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Emily Candela

PhD History Of Design, 2011–

I did two Master’s degrees – one in Fine Art and the other in Goldsmithing, Silversmithing and Jewellery, which I continued to do up until several years ago.

In between I worked in gallery education and on various art projects. Then I did an MRes London Consortium multi-disciplinary programme. This was a partnership with the Science Museum, Birkbeck and the Architectural Association. It was at this point I became interested in scientific images. I’m now studying the object from a scientific and design perspective.

Atomic study and investigation is about matter and how to represent the invisibly small and how this became iconography in culture and science. It was an advertised studentship within the RCA and the Science Museum. Coincidently, I was already interested in the culture of scientific images and their translation to design, and how this translates to other areas of culture. I grew up in a house where both my parents were scientists but I was interested in the arts.

In the first term, it was mainly induction to the programme and after that I threw myself into history of design reading to catch up. The research methods course brings all the research courses together. You can attend courses for CHS and go to those lectures too. 

Since I’ve been here, I’ve also started a seminar series called Meta Lab, bringing together theory and practice. This is student-led and is involvement in a topic explored through practice. The RCA really encourages things like this. It’s one of the best ways of learning.

"With collaborative PhDs like I'm doing, things can happen really quickly. I interviewed in July and started in October. "
Emily Candela
Emily Candela