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Royal College of Art and British Airways Explore the Next 100 Years of Aviation at London's Saatchi Gallery

Exhibition: BA 2119: Flight of the Future
Dates: 1 – 26 August 2019
Location: Saatchi Gallery, London, SW3 4RY

  • British Airways collaborates with Royal College of Art for a first-of-its-kind exhibition
  • The exhibition follows global research identifying what aviation could look like over the next 100 years
  • An immersive, full motion, virtual reality experience, Fly, will be available for gallery visitors to experience humankind’s relationship with flight
  • A panel event to launch the exhibition will see leading futurists, designers and aviation specialists explore the research and discuss the travel experience of the next 100 years

BA 2119: Flight of the Future, in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, seeks to push the boundaries of imagination and explore how future generations will circumvent the globe in a world of advanced jet propulsion, hyper personalisation, automation, AI, modular transport, sustainability, health and entertainment. 

Set to take place at the Saatchi Gallery in London, forty postgraduate students from the Royal College of Art have been working on the project to imagine the future of flight in both digital and physical form. Exploring trends and drivers from the research commissioned by British Airways through respected insights organisation, Foresight Factory, the students are looking at the future through three lenses; aircraft, experience and people. The exhibition acknowledges that the desire and ability to travel is set to grow and focuses on sustainability and technology to drive change. 

Alongside the installations will be a one-of-a-kind, full motion, virtual reality experience charting the history of flying and looking forward to the future for visitors who purchase tickets in advance. 

Named Fly, it is an interactive, full motion, multisensory experience that traces humankind’s relationship to flying.  Built by award winning VR creators and an Oscar-winning practical effects team, Fly enables visitors to become a time-travelling pilot, from the earliest imaginings of Leonard da Vinci and his ornithopter, to the Wright Brothers’ success on Kitty Beach, to that first inaugural passenger flight to Paris. Users will experience Concorde, the brand new A350 and the imagined flight of future. The main Fly experience is set on a large motion platform.

Alex Cruz, British Airways Chairman and CEO, said: “To mark our centenary, we’ve been reflecting on our past and thanking our customers for making us the airline we are today. It’s down to our customers’ sense of adventure and desire to travel that we’ve grown from that first flight to Paris in August 1919 to the airline we are today. 

“And we want to take them with us as we look forward to the next 100 years. Our BA 2119: Flight of the Future exhibition explores what the customer experience of the future will look like, pushing the boundaries of imagination and exploring how we, and future generations, will travel the globe.” 

Dr. Ashley Hall, Professor of Design Innovation in the School of Design at the Royal College of Art, said: “British Airways’ BA 2119: Flight of the Future exhibition brings together some of the Royal College of Art’s brightest minds across a range of nationalities and creative disciplines, including Intelligent Mobility, Textiles and Innovation Engineering Design, with aviation experts to explore the future of flying.

“Working with British Airways, we’ve applied design research and innovation thinking to develop this inspirational exhibition. We hope to show a few surprises for what might be in store for travellers over the next 100 years to map out the future of flight.” 

The installations and virtual reality experience will be on display at the Saatchi Gallery from August 1 to August 26, 2019. Entry to the exhibition is free but tickets for the virtual reality experience can be purchased from www.ba.com/ba2119 

The launch the exhibition the airline is inviting leading futurists, designers and aviation specialists to join Chairman and CEO, Alex Cruz, for a panel discussion to explore the travel experience over the next 100 years.

British Airways is also hosting a range of activities and events throughout the year to mark its 100th birthday. As well as the exhibition, the airline is exploring the future of sustainable aviation fuels and the aviation careers of the future.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • Fly has been created by award-winning film and immersive director, Charlotte Mikkelborg, in a collaboration between the VR teams at Picture This Productions and Novelab, the Oscar-winning motion team from Moco FX, and a team of sensory experts from OWidgets at the University of Brighton and Givaudan, Switzerland.'
  • The Fly VR is experienced on a large motion platform, which is unsuitable for users who are pregnant. Height restrictions also apply
  • The Fly experience costs £20. Visitors can buy them online through Eventbrite
  • Each VR session takes approximately 10 minutes

About the Royal College of Art

The Royal College of Art, the internationally renowned art and design university, provides students with unrivalled opportunities to deliver art and design projects that transform the world.

A small, specialist and research-intensive postgraduate university based in the heart of London, the RCA is a high performing institution, a radical traditionalist in a fast paced 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 University employs around 1000 professionals from around the world – professors, researchers, art and design practitioners, advisers and visiting lecturers – to teach and develop students in 30 academic programmes.

RCA students are exposed to new knowledge in a way that encourages them to experiment. Working across scientific and technical canvases and beyond set boundaries, RCA students seek to solve real-world problems.

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 50 RCA business ideas become a reality that has led to the creation of over 600 UK jobs. 

The RCA recently launched GenerationRCA which will propel the University’s radical new academic vision by focusing on three key pillars: ‘Place, Projects and People’. This programme will see the RCA transform its campuses and the ways in which the university teaches, researches and creates. It includes the construction of the Herzog & de Meuron-design flagship building in Battersea and introduction of future programmes centres on nano and soft robotics, computer science and machine learning, materials science and the circular economy.  

Alumni include David Adjaye, Christopher Bailey, David Hockney, Tracey Emin, Thomas Heatherwick, Lubaina Himid, Clare Waight Keller and Rose Wylie.

http://www.rca.ac.uk