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Show RCA 2019

Kenny Arnold

Show RCA work

Major project:

Anthropocene Organisms: The Waterside Gobbler

The Waterside Gobbler

(Rubbish Eatus Rex)

Whether intentional or accidental, discarded single use plastic items frequently enter the ecosystem via the waterways of cities with canals.  Once in the water, these items flow along towards natural gathering points in certain areas, where they are ripe for collection. However while they remain in the water, birds, fish, and other animals mistake the pollution for food. In response to the problem, new activities, such as plastic fishing, have emerged to encourage citizens to take action, become informed, and shift their behaviour towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

During this period of change, a hybrid life form has emerged. Half bin, half creature, Waterside Gobblers live near the water and seek to pick out and collect passing plastic debris with the aid of a helpful human.
Gobblers like to adapt to their neighbourhoods with colour and form to promote a sense of locality. They seek to encourage city dwellers who visit the waterside to take action about cleaning their environment; educate the wider public about the impact that pollution has on the ecosytems we are part of, and encourage thoughtful actions that benefit all species.


  • I like to use play as a design approach for exploring possibilities that can promote positive change in society.

    Much of my work is centered around sustainability and social engagement. Projects I have worked on during my time at the Royal College of Art have explored a wide range of topics including – our relationship with the environment, the future of food, tools to promote creative thinking, the circular economy, and engaging people through play. I prefer a hands on approach in my practice, and I enjoy thinking through making.

  • Previous degrees

  • BFA, Industrial Design, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, 2011
  • Experiences

  • Associate researcher, Brand Genetics, London, 2018–present; Industrial designer, KA Design, London, 2011–present; Design instructor, Publicolor, New York, 2015–2016; Toy inventor, JMP Creative, Santa Ana, USA, 2015; Innovation intern, Fahrenheit 212, New York, 2014; Toy designer, Techno Source, New York, 2012–2013
  • Exhibitions

  • Milan Design Fair, 2019
  • Awards

  • Circular Case Award, 2017
Royal College of Art