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Welcome to our review of 2019

'As I look back over the past year it’s evident that our staff, students and alumni are the leaders in the field to whom we turn to for creative insights into the way we live and should live in the designed world.
I hope you enjoy this snapshot of the College’s year, and find much to provoke, fascinate and inspire in equal measure.'

Dr Paul Thompson, Vice-Chancellor of the RCA


David Hockney
GenerationRCA, David Hockney, still


Digital Direction, Show 2019
Digital Direction Show 2019, Paul Mortimore


CERN x RCA 2019
CERN x RCA 2019

  • InnovationRCA launched First50, a scale-up programme to connect start-ups with industry mentors.
  • The RCA’s Grand Challenge in collaboration with CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, demonstrated how innovative and disruptive technologies can address the world’s most intractable challenges.
  • The success of two RCA alumni were celebrated by Innovate UK Women in Innovation awards. 


GoodWaste Shelving Unit + Clock, Ewan Alston & Ambra Dentella 2019
Waste marble, slotted angle steel, waste Corian
Photographer: Ewan Alston

  • From devices that allow users to take control of their data and privacy, to soft robotics that support meditative breathing for the visually impaired, Design Products students presented prototypes at Ventura Future as part of Milan Design Week.


HexisTouch: a robotic wearable glove to transfer tacit knowledge, Sicong Xiao, Scott Heron, Anteja Klimek, Xiuji Li, Judella Conquet 2019


All At Once
All At Once, Laura Krarup Frandsen 2019
Photographer: Daniel Sim
  • At the Cork Street Galleries in Mayfair, graduating Fashion students showcased their avant-garde visions through performance, promenades, presentations and installations.
  • At the Great Exhibition Road Festival recent graduates Lewis Hornby and Cristina Carbajo showcased their innovative food-related designs at the V&A’s Museum of Food, while students, staff and alumni from across the College took part in talks and discussions.


Future of Flight
BA 2119: Flight of the Future

July 2019 was a busy month, alongside the graduate Shows (Architecture, Arts & Humanities, Communication & Design): 


Peter Kennard
Peter Kennard, Visual Dissent

  • An exhibition at StudioRCA Designs for Real Life showcased some of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design’s diverse and engaging projects.
  • Peter Kennard, RCA Professor of Political Art, published a monograph Visual Dissent with Pluto Press, celebrating 50 years of his political photomontages. 


Battersea South
RCA Battersea South, 2018
© Herzog & de Meuron


Wandsworth Artists' Open House group shot. Photo: Heather Sibly
Wandsworth Artists' Open House group shot, 2019
Photographer: Ollie Mackay


Sharjah Architecture Triennial
Geoglyphs of Talabre, 2015
© Courtesy of Atacama Desert Heritage Foundation

  • Dean of the School of Architecture, Dr Adrian Lahoud curated the first Sharjah Architecture Triennial.
  • Students collaborated on interdisciplinary projects with their peers as part of AcrossRCA.
  • The launch of a publication by Art on the Underground and Book Works, showcased Senior Tutor and Reader in Contemporary Art Nina Wakeford’s Art on the Underground commission which celebrates London communities past, present and future.


Tai Shani
Installation view of DC Semiramis 2019, Turner Prize 2019 at Turner Contemporary, Tai Shani
Photographer: David Levene
  • The four 2019 Turner Prize finalists formed a collective to win the prize, including Contemporary Art Practice tutor Tai Shani, alumna and visiting tutor Helen Cammock (MA Photography, 2011), and alumnus Oscar Murillo (MA Painting, 2012).
  • We celebrated the festive season with our neighbours and the local community, with carols and a tree near Battersea Bridge and the annual SU Christmas Fete in Kensington.
A crowd around the Christmas tree at Battersea Bridge
Christmas, 2019
Photographer: Stephen Pover

See behind the scenes at one of our Open Days and find out where the RCA can take you in 2020.