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Meet the RCA Grand Challenge 2020/21 finalists

‘All the boundaries are taken away, and that is actually a really exciting prospect.’
Suzanna James
For the RCA Grand Challenge 2020/21: Design for Safety mixed disciplinary teams of students from across the School of Design were given just over four weeks to develop design responses that explore, challenge or improve the practice of Design for Safety.

The teams worked under one of seven sub-themes: Leadership, Care, Next Generation Interaction, Futures, Truth, Health and Resilience.

One team from each sub-theme has been shortlisted to present their concept to a panel of judges, with the winners being announced next month.

Read on to find out more about the finalists’ projects.

Leadership: The Shift

Sanna Emelie Ågren (MA Design Products), Shanti Bell (MA Fashion), Emma Freeman (MA/MSc Global Innovation Design), Ryan McClure (MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering), Lily Way (MA Textiles)

a mirrored cube in a jungle landscape
The Shift, Sanna Emelie Ågren, Shanti Bell, Emma Freeman, Ryan McClure, Lily Way
The Shift is an immersive, collaborative and interactive virtual reality experience that enables people to learn about leadership from nature's perspective.
‘[Being a finalist] shows you that you are on the right path to doing something that could potentially have an impact.’
Ryan McClure

Care: Inaya

Suzanna James (MA Textiles), Célia Marchessaux (MA Design Products), Emre Kayganacı (MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering), Shruti Agerwala (MA Service Design), Justin Tsang (MA Intelligent Mobility)

booklets about celebration in care
Inaya, Suzanna James, Célia Marchessaux, Emre Kayganacı, Shruti Agerwala, Justin Tsang

Inaya introduces celebration as a fundamental part of care systems by integrating it into the medical journey of the patient.

‘To present a single design concept in four weeks was a huge challenge.’
Suzanna James

New Generation Interactions: The Yellow Box

Alicia (Lissy) Hatfield (MA Textiles), Louise Skajem (MA/MSc Global Innovation Design), Cheng Chang (MA Design Products), Josef Pacal (MA/MSc Global Innovation Design), Swathi Muralidharan (MA Service Design).

diagram showing how the yellow box would work
The Yellow Box, Alicia (Lissy) Hatfield, Louise Skajem, Cheng Chang, Josef Pacal, Swathi Muralidharan

The Yellow Box is a unified, universal public mental health safety infrastructure - from education, to signage, behavioural nudges, digital experiences and crisis response.

‘We envisioned the next generation’s mental health as a global issue.’
Lissy Hatfield

Futures: AccuM.

Yihan Bian (MA Design Products), Chunchen Liu (MA Fashion), Lijun Chu (MA Service Design), Lianyi Chen (MA Textiles)

diagram of plants being used to recycle precious metals
AccuM., Yihan Bian, Chunchen Liu, Lijun Chu, Lianyi Chen
AccuM. will change the future of recycling e-waste by harnessing metallophyte plants, which can tolerate high levels of heavy metals, to mine rare metals from discarded electronic appliances. This will simultaneously reduce consumption of rare metals and solve landfill problems.
‘We think design for safety means design for human plus design for environment.
Lianyi Chen

Truth: VIYU

Maria Nava Melgar (MA Fashion), Sarah Dodge (MA/MSc Global Innovation Design), Hemal Dias (MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering), Aidan Griffiths (MA Intelligent Mobility), Olivia Wilkinson (MA Textiles)

visualisation of the VIYU app on a mobile phone
VIYU, Maria Nava Melgar, Sarah Dodge, Hemal Dias, Aidan Griffiths, Olivia Wilkinson

Everyone should have data about the air pollution in the area they live. By democratising localised air pollution information and raising awareness about its impact on public health VIYU aims to put pressure on leaders to take action.

‘We started by having a look at places where misinformation or lack of information was causing harm to people.’
Hemel Dias

Health: Mission to Yamal Peninsula

Cheng Qian (MA Intelligent Mobility), HengYao (MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering), Yefei Liu (MA Design Products), Qing Liu (MA Service Design), Yutong Fu (MA Design Products)

snow and ice covered landscape
Mission to Yamal Peninsula, Cheng Qian, HengYao, Yefei Liu, Qing Liu, Yutong Fu
Mission to Yamal Peninsula aims to raise public awareness of permafrost thawing and hopes to reduce the potential threat to human health from pathogens in permafrost by building a new system for active groups in this region.
‘We are going to use design as a tool to save the world. It’s really exciting for us!’
Yefei Liu

Resilience: MOWO

Zhuyin Xu (MA Textiles), Kelly Holder (MA Intelligent Mobility), Georgia Mackenzie (MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering), Ilayda Kal (MA/MSc Global Innovation Design), Kaelan O'Neill (MA Fashion)

visualisation of a MOWO bus in Lima, Peru
MOWO, Zhuyin Xu, Kelly Holder, Georgia Mackenzie, Ilayda Kal, Kaelan O'Neill

Through the combination of an app, female drivers and ticketing regulation MOWO aims to make buses a safer environment for women travelling to and from their jobs in Lima, Peru, where a high proportion of women experience sexual assault on public transport.

‘I thought to myself, this is what I could do for the rest of my life, work in a sector like this.’
Georgia Mackenzie

Thinking about studying with us? Find out more about the School of Design and how to apply.

The RCA Grand Challenge 2020/21 is sponsored by Logitech.