothing construction.
- Creative AI? with Natasha Burman (MA Fashion) will explore and question the role of AI in the creative process in a panel discussion set around a dining table designed by Natasha's own DADA inspired AI program.
- *[fragment of babel]*, a workshop presented by MA Information Experience Design in which participants will translate their handiwork from written formats into visually captivating 2D and 3D forms, harnessing the potential of AI.
- ‘Print Out’ (MA Print) a student-led event which showcases the achievements of this year’s graduating cohorts, while engaging with invited guests on a topic of importance.
- From 30 June until 3 July, the MA Textiles and MA Fashion programmes will be running a series of drop-in sessions, performances, talks and workshops. On 3 July, between 3pm and 6pm, students on the MA Fashion programme will present F A S H I O N +, a series of short films giving an introduction to their design languages, processes and practices sharing who they are and everything that encapsulates what fashion means to them; inclusive of identity, community and cultural analysis.
Overall, the exhibitions and events propose design solutions and artistic responses to problems affecting society and the planet today, with five themes emerging that tie work together: Timelessness, Togetherness, Consciousness, Thinginess, and Interactiveness
Timelessness is a prevalent theme throughout RCA2023 with students considering the past, present and future as well as the passing of time. In Wish you were here, Ken Nwadiogbu (MA Painting) draws from personal experience to explore the ephemerality of memory, using a palette that resembles thermal imagers, making the subjects pulsate with energy. Juliet Ferguson-Rose (MA Ceramics & Glass) uses the language of clay and hidden layers to reveal the human need to create, preserve and remember, while Parade of Pause, a group project by students in MA Curating Contemporary Art, is a parade intertwining field recordings and live improvisations with objects, born out of the aim to homogenise rhythm to a collectively shared slow pace - deliberately contrasting with the rapid speed of consumer culture and the pace that engulfs London as a city. In A NEW NARRATIVE Shanice Palmer (MA Fashion) utilises the power of storytelling and its potential to shape the future of the black experience, particularly concerning notions of luxury, wealth and identity.
Thinginess, a focus on material reality, is expressed in a myriad of student projects including Dissolving Lines by Adi Avidani (MA Ceramics & Glass), an investigation into the morphology of a divided cube, exploring the interplay between softness and hardness, dynamism and stasis. Saltscapes, a furniture series by Julia Brière (MA Design Products) examines salt as a viable alternative building material as global warming increases salt abundance and reduces its cost. Ella Adiki Nartey (MA Interior Design) aims to promote circular design through Waste Not, a zero-waste restaurant incorporating biomaterials made from food waste, while materiality is a key component of the work of Euan Evans (MA Print) who has created a series of objects that reflects ideas of the artist's home in Cornwall and the artefacts his parents collected and excavated from past communities of the area.
Consciousness is at the heart of a number of projects at RCA2023, with diverse manifestations. Valerie Bernardini (MA Ceramics & Glass) creates sculptural pieces from porcelain and glass as a method of transposing emotions, conjuring movement and sensations through complex organic forms and experimental glazes, while Amelia Peng (MA Textiles) presents a sample from Music-Mind-Textile, a collaborative project integrating interactive music and soft-system textiles to explore inner peace, and which has been on display at this year’s London Design Biennale. Évelin Maier (MA Contemporary Art Practice) embraces the forensic research of MRI scans to expand on her experience of an Astrocytoma Brain Tumour surgery and its post-effects. Meanwhile, the taxing and emotional publication Failing Teenagers by Hannah Waterman (MA Visual Communication) seeks to close the knowledge gaps between NHS statistics and the lives of unheard children, humanising the headlines behind the teenage mental health crisis in England.
Interactiveness foregrounds the generosity that exists between the maker and the audience, bringing together works that explore interaction, participation and installation. Jack Lee (MA Design Products) explores the profound environmental impact of individuals through The Dots, an interactive installation of polarised panels, ingeniously designed to create mesmerising visual effects through physical manipulation. Rosie Plunkett (MA Photography) focuses on sensory and haptic ways in which to interact with a landscape in Perfidious Albion, exploring embodiment, action, and tactility using chalk as a primary medium, while Tamir Aharoni (MA Animation) satirises contemporary corporate culture in The Onboarding, an absurdist, interactive installation which throws participants into their first day on the job within a cult-like workspace. In their mapping installation, Nodes of Collective Resistance, Jack Sieber and Geraldine Meneses Ortiz (MA Environmental Architecture) explore participatory climate adaptation, using community partnerships and social commoning to mitigate wildfires and build ecological resilience.
The concept of Togetherness is also explored in the student projects through interactions, relationships, communities, connections, experiences, social and power dynamics. Linnéa Duckworth (MA Textiles) uses movement in her textile installation to convey the joy of connection between our bodies and the earth while Tongxin Shen and Tong Shen (MA Service Design) focus on the severe decay of the nightclub industry leading to the loss of social cohesion to explore innovative new clubbing experiences breaking down mental barriers for non-club-goers. Tanya Chaturvedi (MA Digital Direction) investigates the harmonious existence of technology (including AI) as a tool within the cultural memory of craft clusters in India to understand the reservations/expectations of craftspeople. Crossings by Kate Milligan (MA Information Experience Design) examines cultures of passage on the English Channel/La Manche, a site-specific work of sound design that flows beyond international borders, highlighting the saturation and leakiness of public discourse around migration.
The exhibitions and events at Battersea and Kensington are part of RCA2023, a series that includes a graduate show at the Truman Brewery by MA students who started their programme in September 2021, running between 13 and 16 July 2023.
Times and dates
12pm to 6pm (last entry at 5.15pm)
30 June to 3 July
RCA2023 will be open until 7.30pm 30 June (last entry at 6.45pm)
London SW11 4NL
Dyson, Woo and Painting Buildings
London SW11 4AN
London SW7 2EU
RCA2023 digital discovery platform
Collections will be drawn together on the RCA2023 platform, specially-curated by RCA BLK and the Design Age Institute, alongside Societies from the RCA Students’ Union including Disabled Students’ Network, Queer Society, SustainLab and Working Class Collective.
Purchase of works
A selection of works from RCA2023 graduating students will be available for purchase through RCA Sales, a special sales platform, which will be open from 10am on 30 June to 5pm on 17 July 2023.
Notes to Editors
Other projects of interest include:
- Kimberely Burrows (MA Painting) presents Widow's Weeds, a collection of wood panel paintings and Braille poetry which explore the complex grieving process associated with the retirement of her Guide Dog.
- In o som da terra, Will Gibbs and Isabel Palacios-Macedo (MA Environmental Architecture) question the labour relations of itinerant migrant workers in a system of intensifying mono-crop agriculture in Alentejo, Portugal, through a series of broadcasts that probe how sound can offer an alternative insight to these conditions.
- Shoroq Alashqar (MA City Design) presents Unfolding the Eucalypt, an installation that decolonises the Eucalyptus tree narrating the history of its complex political, cultural and ecological context.
- Jade Lindo (MA History of Design) considers the relationship with the Caribbean diaspora of the U.K in relation to skin bleaching, drawing on the beauty standards laid out by pageantry in Jamaica and the migration of identity through the Windrush era of Britain.
- Banita Mistry (MA Jewellery & Metal) has created a series of smartphone simulacra, through which to observe our relationship with technology and explore changing perceptions of value, social expression, sentimentality and materiality.
- Qingchao Weng (MA Intelligent Mobility) explores new structures for sustainable vehicle interiors in RE-Base, to address the global environmental impact of end-of-life vehicles.
About the RCA2023 visual identity
The visual identity for RCA2023 has been designed by RCA alumnus Sebastian Koseda (MA Visual Communication, 2015) and a design team at Flying Object, featuring Charles Rickleton (MA Visual Communication, 2015) and Will Fairbrother (MA Information Experience Design, 2015).
The team have produced distinct identities that are contemporary, cutting-edge and innovative, weaving together 3D modelling and animation with pressing, student-led statements on the future of art and design.
About the Royal College of Art
Founded in 1837, the Royal College of Art is the world's leading university of art and design. Specialising in teaching and research, the RCA offers degrees of MA, MPhil, MFA, MDes, MArch, MEd, MRes, Graduate Diploma and PhD across the disciplines of architecture, arts & humanities, design and communication.
A small, specialist and research-intensive postgraduate university based in the heart of London, the RCA provides 2500 students with unrivalled opportunities to deliver art and design projects that transform the world.
The RCA's approach is founded on the premise that art, design, creative thinking, science, engineering and technology must all collaborate to solve today's global challenges.
The RCA is home to more than 700 of the world’s leading academic and professional staff who teach and develop students in 30 academic programmes. RCA students are exposed to new knowledge in a way that encourages them to experiment.
The RCA runs joint courses with Imperial College London and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
InnovationRCA, the university's centre for enterprise, entrepreneurship, incubation and business support, has helped over 81 RCA business ideas become a reality that has led to the creation of over 800 UK jobs.
Alumni include such major figures as Dame Barbara Hepworth, Bridget Riley, Henry Moore OM, David Hockney OM, Sir Peter Blake, Sir Ridley Scott, Dame Zandra Rhodes, Sir Frank Bowling, Sir James Dyson OM, Tracey Emin RA CBE, Chris Ofili CBE, Sir Anthony Finkelstein, Francesca Amfitheatrof, Erdem Moralıoğlu MBE, Bianca Saunders and Thomas Heatherwick CBE RDI.
The RCA was named the world's leading university of art and design in the QS World Rankings 2023 for the ninth consecutive year (QS World Subject Rankings 2015-2023).