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RCA2020: Repeat, reuse, recycle, remake, repair and repeat

This collection highlights students whose work explores issues surrounding sustainability – from how alternate materials and processes can support a circularity economy, to  demonstrating the human impact on the world.

1. Harriet Hellman, MA Ceramics & Glass

Tipping Point II , Harriet Hellman
Tipping Point II, Harriet Hellman
Layered clays build the form and the textured surface represents the anthropogenic epoch
Harriet’s practice is centered on her concerns with coastal erosion and rising sea levels. 

Her series Tipping Point is based on the ecological fragility of the planet, the human impact on the environment and balance of the coastal landscape. For one project, she took unfired clay and placed it on the coast – recording the performative interactions between clay and sea – returning days later to see if anything of the work remained. She notes, ‘sometimes it has been transformed, ‘a gift from the sea’. I take this work back to the studio and fire it, completing this alchemical exchange.’

2. Alice Aires, MA Animation


Plastified: An Ode takes the form of an animated deep sea dive through a partially speculative ecology, crystallising strange and hidden microscopic life forms. The piece, Alice notes, seeks to ‘foster a space of solace, serving as a salve to experiences of eco-anxiety.’ Through this work we see the digital realm used to speculate on the future of our marine environment. ‘Wherever human plastic pollutants invade, the result is mass extinction.’

3. Hannah Elisabeth Jones, MA Textiles

Lliw Lleol (Local Colour), March (upper row), April (lower row),  Hannah Elizabeth Jones
Lliw Lleol (Local Colour), March (upper row), April (lower row), Hannah Elisabeth Jones

Lliw Lleol (Local Colour) is a comprehensive natural dye database, investigating colours obtained from locally foraged common plants and weeds. This database tracks the seasonal changes throughout each month and maps the connection to specific geographies in Hannah’s home of North Wales. Hannah’s research heightens the awareness of how colours and fibres are either grown naturally or chemically synthesised. Hannah hopes that Lliw Lleol will promote ‘conscious consumption, or better still, less consumption of materials altogether’.

4. Anya Muangkote, MA Design Products

Anya Muangkote, Cultivation System, Living Room/Bedroom #2
Cultivation System - Living Room/Bedroom #2, Anya Muangkote,
Anya has focused on designing for circularity with the endeavour to make sustainability appealing. Her graduate project Spirulina Society aims to normalise the sustainable and efficient cultivation system for an urban lifestyle – where people produce their own food, maintain their wellbeing, cut down the waste and reduce the ecological footprint simultaneously.

5. Adrian Ward, MA Jewellery & Metal

Adrian Ward, rEvolution 1
rEvolution 1, Adrian Ward
rEvolution is about the documentation of material undergoing the repeated cycle of making and destruction. Adrian used eBay to source old pieces of silver – such as a pocket watch and cigar case – for the project. He researched the hallmarks to discover their origin, before melting them down to make new sheet material from which he would produce a series of bowls. Each bowl in the series was cut apart and melted down to make the sheet to make the next bowl in the series. Before destruction each was hallmarked by The London Assay Office, creating an official record of the work, and 3D scanned to reproduce in resin a ‘ghost’ of the destroyed bowl.

Tere Chad, MA Sculpture

Tere Chad, The ReEnlightenment
The ReEnlightenment, Tere Chad

The Re-Enlightenment is a monument that makes a recycling statement and invites the audience to rethink whether the rational ideas of the Enlightenment really brought us the wealth we wanted. It is a piece that speaks about the urge of not forgetting our ability of sensing the world through our hands, and not forgetting that our planet is alive. It has the shape of a shell, bio-mimicking the hermit crab’s recyclable houses. It was inspired by Michael Reynold’s Earthships. The initial sculpture was constructed during a residency in Spain: ‘Joya Air’.

7. Hanne Viehmann, MA/MSc Global Innovation Design

Hanne Viehmann, Sustainability Fader
Sustainability Fader, Hanne Viehmann
Hanne has developed the Sustainability Fader to help people and organisations make responsible design decisions f and to develop consumer goods into sustainable solutions. The tool connects sustainability features of segments – people, planet and profit – to product related design features. The tool translates the sustainability aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals and general product needs into 36 sustainability features. Five ranks indicate the level of sustainability from 0 (not sustainable) to 5 (excellent sustainable). The best possible sustainable solution would show a filled circle.

8. Soes Christine Hejselbaek, MA Fashion

Soes Christine Hejselbaek, Parametric Sculpture
Parametric Sculpture, Soes Christine Hejselbaek
Soes has developed a body of work within bio-design, virtual realms and installation – operating between technology and synthetic biology, between machine and organism.  Her project Specie // Abstract Machine explores parametric 3D printed body architecture informed by waste streams in our waterways and oceans. Made from robotically extruded biodegradable materials derived from cornstarch and infused with natural algae pigments, Specie serves as a speculation on the future, and as an example of how we design nature into emerging technologies.


Head to RCA2020 to see more from this year's graduates.