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Tan by Nikolai Aarre (MA Design Products) for OPPO X RCA

Key details


  • 20 September 2022


  • RCA

Read time

  • 3 minutes

This year, students, staff and alumni from the School of Design, the School of Arts and Humanities, the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the Design Age Institute, and from our Executive Education programme, present work that explores design for an environmentally sustainable, accessible and inclusive future.

Here’s a round-up of the RCA events that are part of this year’s programme with details of how you can join them.

MA Design Products and OPPO X RCA

I was lost but now I live here

At Brompton Design District, students and recent graduates of our MA Design Products programme present ‘I Was Lost But Now I Live Here’. The exhibition looks at the state of the world, of nature, society and economy, to examine what a new home for design might be.

Responding directly to the changing ideological landscape of design, the display features Dominika Opalena’s ‘Stroud Brew Pulp’, an organic material made from the waste of two local companies with a number of potential applications, Emelie Ågren’s material exploration of the emotional impact disposable objects can have on us, and Juanjuan Mona Jia’s ‘In Conversation with London Chinatown’, an open platform exploring and activating public space to better understand Chinatown and Chinese culture.

The exhibition also features OPPO X RCA, a collaborative project exploring the concept of design going ‘beyond smart’ and the impact of ‘smart’ technology on society.

Through a range of projects, including those exploring urban wild bee habitat construction and intuitive smartphone systems for visually impaired people, the cohort from our School of Design seek new guiding principles for design that go beyond ‘smart’.

The exhibition runs from 17 – 25 September. Find out more on the LDF website.


Float: an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) that measures water quality data in real time

Recent alumni from the RCA will have their work showcased at the GREEN GRADS exhibition at the Samsung Experience Space in Coal Drops Yard on 24 and 25 September.

Founded and curated by award-winning design journalist Barbara Chandler, GREEN GRADS is an initiative platforming UK graduates whose work engages with environmental issues such as sustainability, climate change, circular production, waste and pollution, diminishing resources, biodiversity and much more.

The RCA 2022 graduates exhibiting are Luisa Jane Charles (MA/MSc Global Innovation Design), Nicolas Pujols (MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering), Isi Rodriguez (MA Ceramics & Glass), Weining Cai (MA Contemporary Art Practice) and Roberta Schreyer (MA Textiles).

Find out more on the GREEN GRADS website.

Open for Innovation

Battersea Campus

Delivered by our prestigious Executive Education programme, Open for Innovation brings together industry experts to discuss how design-led innovation, creativity and collaboration with universities can inform responses to current global challenges across business and wider society.

Academic experts, guest speakers and designers from across the RCA – including Dr Nick de Leon, Clive Grinyer, Dr Emma Wakelin, Rama Gheerawo and Colum Lowe – will lead discussions on sustainability, design for social impact, and responsible business growth and development.

Out of respect for the official period of national mourning, this event has been postponed to the 20 October. It will take place at our new research and innovation campus in Battersea. Register now on the RCA website.

The Future of Ageing

The Future of Ageing

Curated by the Design Age Institute at the RCA, in collaboration with the Design Museum, The Future of Ageing explores how design can support the UK’s rapidly ageing population and aims to remind us that we are all ageing, and considers how design and innovation can meet the needs, interests, and desires of the older consumer with greater agency and even joy.

The Future of Ageing is currently on display at the Design Museum, and has been extended to run at the London Design Festival until 25 September. Find out more on the Design Museum website.

Include Conference

Include conference

The RCA will also host a range of online events coinciding with London Design Festival as part of the biennial Include Conference, which focuses on inclusive design and people-centred, creative approaches.

The RCA’s Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design will run six sessions under the theme of ‘Unheard Voices’, addressing urgent questions around ageism, decolonising academia and the reawakening of accessibility.

The virtual conference takes place on 22 and 23 September. Find out more on the event page.

You and your Images

You and your images at V&A

Developed based on research from the RCA, You and Your Images is an interactive experience designed to increase knowledge and literacy around the consequences of disclosing private information in images shared on social media.

The game has been designed by Dr Laura Ferrarello (RCA’s MRes Design Leader) and Rute Fiaderio (Design PhD candidate and QMUL Researcher) with Riccardo Mazzon (QMUL), Andrea Cavallaro (QMUL & Alan Turing Institute).

Play the game at the V&A, as part of their Digital Design Weekend and London Design Festival, from 24 – 25 September. Find out more on the V&A website.