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The Future of Curating: The Design Trust/RCA Fellowship in Design Curation

The Design Trust/RCA Fellowship in Design Curation will be entering its third year in 2019, with Design Trust continuing to support 6-month to one-year fellowships for advanced research into the theory and practice of contemporary design curating. The DT/RCA Fellowship Design Curation Fellowship 2019–20 is open for application – the deadline for applications is now Tuesday 21 May 2019.  

The second year of the Design Trust/Royal College of Art Design Curation Fellowship has successfully come to an end. One of two Fellows, Carrie Chan focused her research on how design curating can facilitate important questions and decisions about emerging directions in the fashion industry and consumption in China, especially the current and potential impact of new technologies like AI, AR and VR. She combined training in visual theory, history and design-history critical methods in the V&A/RCA History of Design Programme with independent research, supervised by Dr Sarah Cheang, and a placement on an RCA-Microsoft joint research project. Carrie co-organised a series of workshops and lectures on emerging technologies and fashion, working with Marie-Genevieve Cyr, Assistant Professor of Fashion Design, Parsons School of Design in New York. 


Also awarded the Fellowship was Sunnie Chan, whose research, supervised by Dr Sarah Teasley centred on how design curating, particularly in public institutions, can facilitate cultural learning in communities, using practice-based research methods. These included an event, the Design Curating Clinic, that offered early-career designers, architects and others who use design curating as part of their practice a ‘consultation’ with a leader in design curating, interpretation and exhibition design, as well as a placement in the Learning and Interpretation Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum.


The end of the 2018–19 Fellowships was celebrated with a public lecture in Hong Kong on 24 April 2019, kindly hosted by the Asia Society Hong Kong. The lecture was given by returning Fellows, Mina Song and Sunnie Chan, who presented the highlights of their fellowships and questioned the role of contemporary curatorial practices. Sunnie’s talk addressed curation as a critical practice that injects ‘creative confidence in the city and design literacy’, while Mina shared on her experimental White City project – a playful test on social behaviours that explored ‘the physicality of space and people’s mystification of space’ and its limitations. The lively panel discussed definitions of curating and arts administration in the context of practices in Hong Kong, chaired by co-moderators Doryun Chong (Deputy Director, Curatorial and Chief Curator, M+, West Kowloon Curatorial District) and Marisa Yiu (Co-founder and Executive Director, Design Trust). In her address, Marisa addressed how in ‘the burgeoning field of design curating in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area region in a global context, The Design Trust/RCA Fellowship in Design Curation provides advanced research into curatorial practice in relation to contemporary design and recent design history.’


For more information on the Design Trust/RCA Fellowship in Design Curation and for details on how to reply, please visit the Design Trust/RCA Fellowship in Design Curation page or contact Janice Li.