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Student Story: Yaprak Göker, Information Experience Design, 2017–

Yaprak Göker
Yaprak Göker
Yaprak Göker came to study RCA Information Experience Design (IED) after graduating with a degree in Visual Communication Design from Sabancı University, in Istanbul, a minor degree on Art Theory & Criticism, plus a year of masters on Sound Engineering & Design at Istanbul Technical University. Yaprak plans to build her own workshop space to reflect what she has learned at the RCA and to bring people closer together.

When did you first hear about the RCA, and why did you decide to study here?

I have a friend who graduated from the RCA the year I was applying, and she told me how great it was here. I also saw that it had been named the best place for art and design a number of times. I wanted to aim for the best. I went to the Graduate Show and that's where I fell in love with the whole Programme. For the first time I was seeing all these different projects – from quantum physics, to set design, to print-making – in one place, in IED.

Can you describe what it’s like studying at the RCA?

The best thing, not only about the RCA but my Programme, is that it gives you everything that you could imagine. You want to learn things from everywhere. One of the great things is the weekly lecture series on a topic that's broad enough to learn from the many perspectives surrounding it, from different tutors. They scatter seeds on us and something always sticks, and then you let it grow.

Have you been set any particular projects that you've really enjoyed working on, or have found rewarding, or have had a significant impact on your practice

For the first collaborative project we had, we were asked to make a spatial installation for a rave. It was the first time I was able to make something with my hands. We built a pond and collected mirrors from all over London. We were able to experiment with all sorts of materials: water, wood, glass – anything we could find. We projected a film we made onto the mirrors. We created an atmosphere with a narrative. IED teaches you that everything is based on a narrative.

Yaprak Göker, Where’s The Funk?, 2019, still from the performance Where’s The Funk? Session No.2, 25 min. Royal College of Art, London.
Where’s The Funk?, Yaprak Göker 2019
Still from the performance Where’s The Funk? Session No.2, 25 min. Royal College of Art, London.

How has your work and/or thinking changed or developed while you have been at the RCA?

I always thought of myself as a sound designer, but I'm something more now. Because of IED, I've challenged myself to make things with my hands. I’ve learned to design experiences through narrative. I'm not one thing anymore; I am many. The people I've met have changed my character, too. Your vision broadens. I never thought it was possible to learn so many things in an hour.

What is the mixture of students like, and what are the benefits of being in an international community?

We have many students from different backgrounds: architecture, ceramics, psychology. Where else would you find all these people in the same room? You always have a fresh perspective on what you're working on. When you're stuck, your colleagues are there to support you. The cultures represented are also broad. All of this informs our work. You always want to become the best version of yourself, and all of this helps on that journey.

Yaprak Göker in collaboration with Lucy Anderson, Evan Reinhold & Noura Nassar, Tunin', 2018, interactive installation for CMC Digital Playground, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield.
Tunin', Yaprak Göker in collaboration with Lucy Anderson, Evan Reinhold & Noura Nassar 2018
interactive installation for CMC Digital Playground, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield.
What have you found most rewarding about your time at the RCA?

The people I've met. Everyone is so helpful and ready to help, whether they realise they're helping or not. You also get to know yourself better through this. Now I know I'm a part of everything here.

What are your plans for this year, and what do you intend to do after you graduate?

I want to build my own workshop space that offers practical workshops, educational seminars, talks for creatives. It will be a major reflection on my time at the RCA, and a way to bring people from various backgrounds together.

Advice for student applying?

Don't think twice, don't be intimidated by the standards here. You'll be surprised what you can achieve.


Find out more about Innovation Design Engineering at the RCA and how to apply.