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Royal College of Art Design Talent Showcased at Milan Design Week 2018

More than 20 students from the RCA's Design Products, Innovation Design Engineering, and Fashion MA programmes are exhibiting their work at Blend House, an exhibition at Milan Design Week from 17–22 April. The exhibition offers a window into the future of design from a collective of emerging talent, with work ranging from sustainability-led material innovations to immersive VR experiences.

Discussing the exhibition, Head of Design Products Professor Saeema Ahmed-Kristensen, said: ‘Milan Design week is a fantastic opportunity for Design Products students to stimulate a discourse on the future of design. In our programme we shape the designers of the future, who are driven by their own visions and are capable of tackling and redefining the industries of yesterday.’

Milan Design Week is a global event in the design industry calendar. For six days, international exhibitors from many design disciplines take over the city to display their most exciting innovations and newest creations to the world's top interior designers, stylists and press. Blend House opens dialogue between the students and industry, showcasing experimental and highly innovative work in the centre of Lambrate Design District, surrounded by some of the masters of design.

Design Products student Carlo Scanferlato will present a new material made from bin bags that can be used for architectural coatings, roof tiles and construction bricks. The project explores how new tangible value can be assigned to what is currently defined as rubbish, therefore redeeming it from being buried or incinerated.

Another innovative approach to materials is Martina Taranto’s project inspired by a small Sicilian city where limescale grows in the pipes of the public hydraulic system. She proposes the extraction of the limescale for use within furniture design, re-contextualising this nuisance material with surprisingly aesthetic results.

Group projects are also being showcased in the exhibition, including Oobly, a helmet designed for patients with epilepsy. The helmet increases the comfort for the user and improves the aesthetic, without compromising the safety and efficacy of a protection system. It features oobleck – an inexpensive, non-toxic, non-Newtonian fluid that is normally liquid but turns solid on impact.

Another group project Sum Total comes from students across three programmes. They have created filtration masks for a world where there is no clean air, using material qualities of printed hydrogel filters. The masks address both the need for breatheable air through technical filtration, and the cause of poor air quality, by visually drawing attention to societal consumption habits.

Elsewhere at Milan Design Week, RCA fashion alumna Zahra Hosseini is one of nine young designers handpicked to show as part of the Emerging Talents Program, presented by Hay. Zahra will be showing her performative presentation ‘B E K H O M O R E H E N A’ which centres on her journey of self-discovery through her Iranian culture and deeper meaning of her Muslim faith.

Zahra’s work reclaims the beauty of Islam, in particular the peacefulness of ‘Azan’, the Islamic call out pray, recited by the Muezzin. Her performances include garments that young Muslim girls can wear to feel connected to modesty decreed by their faith and explore the opportunity clothes give to express their inner self.


Blend House

10am – 7pm daily, 17–22 April 2018
Fourth floor of Flo Lambrate Ventura 15, Via Privata Giovanni Ventura, 15, 20134 Milano, Italy    

‘B E K H O M O R E H E N A’ will be part of the Emerging Talents Program at Palazzo Clerici on 18 April from 11am–6pm. The presentation will also be published in the Clerici TIMES – a live made publication for the Emerging Talents Program.