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London Design Festival 2018

This autumn, the London Design Festival introduced two new research centres to the public for the first time in an exhibition called Design <> Research. The exhibition featured projects that explore the future of mobility and materiality. Visitors were able to meet the designers and researchers in person to understand how they use design skills and methods to research possible futures.

Design <> Research showcased the latest research and innovation from the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre, and the newly formed Burberry Material Futures Research Group at the RCA. Both groups work across disciplines and apply radical thinking and creative approaches to the UK’s Grand Challenges including clean growth, the ageing society, artificial intelligence and future mobility.

As the RCA evolves into a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) focused postgraduate university, visitors to Design <> Research discovered how these research centres are applying this cross-disciplinary way of working to create real-world impact.

As we rapidly enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, physical and digital challenges call for art and design to be fully integrated with the traditional STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. So, at the beginning of a project to answer a research question, the Burberry Material Futures Research Group and the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre place artists and designers alongside scientists and engineers from the outset, therefore laying the foundation for a future in which dynamic design concepts help to navigate complex reality in holistic way.